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Ohio holidays

Bordered by Lake Erie to the north and the wide sweep of the Ohio River along its southern border, it’s not hard to see why the state of Ohio is known as ‘The Heart of it All’. This is a state boasting all the ingredients that have made the USA what it is today, from sporting legends to presidents, inventors to writers and artists. You’ll also find plenty of other surprises here including some of the world’s scariest rollercoasters.

Ohio’s cities offer history, nightlife and often a spectacular waterfront setting. Take Cincinnati, located at the confluence of the Licking and Ohio Rivers, where you can still wait on the shore for a real paddle steamer to appear around the bend. An hour to the east, Cleveland sits on the shores of Lake Erie and represents a pilgrimage for pop fans wanting to visit the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in the city where Rock n’ Roll was coined.

Then there’s state capital Columbus, where you can admire the monuments to Ohian born US presidents on the Statehouse lawn. Northwest of Columbus, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta pays tribute to Ohioan astronaut Neil Armstrong. In fact, it seems like the people of Ohio have always liked to travel in style, from the Wright Brothers to the inventors of ‘The Beast’, America’s longest wooden rollercoaster, which you can find at Paramount’s Kings Island in Mason.

But it’s not all high speed on holidays to Ohio. For a more laid back pace you can head for the Lake Erie islands for a spot of fishing and wine tasting. Or why not visit the world’s largest Amish community, who live on rural communities between Columbus and Cleveland, farming and woodworking without modern appliances. Perhaps, you might just prefer to relax with a drink in one of Cincinnati’s German style beer gardens and plan your next Ohioan adventure.

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If you like your theme park rides to be of the white knuckle variety then Ohio is the place for you. Along with Kings Island, the largest amusement and waterpark in the US, there's also Cedar Point in northern Ohio, which has been voted the best theme park in the world not once, but eight times in a row. Here you’ll find 'coasters with ominous sounding names like 'Iron Dragon', 'Millennium Force' and 'Wicked Twister': Not for the fainthearted.

Rock N' Roll

The pyramid shaped Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame opened in 1995, around 40 years after DJ Alan Freed popularised the term 'rock n' roll' on local radio station WJW. Permanent exhibits at the museum include John Lennon's Sergeant Pepper uniform, one of Elvis Presley's custom made motorbikes, Stevie Wonder's harmonica and Jimi Hendrix's guitar.

Up, Up And Away

Taking to the skies is something Ohians have been doing for over a century. Along with the Armstrong Air and Space Museum, there’s also the National Museum of the US Air Force which is home to more than 300 missiles and aircraft from the Wright Brothers to the present day. This museum has a fitting home outside Dayton, where the famous brothers ran a bike shop and in 1904, swapped cycling for aviation.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

With the southern state of Kentucky just across the river, Cincinnati was very much caught up in the issue of slavery in the 19th century. Local resident Harriet Beecher Stowe was so moved by the stories she heard that she incorporated them into her world-famous novel. You can visit the author’s former home in the city, or take a tour around the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, offering a vivid history of slavery in the United States.

Five Way Chilli

Ohio is in the heart of the US Corn Belt, but there are far more exciting things to eat here than corn. German and Polish influences have led to dishes like Goetta (a breakfast dish made of oats and ground pork fried on a griddle) and Kielbasa (traditional Polish sausage). But you shouldn’t leave the state without trying Cincinnati chili, served three, four or five ways depending on the toppings you’d like - or buckeye candy, made of peanut butter dipped in chocolate and named for the Buckeye State.

Fly Drive Holiday: Great Cities of the Great Lakes

Chicago – Green Bay – Marquette – Traverse City – Detroit – Toronto – Niagara Falls (Ontario) - Erie – Cleveland – Nappanee - Chicago

Starting out from Blues capital Chicago, enjoy a fly drive tour through the Great Lakes region, stopping in famous US cities and dipping briefly into Canada to visit Toronto and Niagara Falls.
Click here for more details​


Time Difference:
GMT - 5 hours

Closest Airport:
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (approx. 12 and 30 minutes - indirect).

Getting around:
Get out and explore Ohio’s cultural cities, hair-raising theme parks and rural playgrounds. Car hire is available from £21 per day.

Insider Tip:
For a taste of true Americana, visit Ohio’s State Fair in Columbus which runs for 10 days at the end of July into August. It’s reputedly the largest state fair in the country.

You’re going to need an ESTA:
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.




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