We all know that I love to daydream about past and future fantasy vacations around the world. But did you know I also put together an Ohio travel wish list every year?
There are so many amazing adventures to be had right here in the great state of Ohio. Just think of all the one-day roadtrips, weekend getaways and even new fun to be had right in your very own state. It simply takes a little research and planning to find the true gems!
Since my long-ago public relations work on behalf of Ohio Tourism, I’ve made it a habit to order the free Ohio Travel Guide every year as a starting point for our local trip planning. Then I go through the guide, either solo or with the fam, and circle anything that looks like we’d enjoy it.
After that, I pull out the handy state map included in the guide and highlight everything I circled in the book. This helps me to figure out which destinations are close to each other, so that we can plan road trips that hit multiple nearby destinations. Last but not least, I then get online and research each destination so I can prioritize and start planning trips. It’s that easy!
To give you a running start on your own Ohio trips this year, I’ve decided to share my preliminary Ohio travel wish list.
There’s way too much stuff here for one family to do in one year – so maybe your family should explore some of these adventures, too! I’ve included links wherever I could find them so you can dig in and find out more. I’ll be using this blog post for reference throughout 2020 as I look for fun things for our family to do. I hope you will, too.
2020 Ohio travel wishlist
- Kelley’s Island – we’re planning a weekend here with friends, including a visit to the Glacial Grooves National natural landmark and inscription rock petroglyphs. And I plan to check out the island yurts at the state park!
- Cannaley Treehouse Village at Oak Openings Preserve Metropark, Toledo
- Cuyahoga Valley National Park – longtime readers know I love both national parks and chasing waterfalls. I’ve heard that Brandywine Falls is well worth a visit in any season.
- The Castle Noel year-round Christmas attraction in Medina
- Highlands Nature Sanctuary, Bainbridge
- Lake Erie Bluffs Metro Park, Perry Township
- Murch Canopy Walk at Holden Arboretum, Kirtland
- Wizardly World of Kent – I’ve been wanting to hit this Harry Potter-palooza for years. I think July 25, 2020 will see us in Kent at last!
- Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park – we’ve been here in summer and didn’t see the bison. I’ve heard they are a lot easier to spot in winter, so we should make this visit soon!
- Saraga international grocery, multiple locations around Columbus
- Malabar farm – we visited once before and loved it. I need to blog about it!
- Maple sugaring at Slate Run Farm (Canal Winchester) or Stratford Ecological Center (Delaware) – they do this in February so this has to happen soon
- Columbus Zoo & Aquarium – we used to visit so often and now it’s a rare thing. There are big new exhibits opening this spring, though, so I’m sure we’ll be there to experience it all! Plus Z is doing zoo camp for a week this summer – including an overnight. I’m sure she’ll guest blog about those adventures!
- Tall Pines area at Walnut Woods Metro Park, Groveport
- Clifton Mill – we love this place at Christmas, but have never visited in any other season.
- Eat, Purr, Love cat cafe in Clintonville. We visited a lovely cat cafe in Savannah, Georgia last year and it made me want to go back to our local cat cafe to compare.
- Velvet Ice Cream Mill, Utica
- Nutcracker restaurant, Pataskala
- Perkins Observatory, Delaware – Z and I got to visit once on a summer camp field trip, and ever since I’ve been meaning to make a reservation to go back and see the stars.
- Great Circle Earthworks, Newark
- Pyramid Hill sculpture park, Hamilton
- Caesar Creek State Park is said to be great for fossil-finding!
- Young’s Jersey Dairy – we love Yellow Springs and it’s definitely time to revisit this place, as we haven’t been since Z was very small.
- Ohio Renaissance Festival – you’re either a Ren Faire person or you’re not. I am, hubby’s not – and now it’s time to find out which way Z sways!
- National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
- Jungle Jim’s International Market
- Cincinnati Art Museum’s Art Climb
- American Sign Museum, Cincinnati
- Serpent mound, an internationally renowned National Historic Landmark in Peebles
- Tecumseh outdoor drama – E and I went to the old Blue Jacket outdoor drama years ago, pre-kiddo-, and loved it. I can’t wait to blow Z’s mind with a visit to Tecumseh!
- Historic Dresden Bridge in Dresden River Park, Muskingum County
- The Wilds just outside of Zanesville. We’ve been here before and just love it. It’s high time for another visit!
Who’s inspired to take some staycations and Ohio road trips? I know I am! Let me know if you have other ideas we should add to this list for 2020 – or if you’ve been to any of these places and have stories. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or over on Facebook!