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10 Summer Destinations in Ohio You Can’t Miss

Looking for the ultimate summer getaway without leaving the Buckeye State? Ohio has you covered with some truly amazing spots that will make you feel like you’ve traveled far and wide. Whether you’re a nature lover, thrill-seeker, or just in need of a chill weekend, we’ve got the perfect list of Ohio’s top summer destinations. Ready? Let’s dive in!

Hocking Hills State Park

Ash cave in hocking hills
Photo by Chelsea Wiley

Let’s start with the obvious. Adventure seekers, this one’s for you! Hocking Hills State Park is the ultimate outdoor playground. With its stunning waterfalls, deep gorges, and lush forests, it’s the perfect place for hiking, zip-lining, or even a little bit of spelunking. Don’t miss the picturesque Old Man’s Cave and the breathtaking Ash Cave – your Instagram followers will thank you.

Yellow Springs

yellow springs ohio in summer
via Facebook

For a touch of bohemian charm, head to Yellow Springs. This artsy village is bursting with personality, from its vibrant downtown filled with quirky shops and cafes to the serene Glen Helen Nature Preserve. After exploring the trails, make sure to swing by Young’s Jersey Dairy for some of the best ice cream in Ohio. Trust us, it’s worth the trip!

The Mohicans

mohicans treehouse
via Facebook

Looking to escape the hustle and bustle? The Mohicans is your ticket to tranquility. Nestled in the heart of Amish country, this destination offers unique treehouse cabins that make for a magical stay. Spend your days kayaking on the Mohican River or exploring the local trails, then unwind by a campfire under the stars. Talk about a perfect summer retreat.

Kelley’s Island

kelleys island
Hop on a ferry and discover the laid-back charm of Kelley’s Island. This Lake Erie gem is a paradise for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Explore the stunning Glacial Grooves, rent a bike to tour the island, or just relax on the sandy beaches. And don’t forget to sample the local wine – it’s island time, after all!

The Wilds

people on safari in ohio
Photo by Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Ready for a safari adventure right here in Ohio? The Wilds offers an unforgettable experience where you can see exotic animals roaming free in a natural setting. Take a guided safari tour, zip-line over the landscape, or even spend the night in a luxury yurt. It’s an experience the whole family will rave about.

Lakeside Chautauqua

lakeside chautaqua
via Facebook

If you’re looking for a place where time slows down and life feels like one endless summer day, look no further than Lakeside Chautauqua! This quaint little community on the shores of Lake Erie offers everything from charming cottages to bustling arts festivals. Stroll along the lakefront, catch a classic movie at the Hoover Auditorium, or simply enjoy an ice cream cone while watching the sunset. Pure bliss.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

cuyahoga valley national park kayaking
Photo by E. DeMarco, National Park Service

Nature meets history at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. This national treasure boasts miles of scenic trails, the stunning Brandywine Falls, and even a vintage train ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Whether you’re hiking, biking, kayaking, or just soaking in the views, this park is a summer must-visit.


Photo by James St. John, Wikimedia Commons. (CC-by-2.0)

For a summer party vibe, Put-In-Bay is the place to be. This lively island on Lake Erie is known for its vibrant nightlife, fun festivals, and plenty of water activities. Rent a golf cart to explore the island, visit the historic Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, and dance the night away at one of the local bars. It’s a nonstop good time.

Cedar Point

cedar point at sunset
via Cedar Point (Facebook)

Thrill-seekers, rejoice! Cedar Point, the roller coaster capital of the world, is a bucket-list destination for anyone who loves a good adrenaline rush. With 18 world-class roller coasters and a water park to cool off in, it’s the ultimate summer playground. Don’t forget to grab some classic amusement park treats – funnel cake, anyone?


athens ohio university
via Facebook

Last but not least, Athens is a charming college town with a lot to offer. Explore the picturesque Ohio University campus, hike through the beautiful Strouds Run State Park, and indulge in the local food scene. The Athens Farmers Market is a must-visit for fresh, local produce and handmade goodies. It’s the perfect blend of small-town charm and vibrant energy.

So there you have it, folks – the top 10 summer destinations in Ohio! Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both, these spots have something for everyone. So pack your bags, grab your sunglasses, and get ready for an unforgettable Ohio summer. Happy travels!