Few states engender the type of good-natured debate as Ohio, the Buckeye State.
Ohio has a rich history and a passionate collegiate and professional sports pedigree. Lots of Ohioans proudly identify with one team or sport over another – or even a region of the state.
Who can help it? It’s even in the names! Are you a Buckeye or Bearcat? A Bengal or Brown?
Or a Cincinnati Red or Cleveland Guardian? There are lots of differing fan favorites within the state. One thing that most in the state can agree on though is that Ohio is a beautiful state filled with a rich history and an abundance of natural beauty.
For the adventurous and curious at heart, Ohio should be on your list when planning a trip to the midwestern Great Lakes region.
Below are just a few of the must-visit spots in the state aptly known as “The Heart Of It All.”
Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Nestled along and surrounding the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River, this National Park is the definition of an “urban getaway.” Just a short drive from the bustling city centers of Akron and Cleveland, this National Park might as well be on another planet altogether! A nature preserve and haven for native plants and wildlife, one can follow the banks of the Cuyahoga for miles of hiking trails over hills and through meadows and valleys, each as beautiful as the last. Bring the kiddos for a leisurely hike through lust forests or come alone for a solitary Nike ride. Maybe even hop on the Cuyahoga Scenic Railroad and cruise through the valley for a one-of-a-kind scenic tour of one of Ohio’s greatest natural treasures!
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park: Speaking of sports loyalties, hop on down to the home of the perfectly named Flyers of Dayton, Ohio and check out this significant slice of American history. Where would the world, let alone America, be today with the advent of the invention of flight? Learn more about why the modern world never needs to wonder about that question at this historical park. Orville and his brother Wilbur spent many years in the Dayton area working toward their dream of the world’s first powered, human-crewed flight, which was eventually invented on the sandy dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in December 1903. But this National Park tells Wright’s story and the story of the brave aviators who followed in their footsteps in those early days of discovery. Stop in to learn more about the men and women who dedicated their lives to the luxuries that are now commonplace in the modern world and perhaps gain more awe and appreciation for the next time those big jet wheels lift off from your local airport. This park is a can’t miss!
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park: The Buckeye State contains within its lines a bevy of cultural history, especially that of the indigenous peoples who inhabited these lands thousands of years ago. Some 2,000 years ago, southern Ohio was home to many native tribes, and their mark can still be seen, quite literally, in the complex earthen mound system they left behind. These complicated engineering feats of the day were symbolic and important for many reasons to various tribes and were used for all manner of ceremonial practices, from weddings to funerals. Thankfully for the modern person, these structures still remain and are preserved for generations to come inside the boundaries of this National Historical Park.