See Ohio Through Your Windshield
Adventure Travel In “The Heartland” Bears Striking Similarity To That Of Capital’s Namesake
There’s a powerful sense of freedom that comes in being able to go anywhere and take everything with you needed for comfort and security.
Whether traipsing inquisitively around the backyard as a child or exploring hidden trade routes across the vast and mighty ocean as Christopher Columbus – there’s something deep within us all that beckons us to go further, to find more, and to discover new things!
Like the adventuresome Columbus with his fleet of ships, you too can pack your “vessel” and set sail for Ohio destinations more obscure and lesser known.
To help you in your discovery, we’ve compiled a list of 21 attractions sure to scratch your “explorers” itch. Some are more rare and off the beaten path than others. But all are sure to expand your mind, keep you curious and wanting more.
Before you launch, we suggest that you first inspect your RV’s windshield for any abnormalities such as: tiny dimples, chips, stars or cracks that might lead to future visual impairment as you journey.
It’s always easier to take precautionary measures before hitting the open road than to experience a rogue crack that fractures your entire windshield at the tiniest impact of a stray pebble…on a rainy night…in the middle of “nowhere!”
Also, during the winter months, Ohio is notorious for its use of spreading rock salt on the roads which can play additional havoc on your RV’s windshield especially when traveling on snow-covered highways at high speed.
Get more insight and helpful tips on what to look for when inspecting your RV windshield, and recommended RV windshield repair options.
Like prepping for any voyage, having a good map at your disposal is a must and a useful tool for planning your next trip. Therefore we are offering you a FREE downloadable PDF which outlines the Ohio attractions presented in this article.
Not only does this FREE .PDF provide you direct links to these lesser-known points of interest, but also the approximate travel times from these locations to some of the more popular RV overnight locations in the state.
Just go here to download.
1) Historic Sauder Village (in Archbold, Ohio)
To get a feel for what it was like to live during this time period the Historic Sauder Village (in Archbold, Ohio) is a must see. This unique experience highlights what it was like to live in Ohio from 1803-1928.
According to Ohio.org, it is “Ohio’s largest living-history village!” There is much to see and do for all age groups. And because there is more to take in than can easily be done in just one day, their RV accommodations make this a wonderful destination spot for consideration on your Ohio itinerary.
2) The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum (in Bellevue, Ohio)
The Mad River & NKP Railroad Museum (in Bellevue, Ohio) is a great visit if you like trains. This is one of those lesser known gems that causes you to stop and appreciate all the advancements that have been made in rail transport – both in Ohio and in the United States.
3) Kelleys Island and Put-In-Bay (near Sandusky, Ohio)
Kelleys Island (near Sandusky, Ohio) is only accessible by boat or plane, but don’t let that deter you from having a memorable island family adventure.
There’s a lot to see and do on Kelleys Island. Activities include…island sightseeing and exploration via bicycle and/or golf cart rental, beer and wine tasting, on or off-shore fishing, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, putt putt golfing, sunset watching and so much more.
For those seeking to sow more “wild oats,” you may want to consider Put-In-Bay, located not faraway on South Base Island. You can find more details here.
4) Castle Noel (in Medina, Ohio)
Castle Noel (in Medina, Ohio) is just one of those places that you’ve got to see it to believe it… It’s the nation’s largest, indoor, year-round, Christmas entertainment attraction! It’s a rare and one-of-a-kind experience that you won’t soon forget.
5) High Voltage Karting (in Medina, Ohio)
If you enjoy auto racing and like to go fast…I mean, really fast “indoors”…then High Voltage Karting (in Medina, Ohio) is for you.
High Voltage Karting is fun for the whole family. And by virtue of the fact that their racetrack is indoors, you don’t need to worry about whether it’s cold and raining or snowing outside!
They also offer a racing league and digital live scoring for those seriously competitive.
6) West Side Market (in Cleveland, Ohio)
The West Side Market (in Cleveland, Ohio) was officially opened to shoppers on November 2, 1912.
According to their website, it is “Cleveland’s oldest, continuously operating, municipally owned market.” And ‘in 2008, the West Side Market was designated as one of “10 Great Public Places in America,” by the American Planning Association.’
Visiting the West Side Market is truly a delight to the senses. You can’t help but smile when taking in the rich overlay of bright colors, delicious smells and friendly sounds.
Their on-premise cafe is also exceptional and worth the wait during peak hours.
7) Playhouse Square (in Cleveland, Ohio)
Playhouse Square (in Cleveland, Ohio) is the second largest performing arts center in the United States. Every year they host more than 1 million guests who come to enjoy over 1000 shows and events each season.
We’ve included them on our list due to the unique nature of this venue.
8) Headlands Beach State Park (in Mentor, Ohio)
Headlands Beach State Park (in Mentor, Ohio) is home to the largest natural sand beach in the state. This mile-long beach provides great opportunity for swimming, sunbathing, kite flying, hiking, fishing, sunset watching and pure all-around waterfront enjoyment. There are also picnic tables and grills available for those who are interested.
Geneva-on-the-Lake (in Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio) is unique in that it was once the destination for Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Harvey Firestone to camp, fish and enjoy the wonders of nature together. Thus, it has become known as “Ohio’s First Summer Resort.”
10) Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (in Peninsula, Ohio)
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (in Peninsula, Ohio) is a private sector, “tourist excursion railway.” It routinely travels back and forth between Independence and Akron with a number of stops along the way.
The CVSR offers a few child themed events throughout the year, such as “Thomas the Tank Engine” and “The Polar Express.” They also allow you to take your bicycle on the train making it convenient to bike the nearby towpath one-way.
11) Mike’s Place Restaurant (in Kent, Ohio)
Mike’s Place Restaurant (in Kent, Ohio) is a must-see for those traveling in the area. Not only do they offer great-tasting, quality food but their eclectic decor is second to none – Ex. the X-Wing Fighter replica parked near their front door!
If you’re feeling brave, ask about “THE STU-ANATOR CHALLENGE.” They’ll bring you out a MASSIVE, 68 plus oz. burger loaded with all sorts of good-stuff, and if you’re able to down it in 30 minutes, YOU’VE EARNED IT – IT’S FREE!
12) Hartville Hardware & Lumber (in Hartville, Ohio)
Hartville Hardware & Lumber (in Hartville, Ohio) is “America’s Largest Hardware Store.” But what makes this such a unique point of interest is that it is part of a much larger enterprise which includes: Hartville Kitchen Restaurant, Hartville Marketplace and Flea Market, Hartville Children’s Boutique and Hartville Collectible and Gifts.
Check them out online to understand the massiveness of this operation!
13) Gervasi Vineyard (in Canton, Ohio)
Gervasi Vineyard (in Canton, Ohio) is perfect for those who enjoy sophisticated relaxation.
Not only does Gervasi offer tours of their winery but their dining and overnight accommodations are the finest of quality as well.
Their Villa Suites were awarded 1# Best Wine Country Hotel by USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice two years in a row!
14) Lehman’s Retail Store (in Dalton, Ohio)
Lehman’s Retail Store (in Dalton, Ohio) was originally founded in 1955 to serve the Amish community. It’s a family-owned and operated business with a unique focus on providing, as they put it, “simple products that simply work.”
Some of their products can be seen in such Hollywood movies as: Cold Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, and The Gangs of New York.
Check them out when you travel through Amish Country. You’ll be glad you did!
15) Pearl Valley Cheese (in Fresno, Ohio)
Pearl Valley Cheese (in Fresno, Ohio) is your opportunity to see how cheese is made. They have been in business for over 80 years and have grown into a large-scale operation producing a variety of cheese types
They suggest “the best time to see cheese being made is from 8AM-Noon on Monday-Friday.”
16) SegAway (in Columbus, Ohio)
SegAway (in Columbus, Ohio) offers you the unique opportunity to take a glided tour of the state’s capital, on a Segway! Their tour season begins March 1st and lasts until December 23rd. Please check out their website for more details.
17) EnterTRAINment Junction (in West Chester, Ohio)
EnterTRAINment Junction (in West Chester, Ohio) is home of “the world’s largest indoor train display” covering 25,000 square feet with 2 miles of track. Check out this video of their layout.
They were voted the Best Family Entertainment Center in Ohio in 2010 and AAA Travel chose them as “a unique travel gem.”
Not only is EnterTRAINment Junction a model train lover’s paradise, but their Children’s Imagination Junction play area offers a wide variety of activities for kids insuring that there is plenty to see and do for the whole family.
18) The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (in Cincinnati, Ohio)
The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (in Cincinnati, Ohio) is dedicated to telling the story of “freedom’s heroes.” It shines a bright light on the injustice of slavery not only in the past but also in the present.
Although this is a sobering topic, it is one that will inspire you to be an agent for good in the world. And as you travel, be a voice for freedom wherever you go.
19) The Purple People Bridge (in Cincinnati, Ohio)
The Purple People Bridge (in Cincinnati, Ohio) is, as their website puts it, “a pedestrian-only bridge that stretches 2,670 feet (one-half of a mile) across the Ohio River, connecting Newport, Ky. to downtown Cincinnati and to trails along the river in both states.”
What makes The Purple People Bridge so unique is the opportunity it provides to walk the entire distance across the Ohio River on foot, thus traversing the boundary between two states, all while enjoying fresh air and a cool urban vibe along the way.
20) Paul Green’s Trumpet In The Land (in New Philadelphia, Ohio)
Trumpet In The Land (in New Philadelphia, Ohio) is a wonderfully produced outdoor drama that tells the emotionally gripping story of the Moravian Indians and their settlement in Ohio.
This powerful drama was written by Paul Green, a Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, and spares no expense to convey both the love of these Indian people and the horrors of their brutal massacre.
21) Scott’s Super Adventures (in Marietta, Ohio)
Scott’s Super Adventures (in Marietta, Ohio) offers you the unique opportunity to take a glided tour of the first city in Ohio, on a Segway! Participants must be 14 years of age or older. Please check out their website for more details.
We hope this article proves helpful to you when planning your next Ohio adventure.
As Christopher Columbus once said, “It is easy to discover what another has discovered before.”
So while not an exhaustive list, hopefully these 21 Ohio-based attractions will inspire you to get out there, travel new roads, and explore.
And should your RV windshield ever crack, break or need repair – know that we’re always here to help!