Are you looking to explore the great state of Ohio? Then check out one of these awesome Ohio road trips.
There are so many cool things to do in Ohio and road-tripping is one of them!
There is so much to do and see in Ohio, and the state has so many varied landscapes.
It’s no surprise that Ohio is my favorite state in the Midwest, and that’s because I was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio!
On this list, I have done my best to come up with a road trip for every kind of traveler.
There is a road trip for foodies, art lovers, and history buffs, and even one for those who love haunted and abandoned places.
There are also road trips from Cleveland and road trips from Columbus if you are interested in starting in the major cities of Ohio first.
So, let us take a look at 15 Ohio road trips for your bucket list!
15 Ohio Road Trips For Your Bucket List
The Ohio Road Trips For Foodies
- Boomtown Biscuits and Whiskey
- Momo Ghar
- Der Dutchman
- Larder Delicatessen and Bakery
Start your foodie road trip at one of Cincinnati’s best restaurants, Boomtown Biscuits, and Whiskey.
Boomtown is inspired by early frontier cooking and, of course, whiskey. It is one of the favorite restaurants in Cincinnati.
Next, head to Columbus, the hometown of celebrity chef Guy Fieri. In his hometown, Fieri has said his favorite restaurant is Momo Ghar.
Momo Ghar is located in the North Market and has become world-famous thanks to Fieri’s praise. It is a Tibetan-Nepalese restaurant and is absolutely worth a visit.
Continue on to Der Dutchman for a taste of the Amish Country.
Der Dutchman is a restaurant where you can try traditional Amish dishes, all of which are made with locally grown ingredients.
Finish your trip in Cleveland at the Larder Delicatessen and Bakery.
Larder is a traditional Eastern European deli and bakery and a great way to end your foodie road trip through Ohio.
Major Cities Of Ohio Road Trips
On this road trip, you’ll hit all the major cities of Ohio. Start your trip in Northern Ohio in Cleveland.
In Cleveland, visit one of the many popular museums.
Next, head to Akron. In Akron, check out the Summit Brew Path, where you can sample 22 unique breweries.
After sampling the breweries in Akron, head to Columbus. Columbus is home to Ohio State University, and you’ll find plenty of unique activities to enjoy there.
From Columbus, you’ll head to Dayton. In Dayton, make sure you stop at the Carillon Historical Park or the RiverScape MetroPark for some outdoor fun.
Outside of Dayton is one of the best things to do in Ohio, the Ohio Caverns. It’s a great detour as you head to your final city.
Finish your Ohio road trip journey in Cincinnati. In Cincinnati, make sure you stop at the Carew Tower’s Observation Deck to get a spectacular view of the entire city.
State and National Parks Of Ohio
- Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park
- Hocking Hills State Park
- Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
There are so many cool state and National Parks in Ohio. Throughout the whole state, you can explore the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
The trail has several entry points across the state as it winds through 16 states, including Ohio. So hop on and off it as you continue to the other State and National Parks on this Ohio road trip.
At the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you’ll find one of the best parks in the Midwest. It has miles of stunning trails and even a few waterfalls.
Next, you’ll head to arguably one of the more popular state parks in Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park.
From hiking trails, stargazing, waterfall chasing, and more. The town around this state park also has some interesting things to do.
End your tour of Ohio’s State and National Parks at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve is full of hiking trails where you can admire the local flora and fauna. It is a great way to end your road trip to Ohio’s State and National Parks.
Ohio Road Trips To See The Best Lighthouses
- Ashtabula Harbor Lighthouse
- Lorain Lighthouse
- Marblehead Lighthouse
In Northern Ohio, you’ll find the shores of Lake Erie. That makes it a perfect place to enjoy a road trip admiring Ohio’s lighthouses.
Start your road trip at the Ashtabula Harbor Lighthouse.
It is over 100 years old and sits proudly on the rocky shores of Lake Erie.
Next, head to the Lorain Lighthouse, in Lorain Ohio.
The Lorain Lighthouse is known as the “Jewel of the Port” and is a beloved town landmark. It was built in 1908 and during the summer months, it can be toured.
End your lighthouses road trip at the Marblehead Lighthouse. The Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the United State’s side of the Great Lakes.
There is a museum and you can tour the lighthouse in the summer months. It’s a great finishing point for this Ohio road trip.
Haunted Ohio Road Trips
- The Ridges
- The Ohio State Reformatory
- Hotel Lafayette
This is one of the more unique Ohio road trips on this list. It’s perfect for those who love to see spooky haunted places in Ohio.
Begin your road trip at The Ridges. The Ridges were once the Athens Lunatic Asylum and are said to be home to the wandering spirits who passed away during the asylum’s many years of operation.
Next, head to Moonville, which is an abandoned coal mining town. You can still see remnants of town, including the supposedly haunted tunnel where a man was killed by a passing train.
Continue on to The Ohio State Reformatory. This former prison is said to be home to the state’s most violent ghosts, as the prison housed the state’s most dangerous prisoners.
End your road trip at the Hotel Lafayette. Hotel Lafayette is in Marietta, which is Ohio’s oldest town.
You can actually spend the night at this historically haunted hotel. Guests say they have had items mysteriously go missing as well as poltergeist activity.
This is one of the Ohio road trips that may not be for everyone, but if you enjoy haunted locations, you’ll love it.
Art Museums Of Ohio
- Columbus Museum of Art
- Columbus African American Sculpture Tour
- Millersburg Open Air Art Museum
- Taft Museum of Art
You’ll begin the Art Museums of Ohio road trip in Columbus, where you’ll find two of your stops.
The first is the Columbus Museum of Art. It is home to many works of Columbus-born artists and has rolling exhibits throughout the year.
From there, take a short walk to start the Columbus African American Sculpture Tour. Throughout the city, you’ll find eleven sculptures created by famous Black artists.
Next, head to the Millersburg Open Air Art Museum. It’s a great way for families to experience art, as it has so many interesting sculptures that kids love to admire.
End your road trip through Ohio’s favorite art museums at the Taft Museum of Art.
The Taft Museum of Art is located in a historic home and is full of unique pieces of art that once belonged to some of Ohio’s most influential families.
Women’s History In Ohio Road Trips
- First Ladies National Historic Site
- Ohio Statehouse Museum Ladies Gallery
- The National Annie Oakley Center at Garst Museum
- The Harriet Beecher Stowe House
Start this road trip in Ohio at the First Ladies National Historic Site. The site honors the many First Ladies that have had an impact on the history of the United States.
It includes a library based on Abigail Fillmore’s collection, exhibits, and films about the previous First Ladies.
From there, visit the Ohio Statehouse Museum Ladies Gallery. The Ladies Gallery is where you will find the portraits of all the women who have served in Ohio’s government.
As the sixth state to ratify the women’s right to vote, it is an important way to remember the women who helped lead the state of Ohio.
Continue on to the National Annie Oakley Center at Garst Museum. There you’ll be able to learn more about the famous wild west woman who was originally from Ohio.
End your journey at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House. Harriet Beecher Stowe is the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which played an important role during the Civil War.
Ohio Waterfalls Road Trips
- Indian Run Falls
- Brandywine Falls
- Upper, Lower, and Cedar Falls
A tour of Ohio’s waterfalls is a great way to see the state. With so many beautiful ones, it’s hard to pick just a few.
Begin your road trip at the Indian Run Falls in Dublin, a suburb outside of Columbus. They are easy to reach, which makes them a great first stop.
Next, head to Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Brandywine Falls is 65 feet tall and one of the best waterfalls in the state.
Finish your road trip in Ohio at Hocking Hills State Park.
There you can view three waterfalls. There is the Upper and Lower Falls as well as the Cedar Falls.
They are a great way to end your waterfall-chasing journey in Ohio.
Ohio’s Space Exploration History
- National Aviation Heritage Area
- National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
- Armstrong Air and Space Museum
- Observatory Park
Ohio has a lot to be proud of when it comes to aviation and space exploration history.
Begin this road trip by exploring the National Aviation Heritage Area. There you will learn about Ohio natives, the Wright brothers, and their journey to mastering aviation.
Continue on to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. While there you’ll learn about the nation’s aviation military history that helped lead to the moon landing.
Next, visit the Armstrong Air and Space Museum. The first man on the moon was Neil Armstrong, an Ohio native.
At the museum, you’ll learn about Armstrong’s history, and Ohio’s contribution to space exploration, and see authentic space suits worn by Armstrong himself.
Finish your road trip in Ohio with a peak at the stars. At the Observatory Park, you’ll be able to gaze at the solar system and learn more about our universe.
Covered Bridge Scenic Byway
- West Liberty Bridge
- Netcher Road Bridge
- Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge
The Covered Bridge Scenic Byway goes from Marietta to Woodsfield and follows State Route 26.
For this road trip, you’ll be staying mostly in Ashtabula County, which is known as ‘Covered Bridge County’.
Start your trip at the shortest covered bridge in America, the West Liberty Bridge.
At only 18 feet long, it is very short, but still very charming.
Next, head to the Netcher Road Bridge, which has a really unique design.
It has a Neo-Victorian design and was opened to the public in 1999, making it one of the newer covered bridges in the area.
Finish your tour of the Covered Bridge Scenic Byway at America’s longest covered bridge.
The Smolen-Gulf Covered Bridge is 613 feet long and stretches across the Ashtabula River. It’s a fitting way to end this road trip in Ohio.
Ohio Road Trips Through Charming Towns
- Yellow Springs
Begin your road trip to Ohio’s most charming towns in Geneva-on-the-Lake.
Geneva-on-the-lake is a popular town for visitors who want to enjoy Ohio’s Lake District.
Continue on to Charm, Ohio.
Charm, as its name suggests, is an extremely charming Ohio town.
The town is known as “The Little Switzerland of Ohio” and is full of Swiss architecture and murals. It is a must-stop town in Ohio.
End your road trip in Yellow Springs, one of the best small towns in Ohio.
Yellow Springs is bursting with 1960’s charm. It is a completely walkable town, full of fun shops, murals, and unique architecture.
You will love touring these charming towns in Ohio!
Natural Wonders Of Ohio
- Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve
- Old Man’s Cave
- The Rock House
- The Ohio Caverns
Begin this unique road trip in Ohio at the Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve.
On Kelley’s Island, these glacial grooves are actually the largest accessible grooves in the world.
That absolutely makes them one of the best natural wonders of Ohio.
From there, head to Hocking Hills State Park to see the next two stops on your road trip.
The first is the Old Man’s Cave. It is a massive cave structure that, legend has it, was the home of a hermit in the early 19th century.
Next, hike to the Rock House. The Rock House is another cave structure.
This one has 25-foot high ceilings, and window-like openings, and it was often used as a shelter for Native Americans, bootleggers, and even horse thieves.
End your Ohio road trip at the Ohio Caverns. The Ohio Caverns are one of the best-hidden gems in the Midwest and a great way to end your road trip.
Ohio Must-Sees Road Trips
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
- Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
- Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Velvet Ice Cream
This is one of the best Ohio road trips if you want to see some of the state’s more iconic sites.
This Ohio Must-See is one of the best road trips from Cleveland as the starting destination.
Start at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
Cleveland is considered the birthplace of rock and roll, so it’s only fitting it’s the home of the Hall of Fame and Museum.
You’ll be able to learn about rock and roll history, some of its greatest acts, and much more.
Next, head just outside of Cleveland to Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.
It is an elaborate country estate that is one of the largest homes in the U.S. Inside the home is a museum that you can tour and there are beautiful gardens as well.
Continue on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sports fans will love learning about football’s greatest athletes and seeing authentic memorabilia.
End your road trip at Velvet Ice Cream. Velvet Ice Cream is located in the Ye Old Mill.
Not only will you end your trip sampling some of the best ice cream in the state, but you’ll also get a first hand view of how its made.
Abandoned Ohio Road Trips
- Geauga Lake Amusement Park
- Molly Stark Hospital
If you enjoy abandoned places, then you’ll love this fun and unique road trip.
Start your exploration of Ohio’s abandoned places at the Geauga Lake Amusement Park.
It was once the world’s largest amusement park, but now it is nothing more than an overgrown wasteland. It closed in 2007, and since then has stood abandoned.
Continue on to a small town now known as “Helltown”.
The town’s original name was Boston Mills, but after the government forced all occupants to leave, it earned its current nickname.
You’ll find abandoned structures that are close to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Finish your abandoned Ohio road trip at the Molly Stark Hospital.
The Molly Stark Hospital was a mental institution as well as a tuberculosis hospital.
It officially closed in the 1990s and has laid abandoned ever since.
Fall Foliage Of Ohio Road Trips
- Wayne National Forest
- Hocking Hills State Park
- Ashtabula County
If you are looking to experience the beautiful fall foliage of Ohio, then you’ll love this road trip.
Start your trip at the Wayne National Forest.
The Wayne National Forest is in the Appalachian foothills of Ohio.
The forest covers a quarter of a million acres of land, so you’re guaranteed to see some beautiful fall foliage.
Continue North to Hocking Hills State Park.
Hocking Hills State Park is one of my personal favorite places to admire Ohio’s fall foliage.
With miles of hiking trails, unique cave systems, and beautiful waterfalls, it creates a stunning background to fall’s colored leaves.
End your road trip in Ashtabula County.
There is nothing like the famous covered bridges surrounded by beautiful fall foliage.
Packing List For Your Ohio Road Trips
No matter if you are flying to or driving to Ohio it is always a great idea to pack light. Read some tips on how to pack lightly here.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when on road trips in Ohio. It is always important to protect our personal information.
This unisex RFID-blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
f you have a pouch already that does not come with RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and so easy to use. It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for group shots or that perfect selfie!
I was not a fan of packing cubes until I started to use them! This is the exact set of packing organizers I use whenever I travel.
Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels. You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse.
When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble. You can find filter replacements here.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car.
Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water-resistant, and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.
You will be walking more than usual during your Ohio road trips. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes are a must-have. These waterproof all-season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.
Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.
If you are visiting Ohio in warmer weather, maybe you want a pair of sandals to wear to dinner or to the local cafe, I highly recommend these Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals.
I have several pairs of Vionics that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable and have orthotic footbeds that cradle and support your feet.
We all need to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.
If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you.
If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors.
If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better. Both sets come with TSA locks and 8 wheels per piece.
There are so many amazing Ohio road trips to explore and enjoy.
Have you had the opportunity to go on any of these road trips in Ohio or is there one that you want to try?
I’d love to hear about your adventures in the comments!