The US has always been a land ripe for exploration. Offering geographical and cultural riches for those willing to saddle up and stray outside their own backyard. Each state provides potential for discovery — from natural wonders to niche roadside attractions. Among its 49 brothers and sisters, the state of Ohio is prime territory for road trips on the hunt for awe-inspiring aspects, and the chance to build lasting memories.
The Buckeye state has a little something for travellers of all flavors. Families can create a vacation schedule that sees a day spent at an amusement park being followed by a fascinating excursion discovering Ohio`s position as a pioneer of space travel.
Whether you`re in the market for a light hike, or tales of the supernatural, a road-trip through Ohio has you covered.
It`s always helpful to have a guide, though, and we can help you with that. We`ve pulled together a list of some essential sights, sounds, and tastes to take in during your travels on the open road.
Even if you`re an Ohio native, we have a few ideas that might give you a fresh perspective on your home state when you have a few days off, and a tank full of gas.
We know you`re keen to get going, but there are always important steps to take before hitting the road. Particularly if you`re visiting a state you`re unfamiliar with.
Perform a few essential checks on your vehicle — fluid levels, brakes, tires. If possible have a mechanic double check that there`s nothing that could potentially cause problems that would disrupt your travels.
Roadside assistance can be a time and money saver when taking a long journey. At the very least, check that you have sufficient auto policy coverage.
Those taking a new car insurance policy in Ohio will find providers in the area take into account the minimum required liability coverage. However, if you`re venturing from outside, take a moment to make sure this is in line with your own coverage — you may need to make adjustments.
Beautiful Waterfalls Along the Road
Ohio is packed full of beautiful waterfalls that feel undiscovered. Driving past them will make you feel as though you`re exploring the state as you`ve never seen it before.
You can drive along Route 71, 480, 76, 77 and 70 in a loop and see 6 jaw-dropping waterfall sites, including completely unexpected waterfalls in urban areas as well as secluded waterfalls that are surrounded by nature. You can do this trip in about 10 hours of driving, and if you really want to see the water flowing, you should take it after some long bouts of rain.
Drivin` and Eatin` for 3 whole days
This one seems like the real American dream. Three days of driving around the best, affordable restaurants in Ohio. Names like Tony Packos, Slyman`s, The Buckeye Express Diner and even Schmidt`s can give you everything from traditional American cuisine to authentic Mexican and Italian.
This trip takes a little over 11 hours of drive time, which is ideal for anybody who wants to take it easy, and maybe reserve some energy to walk off the potential food coma!
The One Tank Challenge
10 attractions, one tank of gas. It`s possible. If you drive the 230 miles from Columbus Zoo to the Cleveland Botanical Garden, you can see 10 amazing attractions with only one tank of gas. That includes the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Millersburg and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. This trip only needs about 5 hours of drive time and is perfect for a dedicated driving weekend.
Abandoned and Spooky Locales
If you travel from Central Parkway along Route 71 before exiting on the 35 and taking some smaller roads, you`ll be on the path to visit 8 incredibly creepy and long-forgotten parts of Ohio.
These include, but aren`t limited to, abandoned amusement parks, industrial factories, bridges and more. It can be so awe-inspiring to sit and stare at the sheer emptiness of some of these places and imagine what they were like in their heyday.
Depending on your personal philosophy, it can be a sombre reminder that everything changes or a beautiful testament to the power of nature to reclaim disused spaces. This drive takes just over 9 hours and is about 500 miles from start to finish.
A Trip around the Natural Wonders of Ohio
Ohio has some incredible natural wonders, the likes of which you won`t be able to find anywhere else in the world. You can take an 11 hour total driving time trip in a loop and visit amazing features like the Ohio Caverns, the Glacial Grooves, the Seneca Caverns and even the Brandywine Falls.
Throughout your excursion, you`ll take in everything from impressive mountains to arrid desertscapes. You should certainly arrange your timing in a way that allows you to spend sunset sitting on the Marblehead Peninsular. In total your tour will introduce your to almost 600 miles of natural wonder.
A Tour of Ohio`s Haunted Locations
Ohio can be pretty creepy in some parts, but it has its fair share of haunted houses and hotels, on top of the aforementioned abandoned amusement parks. Some of them have been restored in hope of scaring away the ghouls, but if you love thrills, you should definitely think about this trip.
It goes in a loop from Franklin Castle to 504 West Liberty street and includes the incredibly creepy Ohio State Reformatory, a historic prison that was closed in 1990. It was the same reformatory made famous by the Shawshank Redemption and its class action lawsuit that tried to bring justice onto the prison for inhumane treatment.
It also includes the Moonville Tunnel, where ghosts have been reported, and even said to have killed people, like Engineer Theodore Lawhead in 1880. If you`re a fan of thrills as well as driving, this is a must-see. It features a total driving time of 11 hours for 562 miles and you get bonus points if you drive in the dark!