Contrary to what you might think, Ohio is home to some pretty magical looking places. From (semi)secret nature spots to hidden castles—yes, castles—Ohio is full of beautiful places that you probably thought only existed in your imagination. Here are 11 of them that you should check out this summer:
1. The Chateau Laroche (Loveland)
April Dray/Only In Your State
Also known as the Loveland Castle, this lovely little medieval structure was built by hand—brick by brick—by one man, Sir Harry Andrews. Today it is open for the public to view for $5 a person, and is operated by modern day knights.
2. Wegerzyn Gardens (Dayton)
This beautiful garden within the Five Rivers Metroparks offers a gorgeous location for a romantic picnic or enchanting stroll. It is bordered by the Stillwater River and includes rose, federal, English and Victorian gardens. It is truly enchanting.
3. Old Man's Cave (Hocking Hills State Park)
Hocking Hills State Park is home to what is arguably Ohio's most beloved hiking trails, where hidden waterfalls, eerie caves and beautiful gorges abound. It's a magical forest filled with surprises at every turn.
4. Ash Cave (Hocking Hills State Park)
After you've hiked the Old Man's Cave Loop, be sure to check out Ash Cave, which is just as enchanting (and wheelchair accessible.)
5. Landoll’s Mohican Castle (Loudonville)
Located in Loudonville, this lovely little getaway features murder mystery dinners and other amenities sure to make you feel like the king/queen of this whimsical castle in the middle of the forest.
6. Cleveland Botanical Garden (Cleveland)
The Cleveland Botanical Garden features 10 acres of outdoor gardens and an 18,000 square foot glasshouse garden. It’s an ever-changing urban escape of beauty, whimsy and wonder year-round.
7. Brandywine Falls (Cuyahoga Valley National Park)
Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northeast Ohio is home to a breathtaking 65-foot waterfall that flows from Brandywine Creek. Known as Brandywine Falls, these easily accessible, beautiful falls are a popular, enchanting highlight within the park.
8. Clifton Gorge and Clifton Mill (Yellow Springs)
Just five minutes from Yellow Springs you’ll find the historic site of Clifton Mill, which features a vintage mill, a covered bridge, a 1940s-era gas station and gorgeous nearby hiking trails.
9. The Mushroom House (Cincinnati)
This whimsical home is located in the Hyde Park section of CInnicati, and was designed by architect Terry Brown, a professor of Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Cincinnati.
10. Ravenwood Castle (New Plymouth)
Another great overnight castle getaway option is this lovely little Medieval structure, tucked away in the scenic Hocking Hills in New Plymouth.
11. Hartman’s Rock Garden (Springfield)
This isn't exactly your average garden—but it's pretty awesome. Observe a mixture of history, religion, and Depression-era pop culture via this unique garden, built by Harry "Ben" Hartman between1932 through 1939.
What do you think of these places? Have you been to any of them before? Let us know your thoughts!