Our Blog

Ohio Staycations: Places to Visit in and Around the State’s Four Largest Cities

COVID-19 has put a serious damper on vacation plans. Closures, restrictions and quarantines have made air travel challenging. The good news is that there’s plenty to enjoy right in our backyard. Here are some destinations worth checking out in the Buckeye State.

Please note: It’s important to follow all protocols put in place by health officials. Contact each destination individually for information on hours and/or reopening plans, operating modifications and safety standards.


Rock Hall

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is a popular tourist destination.

Did you know that Expedia named Cleveland one of the 11 best cities in America for a staycation? It’s easy to see why. 

  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Sitting on Lake Erie, the museum highlights rock music’s history and shines a light on the figures who have influenced its development.
  • West Side Market – Located in Ohio City, the city’s oldest indoor/outdoor market is home to 100 vendors offering meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, dairy, flowers, ready-to-eat foods, spices and nuts.
  • The Cleveland Museum of Art – The University Circle staple houses a collection of over 61,000 works from around the world.
  • Cleveland Metroparks – The park offers 18 reservations with more than 300 miles of trails, eight golf courses, eight lakefront parks and an acclaimed zoo.
  • Cedar Point – The roller coaster capital of the world is located in Sandusky, an hour drive from Cleveland.


Columbus Zoo

The Columbus Zoo exceeds two million annual visitors.

Columbus is home to much more than Ohio State. The capital city makes for a great place to visit.

  • Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – A recreation and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and 18-hole Safari Golf Club, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was named the number one zoo in America by USA Travel Guide. It also features emeritus director Jack Hanna.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – The Conservatory offers numerous natural experiences for all ages to enjoy. It houses the famous John F. Wolfe Palm House, which dates back to 1895.
  • Center of Science and Industry (COSI) – COSI is a dynamic science center that delivers experiential, hands-on-fun learning. 
  • The Scioto Mile – Referred to as an urban oasis, the Scioto Mile comprises 175 acres of lush parkland in the heart of downtown Columbus.
  • Hocking Hills State Park – A approximate one-hour drive from Columbus, Hocking Hills features breathtaking scenery, multiple parks and entertaining outdoor adventures.


Kings Island

A view from high above Kings Island

Along the banks of the Ohio River sits Cincinnati, a vibrant city with lots to offer.

  • Brewing Heritage Trail – The Brewing Heritage Trail is a walking trail and series of guided tours that celebrate Cincinnati’s brewing heritage.
  • Kings Island – The 364-acre amusement park sits just north of Cincinnati, in nearby Mason.
  • EnterTRAINment Junction – Hailed as the world’s only railroad-themed family entertainment center, EnterTRAINment Junction offers a huge indoor train display and 90 trains depicting every era of American railroading.
  • American Sign Museum – Enjoy a visual history of American signage from 1870 through 1970.


Imagination Station

Imagination Station is a well-known science museum.

Situated on the banks of the Maumee River and the shores of Lake Erie, Northwest Ohio’s hub city has impressive offerings.

  • National Museum of the Great Lakes – The popular attraction has six exhibit galleries, an outdoor maritime park, the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the Museum Tug OHIO.
  • Toledo Botanical Garden – The attraction features more than 60 acres of display gardens and relevant plant collections, along with a two-acre urban farm.
  • Imagination Station – Located on the Maumee riverfront, the museum features more than 300 exhibits for kids of all ages.
  • Maumee Bay State Park – Maumee Bay State Park offers premier recreational experiences and a unique natural environment.