25 ways to inflate the fun of your "Staycation" in Northwest Ohio!
The summer months are a great time to travel with family and friends, but with the skyrocketing inflation and high fuel prices hitting hard, many families are looking for ways to adjust their summer travel and vacation plans. The team at VisitNortwestOhio.com has compiled the top 25 ways to have fun this summer and we have done our best to keep affordability in mind. Northwest Ohio is full of low-cost or no-cost experiences to get you out of the house and exploring close to home this year, so pack up a picnic basket, grab your family and head to Northwest Ohio where there are plenty of activities to keep the whole family entertained for a day-trip or a full weekend!
#1. Seneca Caverns
15248 E Township Rd 178, Bellevue, OH 44811
Preserved close to its original natural state, Seneca Caverns provides a fascinating
guided one hour walking tour through this unique cavern leads you through seven rooms or levels. The largest room is 250 feet in length. 110 feet below the surface, visitors will view "Ole Mist'ry River," the crystal clear flowing stream, which is part of the vast groundwater system which underlies the surrounding region. Learn more here.
#2. Tiffin Glass Museum and Shoppe
25 - 27 S Washington St, Tiffin, OH 44883
The Tiffin Glass Museum honors the heritage established by the men and women of Tiffin’s “Glass House”. Through preservation and education, the museum safe-guards glassware made by the artisans from the factory’s nearly hundred year history! Museum preservation work includes acquiring memorabilia and historical documents from the factory’s beginnings in 1889 until its closing in 1984. Learn more here.
#3. Civil War Museum of Ohio
217 S Washington St, Tiffin, OH 44883
The American Civil War Museum of Ohio is a
not-for-profit organization formed to satisfy the need for a unique educational museum by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the American Civil War and its impact on the current generation of American people. The Civil War exhibits feature artifacts, dioramas, mannequins, informational display boards, videos, hands-on activities, and more!. Through their focus on the American Civil War and Ohio’s involvement, they are positioned as a premier source of education and enjoyment. Learn more here.
#4. Ralph's Joy of Living
33 N Washington St, Tiffin, OH 44883
There is a reason why their family-owned business has been serving Seneca County since 1950 — it is customer satisfaction. Guests will be able to browse the store at their leisure and purchase unique items from the only appliance store in America with a wine and beer license. Ralph's Joy of Living was built on Ralph's entrepreneurial spirit for appliances, kitchen design and mattresses while Julie's passion for food, cooking and wine created the 'Experience of Joy'. Learn more here.
#5. Perrysburg Farmers Market
Louisiana Ave, Perrysburg, OH 43551
Perrysburg Farmers Market - Every Thursday from May 5 to October 13 from 3-8 pm, visit historic downtown Perrysburg for local produce, flowers, baked goods, arts and crafts, food trucks, and from June through August there's live music al fresco! Learn more here.
#6. The Great Race
Historic Downtown Perrysburg, Perrysburg, OH 43551
The Great Race makes a pitstop in Perrysburg on June 21st and we're throwing a party - you're invited! Join us in historic downtown Perrysburg from 4:30-8:30pm for family fun: meet and greet with the racers, plus a local car show with more than 300 vehicles, food trucks, a Kid Zone presented by Yark Auto, live music, and fun for all! Learn more here.
#7. Perrysburg Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit
Woodlands Park, 429 E. Boundary Street, Perrysburg, OH 43551
Seventeen nationally-acclaimed artist pieces artists are
exhibited through main ART-ery's public ART exhibitions.
Currently exhibiting, Perrysburg Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit. Fifteen plus sculptures will be temporarily installed for one year on the perimeter and entry area of Woodland Park are on display during Park hours. These sculptures will be on display through August and then the exhibit resets with new pieces. Enjoy art and the great outdoors with this unique, fantastic exhibit. Learn more here.
#8. Fort Meigs
29100 W River Rd, Perrysburg, OH 43551
Visit the largest reconstructed wooden fort in the USA - Fort Meigs Battlefield and Museum is open April through November and welcomes guests to explore pioneer life, be entertained by re-enactments, and tour the Fort and museum. Educational classes are also offered in blacksmithing, candle making, life as a pioneer, and more! Learn more here.
#9. Beaches of Shore and Islands of Ohio
Take a trip to the beach! The area has many public beaches and best of all most are FREE to enjoy. an area favorite is East Harbor State Park Beach in Port Clinton. The beach is open dawn to dusk, free to the public, however no flotation devices are permitted, The beach now has changing areas available as well as vending machines, grills, picnic tables, playground, and more. Pets permitted in designated areas. Walking trails, bike path, fishing, camping nearby. Learn more here about East Harbor beach or one of the many others in the area.
#10. Marblehead Lighthouse
110 Lighthouse Dr, Marblehead, OH 43440
One of the most beautiful places along the Lake Erie coast, the Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest continually-operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes, the Marblehead Lighthouse is also one of the most visited and photographed spots on Lake Erie. The lighthouse tower and buildings are open daily for tours through Labor Day. Additionally, the state park’s grounds offer wonderful sightseeing opportunities, with views of the Lake Erie islands and Sandusky across the bay, as well as picnic grounds, and walking trails. Pack a picnic and enjoy a day marveling over the beauty of this historic landmark.
#11. Sandusky County Historic Barn Mural Trail
Multiple locations in Sandusky County
The Sandusky County Historic Barn Mural Driving Trail is just under 40 miles and takes about an hour to travel from start to finish. The trail takes you throughout Sandusky County winding along rural country roads that provide breathtaking country landscapes to take in along the way. When driving the trail please be aware to observe local traffic safety laws as well as to respect the property owners by not trespassing on private property without permission. These barns are meant to be enjoyed in passing and we hope that along the way you stumble upon one of our local restaurants or downtown districts to take in a little small-town shopping. Our communities are all safe, welcoming and we look forward to seeing you along the trail! Learn more here.
#12. Downtown Fremont Farmers Markets
Downtown Fremont, OH 43442
Located in Downtown Fremont, you will find vendors of every variety featuring items made in the 419 area. Live entertainment, yummy treats and a little something fun for folks of all ages. Restaurants and other food vendors will be open. 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. rain or shine, Cost: FREE! Use 105 S. Front St., Fremont as an address if searching our location using GPS. For more information, visit: www.downtownfremontohio.org
#13. Creek bend Farm - Wilson Nature Center
720 S Main St, Lindsey, OH 43442
Located in Lindsey, Ohio, Creek bend Farm is a Sandusky County Park that has been taken
this is depression era farmstead and have reopened it as a working farm with animals and crops raised and harvested the way they would have 80 years ago. There is a newly constructed building known as the The Wilson Nature Center which consists of animals displays, hands-on activities, an educational classroom, a nature library and a window on wildlife area. Learn more here.
#14. Kayaking on the Sandusky River at Ghoul Runnings Kayak Adventures
1773 S River Rd, Fremont, OH 43420
Located in Fremont, Ghoul Runnings Kayak Adventures has rental opportunities for an adventure on both the Sandusky River and the Fremont Reservoir. There are adventures to fit all ages and skill levels and there are special events hosted such as full-moon kayaking, group events and more. For a full list of adventures, prices and more, visit them at: Ghoul Runnings - Kayak Adventures Fremont, OH
#15. South Bass Island Lighthouse
2368 Langram Rd, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
Owned and operated by Ohio Sea Grant, visitors to the South Bass Island Lighthouse can
climb the tower for a beautiful view and learn about the history of this national historic place. Free and open for tours 11 a.m-5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays from June 19-July 18, 2017 or by appointment (group pricing for groups of 10 or more ). The grounds are open dawn from dusk most days, but are occasionally closed for private events. Located on South Bass Island, Ohio
#16. L.E.I. Conservancy Trails & Nature Preserves
Langram Rd, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456
Dodge Woods Storybook Trail is just one of many family fun trails on the island. Many Nature Trails & Preserves to choose from: Joan Coates Wildflower Trail & Ladd Carr Woods, Lake Erie Water Trails, Massive Cliffside Preserve and Scheeff East Point Preserve for your family or groups enjoyment. From hiking to birding to family activities the trails and preserves offer something for everyone. Put-in-Bay, Ohio
# 17. Perry's Monument 93 Delaware Ave, Put-In-Bay, OH 43456
Memorial is a symbol of the long-lasting peace enjoyed by the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. The 352-foot Doric column has an observation platform that offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding islands and mainland. The Perry Memorial Visitor Center, located on the grounds, offers a 15-minute free movie on the War of 1812 and Battle of Lake Erie. The visitor center also has a display of artifacts, including a British musket, a scale model of the US Brig Lawrence–Perry’s flagship–and a large flat hull diorama of the Battle of Lake Erie as Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry crossed through cannon fire to reach the US Brig Niagara and change the course of the battle. Put-in-Bay, Ohio, Learn more here.
#18. Sauder Village
22611 State Route 2, Archbold, Ohio 43502
Connect with your past at Ohio's largest living-history village. Enjoy guided tours, period craftsmen, hands-on activities, arts and crafts, annual events and a new 1920's Main Street opening Summer 2020. Other impressive amenities include the Barn Restaurant, Sauder Heritage Inn, conference facilities, a campground, bakery and on-site shopping.
#19. Imagination Station Toledo
Discovery Way, Toledo, OH 43604
Imagination Station, Toledo’s Science Center, is dedicated to making science, technology,
engineering and mathematics (STEM) fun and accessible. There are hundreds of interactive, hands-on exhibits that are exciting and educational for the entire family. Whether you only have an hour or you have all day, there is plenty to see and do at Imagination Station. Come explore everything that Imagination Station has to offer! Learn more here.
#20. National Museum of the Great Lakes
1701 Front Street, Toledo, Ohio 43605
The National Museum of the Great Lakes tells the awe-inspiring stories of our Great Lakes through breathtaking photography, over 300 incredible artifacts, a number of powerful audiovisual displays and 40 hands-on interactive exhibits including the 617-foot iron ore freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship and the historic Museum Tug Ohio. learn more here.
#21. African Safari Wildlife Park
267 S Lightner Rd, Port Clinton, OH 43452
Drive through our park and meet & feed the animals! Have you ever fed a Camel? Been up close with a Giraffe? If not, you will in our Drive-Thru Safari. Deer, Bison, Alpaca, Bongo, Zebra, and more await your arrival. The African Safari Wildlife Park is located in Port Clinton, Ohio. Visitors can drive through the 100-acre preserve and watch and feed the animals from their car. Learn more here.
#22 Reset Rossford
27250 Crossroads Pkwy Rossford, OH 43460
Love vintage arcade games, pinball and duckpin bowling? check out Northwest Ohio's adult arcade with over 30 free play classic arcade games and over 30 beers on tap! Enjoy a delicious Cameo Pizza or step out on the wild side and try the almost world famous pickle bread, a customer favorite! There are also golf simulators, outdoor sand volleyball courts, complete with a courtside bar area known as "Spikes Beach Bar". Learn more here.
#23 Kelleys Island State Park & Glacier Grooves
920 Division St, Kelleys Island, OH 43438
Kelleys Island State Park is a public recreation area occupying one-quarter of Kelleys Island, an island in Lake Erie located 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Port Clinton, Ohio. The state park's 677 acres include six miles of hiking trails, ruins of lime kilns and quarrying operations, sand beach, and campground. Adjoining the State park is the Glacial Grooves State Memorial, a set of rare glacial grooves dating back to the last ice age. Kelleys Island has so much more to offer from is quaint and historic downtown village to fine waterfront dining, there is so much to see and do while visiting this island. Learn more here.
#24 Defiance County Hot Air Balloon Festival
Defiance County Airport, 500 Court St, Defiance, OH 43512
Although this adventure takes some planning because its a 1-day festival that is taking place it is totally worth consideration! The 7th annual Defiance Hot Air Balloon Festival presented by Premier Bank and North Western Electric will be on Saturday, August 7th at the Defiance County Airport in Defiance, Ohio. Admission is $10 per car. Please see defianceballoonfest.com for more information on activities and pricing.
Bring a chair or blanket to relax in the hot air balloon viewing area. The proceeds from the event will go towards the United Way Community Engagement Center.
#25 Snook's Dream Cars
13920 County Home Road, Bowling Green, OH 43402
Automobile history comes alive in Snook’s Dream Cars Automobile Museum fittingly located adjacent to one of America’s first cross- country highways, U.S. Route 6, in Bowling Green, Ohio. Your journey in the “past lane” begins as you step into an authentically recreated 1940s era Texaco filling station, featuring an extensive collection of “automobilia” — everything from hood ornaments and window cranks to seat covers, bug remover and backseat touring games. You will continue past an operational, four-bay mechanics’ area where vintage vehicles are repaired, and into a working museum of coin-operated amusements, ranging from pinball and slot machines to a Model-T Kiddie Ride. You won’t want to miss the antique pedal cars, Texaco promotional items or the classic collection of automobile decanters, some still holding their original Jim Beam brew. When you’ve had your fill of these “time machines,” wheel into a spectacular showroom of “Dream Cars” from the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The Snook’s eclectic collection reflects the style and elegance of years past. Displayed in authentic settings, their vintage vehicles will take you back to a 1930s general store, a 1940s stroll through downtown Bowling Green, a 1950s diner, and a 1960s Sebring raceway pit lane. A collection of WWII memorabilia and a Jeep completes the living museum, where all the cars are running, reliable and ready to show. Be sure to visit our gift shop, to take a little bit of history home with you! Learn more here.
You're still here? Why haven't you left yet to make your own Northwest Ohio adventure?? Ok we get it, it takes time, planning and more than just a blog post to get you out the door sometimes, but we do hope that you have enjoyed our Top 25 list and encourage you to stop back again soon to get more inspiring travel ideas at www.visitnorthwestohio.com.
Written by David Thornbury,
Sandusky County Convention & Visitors Bureau