If you don’t already have an Ohio bucket list—consider this one yours.
Ohio is full of natural wonders, quirky roadside attractions and impressive destinations you won’t find anywhere else in the world. From the iconic and the obvious to the lesser-known gems, there are certain things in Ohio you simply have to experience. Here are 39 things (listed in no particular order) to add to—and then check off of—your Ohio bucket list:
1. Ride as many roller coasters as possible at Cedar Point.
Ohio's very own Sandusky is home to the Roller Coaster Capital of the World (and you'd be a fool not to take advantage of that.)
2. View the Great Serpent Mound.
This 1,348-foot-long and three-foot-high prehistoric snake-shaped effigy mound along Ohio Brush Creek in Adams County continues to marvel locals and visitors alike.
3. Visit the Birthplace of Rock and Roll.
Cleveland is the proud home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
4. Explore Old Man's Cave.
Hocking Hills State Park is arguably Ohio's most beloved state park, where waterfalls, caves, unique rock formations and hiking trails abound.
5. Eat an epic chili dog from Tony Packo's...and check out the bun museum.
This strange tradition of displaying autographed hotdog buns began in 1972 when Jamie Farr of M*A*S*H signed a bun at Tony Packo's in Toledo. While that bun is no longer in existence, today the cafe proudly showcases Styrofoam bun look-alikes signed by various celebrities, including five U.S. presidents.
6. Tour the Ohio Statehouse.
Free, guided tours of the Statehouse are offered Monday through Friday on the hour from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 3 p.m.
7. Hike to Brandywine Falls.
Ohio's very own national park, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, is home to what is arguably Ohio's most beloved waterfall.
8. Visit the Adena Mansion and Gardens.
This historic mansion in Chillicothe was once home to Thomas Worthington, who is considered to be the father of Ohio's statehood. It is also the site of the view of the Great Seal of Ohio.
9. Feast at The Melt Bar and Grill.
This iconic, mouthwatering sandwich joint has various locations throughout Ohio and was featured on the Food Network's "Best Thing I Ever Ate" and "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," as well as the Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food" and "Food Paradise."
10. Take a safari.
Although Ohio is full of several impressive zoos, The Wilds offer you a unique way to observe exotic animals. Cumberland is home to Ohio's very own safari-like experience. Though you won't get an up-close encounter with the animals here, you will board a Safari Transport so you can observe them (from a safe distance) roam freely while learning all about the giraffes, rhinos and many other rare and endangered species the facility conserves.
11. Explore the Ohio Caverns.
"America's Most Colorful Caverns" can be found in West Liberty, Ohio.The caverns were formed thousands of years ago when an underground river cut through ancient limestone and created vast rooms and passageways. These passageways are now filled with crystal stalactites, stalagmites and many other formations.Within the Ohio Caverns is one of the world's largest and most perfectly formed stalactites. Crystal King (pictured) is nearly five feet long, weighing an estimated 400 pounds, and is estimated to be more than 200,000 years old.
12. Have a beach day at Lake Erie.
Lake Erie is the closest you can get to an ocean experience in Ohio. Set aside a day during the summer months to take advantage of this.
13. Check out the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Canton is the proud home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
14. Discover the Chateau Laroche.
Explore this historic medieval-style structure (more commonly known as the Loveland Castle,) and its beautiful gardens in Loveland for just $5. Built brick-by-brick by just one man, this gem along the banks of the little Miami River will surely charm you.
15. Visit the U.S. Air Force Museum.
Learn about the history of our nation’s development in aviation at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, where admission is FREE.
16. Walk the Scioto Mile.
This beloved riverfront park in Columbus features miles of recreational trails, a cultural arts center, water fountains, local food vendors and complimentary Wi-Fi.
17. Explore the shores of Lake Erie and Marblehead Lighthouse.
Picnic at Marblehead Lighthouse and visit the lighthouse’s museum in the Keeper’s House. Tour the actual lighthouse for just $2.
18. Hop aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
Tour the beautiful Cuyahoga Valley by train via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Peninsula. For more information click
19. Take a selfie with the world's largest basket.
Longaberger's headquarters in Newark serves as the world’s largest basket.
20. Bravely explore The Ridges.
What was once the Athens Lunatic Asylum is now owned by Ohio University in Athens, but parts of the facility still hold shadows, stains and spirits of former mental patients who often suffered from violent treatments such as lobotomies. The grounds of the former asylum are still home to a few unusual—and extremely eerie—cemeteries. Patients of the former insane asylum were buried on the facility's grounds, and their restless spirits are left to wander to property. Most of the graves are without names, and merely display the number of the former mental patient buried beneath.
21. Try authentic German cuisine at Schmidt's Sausage Haus and Restaurant.
Ohio's favorite German food's first television debut was in 2008 on the Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food." Since then, this iconic restaurant in German Village has been featured on numerous television programs.
22. Search for Ohio's ghost ship.
The 186-foot steam-engine yacht is more than a century old and was first launched in April of 1902, as The Celt, by a rich railroad executive. Since then, the ship has been renamed numerous times and owned by multiple individuals throughout its lifetime. While it actually came to Ohio from Kentucky, it currently sits in a small creek off of the Ohio River, about 25 miles from Cincinnati, according to Roadtrippers.com.
23. Check out Ohio’s outdoor sculpture park.
The Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum in Hamilton is every art enthusiast's dream come true. The park features a 10,000 square foot Ancient Sculpture Museum, which displays Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan sculptures that are thousands of years old.
24. Experience the Ohio Theatre.
Catch a play or classic film at this historic theater in downtown Columbus.
25. Cross the world's only Y-Bridge.
The bridge over the Muskingum and Dillon Rivers in Zanesville is world famous. Why? Because it is the only bridge in the world that you can cross and still be on the same side of the river. (And while you're in town, head over to Tom's Ice Cream Bowl for some of the state's best homemade ice cream.)
26. Ride even more roller coasters at Kings Island.
Cedar Point isn't the only place in Ohio you can indulge the thrill seeker side of you. Kings Island Amusement Park in Mason features another one of Ohio's most beloved vacation destinations.
27. View the glacial grooves on Kelley's Island.
Kelleys Island is home to the largest accessible glacial grooves in the world.
28. Visit the fictionalized setting of "Glee" and have a Kewpee burger.
This signature fast food joint in Lima has three locations that serve up the city's best french fries, burgers and milkshakes.
29. Take the Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Tour.
Drive through America's shortest and longest covered bridge along this scenic route, which features 18 covered bridges in Ashtabula County. Begin your drive at the Netcher Road bridge near Jefferson and continue to the Smolen-Gulf Bridge (pictured) near the Ashtabula River. To view a map of the complete routes of this drive click
30. Brave a visit to the Ohio State Reformatory.
Formerly known as the Mansfield Reformatory, this historic prison is the site where the state's most violent ghosts can be found. Additionally, prison scenes from "The Shawshank Redemption" were filmed here.
31. Experience Ohio's Amish Country.
Where the simple things in life are celebrated and the homemade bread never tasted so good.
32. Stay the night in Ohio's oldest hotel.
Ohio’s oldest continuously operating hotel can be found in Lebanon. The Golden Lamb Inn features a unique dining experience, complete with antique furnishings and historic rooms upstairs where famous individuals such as Harriet Beecher Stowe, Charles Dickens and U.S. Presidents have stayed. Many of the hotel's rooms are named and themed after the famous guests.
33. Discover the American Sign Museum.
Cincinnati is home to the largest collection of signs in America.
34. Tour the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.
This beloved mansion in Akron is an undeniably romantic destination for a date or unique day trip.
35. Picnic at Mill Creek Park.
Youngstown is home to the second largest metropark in the U.S. (after Central Park in New York City), and it's unbelievably gorgeous in the fall. This quiet gem amid the hustle and bustle of the city features some of the area's most popular attractions such as Fellows Riverside Gardens and Lanterman's Mill.
36. Hop aboard the Buckeye Express Diner.
If you take exit 165 off of Interstate 71, you'll find this iconic not-your-average diner. (Note: Michigan fans must park across the street.) Buckeye Express Diner is located at 810 State Rt. 97 W., Bellville, OH 44813.
37. Take a trip to Put-In-Bay.
Ohio has island life too—and you need to experience it.
38. Brave the tunnels of Ohio's abandoned subway.
Not many people are aware of the dark, lonely and long-forgotten subway beneath the streets of Cincinnati—the country’s longest abandoned subway system that never transported a single individual. Located under Central Parkway in downtown Cincinnati, (from Walnut Street to just south of Hopple Street,) sits the incomplete, eerie series of tunnels, which have been abandoned since 1928.
39. Brush up on your history at the Ohio History Center.
Learn all about your state's past at the Ohio History Center in Columbus for just $10.
How many of these things have you experienced? What else do you think should be added to an Ohio themed bucket list? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below!