Besides rearing seven presidents, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Neil Armstrong, Ohio was the first state in America to install a traffic light, use a police car or ambulance, have a professional baseball team (Cinci Reds) and is home to the world's first city to be lighted electrically (Cleveland).
Not bad for just one state!
Here are a few other, more recent reasons to visit Ohio:
Ohio State Football - Columbus
If you are sports fan, you are never, ever alone. Nobody loves a football team (or the best damn band in the land) as much as we love our Ohio State Buckeyes. We love them unconditionally, but even more when they win - which, thank god, happens more often than not. If you're in town for a home game either be prepared to embrace the scarlet and gray or find refuge in one of the few bars, restaurants or shops without a Brutus Buckeye in the window. If you are lucky enough to score a ticket to the game (or even if you aren't), spend some time walking around OSU's downtown campus for a mix of collegiate traditions and urban excitement.
Cedar Point is awesome! Dubbed the Best Amusement Park in the World, it definitely lives up to the hype. Though it's a bit of a drive to Sandusky, it's worth the early morning drive for an entire day of roller coasters. This theme park's got rides like the top thrill dragster (which shoots riders a half a mile in 16 seconds), the Power Tower (a 240 ft free fall) and the Raptor, as well as a full water park and kid's park. It currently has 17 large roller coasters, as well as over 40 other rides for the whole family. If you don't feel like waiting in line or want to cram in as many coasters into one day as you can, get a fast-pass to shoot you to the front of the line.
The Ohio State Fair
The Ohio State Fair is a rite of passage for any young Ohioan and a long-standing tradition for generations of families. You can get drunk, stuff yourself with deep-fried Oreos (or Twinkies, candy bars, and funnel cakes), watch horse shows, ride Ferris wheels, listen to live music, win ridiculously overpriced carnival toys and see a life-sized cow made entirely out of butter. What's not to love? But, if you want attend, make sure to visit Ohio in late July/early August, during the ten days the fair is open.
Franklin Park Conservatory
For over 100 years, Franklin Park Conservatory has educated kids and adults about horticulture and natural life in Ohio. The 88 acres of over 400 exotic species of plants from around the world provide a beautiful backdrop for a walk in the park. Annual exhibitions include The Orchid Forest, Blooms and Butterflies, and Holidays at the Conservatory. The Conservatory also features a wide collection of work from national and international natural artists on display around the grounds. Visit the park to learn or for a relaxing afternoon in downtown Columbus.
Old Man's Cave
Located in southeastern Ohio, Old Man's Cave is part of Hawking Hills State Park and is one of the best spots in Ohio to see waterfalls, sandstone cliffs and rock formations with names like the Devil's Bathtub, Sphinx Head, Eagle Rock and Whale in the Wall. Old Man's Cave is also home to the tallest tree in Ohio- a 149-foot-tall hemlock. There are five main sections within Old Man's Cave: Upper Falls, Upper Gorge, Middle Falls, Lower Falls and Lower Gorge. There are numerous hiking and biking trails to connect these areas for easy access around the park, and there is also a visitors center for more information and picnic shelters.
Northeast Ohio is home to the largest Amish community in the world. Spend a day perusing their local shops full of homegrown produce, cheese, spices, meats and beautiful handcrafted wooden furniture. You can also take home some of their handmade soaps, candles, toys, quilts and other crafts. They also host a number of seasonal outdoor music concerts and festivals on the weekends. It is a perfect day trip from Columbus, Cleveland, Akron or Canton.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio to get up close and personal with some of music's greatest superstars. Artists like Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Beatles, James Brown, and many more have been honored and inducted into the hall of fame. Check out their memorabilia and exhibits from every era of rock and roll history. The Hall of Fame also holds movie screenings of tours and performance footage from the road. The Rock Hall hosts free summer concerts of up and coming, as well as classic bands like Murder by Death, Bruce Springsteen, Richie Sambora and Paramore.
Harvests and Corn Mazes
The Fall harvest is the perfect time to celebrate the changing of the seasons. A good wasy to do that is with apple, pumpkin, squash, gourd and everything else picking. Farms around Ohio will open their fields to the public for a chance to bring home their own handpicked produce. It's a great idea for families with little kids. Also, don't miss out on one of the many corn mazes around the state. These towering corridors of corn can stretch over dozens of acres and are actually a lot harder to get out of than they look. They are often made into complex geometric shapes like Ohio slogans, current celebrities or political figures (ie Sarah Palin).
Located on Lake Erie's South Bass Island, the harbor town of Put-in-Bay is a party hot spot during the summer months. The small island features a winery, several beaches, seafood restaurants and many, many bars, including the Roundhouse (an octagonal building) and the Beer Barrel Saloon, which claims to have the world's longest bar. You can party the night away and spend the afternoon on Lake Erie jet skiing, water tubing or just sailing around.
If you have kids, don't miss the Center of Science and Industry in downtown Columbus. It sounds boring, but don't worry, it isn't! Operating as one giant, interactive science classroom come alive, COSI lets you ride a unicycle over a tightrope, see how gravity works, learn about the human life cycle, and much more. Daily classes teach kids to build their own robots, make hydro-powered toys and play with lasers. They also have seasonal exhibits like the Titanic Exhibit, a dinosaur exhibit and the Bodies Exhibit.