Ohio has its fair share of obvious, well known attractions such as Cedar Point Amusement Park, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Ohio Amish Country—but there are several lesser known activities that just don’t get enough attention. Summer in Ohio should be a time of exploration. If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary to do this summer in the Buckeye State, add the following attractions and activities to your bucket list:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Take a hot air balloon ride.
Feel what it's like to fly over Ohio. To learn more about booking a hot air balloon ride, click
6. 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.
7. Board a riverboat dinner cruise.
"Because it's better on the river," BB Riverboats in Newport, Kentucky offers a fantastic dinner cruise on the Ohio River. For more information, click
8. Book a weekend stay at a charming bed and breakfast.
Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast/Facebook
For the ultimate romantic getaway and an exceptionally delicious breakfast, stay at one of Ohio's many beautiful bed and breakfasts. (Pictured is Whispering Pines Bed and Breakfast in Dellroy.)
9. Tour the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.
This beloved mansion in Akron is an undeniably romantic destination for a date or unique day trip.
10. 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.
11. 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
12. 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.
13. 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
14. Book a weekend away in a cabin or treehouse.
Ohio's state parks and state forests are full of beautiful cabin (and even treehouse) getaways you can book for a peaceful, inspiring weekend away. (Pictured: White Oak Treehouse at The Mohicans Cabins and Treehouses.)
15. 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. If you've yet to explore this beautiful hiking destination, be sure to do so this summer.
Have you experienced any of these destinations and activities for yourself? What else would you add to your Ohio bucket list this summer?