6 Unexpected Things You Must Do In Ohio

By Stephen Schreck,

Though Ohio often gets the reputation of just being a Midwestern state full of corn fields, it actually has a lot to offer. From peaceful walks through caverns in the countryside to rowdy college football games, there is plenty to keep you entertained.

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Witness the impressive life story of Tecumseh
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Tecumseh at Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater

Watch the impressive life story of Shawnee leader Tecumseh played out on the outdoor stages of the Sugarloaf Mountain Amphitheater in Chillicothe. Your ears and eyes will be captivated as military cannons, herds of galloping horses and Native American music bring the legendary leader to life. One of the most famous outdoor plays in the Midwest, Tecumseh is sure to thrill you and please the arts enthusiasts in your group. So, bring the family, sit beneath the stars, and allow yourselves to be carried away by the drama. (Showings happen between June 6 and August 30 and are $24.95 for adults, while for children, it is just $17.95.) A good hotel close to the action is the Hampton Inn & Suites Chillicothe.

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Visit a magical forest
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With its miles of scenic walking trails, Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park draws in nature lovers year round. If you are looking to experience the green forest of the Ohioan countryside, this is the place to go. The cascading waterfalls, craggy cliff faces, and fascinating rock structures are sure to impress all ages. Best of all, the 25 miles of hiking trails can accommodate both avid hikers and those who prefer a quicker, easier route. If you want to extend your stay and explore the park even longer, there are plenty of great places to stay in the area including the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls.

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The best amusement park in America
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Cedar Point amusement park Ohio

Located in Sandusky, Ohio, Cedar Point is named as one of the best amusement parks in all of the U.S. With its 72 rides, the park has been aptly called “America’s Roller Coaster.” Whether you want to feel the scream-inducing thrill of riding one of the 16-roller coasters, plan to play at the indoor or outdoor water parks or simply want to relax at one of the nearby resorts, like the Great Wolf Lodge, Cedar Point has it all. The park is open daily from mid-May through Labor Day and on weekends after that. Prices vary depending on the time, and there are also many options for groups, season passes, and more.

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Stroll through the North Market
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Columbus Ohio market

Open since 1876, the North Market is one of Central Ohio’s best destinations to experience the wares from local merchants, farmers and artisans. Foodies will revel in the array of affordable cuisine that is provided by the more than 35 different vendors. Be sure to come with a ravenous appetite because the open-warehouse atmosphere is perfect for strolling around and sampling. After you have eaten your fill, the shopping lovers in your group can pick up a unique gift from one of the local merchants who specialize in cookware and gift items. A bonus is that the market’s central location off of High Street in downtown Columbus makes it easy to walk around and explore the rest of the state’s capital and is especially convenient when looking for places to stay

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Try your hand at High-Wire Unicycling
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Photo by Steven Saus

The Center of Science and Industry (COSI) is located in downtown Columbus and offers hours of fun for both children and adults. The family-friendly venue boasts more than 300 interactive exhibits and offers all-day entertainment. COSI’s award-winning educational programs that make learning fun are known throughout the state. It may seem geared towards a younger age group, but there are events throughout the year that also appeal to adults. On top of the hundreds of exhibits, you can reach new heights with the country’s sole High-Wire Unicycle, feel the tingles of the Electrostatic Generator Show, or sit back and enjoy a show on the seven-story-high Extreme Scene Theater. (Tickets prices vary, and they often have specials, so be sure to check the website before visiting.)

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Cheer on and join a tailgate party
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Ohio State University football

Ohio is a football state, and if you are visiting during autumn, attending a college football game should be high on your list. As the third largest university in the U.S., the Ohio State University is undeniably the pride and joy of the state. Ohioans bleed scarlet and gray, and during football season those are the colors most of them will be sporting. Tailgating is a large part of the event, and many will structure their entire weekends around it. There are plenty of hotels around the area, but be sure to book early, as they fill up quickly. Some great picks are the Westin Columbus and The Blackwell. Even if you are not able to score game tickets, you will find no shortage of restaurant and bar venues that will show the game. Wherever you watch the game, the atmosphere is sure to be lively, the beer flowing and the OSU pride high!

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A truly fantastic experience
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Many people underestimate Ohio as a tourist destination, but it actually offers some fantastic experiences for travelers, and an opportunity to view the stunning forests and caves of Ohio for yourself.