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Ohio is a state in the Midwest region of the USA. The state has natural boundaries to the north (Lake ErieLake Erie) and to the south (Ohio RiverOhio River) and is bordered by the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.The terrain is generally flat in the northwestern parts due to ancient glaciers, and gradually gets hillier as one heads east and southeast toward the Allegheny and Appalachian mountain ranges. Aside from a Great Lake (Erie) and a major navigable river (Ohio), the State of Ohio offers a national park (Cuyahoga Valley), a national forest (Wayne) and a bundle of islands on Lake Erie.

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Comprised of 88 counties, Ohio can be roughly characterized as having 5 regions:

  • Mid-OhioMid-Ohio - flat agricultural land surrounding the State capital, Columbus.
  • Northeast Ohio (NEO), also known as "Greater Cleveland" - rolling wooded foothills from the Allegheny Mountain range subside as they approach Lake Erie (definition of NEO includes 13 counties and 4.5 million people).
  • Northwest (Ohio)Northwest - flat agricultural land surrounding Toledo and stretching into Indiana to the west and Michigan to the north.
  • Southeast (Ohio)Southeast - very hilly, coal-mining country rolling into Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
  • Southwest - hilly areas approaching the Ohio River, surrounding Cincinnati and rolling into Kentucky.


Ohio offers a destination for every traveller. The state is 35th in geographic size, yet 7th in population (11,459,011 residents in 2004 according to the US Census Bureau). The state has 3 large metropolitan areas: Cleveland (Northeast Ohio population of over 2.9 million); Cincinnati (Southwest Ohio population of 2 million); and Columbus (the State capital with a metro population over 1.6 million). The remaining 5 million Ohioans live in a number of secondary cities and quaint small towns.


Big Cities

  • Cleveland - regional hub of 3 million residents
  • Cincinnati - regional hub of 2 million residents
  • Columbus - the State capital and regional hub of 1.6 million residents

(Figures based on 2000 US Census Bureau - Metropolitan Statistical Areas.)


Mid-Sized Cities


Small Towns and Suburbs


Other destinations

Considering many of the above cities may have individual travel guides, this page will be dedicated to travel themes that take you throughout the state.



Ohio's nickname is "The Heart of It All", purportedly because of its geographic form (kind of heart-shaped), its central location to the densely populated areas of the US, its mosaic of big commercial cities, small towns, industry and farmland, and its critical role in "America's Heartland" (which can refer to the Midwest agricultural sector and the Great Lakes industrial base).

You may wish to guide your travels based on the fact that Ohio is also the birthplace of lot of things, including:

  • The Mother of US Presidents (18th Ulysses Grant - Point Pleasant, 19th Rutherford Hayes - Delaware, 20th James Garfield - Orange, 23rd Benjamin Harrison - North Bend, 25th William McKinley - Niles, 27th William Taft - Cincinnati, and 29th Warren Harding - Corsica/Blooming Grove). 9th William Henry Harrison, born in Virginia but settled (and buried) in Ohio, is also claimed as one of Ohio's own.
  • The Birthplace of Aviation - Orville and Wilbur Wright lived in Dayton and owned a bicycle shop where they invented the first airplane, which they tested and validated in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (which claims to be "First in Flight").
  • NASA Astronauts - home to 24 astronauts, most notably John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.
  • Rock 'n Roll Capitol and the first rock concert (Cleveland, which boasts the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and Museum).
  • More inventions than can be listed (although Inventure Place - the National Inventors Hall of Fame has seen to that), but they include substantial innovations in the fields of automotives, aviation, aerospace, rail, shipping, petroleum, polymers and advanced materials, electricity, electronics, medical and healthcare to name a few.
  • Professional (American) Football (The Canton Bulldogs, whose city boasts the Professional Football Hall of Fame) as well as birthplace or home to a number of the most innovative and renowned coaches of the sport (Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Don Shula, Ara Parseghian).
  • Major League Baseball (The Cincinnati Reds was the first team and 6 of the 8 original MLB teams (which included the Cleveland Indians (under different name)) were financed by wealthy Cleveland industrialists.
  • Great American Sports Legends, including Olympian Jesse Owens (Cleveland), John Heisman - namesake of NCAA Football Award (Cleveland), and Cy Young - namesake of Major League Baseball Pitching Awards (New Philadelphia/Dover area).

Tributes to many of the above claims to fame are scattered throughout the State of Ohio.


Get in


By plane

  • Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) is a hub of Continental Airlines.
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is actually located across the Ohio River in Kentucky and is a hub of Delta Airlines.
  • Port Columbus International Airport (CMS)
  • James M. Cox Dayton International Airport (DAY)
  • Akron Canton Regional Airport (CAK)
  • Toledo Express Airport (TOL)

By car

The State of Ohio is served by the following interstate highways:

  • I-70 splits the state in half, linking Columbus, Dayton and Springfield beyond Pennsylvania to the east and beyond Indiana to the west.
  • I-71 connects the three big cities, starting in Cleveland and running southwest through Columbus and Cincinnati, then beyond Kentucky.
  • I-75 runs along the western part of the state, serving Cincinnati and Toledo and connecting them to Michigan to the north and beyond Kentucky to the south.
  • I-76 serving Akron and Youngstown and connecting to beyond Pennsylvania to the east.
  • I-77 starts in Cleveland and runs south through Akron, Canton, New Philadelphia and Marietta and continues beyond West Virginia.
  • I-80 is the Ohio Turnpike (a toll road) that runs across the northern part of the state, serving Cleveland, Akron, Toledo and Youngstown (where I-80 and I-76 criss cross) and beyond Pennsyvania to the east and Indiana to the west.
  • I-90 also serves the far northern part of the state, including Cleveland and Toledo, merges with the Ohio Turnpike (I-80) for a stretch and continues beyond Pennsyvania to the east and Indiana to the west.

By train

Amtrak serves Alliance, Bryan, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Elyria, Hamilton!, Sandusky and Toledo.


By boat

Many boaters utilize the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway and their connection points as a travel route. There are many marinas and public boat ramps available for this purpose. Also, the Great Lakes Cruising Company ( and the American Canadian Caribbean Line ( provide cruises that include Cleveland on the itineria. There are also steamboat and cruise options connecting points along Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.


Get around

Most points within Ohio are easily accessible by auto with longest distances across the state of about 300 miles and less than 5 hours in driving time. For instance, driving from Cleveland-to-Columbus and Columbus-to-Cincinnati via I-71 takes about 2 hours (give or take 15 minutes). The larger cities in the state all have public mass transit systems.




Aerospace & Aviation

  • Armstrong Air & Space Museum (Wapakoneta)
  • Crawford Auto-Aviation Museum (Cleveland)
  • NASA Glenn Research Center (Cleveland)
  • Wright Patterson Air Force Base (Dayton)
  • Wright Brothers' Bicycle Shop (Dayton)

Battle Grounds and Monuments

Ohio Indian Wars

  • Battle of Fallen Timbers, small park contains a monument honoring Major General Anthony Wayne as well as smaller monuments to the soldiers and Native Americans who died in the battle. 5100 West Central Avenue, Toledo, OH 43615, 419-535-3050 or 1-800-860-0149.
  • Big Bottom, 3-acre park is the site of a 1791 battle between Ohio Company settlers and Delaware and Wyandot Tribes.
  • Fort Harmar in Marietta. The stockade was located on the Ohio River and the Muskingum River.
  • Fort Recovery In 1791, Miami Indians defeated General Arthur St. Clair's forces at this site along the Wabash River. One Fort Site Street, Ft. Recovery, OH 45846-9314, 419-375-4649 or 1-800-283-8920.
  • Schoenbrunn Village in New Philadelphia. The Moravian church founded Schoenbrunn ("beautiful spring") in 1772 as a mission to the Delaware Indians. The settlement grew to include 60 dwellings and more than 300 inhabitants who drew up Ohio's first civil code and built its first Christian church and schoolhouse. The reconstructed village includes 17 log buildings, gardens, the original mission cemetery, and a museum and visitor center. Call for information at 330-339-3636 or 1-800-752-2711.

American Revolutionary War, Fort Laurens State Memorial, located in Bolivar (Tuscarawas County) on County Road 102 about 1/2 mile south of State Route 212. Exit I-77 at State Route 212, 330-874-2059 or 1-800-283-8914. Built in 1778 in an ill-fated campaign to attack the British at Detroit, a park commemorates the location and an outline of the fort remains along with archaeological artifacts.

War of 1812,

  • Fort Amanda near Wapakoneta. Call for information at 1-800-283-8713.
  • Fort Meigs (reconstructed) in Perrysburg was built on the Maumee River in 1813 under the command of William Henry Harrison (the 9th President of the US) and was instrumental in to protect northwest Ohio and Indiana from British invasion.
  • Fort Stephenson' in Sandusky was the location of another decisive victory over the British, forcing them to retreat to Canada.
  • Indian Mill in Sandusky, the restored three-story structure replaces the original one-story building that the U. S. government built in 1820 to reward the loyalty of local Wyandot Indians during the War of 1812. 108 East Wyandot Avenue, Upper Sandusky 43351, 419-294-3349 or 1-800-600-7147.
  • Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial in Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. In the Battle of Lake Erie, Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry led a fleet of 9 ships in a major victory over the British.

Civil War (Ohio was a Union State)

  • Buffington Island (Meigs County) commemorated by a 4-acre park with a monument made of broken Ohio glacial boulders; and Salineville (also known as New Lisbon or Wellsville) located in Columbiana County. Both battles in Ohio were won by the Union Ohio Company. Ohioans (including several who later became US Presidents) were also instrumental in Civil War battles throughout the US.
  • In the Ohio Statehouse (Columbus), a monument, These Are My Jewels, memorializes 7 Ohioans who played key roles in the Civil War: Ulysses S. Grant, Philip Sheridan, Edwin M. Stanton, James A. Garfield, Rutherford B. Hayes, Salmon P. Chase, and William Tecumseh Sherman.
  • Custer Monument is a bronze statue on the site of George Armstrong Custer's birthplace (Harrison County), 46320 Cadiz-Junction Road, Hopedale, OH 43976, 740-945-6415.
  • The McCook House is located on the west side of the public square in Carrollton in Carroll County, 330-627-3345 or 1-800-600-7172. McCook family contributed 9 soldiers including 5 generals to the Union cause.

Native American Archeaology & Burial Grounds

  • Flint Ridge State Memorial, contains quarry pits where all of the ancient people of Ohio came to get flint for tools and weapons, especially the Hopewell. 7091 Brownsville Road, S.E., Glenford, OH 43739, 740-787-2476 or 1-800-283-8707.
  • Fort Ancient includes a museum containing 9000 sq. ft. of exhibits focusing on 15,000 years of American Indian history in the Ohio Valley. 6123 St Rt. 350, Oregonia, Ohio 45054, 513-932-4421 or 1-800-283-8904.
  • Fort Hill State Memorial is a nature preserve containing one of the best preserved Indian (Hopewell) hilltop enclosures in North America. 13614 Fort Hill Road, Hillsboro, OH 45133, 937-588-3221 or 1-800-283-8905.
  • Inscription Rock on the south shore of Kelleys Island, is marked with prehistoric Indian pictographs. Call for information at 419-797-4530.
  • Miamisburg Mound, Adena conical burial mound. 101 North First Street, Miamisburg, OH 45342, 937-866-4532.
  • Newark Earthworks State Memorial largest system of connected geometric earthworks, built by Hopewell 2 millenia ago. 99 Cooper Avenue, Newark, OH 43055, 740-344-1919 or 1-800-600-7178.
  • Seip Mound Hopewell burial mound in Chillicothe. Call for information at 614-297-2630 or 1-800-686-1535.
  • Serpent Burial Adena burial mound shaped like an uncoiling snake. 3850 State Route 73, Peebles, OH 45660, 937-587-2796 or 1-800-752-2757.
  • Shrum Mound Adena conical burial mound in Columbus. Call for information at 614-297-2630 or 1-800-686-1535.

Nature Preserves


Underground Railroad Sites

  • The Rankin House was an important stop on the Underground Railroad in southern Ohio through which many slaves escaped from the South to freedom, off of State Route 52 at the northeast edge of Ripley in Brown County, 937-392-1627 or 1-800-752-2705.
  • The Stowe House, residence of Harriett Beecher Stowe where she learned about the evils of slavery which inspired her book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. Cultural and educational center which promotes black history. 2950 Gilbert Avenue, State Route 3, U.S. 22, Cincinnati, OH 45214, 513-632-5100.

U.S. Presidential Libraries and Monuments

  • James Garfield Cabin Moreland Hills. Garfield Home Mentor. Garfield Memorial in Lakeview Cemetery, Cleveland.
  • Ulysses S. Grant Birthplace is a restored one-story, three-room cottage, which was built in 1817, in Point Pleasant, in Clermont County, just off of U.S. Route 52 about five miles east of New Richmond. 513-553-4911. Grant Boyhood Home is located 219 East Grant Avenue in Georgetown, in Brown County, and Grant Schoolhouse located at 508 South Water Street, two blocks south of State Route 125, in Georgetown.
  • Warren G. Harding Home In Marion, Ohio, the restored house, built in 1891, contains original furnishings. The Presidential Library was renovated in 2005. 380 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Marion, OH 43302, 740-387-9630 or 1-800-600-6894. Harding Tomb set in ten acres of landscaped grounds, is similar in appearance to a round Greek temple, Vernon Heights Blvd., Marion.
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • William Henry Harrison Tomb tomb and monument on Mt. Nebo in North Bend contains the remains of William Henry Harrison, located on Cliff Road west off U.S. Route 50.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Centercontains the Hayes residence, a library and museum, and the tomb of the president and his wife Lucy Webb Hayes. Spiegel Grove, Fremont, OH 43420, (419) 332-2081 or 1 (800) 998-7737.
  • William Taft



Hall of Fame Tour

  • Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame and Museum Cleveland
  • Inventure Place - National Inventors Hall of Fame Akron
  • Professional (American) Football Hall of Fame Canton

Lake Erie Tour Route and Lighthouses


Ohio Wineries

Markko Vineyards (Conneaut;


Sports Venues


Universities and College Towns

Among the large number of institutions of higher learning in the state are:

  • Antioch University Yellow Springs
  • Baldwin-Wallace College Berea
  • Bowling Green State University Bowling Green
  • Case Western Reserve University Cleveland
  • Cleveland State University
  • College of Wooster Wooster
  • John Carroll University University Heights
  • Kent State University Kent
  • Kenyon College Gambier
  • Miami University Oxford
  • Oberlin College Oberlin
  • Ohio State University Columbus
  • Ohio University Athens
  • Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware
  • University of Akron
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Toledo
  • Wilberforce University Wilberforce


  • Ballpark/Stadium Mustard
  • Hot Dogs
  • Lifesavers Candies
  • Maple Syrup
  • Roasted Buckeyes
  • Salisbury Steak
  • Skyline Chili


Great Lakes Brewery


Stay safe


Get out


Amusement Parks


Lake Erie Islands

Located north of Sandusky (between Cleveland and Toledo), a group of picturesque and festive islands in Lake Erie are accessible via ferry. In addition to several1 ( Ohio State Parks located on the islands, there is plenty to do including wineries, restaurants, bars, marinas and beaches.


North Coast Beaches

Along the southern shore of Lake Erie are a large number of public beaches. The largest natural sand beach in Ohio, Headlands Beach State Park (, is located east of Cleveland, in Mentor. Cleveland Lakefront State Park ( also includes a large beach at its Edgewater Park, just west of downtown Cleveland. Many other beaches are available throughout Northern Ohio, including Huntington Beach, Euclid Beach and Fairport Harbor.


Park Systems and Lodging

  • Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Located south of Cleveland, this park follows the course of the Cuyahoga River and the historic Ohio & Erie Canal between Cleveland and Akron. A number of older buildings are preserved here. The Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad, with train cars from the 1940's and 1950's also runs through the park. Pick up the train in Valley View near Thornburg Station ( (8111 Rockside Road), a mixed use retail, restaurant and office complex sitting between the river and canal.
  • Wayne National ForestWayne National Forest

External links, Official State Tourism Site (

State of Ohio History (

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