Believe it or not, Ohio is emerging as quite the tourist destination. Our tourism industry has grown into quite a powerhouse, contributing significantly to the Ohio’s economy.
With a staggering $38 billion industry, Ohio welcomed an impressive 201 million visitors in 2021, many of whom were within a day’s drive – a testament to the state’s central location. The allure of Ohio extends beyond day trips, with 34 million visitors choosing to stay overnight, contributing three times more to the economy than their day-tripping counterparts.
In terms of economic impact, day visitors spend around $106 per person, while overnight guests substantially boost the local economy by spending an estimated $327 per person. The tourism sector is also a key player in job creation, supporting approximately 378,000 jobs, encompassing full-time, part-time, and seasonal positions.
All of that is to say that tourism is booming here in the Buckeye state, and we’ve got the data to prove it. Ohio takes a lot of heat for not being cool, but the reality is that hundreds of millions of people are visiting every year and that number is only expected to grow.
To curate this list of the 15 Most Popular Tourist Attractions, we turned to the discerning reviews on TripAdvisor, offering you a guide based on the firsthand experiences of fellow explorers. Let’s dive right in.
National Museum of the US Air Force
About: The National Museum of the US Air Force is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts. As the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world, it boasts a vast collection of aircraft and missiles, along with engaging exhibits about the history and technology of air and space flight.
Location: 1100 Spaatz St, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433
More info: National Museum of the US Air Force
Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
About: Celebrating the history and cultural significance of rock and roll, this museum is a pilgrimage site for music lovers. It features memorabilia from legendary artists, interactive exhibits, and detailed stories about the evolution of this iconic genre.
Location: 1100 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44114
More info: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Cleveland Museum of Art
About: This internationally renowned museum offers a vast collection that spans 6,000 years of world art, including Asian, European, American, African, and ancient art, along with contemporary pieces. It’s known for its high-quality exhibitions and is free to the public.
Location: 11150 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106
More info: Cleveland Museum of Art
About: Often dubbed “The Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” Cedar Point is an adrenaline-pumping amusement park with a record-breaking number of roller coasters. The resort is home to 69 rides, including exhilarating attractions like the new Top Thrill 2™, Steel Vengeance® and Millennium Force®, the Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, family-friendly shows, delicious dining, a mile-long beach, on-site hotels and more.
Location: 1 Cedar Point Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870
More info: Cedar Point
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
About: One of the oldest zoos in the United States, it’s home to over 1,800 animals and offers a variety of educational programs. The botanical garden adds a scenic touch, making it a delightful visit for nature and animal lovers. Plus a visit will get you the chance to see the world’s most famous (and adorable) hippo, Fiona.
Location: 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220
More info: Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
West Side Market
About: A culinary and historical gem in Cleveland, the West Side Market, with its origins dating back to 1840, is the city’s oldest publicly owned market and a beloved destination for over a million visitors annually. The market offers an ethnically diverse array of over 100 vendors, selling everything from fine meats to fresh flowers, and even ready-to-eat treats.
Location: 1979 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113
More info: West Side Market
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
About: This world-class zoo and aquarium are recognized for their conservation efforts and educational programs. With a wide range of animals and aquatic life, it provides an engaging experience for visitors of all ages. Plus, you can totally hand feed giraffes.
Location: 4850 W Powell Rd, Powell, OH 43065
More info: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
A Christmas Story House
About: Fans of the classic film “A Christmas Story” will love this attraction, which is the actual house used in the movie. Visitors can tour the house and relive their favorite moments from the film.
Location: 3159 W 11th St, Cleveland, OH 44109
More info: A Christmas Story House
Easton Town Center
About: A dynamic shopping, dining, and entertainment destination, Easton Town Center offers a vibrant mix of upscale boutiques, popular retailers, and diverse culinary options. It’s a great place for a leisurely day out.
Location: 160 Easton Town Ctr, Columbus, OH 43219
More info: Easton Town Center
Great American Ball Park
About: Home of the Cincinnati Reds, this ballpark offers a classic American baseball experience. Fans can enjoy the games, learn about the team’s history, and soak in the spectacular views of the Ohio River.
Location: 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
More info: Great American Ball Park
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
About: This horticultural and educational institution showcases exotic plant collections, special exhibitions, and a landmark 1895 glasshouse. It’s a peaceful retreat that offers seasonal displays and art installations, including a variety of stunning works by Chihuly.
Location: 1777 E Broad St, Columbus, OH 43203
More info: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Hocking Hills State Park
About: Known for its stunning natural scenery, Hocking Hills State Park features waterfalls, cliffs, gorges, and hiking trails. It’s a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore Ohio’s natural beauty.
Location: 19852 State Route 664 S, Logan, OH 43138
More info: Hocking Hills State Park
Pro Football Hall of Fame
About: A shrine to the greatest players, coaches, and contributors in professional football, this museum offers interactive exhibits, historic memorabilia, and celebrates the sport’s impact on American culture.
Location: 2121 George Halas Dr NW, Canton, OH 44708
More info: Pro Football Hall of Fame
About: One of the largest conservation centers in North America, The Wilds is home to rare and endangered species from around the globe. It offers unique experiences like safari tours and zip-lining, making it a thrilling visit for wildlife enthusiasts. If you’re interested in planning an extended visit, you can even rent yurts on the property overlooking the savannah.
Location: 14000 International Rd, Cumberland, OH 43732
More info: The Wilds
Cincinnati Museum Center
About: Housed in the historic Union Terminal, this complex includes museums focusing on history, science, and children’s themes. It’s an educational and entertaining destination for visitors of all ages and the rotunda in the museum will blow you away.
Location: 1301 Western Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45203
More info: Cincinnati Museum Center