Ohio really is a unique state. There are some truly unique places and things you can see here that you simply won’t find anywhere else in the world. From magnificent man-made structures to incredible natural wonders, here are 12 marvels in Ohio that must be seen to be believed:
1. Glacial Grooves Memorial (Kelleys Island)
Few people are aware that Kelleys Island is home to the largest accessible glacial grooves in the world. The Glacial Grooves Memorial measures 400 feet long and 35 feet wide.
2. Longaberger Headquarters (Newark)
The Longaberger Company Headquarters features the world's largest basket. This seven-story corporate headquarters along State Route 16 in Newark is a novelty piece of architecture you have to see to believe.
3. Great Serpent Mound (Peebles)
This 1,348-foot-long and three-foot-high prehistoric effigy mound along Ohio Brush Creek in Adams County continues to marvel locals and visitors alike. It is one of the most impressive earthworks in North America, constructed in the shape of a snake. It was built around 1000 A.D. by the Fort Ancient culture and likely used as a place of ceremony. Capturing the whole thing in a photo is difficult, but absolutely amazing when possible.
4. Hartman’s Rock Garden (Springfield)
Observe a mixture of history, religion, and depression-era pop culture via this unique garden, built by Harry "Ben" Hartman between 1932 through 1939. The garden can be seen today at the corner of McCain and Russell streets in Springfield.
5. Topiary Park (Columbus)
Few people know about the quaint, seven-acre park in Columbus that features one of Ohio’s most unique gardens, where art and plant life blend. Topiary Park is a “landscape of a painting of a landscape,” according to the park’s website. Specifically, the topiary garden depicts Georges Seurat’s famous painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Isle of La Grand Jatte—and it is the only known topiary representation of a painting.
6. Old Man's Cave (Hocking Hills State Park)
Hocking Hills State Park is arguably Ohio's most beloved state park, where waterfalls, caves, unique rock formations and hiking trails abound. Old Man's Cave has an interesting history and origin to its name. Legend has it, a 19th-century hermit who once lived in the cave, (named Richard Rowe,) is buried under a cave ledge in the area.
7. The Rock House (Hocking Hills State Park
Also within the Hocking Hills State Park area in Logan is the beloved Rock House, where visitors can freely explore this unique cave with a 25 ft. high ceiling and window-like openings. Evidence shows that the homey Rock House was often used for shelter by past visitors, Native Americans and even bootleggers, robbers and horse thieves.
8. The Mushroom House (Cincinnati)
A spectacular piece of artwork, this whimsical home is located in the Hyde Park section of Cincinnati. It was designed by architect Terry Brown, who is also a former Architecture and Interior Design professor at the University of Cincinnati.
9. Oak Openings (Swanton)
Close to Toledo you'll find what's considered to be Ohio's rarest ecosystem (and one of the world's rarest ecosystems) where rare plants and animals, oak forests, sand dunes, savannas, tall-grass prairies and swamp forests all thrive in harmony. The Oak Openings Preserve Metropark is operated by Metroparks of the Toledo Area.
10. The Round House (Logan)
Hidden along Old US 33 in Logan, Ohio stands this mysterious, round and concrete house. Weird Ohio reports that the house was built in the early 70s and completed in 1973 by a Mr. Stewart. Known as "Stewart's Folly," the round house was supposedly a prototype for a new, highly durable type of home for people that lived on hurricane-prone coasts. For unknown reasons, Stewart stopped production and never moved into the house as planned. Additionally, the blueprints and design notes were reportedly lost in a fire. Today, the strange house eerily sits abandoned in the Hocking Hills area.
11. Ohio Caverns and Crystal King (West Liberty)
West Liberty is home to "America's Most Colorful Caverns" that are sure to make you feel like you're exploring another planet. 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. The Troll Hole (Alliance)
In Alliance, you’ll find a truly unique collection on display that will likely take you down memory lane—and transport you to a whole other world. The Troll Hole is a little-known museum and art gallery that features the world’s largest collection of trolls.