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Some states are famous for their mountains or beaches. Ohio is famous for its people. One nickname for the state is Mother of Presidents, since eight U.S. presidents were born or raised here, although it’s noted, too, for the charm of its general citizenry. The state is also possessed of an unexpected geographic diversity. Ohio has major cities imbued with an urban energy, like Cincinnati and Cleveland. It has smaller cities with the flair and vibrancy of major metropolises including Dayton and Columbus, which attracts national attention for its culinary and arts scenes. The state’s bucolic villages and open farmland have attracted both the Amish and back-to-the-landers alike. And if people aren’t your thing? Ohio features rolling hills dense with birdsong and hardwood forests.
Ohio is served by several major airports. The ones in Cleveland (CLE), Cincinnati (CVG), Dayton (DAY), and Columbus (CMH) all see frequent commercial flights. Within the state, bus companies connect most major cities; GoBus, for instance, serves Athens, Columbus, Cleveland, Wooster, and communities along the way. You’ll want to have a car at hand for traveling further afield and exploring the city’s parklands or lakes.
Ohio is splendid in the fall. September and October here are drier than any other months and tend to be cool and comfortable. It’s wise to pay attention to college football schedules here, as big games at college towns can lead to teeming crowds at restaurants and congested roads. Summers can vary from comfortably hot to uncomfortably hot; always prepare for occasional thunderstorms. Spring is a mixed bag, with some lovely days and others filled with chilly rain. Few claim that winter is the best time in Ohio — polar chills can dip down from the Arctic, and winds sweep across the Great Lakes to scour the northern parts of the state.
Opened in 2005, this quirky collection claims to be the largest public museum dedicated to signs in the United States. Inside the 20,000-square-foot building are hundreds of displays of how companies have shouted at us from rooftops, storefronts, and highways. These range from signs touting a novel product called lightbulbs, to neon’s peacock phase, to now-faded roadside icons.
With its 17 roller coasters and deep lineup of thrill rides, Ohio’s most popular amusement park — the second oldest in the country, dating back to 1870 — is a hit with kids as well as adults who feel that childhood ended far too early. Cedar Point sprawls over 364 acres, and the roller coasters range from a gentle 1964 wooden classic to the latest, fastest, most terrifying screamers. If swirling in the air at high speeds isn’t your thing, there are also water slides, kids’ rides, live entertainment, and dozens of food stands.
Since it opened in 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has amassed an impressive collection of art from a range of eras, including early Egyptian and Greek, as well as the work of historic and modern American artists. The museum is especially noted for its displays of historic and modern glass — there’s a glassblowing studio where you can see glassmaking in action — not to mention its stunningly modern Glass Pavilion.