Ten Fun Places You Can Drive To In Ohio – Buckeye State Attractions

by Edward Harris on August 7, 2013

Visit Ohio and have fun. Of course, if you live here in the Buckeye state, you already know that and you probably are aware of some of the great places to visit. If you can drive, there are plenty of attractions within traveling distance. We have compiled a list of 10 places everybody should consider visiting at least five times. OK…Perhaps at least once.

Kings Island An obvious choice. Located about 25 minutes Northeast of Cincinnati, plan on spending a few days at the largest amusement/water park in the Midwest. Some of the newer attractions are the largest dinosaur and the Reds Hall Of Fame Grille. The Mystic Timbers wooden roller coaster reaches more than 3,200 feet in the air.  WinterFest returns, and it’s always a special Holiday treat. Season passes are heavily discounted if you would like to visit multiple times.

Of course, the rides are the big attraction. If your heart can stand it, the Beast, Firehawk and Delirium are must-go-on rides. The Zephyr, Monster and Adventure Express will keep your stomach in tact. And don’t forget about Planet Snoopy and the Soak City Waterpark along with the daily events and many other activities. As previously mentioned, you’ll need a few days for this trip.

Miami University It’s in Oxford, nestled in the southwest corner of the state. Why Miami? The campus is beautiful, “The Deli” is still there after 37 years (you need to order a bagel there), and Hueston Woods State Park is less than 10 minutes away. If you have kids or grand-kids in high school, it would also make a great college visit. The Farmer School of Business is one of the best in the US, and the “Cradle Of Coaches” tradition continues as RedHawk athletic teams continue to produce famous coaches. Nearby Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Dayton provide additional shopping opportunities.

Fun PLaces To Travel In Ohio

The Columbus Zoo Is Centrally Located

Columbus Zoo This isn’t just any zoo. In addition to all of the animals you expect to see, there’s Dinosaur Island, Stingray Bay, JazZoo, the Aquarium and of course…Jack Hanna. My first date with my wife (about 25 years ago) was at the Columbus Zoo, so good things do happen when you visit. June and July can be a bit hot, but most other months are ideal. Tickets  for admission are approximately $10-$15, and gift memberships are available. Popular animals include Asian elephants, bald eagles, cheetahs, koala bears, gorillas, and komodo dragons.

Christmas Story House is a must see if you enjoyed the movie. Sadly, I have probably watched the movie a few dozen times and it’s still funny! The actual house is located at 3159 W. 11th St. in Cleveland. If you visit, you’ll likely recognize some old favorites, such as the lady’s leg lamp in the window, the Red Ryder gun, Ralphie’s pink pajamas,  and even a red bar of the Lifebuoy soap.

The Christmas Story Museum is located across the street and contains some of the actual props used in the movie. The toy Zeppelin and huge snowsuit are two of many items available to the public. Tours occur every 30 minutes, and  you don’t want to miss the original Red Ryder BB gun used in the movie. If you’re in the area, you’ll enjoy the visit.

National Museum Of The US Air Force Also known to many of us as the Wright-Patterson AF Museum, it’s a great experience for young and old. It’s located in Fairborn, which is about 25 minutes east of Dayton. It’s open every day and you’ll be able to get close to aircraft from all eras, including  World War II. There are many rare historical items and dozens of exhibits  that bring history back to life. Several of the most popular exhibits and events include the virtual tour, Museum theater, flight simulators, souvenir store,  and military reunions.

New plans arrive each year, so multiple visits are recommended. Dayton and Cincinnati are both less than an hour away, so there are many other activities to plan.

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Whether you were a Beatles, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, or Michael Jackson fan, you’ll find plenty of exhibits and memorabilia  to make the trip worthwhile. Located in Cleveland, it’s open year-round and is definitely worth visiting. There are films, places to eat and of course a lot of music to listen to!  Each year, there are new Hall Of Fame inductees, and special exhibitions that are only available for a limited time.

As an added bonus, if you live in the Cleveland area, we wrote about the lowest auto insurance rates in the area. You can find the article here and it may save you a few bucks by easily shopping for the best prices. You can use your savings on gas when you drive to any of the 10 fun places we have featured!

But you’re not just limited to rock and roll. There are plenty of exhibits highlighting blues, jazz, gospel, bluegrass and every other imaginable type of music. There are many recent inductees for the younger crowd and a lot of “one hit wonders” that you’ll likely  remember.

Easy To Drive Ohio Destinations Cedar Point

Cedar Point's Iron Dragon

Cedar Point They claim to be “the best amusement park in the world.” I’m not so sure about that, but it is truly a fun place to spend a day. Whether you camp, drive for the day or stay at a hotel, there are plenty of places to spend the night. Sandusky is in the northern part of the state, between Cleveland and Toledo. Weather is typically very accommodating during the spring, summer, and fall months.

Like Kings Island, there are many different types of rides and attractions that are geared towards both family and thrill-seeker needs. There’s live entertainment, water rides, shows and plenty of food. And if you look around, you can often purchase tickets at a discounted price. You can also visit Cedar Point Sports Center, and Cedar Point Shores. Many special events provide additional fun.

Pro Football Hall Of Fame  Yes, another  Hall Of Fame to visit, but you’ll be glad you did. It helps if you are a big football fan, but it’s not essential. Ticket prices are reasonable, and cost $25 for adults, $21 for Seniors, and $18 for children. Kids under age 6 are admitted free. and there are always discounted tickets available online. There are numerous planned events throughout the year including autograph sessions, an enshrinement ceremony, photo opportunities, senior days and of course, the Hall Of  Fame game usually held in August to kick off the regular season.

The HOF opened in 1963, and there have been three building expansions, along with three additional renovations. Its  purpose is to preserve NFL history, promote its values and traditions, honor and recognize past players, and reward player excellence. NOTE: The museum store offers merchandise and items from all NFL teams.

Ohio State Fair Perhaps the most obvious choice. Usually held in late July (it runs for about 12-14 days), typically, about one million persons visit. There are rides, food, shopping, entertainment, and a lot of livestock competitions. Throw in a tractor-pull or two along with some big-name performances, and you can understand why it’s a great way to spend a day and night while supporting many in-state vendors. Additional events that should be considered. include the Arctic Olympics High Dive Show, Jumbo Tic-Tac-Toe, Monster Mural, and the daily parade.

There are many barns to visit, and you can milk cows at the OVMA Veterinary Education Center, along with many exotic animals that can be seen. An authentic log cabin from the 1800s is displayed in the National Resources Park. There’s also a large educational aspect about the Fair that sometimes gets lost in all of the fun and food. Although I always loved the petting zoo and fireworks, the pig races still remain my favorite!

COSI The Center Of Science And Industry is a tremendous combination of education and fun. Conveniently located in Columbus, you can also visit the Ohio State campus the same day if you have teenagers nearing considering where to go to college. Between Mythbusters, Family Friday Night,  the “Big Science Park,” workshops and all of the exploring activities, you’ll have a great time. The current location in downtown Columbus, was previously moved in 1999 from Memorial Hall.

You can also spend the night at COSI, have a birthday party or if you’re an educator, bring your classroom for a field trip. The planetarium is always educational and very fun. But just don’t have too much fun!

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