When people think of traveling to Ohio, Cincinnati might come to mind, as well as key tourist locations. However, the state has an assortment of other locations, a bit off the beaten path, worth looking into as well.
Being one of the oldest states in the Union, Ohio has a long history of American development, almost dating back to the colonial period. And that makes for a lot of historical landmarks as well as a hefty number of creative community developments as well, even modern attractions.
Here’s a handful of some of the better picks if driving through:
Hartman Rock Garden
Hartman Rock Garden, located in Springfield, is a unique and captivating outdoor art installation. Created by Ben Hartman during the Great Depression, this folk art masterpiece features over 250 sculptures made from a variety of materials, including concrete, stones, and shells. Each sculpture depicts scenes from history, religion, and everyday life, creating a whimsical and imaginative atmosphere.
If you want to see the scenery from the car, however, as well as momentary stops to get out and stretch, then Ohio’s Amish communities are worth a pass. Everything from beautiful farmland to small-town offerings is in the mix. And the food is something to write home about; pastries, pies, and lots more await the passing tourist with an appetite. Furniture crafting is a big win item as well.
Lake Erie Islands
For the water and coastal types, the northern coast of Ohio is home to Kelleys Island and a few others that include wine farms, beaches, and plenty of outdoor attractions. Fishing, wildlife, and relaxing on the coast tend to be the top offerings for these islands, especially in the warm summer.
Another of the state’s national parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides a sizable 33,000 acres of land to explore, including lots of forest, river, and trails. Again, this Park is another great example of how attractive Ohio can be for the adventurous outdoor tourist.
The Serpent Mound
For the archaeological-minded and history fans, the Ohio Serpent Mound is definitely worth a visit. This is a real mound, created by a real ancient culture, and it claims the title of being the biggest shaped effigy in the world. How and why it was created, no one really knows, but it is a clear sign there was a thriving culture in the U.S. well before it was explored by Europeans.
Hocking Hills State Park
Located in the southeastern part of the state, Hocking Hills provides a good number of geological formations and the requisite waterfalls, which makes for good hiking, natural scenery, and lots of vegetation. It’s perfect for those who want to see the state on foot versus just from a car. Some of the key spots to take a look at include Ceder Falls, and both Ash Cave as well as Old Man’s Cave.
If you’re looking for a flavor of the Appalachians, this foothill town provides a classic Ohio small-town feel on a visit. Everything from the local opera house shows to lots of eating spots and boutiques are included, i.e. something for everyone. The best time of the year to go is, no surprise, the Nelsonville Music Festival.
Another on the parks list, this state park is located on Lake Erie and it’s great for walking, picnics, and lots of sunset scenery. And, of course, you’re allowed to climb up to the top of the lighthouse during business hours.
Mohican State Park
Tired of parks? Well, Ohio is not the place for you then. Mohican SP is another wonderful outdoor location stuffed with forests, water, and cliffs. It’s frequently chosen for canoe trips, hiking, and unlike a lot of other parks, mountain biking trails!
So, while there are plenty of other locations to take a look at in Ohio, the above eight have fewer crowds and are chock full of interesting viewing. They give you a deeper perspective on what the state can offer for visitors, and these choices also give attendees a bit of exercise to boot. The double benefit is in order!
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