Ohio, the “Buckeye State,” is a state in the midwest part of the US. Ohio is the 34th largest state in land area and the 7th most populous, with nearly 12 million residents. It has links with Lake Erie, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, making it an asset for economic opportunities, expansion, and growth.
Ohio is known for its great outdoors, rich culture, love for sports, and unique flag. There are a lot of things to explore and discover in this state. It offers a playful mix of relaxing and exciting nature activities and fun city life. They also take pride in different Ohio locals who bloomed in various fields.
The Heart of It All
Ohio’s capital city, Columbus, has the slogan “The Heart of it All.” The tagline describes Columbus as the most populated area of Ohio; about 48% of America’s population lives near it. It is also the home of top universities in the country, including Capital University, Ohio State University, and Columbus College of Art and Design. Aside from the universities, there are more than 500 companies in Columbus. In addition, you can also visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, which caters to more than 7,000 animals, including elephants and giraffes. So it is indeed the heart of it all.
Ohio is known as the Buckeye State. The nickname came from buckeyes, dark nut-like seeds that grow on buckeye trees. Ohio has loads of buckeye trees. That’s why the buckeyes are perfect Ohio souvenirs. Carrying a buckeye around is even considered good luck in other regions. However, buckeyes in their natural form are toxic and harmful to humans. So the locals of Ohio made candied buckeyes – peanut butter balls coated with chocolate. These yummy treats resemble the buckeye nut and are popular holiday sweets in Ohio.
The Wright Brothers
Orville and Wilbur Wright are the inventors of the world’s first-ever motor-powered airplane. The Wright brothers designed, built, and flew the plane in Dayton, Ohio. Because of their innovation, Ohio became known as the Birthplace of Aviation. You can visit the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, which was once the Wright brothers’ printing business and bicycle shop. The museum preserves and exhibits pieces of evidence of the Wright brothers’ journey.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Ohio has various museums to honor the different vital parts of their culture. For example, you can visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. If you love music, you’ll find the artifacts in this museum fascinating. The museum features the history of rock music. It also honors notable and influential figures of rock music. Aerosmith, Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley, and Ray Charles are some of the inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. There are many exciting things to see in this museum (like Elvey’s military uniform!) so, allot a good few hours of your time for your visit.
The Ohio State Reformatory
The Reformatory is once considered one of the best prisons for first-time offenders in America. It started to house prisoners in 1990 but eventually closed due to poor conditions and overcrowding. Today, it is a favorite destination of thrill-seeking tourists because it is said to be extremely haunted. You can hear several stories from prisoners and correctional officers about their paranormal and spooky experiences in the Reformatory. If you are brave enough, you can take a self-guided or intimate group tour. The Reformatory was also featured in movies like Air Force One and Shawshank Redemption.
Holmes Country, one of the biggest Amish communities worldwide, houses more than 23,000 Amish citizens. The Amish people lead a very simple and straightforward life. They do not know much about modern-day technology, so they do everything the traditional way. You’ll be fascinated to see their community; it’s like traveling back in time. They are still riding horses to move around town, their schools end after the 8th grade, and they focus on farming, carpentry, and construction. You can visit Holmes Country and look around their shops, restaurants, and furniture stores.
John Eisenmann designed the unique flag of Ohio. Instead of the traditional rectangular flag, Ohio opts for a triangular swallowtail flag. The red, white, and blue flag represent Ohio’s different features. First, the blue triangles symbolize the hills and valleys of the state. Next, the white and red stripes represent the waterways and roads. Then the white circle with a red center represents the ‘O’ in Ohio. The flag has 17 stars, giving meaning to the 13 original colonies, and the remaining four at the apex add up to 17 (Ohio is the 17th state of the US).
Ohio takes pride in its state bird, the famous Northern Cardinal. You have a big chance of seeing a Cardinal lurking around since they are living in the 88 counties of Ohio. They are easy to spot because of their bright red color. The males are brighter in color since they need to attract the female birds. The female cardinals are lighter to help them camouflage from predators. One interesting fact about Northern Cardinals is that they are monogamous creatures, meaning they stay with one partner year-round. They also have short beaks that help them eat berries and open nuts.
Home of Great Inventions
Ohio is famous for being the hometown of many brilliant minds. For example, Thomas Edison, known for the invention of the light bulb, was born in Milan, Ohio. Edison is also responsible for the design of the incandescent lamp and phonograph. John W. Lambert is another excellent mind born in Ohio City, Ohio. He is the man behind the first working automobile powered by gasoline. Lambert is considered a genius and patented over 600 designs, ideas, and inventions. Ohio is also the birthplace of pop-top cans, rubber, golf ball, hotdogs, and, let’s not forget, Superman from Cleveland, Ohio.
You’ll have a lot of opportunities to enjoy corn during your Ohio visit. The locals of Ohio are masters of preparing a cron straight from the cob. They add a little butter, pepper, and salt (and maybe some magic!), and you have a yummy treat. You can also enjoy cornbread, corn salsa, and corn chowder. However, corn is not just used for human consumption. Ohio’s corn industry is so diverse that it started to use corn for feeding livestock and ethanol production. In Dublin, you can visit the concrete cornfield as a tribute and reminder of its agricultural heritage.
The Alcoholic Anonymous
Have you ever heard of the support group AA or Alcoholic Anonymous? Well, it started in Ohio in 1935. Alcoholic Anonymous offers a safe space for its members to share their struggles without being judged. It began with a meeting with a few gentlemen struggling with alcohol addiction, and now it has over two million members globally. Robert Smith and Bill Wilson, the founders of AA, worked to recover from alcoholism when they started the support group. It is a 12-step recovery program to help its members lead a sober life. The members have rewarded sobriety chips for every milestone they achieve.
A trip to an amusement park will complete your journey. Whether traveling with friends, colleagues, family, or kids, you’ll have a great time in Ohio’s fun parks. And there are a lot of amusement parks to choose from. You can consider visiting Cedar Point, one of the most famous parks in Ohio. It holds the record for the most roller coaster rides, including the Millennium Force, which thrill-seekers love. You can also visit Kings Island, one of the biggest water parks in the Midwest, which features three water rides and 15 coasters. In addition, it houses The Beast, the longest wooden coaster ride in the world.
Hocking Hills State Park
If you want to explore nature, you’ll be thrilled to visit Hocking Hills. This region offers several trails with die-for views. You can choose from the seven major tracks which provide different experiences—one of the most famous trails in the Old Man’s Cave. The trail is not for the faint-hearted since it has uneven slopes and steep climbs. But you’ll enjoy the marvelous waterfalls and rock formations along the way. If you are up to the challenge, try Old Man’s Cave. But if you want a safer and less strenuous walk, you can try the other trails.
Indian Burial Mounds
You can also stop by Ohio’s famous Indian Burial Mounds for an educational and purposeful trip. These are burial sites for tribes like Adena and Hopewell. There are no artifacts to explain the origin of the mounds, but experts suggest that they date back to 800 BC. Most of them are open to the public for visitations. You might want to check a National Historic Landmark, Serpent Mound in Peebles, Ohio. It is 1,348 feet long and three feet high effigy mound. It is shaped to look like an animal (serpent) and is the largest prehistoric mound in the world.
Interracial and Coeducating Schools
Ohio is a progressive state. It is the first state in the country to offer interracial and coeducating universities. Oberlin College, the first to open its doors to African-American students, produced many intelligent graduates, one of which is John Mercer Langston. Langston, the first African-American to be elected to public office, has a lot of accomplishments in the state of Ohio. He became the first African-American member of the Ohio Bar in 1854. Then, he became the founder and dean of the School of Law at Harvard University in 1868.