7 Ideal Stops On An Ohio Road Trip

Few things can make you feel freer than filling up your car's gas tank, hopping on the highway, and embarking on a road trip across the USA. If you're preparing for a driving tour of the Buckeye State, it's essential to have an itinerary, as there's a seemingly endless supply of sites to see. In no particular order, this list shares some of the best places to visit in Ohio.

The #1 entry is Lakeside Chautauqua, a historic community that offers an abundance of spiritual opportunities, cultural arts performances, and recreational activities. There are many lodging options available in the area, ranging from cottages to campgrounds and hotels.

In the business district, visitors will find many shops where they can purchase souvenirs, as well as waterfront dining where they can enjoy pizza, fresh sandwiches, salads, and ice cream. The community also hosts a lecture series, featuring speakers such as Philathia Bolton, Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Akron.

Coming in at #2, we have Ohio's Lake Erie Shores and Islands, which encompass many communities such as Berlin Heights, Castalia, Elmore, Genoa, Huron, Kelleys Island, and Marblehead. Given the proximity to the water, these areas allow for many outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and kayaking.

In Put-in-Bay and Norwalk, visitors can sample vino at several wineries including Heineman, D&D Smith, and Sandy Ridge. The grounds around Marblehead Lighthouse State Park offer picnic areas and views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, Kelleys Island, and Cedar Point.

Next up, at #3, we present Miller Ferries, which transport passengers and vehicles to two of Ohio's vacation islands. On Middle Bass Island, visitors can embark on historic Lonz Winery tours, kayak, swim at the beach, eat at restaurants, or stay overnight. There are also many walking trails and preserves to enjoy, such as Peterson Woods, Kuehnle Wildlife Refuge, and more.

The ferries depart from Catawba, Ohio, on the southwestern side of Lake Erie. Groups can reserve the vessels for a private shuttle, and dogs are allowed on board. On the trip to Put-in-Bay, riders will see Perry's Memorial, the island's 352-foot-high landmark, established to honor those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, and to celebrate the long-lasting peace among Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

At #4, we have Cleveland, the state's largest metropolis. The city is home to many significant attractions, such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Cedar Point Amusement Park. It is represented by three professional sports teams: the Cavaliers, the Browns, and the Indians.

Every February, Cleveland hosts an art and music festival called Brite Winter. Local and national bands and performers cover various genres like hip-hop, punk, soul, and indie pop, while food trucks sell local restaurant favorites to hungry guests. There are also many city attractions for kids to enjoy, such as the Great Lakes Science Center and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

The #5 entry is The Dent Schoolhouse, a Halloween-themed experience in Cincinnati. This spooky attraction has been ranked as one of the nation's best scary experiences by USA Today, Forbes, Citybeat, and many others. The interactive show takes place in a former schoolhouse built in the 1800s, where legend has it a janitor murdered students and hid their bodies in the building.

Visitors receive admission to The Dent Schoolhouse and the neighboring Detention Hall, which is a haunted maze. Both attractions are open for the Halloween season. Ghost tours of the space are offered once a week, with special arrangements available for paranormal research groups.

Coming in at #6 is Mill Creek MetroParks, which was established in 1891 by Volney Rogers as the first park district in Ohio. Located in Youngstown, it offers sundry recreation opportunities including hiking, boating, fishing, golf, tennis, volleyball, picnicking, cross country skiing, sledding, and much more.

Mill Creek Park offers 20 miles of drives and 45 miles of trails. The 11-mile MetroParks Bikeway runs from Canfield Township to Austintown, and has trails, preserves, and a working farm to view along the path. One of Mahoning County's most historic landmarks, Lanterman's Mill, is open to visitors.

Last but not least, at #7, we present the Warren Rupp Observatory, one of the world’s largest amateur-operated telescopes, located in Bellville, Ohio. Situated on Hidden Hollow Campgrounds, the observatory is managed by the Richland Astronomical Society, whose members dedicate themselves to public awareness of astronomy.

The Richland Astronomical Society is a nonprofit organization formed in 1960 to promote the advancement of amateur astronomy. Operating the Warren Rupp Observatory with its 36″ diameter mirror Newtonian telescope, conducting an active public education program, regular monthly public nights, and comet observing programs are just some of its many activities.

The Warren Rupp Observatory boasts a 36-inch diameter mirror Newtonian telescope. There are regular public education programs, including monthly meet-ups and comet observing events. The Hidden Hollow Astronomy Conference is a week-long event featuring workshops, contests, programs, prizes, and stargazing.