If you let it, Ohio will surprise you! Ohio road trips will take you to the hills of the Appalachian Mountains, the shores of Lake Erie and the Ohio River. You’ll find caves and caverns, waterfalls and even the world’s largest cuckoo clock!
Every day is an adventure if you choose to explore the world, even if it’s just your own backyard! I fully believe that! There are so many great things to see and do in Ohio and we’ve been spending a lot of years doing just that!
Our home base is the capital city of Columbus, Ohio so we’ve taken many easy day trips from Columbus that require just a short drive. We’ve also traveled further than that, to the corners of the state including small towns in Ohio and the largest cities in the state!
This list of Ohio road trip ideas includes Ohio’s only National Park, several state parks, a donut trail, art museums, theatre, a Little Italy, and so much more! Ohio truly is the Heart of it All!
If you live in Ohio or are planning a visit to Ohio, this list will be a great jumping off point for inspiration for your next trip! Pick one of these Ohio road trips off the list to plan your next adventure!
31 of the Best Ohio Road Trips
Ohio has so much to see and do! What I love about Ohio is that you can really find a variety of scenery from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains to the shores of one of the largest lakes in the United States!
Ohio has skyscrapers in cities, cornfields in Amish Country and 316 miles of Lake Erie shoreline!
This list of Ohio Road Trip ideas is a great starting point to explore the great state of Ohio!
The Hocking Hills region in Ohio encompasses Hocking County and surrounding towns. It's a gorgeous destination in southeastern Ohio to visit no matter the season!
If you're planning a trip to Hocking Hills, this post will help you discover unique things to do, the best hiking trails in Hocking Hills and where to see breathtaking scenery at every turn!
Hocking Hills is a mecca for outdoor activities, but there are other things to do in Hocking Hills besides hiking, so read on to find out what, where and how to explore this beautiful region in southeast Ohio!
Click the link to plan your road trip to Hocking Hills!
Toledo, Ohio was shaped by it’s proximity to Lake Erie and is home to the National Museum of the Great Lakes, which is definitely worth a visit! There are several sites along Lake Erie that are beautiful to see and nearby Magee Marsh is a hot spot for birdwatching during the spring migration!
There are a lot of fun things to do with kids in Toledo and we’ve just scratched the surface!
Click the link to find out how to plan a family-friendly trip to Toledo, Ohio!
Maumee Bay State Park is a beautiful Ohio State Park right on Lake Erie! A large beach, great lodge and tons of fun indoor and outdoor activities make this the perfect location for a memorable family-friendly road trip in Ohio!
Maumee Bay State Park is located about 10 miles east of Toledo and about 45 miles from Sandusky. The park has a beach, playground, hiking trails and a great Nature Center!
Click the link to plan your road trip to Maumee Bay State Park!
Ohio’s Vacationland features roller coasters, beaches, lighthouses and more! Take a road trip to the Sandusky area of Ohio for your perfect Lake Erie vacation!
Sandusky is famous for Cedar Point, one of the largest amusement parks in the world! But there are lots of other fun things to do in Sandusky, too! Beaches, indoor water parks, a Merry Go Round Museum and more!
Click the link to plan your road trip to Sandusky, Ohio!
Our family fell in love with Kelleys Island! Kelleys Island is an island on Lake Erie with a laid-back vibe, beautiful scenery and fun activities for all ages!
Discover a beautiful island with incredible views of Lake Erie, historic homes and natural shorelines full of unique things to do and places to eat! Don't miss the Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve, he most famous glacial groves in the world!
Click the link to plan a road trip to Kelleys Island, Ohio!
With an adorable downtown, a clean beach and tasty treats it’s easy to spend the perfect day on Lake Erie in Vermilion, Ohio! Vermilion is home to one of our favorite Ohio beaches and we return again and again when we visit Lake Erie as a family (as I’m sure you will be able to tell from the growth of my children in between some of these photos!)
Why do we love Vermilion? It’s such a quaint, well kept town. Parking is easy. The beach is free. The lagoons are unique. There’s ice cream. And Woodstock Cafe.
Click the link to see how we have spent a day at Main Street Beach in Vermilion, Ohio – year after year!
Lake County, Ohio is about 30 minutes east of Cleveland and borders Lake Erie. It’s home to some of Northeast Ohio’s most beautiful views and Lake Erie’s most popular beaches! Mentor is the largest city in Lake County and makes for a good “home base” for visiting all of the attractions listed in this blog post!
Highlights include The Holden Arboretum, Lake Erie Bluffs, and Headlands Beach, just to name a few!
Click the link to plan a road trip to beautiful Lake County, Ohio!
There are so many fun things to do in Cleveland, Ohio and it makes for a great Ohio road trip for families looking to explore this great city on Lake Erie!
This blog post includes some of the best things to do in Cleveland, like the Rock Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center. It also includes some of the hidden gems that might be easily overlooked if you don’t know where to find them!
We are always visiting our favorites and also seeking out new things to do in Cleveland each time we visit!
Click the link to plan your Ohio road trip to Cleveland!
Columbus, Ohio is home to over 800,000 people and the greater metropolitan area is over 2 million people! With a vibrant arts scene, sports teams, theatre, a huge foodie scene and The Ohio State University, you can always find SOMETHING fun to do in Columbus!
Browse this list of museums, restaurants, parks, outdoor activities and more to plan your road trip to Columbus, Ohio!
Dayton, Ohio is home to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and they also have some great parks and arboretums! The Children’s Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens is a must-visit destination with kids!
Other highlights include the Tree Tower at Cox Arboretum and exploring the Oregon District!
Click the link to plan a road trip to Dayton, Ohio!
Yellow Springs, Ohio is a fun and funky destination that includes unique shopping and dining, Young's Jersey Dairy and Glen Helen Nature Preserve!
Yellow Springs is Ohio’s own “hippy town” – I don’t know if that’s official or if I’m just making up that designation, but you’ll find a lot of alternative and off-the-beaten path shopping and dining in this cute downtown area that is easy to explore on foot!
Click the link to plan a road trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio!
Bellefontaine, Ohio has a cute downtown with mini golf, a highly rated pizza shop, and, of course, coffee!
Plus, it's home to one of the most adorable and inspiring toy stores I have ever been in! While you're in the area, make sure to stop in Marie's Candies, another area shop that has made their mark on Ohio!
Click the link to plan a road trip to Bellefontaine, Ohio!
Newark is the county seat of Licking County and the city has a population of just under 50,000 people.
Newark, Ohio offers several attractions for families to enjoy! It would be easy to do several of these things in one day! Highlights include The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art and Technology and The Dawes Arboretum!
Click the link to plan your Newark, Ohio itinerary!
If you’re looking for a slow-paced and peaceful family vacation on the lake, make plans to visit Lakeside, Ohio, a perfectly picturesque town on Lake Erie where there is a little something for everyone in the family!
Lakeside is home to "Ohio's Most Beautiful Mile" and I can't argue with them there!
Lakeside is located on the north side of the Marblehead Peninsula, not far from the Marblehead Lighthouse and the ferry to Put-In-Bay. It is a gated community meaning there is an entrance fee to enter the community but the fee does include many of the activities and events provided at Lakeside.
Ohio is full of surprises! A family-friendly road trip to Guernsey County, Ohio includes zebras, walks on the beach, glass blowing, donuts and so much more!
Guernsey County is the birthplace of John Glenn and William Boyd (aka Hopalong Cassidy), the location of over 36 sightings of Bigfoot, and home to the largest wildlife conservation center in North America AND the world’s most extensive glass collection!
If you're planning a trip to The Wilds, make sure to check out what else there is to do on your road trip to Guernsey County, Ohio!
Mohican State Park is a popular destination in Ohio! Let me start by saying that Mohican State Park is absolutely stunning in the fall. It’s just drop dead gorgeous at every turn! If you can visit in the fall, I highly recommend!
But, you should also know that Mohican is full of summer adventures! I grew up 30 minutes from Mohican State Park and it was the go-to destination for canoeing every summer when I was a teenager! As a kid, we spent summer days boating on Pleasant Hill Lake and as far as I was concerned, Mohican was “the beach”!
Click the link to plan a road trip to Mohican State Park!
There is something in Dublin, Ohio for the whole family! From public art installations, to fun playgrounds to some of the biggest festivals in Central Ohio (and the world!), there is always something fun to do in Dublin, Ohio!
My family has had a lot of fun exploring Dublin! There are a lot of activities on this list that bring back some fun memories: The 12 Elves of Dublin in December, the Fairy Door Trail in the Spring, the kids dipping candy into Chocolate at Kilwins, walking across the Dublin Link for the first time.
Click the link to find some of the top things to do in Dublin, Ohio and plan your own fun road trip!
Greene County is where the Wright Brothers developed aviation and took the first circular flight! It’s also home to several historical landmarks related to the birth of aviation!
Click the link to plan a road trip to Greene County using our itinerary here as a guideline and introduce your family to the incredible role that Ohio played in the development of flight and airplanes!
Highland County is around 65 miles from Columbus and is an easy trip from Central Ohio, Dayton or Cincinnati! It is a scenic county with sprawling cornfields, Amish farms and surprising hills! We even came across a waterfall!
If you’re looking for a rural spot to get away from the fast pace of the city, take a drive to peaceful Highland County and enjoy some of these fun activities, outdoor adventures and tasty treats!
Click the link to plan your own road trip to Highland County, Ohio!
Tuscarawas County, Ohio is part Amish Country, part Appalachia and full of unique destinations for families to explore!
A trip to this area will transport you to the edge of the Appalachian Mountains, into Amish Country and to the home of some of Ohio’s earliest history.
Spend your time exploring some of Ohio’s oldest religious settlements, learning about the role that railroads and the Ohio & Erie Canal have played in this area of the state, play mini golf and see the world's largest cuckoo clock!
Click the link to plan your trip to Tuscarawas County, Ohio!
Mount Vernon, Ohio is just around 1 hour from Columbus has a super cute downtown, a really unique park and the coolest Dog Fountain around!
If you’re looking for a super fun day trip from Columbus, Ohio, look no further than Mt. Vernon, Ohio! The downtown area is so cute and easy to walk around! There lots of things to do in downtown Mount Vernon that will appeal to travelers of all ages!
Click the link to plan your road trip to Mt. Vernon, Ohio!
Downtown Mansfield makes for a fun day trip in Ohio! There's a carousel, an amazing children's museum and restaurants to enjoy! The Little Buckeye Children's Museum is a GEM and definitely worth a visit if you have kids!
Click the link to plan a road trip to downtown Mansfield, Ohio!
Exciting things can be found in Wooster, Ohio! Uncover hidden gems & must-see spots for an unforgettable visit to Wooster like the super tall slide at Secrest Arboretum, flavored milk at Hartzler's Family Dairy and more!
Click the link to plan an Ohio road trip to Wooster!
There are so many Ohio road trip ideas and we are just getting started! I’ll continue to update this list as we explore to make sure to bookmark it so that you can check back when you need a little inspiration for exploring Ohio!