unique things to do in Ohio isn’t hard; after all, our state is home to some of the most famous landmarks in the Midwest. But, after you’ve toured the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, explored the Hocking Hills, and spent a weekend at Cedar Point, what else is there to do in Ohio?
Plenty, actually. Most people have no idea just how many hidden gems Ohio is home to. From relaxing salt caves and sand dunes to overnight castles and tree house getaways, here are 13 things to do in Ohio when you thought you’ve done everything. From hidden gems in Ohio to the most unique places in Ohio, this list has you covered!
1. Spend the night in a tree house.
The Mohicans Treehouse Resort and Wedding Venue, 23164 Vess Rd, Glenmont, OH 44628, USA
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.
For more information and directions, read our full article outlining these
treehouse cabins in Ohio
. Take a tour of one of these enchanting treehouses when you watch the video below:
2. Explore sand dunes.
Headland Dunes State Nature Preserve, 9601 Headlands Rd, Mentor, OH 44060, USA
Most people don’t realize there are sand dunes hiding in northern Ohio. Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve is home to some picturesque sand dunes near the shores of Lake Erie. It’s a neat area to explore when you want to see a unique side to Ohio—and the nearby beach makes a day trip here that much better.
For more information and directions, read our full article about
Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve
3. Visit an Old West town.
Dogwood Pass, 726 Adams Rd, Beaver, OH 45613, USA
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. Learn more about how you can travel back in time when you visit
Dogwood Pass in Ohio
4. Relax in a salt cave.
Tranquility Salt Cave LLC, 30 Dillmont Dr, Columbus, OH 43235, USA
A salt cave is a unique way to relax and recharge. The health benefits from Halotherapy are numerous. It improves several conditions, from anxiety to asthma. Fortunately, Columbus is home to a fairly new salt cave called Tranquility Salt Cave—and you’ll definitely want to visit.
Just a 45-minute session in this unique cave will relax your mind and rejuvenate your sinuses. (Doesn't this look unbelievably inviting?) Learn more about how you can plan a visit to this incredible
salt cave in Ohio
5. Tour a candy factory.
Spangler Candy Company, 400 N Portland St, Bryan, OH 43506, USA
Tucked away in northwest Ohio in the small town of Bryan, you’ll find the Spangler Candy Company. It’s a privately-owned candy store, museum and factory you can tour via trolley on select days of the week. (On average, the factory produces 12 million Dum Dums per day!) Learn more about how you can tour the famous
Dum Dum factory in Ohio
6. Take a walk among the trees.
Judith and Maynard H. Murch IV Canopy Walk, 9526-9582 Sperry Rd, Kirtland, OH 44094, USA
The Judith and Maynard H. Murch Canopy Walk at Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio features a 500 ft. long elevated walkway suspended 65 ft. above the forest floor. It gives visitors a truly unique perspective of the forest and the animals that live among the trees. And as an added bonus, there’s an observation tower on site that takes you up even further up—so much further that you end up above the trees.
There's a lot to love about this one-of-a-kind
canopy walk in Ohio
. Watch the video below to get a quick tour of what awaits you at Holden Arboretum:
7. Go on a safari.
The Wilds, 14000 International Rd, Cumberland, OH 43732, USA
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. Learn more about this epic safari tour you can experience right here in Ohio at
8. See how whistles are made.
American Whistle Corp, 6540 Huntley Rd # B, Columbus, OH 43229, USA
You'll find the only manufacturer of metal whistles in the entire country right here in Ohio. Each factory tour of the
American Whistle Corporation
lasts about 45 minutes and guests get to leave with a newly made "American Classic" whistle. Be sure to call ahead to check for availability and reserve a tour.
9. Spend the night in a castle.
Ravenwood Castle, 65666 Bethel Rd, New Plymouth, OH 45654, USA
If you’ve ever longed for a medieval experience (complete with many of the comforts of home,) you’ll definitely want to check out Ravenwood Castle. This lovely little inn is tucked away in the scenic Hocking Hills in New Plymouth. Stay in the castle itself, or out back in the Huntsman's Hollow, Medieval Village Cottages or Gypsy Wagons.
Learn more about spending the night inside our very own
10. Visit a rock garden.
Hartman Rock Garden, 1905 Russell Ave, Springfield, OH 45506, USA
Composed of more than 250,000 individual stones, this backyard museum is an iconic marvel that belongs on your bucket list. You'll observe a mixture of history, religion, and Depression-era pop culture at the Hartman Rock Garden, built by Harry "Ben" Hartman from 1932 – 1939. It’s a truly unique roadside attraction you have to see to believe.
Learn more about planning your visit to this fascinating
hidden gem in Ohio
11. Tour a haunted prison.
The Ohio State Reformatory, 100 Reformatory Rd, Mansfield, OH 44905, USA
If you’re looking for someplace out of the ordinary to explore in Ohio, consider touring the
Ohio State Reformatory
—but be aware that it isn’t for the faint of heart. While the exterior of the building may be hauntingly beautiful, the lonely cells and restless spirits roaming about inside are far from welcoming. If exploring haunted places and creepy museums is your thing, this is the one place in Ohio that has to go on your bucket list. It’s a historic treasure with a haunting backstory. The video below offers a fascinating overview, history, and tour of the building:
12. Explore some caverns.
Ohio Caverns - Open All Year, 2210 OH-245 E, West Liberty, OH 43357, USA
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.
13. Visit an indoor water park.
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions - Sandusky, 7000 Kalahari Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870, USA
Kalahari Resorts and Conventions features a massive indoor waterpark that friends and family members of all ages can enjoy. It’s a truly epic waterpark everyone in Ohio needs to experience at least once. It covers more than 170,000 sq. ft., making it
America's largest indoor water park
Did you know about all of these places? What other hidden gems in Ohio would you add to this list? Or, what are some of your favorite unique things to do in Ohio? Let us know in the comments below — we would love to hear from you!
If you’re planning a road trip to any of these incredible destinations, don’t forget to check out our
ultimate road trip packing list.
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More to Explore
unique things to do in Ohio
What are some of the best parks to visit in Ohio:
Ohio is famous for its collection of incredible and naturally beautiful parks. Below you'll find a list of some of the best parks to visit in Ohio:
Salt Fork State Park (Lore City)
Indian Lake State Park (Lakeview)
Alum Creek State Park (Delaware)
Mohican State Park (Loudonville)
Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park (Garrettsville)
Kelleys Island State Park (Kelleys Island)
Lake Hope State Park (McArthur)
Paint Creek State Park (Bainbridge)
John Bryan State Park (Yellow Springs)
Quail Hollow State Park (Hartville)
Deer Creek State Park (Mt. Sterling)
Learn more about planning your visit to these beautiful yet
underrated parks in Ohio.
What are some hidden gems to see in Ohio?
Some of Ohio's best hidden gems include:
The Ohio Railway Museum
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum
Deer Creek State Park Lodge
Nelson Kennedy Ledges State Park
Malabar Farm Restaurant
Jungle Jim’s International Market
Landoll's Mohican Castle
Holden Arboretum Canopy Walk
Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve
How many of these
one-of-a-kind places in Ohio have you experienced?