Here in Ohio, there’s so much more to see and do than visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and riding roller coasters all day at Cedar Point Amusement Park. From little-known safaris to castles hiding in small town Ohio, the following are 11 of our favorite Ohio attractions that we think not enough people visit. See how many you’ve been to:
1. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
A ride aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad in Peninsula is the perfect way to embrace the beauty of Ohio. You can take a scenic ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year until the first weekend in October. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is located at 1630 West Mill St., Peninsula, OH 44264.
2. Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve
Although you'll have to take a ferry to see this natural wonder, it's absolutely worth it. 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.
3. The Château Laroche
April Dray/Only In Your State
The Château Laroche, (more commonly known as the Loveland Castle,) is a museum on the banks of the Little Miami River in Loveland, Ohio. 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 $3 per children. You'll find it at 12025 Shore Rd, Loveland, OH 45140.
4. Topiary Park
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. Topiary Park is located at 480 E Town St., Columbus, OH 43215.
5. Marblehead Lighthouse
April Dray/Only In Your State
This gorgeous lakeside park will make you feel like you're not in Ohio anymore. Make a day of it and picnic at Marblehead Lighthouse, which is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes, and visit the lighthouse’s museum in the Keeper’s House. Tour the actual lighthouse for just $3.
6. The Mohicans Treehouses
Remember the days when you were a kid and all you wanted was a tree house to stay overnight in? Today, you can revive that very dream—complete with running water, heat, air conditioning and all the necessary amenities for a good night’s rest. Just a few miles south of Loudonville are The Mohicans, a family owned and operated business in Glenmont, Ohio that features cabins, an event center and state of the art tree houses aimed to connect you with nature and bring you back to the basics of life.
7. The Wilds
Although Ohio is full of several impressive zoos, The Wilds in Cumberland offer a unique way to observe exotic animals. Depending on the tour option you choose, you can get an up-close encounter with the animals or board a Safari Transport so you can observe them (from a safe distance) roam freely while learning all about the rare and endangered species the facility conserves. You'll find The Wilds at 14000 International Rd., Cumberland, OH 43732.
8. Dogwood Pass
Most people don’t know there’s an impressive replica of an Old West town tucked away in the hills of southern Ohio. Dogwood Pass near Beaver, Ohio was built to look and feel as authentic as possible, complete with bath houses, saloons and gun fights. Step back in time into the Old West at this unique town that’s anything but ordinary. You'll find it at 722 Adams Rd., Beaver, OH 45613.
9. The Golden Lamb
Ohio is home to several historic restaurants with truly fascinating backstories. But no restaurant in Ohio has seen quite as much as The Golden Lamb in Lebanon has over the years. It’s the state’s oldest continuously operated hotel and restaurant—and it dates all the way back to 1803. The historic gathering place offers a unique dining experience, complete with antique furnishings and themed dining rooms. Upstairs, you'll find historic, themed rooms where famous individuals such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and several U.S. Presidents have stayed. The Golden Lamb is located at 27 S Broadway St, Lebanon, OH 45036.
10. Great Serpent Mound
While Ohio is full of multiple earthworks from various cultures, there’s no earthwork in the world that compares to the Great Serpent Mound—both in shape and size. But what’s even more intriguing about the mound is its indefinite purpose, which continues to baffle archaeologists and anthropologists.Constructed in the shape of a snake, the Great Serpent Mound is one of the most impressive earthworks in North America and the world. You'll find it at 3850 State Route 73, Peebles, OH 45660.
11. The Ohio Railway Museum
If you've yet to check out this gem, you need to take a weekend to visit to the Ohio Railway Museum in Worthington, Ohio. It’s a train station, museum and railroad that offers fun, round-trip demonstration rides on some of the streetcars and interurbans. It's located at 990 Proprietors Rd., Worthington, OH 43085.
Have you been to any of these places? What other attractions would you add to this list? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!