10 Best Cities/ Places to Visit in Ohio
I firmly believe that every state in the country has many different aspects to it. Sure, we like to think of Florida as just its beaches and California as just Disneyland or San Francisco but every single state actually has many different sides to it. I also believe that by carefully selecting ten cities in each state to visit, the average traveler can get a really good feel for what that state is all about despite the fact that it has so many different sides to it.
So what about if you’re going to Ohio? What cities would you choose to see there to really get a feel for what the entire state of Ohio is like? It would really need to be a great combination of the big cities and the rural areas and the college towns because Ohio has all of these. It would need to combine liberal and democratic politics, northern towns and southern towns and other opposing forces that make up what this Midwest state is all about.
There are a lot of options to choose from since there are over 100 cities in the state but a good Top 10 Cities in Ohio selection to start with would be as follows:
1. Columbus. This is the capital of Ohio and its largest city so it’s a must-see city for any Ohio visitor. It can be found smack dab in the middle of the state and therefore serves as a great hub for branching out to explore all of the rest of Ohio. Park yourself at a hotel here, see all of the sights, explore the rich history of the area and then make your way to some of the smaller cities throughout the state. Be sure to see the landmarks associated with the explorer for which the city is named which includes a full-scale replica of the Santa Maria boat located at the Scioto Riverfront.
2. Cleveland. This city is another of the large cities in the state and therefore one that you really need to see and explore if you’re going to understand the urban areas of Ohio. This one, however, is located way up north so it’s got a different feel and flavor to it than Columbus does. One of the things that is really notable here is that it’s an urban hub for culture and the arts so if you want to see plays and theatre performances and even sports events in Ohio then you want to make sure to spend a decent amount of time in Cleveland.
3. Cincinnati. This is the third of the large cities that you really have to see when you explore Ohio. It’s located at the south tip of the state which makes it quite different from the other two big cities but it’s also an urban area. It’s got an interesting history as being one of the first cities that was considered to be truly American – rather than European in development like other East Coast cities and even other cities in Ohio. It’s not necessarily the most tourist-driven city in comparison to the other large cities but there are things to see here and you get to experience a side of urban Ohio that you might not see in the other two large cities.
4. Oberlin. Moving away from the large cities of Ohio, the first thing that you want to do is to check out the liberal college towns that are scattered all throughout the state. There are a lot of people who come to Ohio to take advantage of the numerous small colleges to be found here. Oberlin is a great choice because it is filled with arts and music students so there are a lot of creative things to find here. It’s located up north near Cleveland.
5. Medina. It’s important to see not only college towns in Ohio but also other small towns where rural folks are making a simple beautiful life for themselves. There are many of these towns to explore but a good pick is Medina. Located in the north central part of the state, it’s a little town with a great town square. They have music and arts stuff going on during some weekends, flea markets and antique shops to browse and generally just a lot of exploration for visitors despite being a small place.
6. Any town in Holmes County. It’s important to get a chance to gain an understanding of the Amish culture while you’re in Ohio since it’s a unique culture that can’t be found in most other states. This is a bit touristy to do but it’s a neat thing to add to your trip and to your understanding of Ohio. Pretty much any town in Holmes County can provide you with a bit of that experience.
7. Dayton. At the opposite end of the spectrum from the Amish is the part of Ohio where technological advancements are of extreme importance to the history of the area. That’s the case with Dayton, a city in southwestern Ohio which is known for its technology. It is especially known for aerospace technology and is famous because it’s the hometown of the Wright Brothers.
8. Sandusky. One of the things that you have to make sure to see when you’re in Ohio is Lake Erie. The Great Lakes are all amazing and definitely not something to miss when exploring a state that borders one. There are several cities in Ohio to see this amazing body of water but the one that is best is Sandusky because it’s also home to Cedar Point, a really cool amusement park filled with rollercoasters including amazing old wooden rollercoasters that you aren’t going to find in many other places that you may travel.
9. Toronto. Lake Erie is the big body of water that you should see but you should also make it a point to check out the Ohio River during your travels through the state. This will also give you the chance to see some of the small towns located in the southeastern part of the state. Toronto is a good pick but any town on the river in this area will serve to enhance your appreciation of the state.
10. Cuyahoga Falls. Another cool river in the state is Cuyahoga River and the best place to check that out is in this town named for the river’s waterfalls. This one is good, too, because it’s located really close to Akron which is another city worth seeing if you’ve got time to add an eleventh city to your tour of the state.
This article is one of a series citing the top ten cities to visit in any given state. Be sure to also check out the best cities to visit in Arizona, California and Pennsylvania. And then make sure to check out the Top 10 American Cities to visit overall.
- List of cities in Ohio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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