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What Is the State of Ohio Known For & Famous For?

If you’re looking for a state to travel to this summer, Ohio might be one to consider putting at the top of your list. Located in the Great Lake region, Ohio is one of America’s best-kept secrets in terms of beautiful scenery. With several major cities all over the state, Ohio is home to dozens of booming industries and plenty of fun activities.


The state of Ohio is known for its rich musical history, fantastic sports teams with passionate fans, and booming energy industry. Ohio also has hundreds of miles of beautiful trails and booming professional and cultural scenes. Ohio is a great destination if you’re looking to travel within the United States.


This article will go through all the things that Ohio is known for and outline different destinations you can visit in this gorgeous state. No matter what you’re interested in, you’ll find something to do in Ohio.



Musical History

States like California and Tennessee are well-known for their ties to the music industry, but Ohio has just as rich and interesting a music scene as both of these states! In fact, Ohio is home to one of the most famous rock and roll sites in the world: the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.


Rock stars like Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders, and John Legend are all from Ohio. (You may remember the Pretenders’ song “My City Was Gone,” where Hynde repeatedly says that she’s gone “back to Ohio.”)


Not only do all these rock stars hail from Ohio, but there are also dozens of destinations for a music fan in Ohio! Ohio will have something for you whether you want a rock concert, a classical performance, or a museum experience.



Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

This isn’t just a spot for rock music fans, but any fan of popular music! Found in downtown Cleveland, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has cool exhibits for a fan of any genre of music. Find out what else the city of Cleveland is known for here


If you want to see a Les Paul guitar collection or Phish’s flying hot dog, you’ll find both of those exhibits there. If you want to see Lady Gaga’s outfits from the “Bad Romance” music video or Michael Jackson’s famous bejeweled glove, both of those can be found at the Hall, too. If you’re not a huge music fan walking into the Hall of Fame, you’ll have plenty of new artists to discover walking out.


Unfortunately, the Hall’s annual ceremony isn’t usually held at the Hall itself, but in the  Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC. Occasionally, though, the ceremony returns to Cleveland.  Keep your eye out for an announcement from the Hall if you’re interested in attending.



Cincinnati Music Hall

The Cincinnati Music Hall is a gorgeous gothic building, which was renovated as recently as 2017 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. You can see many events and musicians there, including the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra and the Cincinnati Opera.


There are also plays, ballets, and other events that take place there. Check the Hall’s ticket page to see what their next event is.


Even if you can’t fit a show in on your list of things to do, make sure to visit the music hall just to get a good look at its impressive awning.


Find out what other interesting things Cincinnati is known for here.


Newport Music Hall

This music venue is in Columbus, OH, and boasts several claims to history. Opened in 1921, it’s the longest continually running rock club in the US. It’s also the last venue in the US where music legend John Lee Hooker performed.


The Newport Music Hall is a must-see for any music fan passing through Ohio. 


Discover what else Columbus is known for here



Sports Teams

If you’re not a music fan, but love seeing a sports game of any time, you’re in luck! Ohio has some great sports teams but also some powerful fan bases. Go to a sports bar in Cincinnati and hang out with the city’s great fans, or go to a game and get ready to cheer your heart out.


Don’t be fooled just because Ohio doesn’t have any major championships to its name. This state has an underdog team spirit that will put any other team to shame.


For the most part, Ohio has two cities with major sports teams: Cleveland and Cincinnati. If you’re used to having to drive five or six hours to get to your sports team, that can be nice. No matter which side of the state you’re on, you’ll be able to find a game to attend.


Baseball: Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians

The Reds are a Cincinnati-based baseball team. They play at the Great American Ball Park and are in the National League. The Indians play at Cleveland’s Progressive Field in the American League.


Buy tickets for Reds games here and Indians games here.


Football: Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns

If you have kids who aren’t sports fans, they may find baseball a little too slow to keep their attention. Football is a little more action-packed than baseball, so you may prefer to take your family to a football game.


The other major teams in Ohio are football teams! Just like the baseball teams, Ohio has one in Cincinnati and one in Cleveland. The Bengals play in downtown Cincinnati’s Paul Brown Stadium. The Browns play at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland.


Buy tickets for Bengals’ games here and Browns’ games here.


Basketball: Cleveland Cavaliers

If you and your vacation crew prefer basketball, don’t miss a Cleveland Cavaliers game. The Cavaliers have only existed since 1970, but they’re one of the most exciting NBA teams to watch. The Cavs play at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, and you can buy tickets here.


Ice Hockey: Columbus Blue Jackets

Rather than being located in Cleveland or Cincinnati, the Blue Jackets call Columbus home, which sits right in the heart of the state. Another young team, the Blue Jackets, formed in 2000. Get tickets to a Blue Jackets game here.



Trails and the Great Outdoors

If you love being in nature and hiking, Ohio has no shortage of wildland for exploring. Go camping with your family, or just take a quick nature walk through a national park.


Here are a couple of the most well-known natural areas in Ohio.



Buckeye Trail

Believe it or not, Ohio is home to the longest loop trail in the United States. The Buckeye Trail is 1,444 miles (2,324 kilometers) long.


The trail goes around the whole state of Ohio, so no matter where you are, you’ll be able to access some part of the trail. (If you’re in the dead center of the state, you may have to do some driving, unfortunately.) There are campsites, supply stores, and beautiful views all along the trail, so you can choose any section to follow.


The trail is marked by “blue blazes,” or small but highly visible blue markings on the trees as the trail goes on. Check out the Buckeye Trail’s website for more information on how to tell what the blue blazes mean!



Cuyahoga Valley National Park

This National Park is over 50 square miles (129 square kilometers) large and is very near the city of Cleveland.


For a beautiful natural landmark, visit the park’s Brandywine Falls, which has a veil-like appearance and is surrounded by maple trees. You can take a canoe or kayak onto the Cuyahoga River, which is also in the park. There are also restored farming and rural homes on the land, so you can get a glimpse of how settlers lived over 100 years ago.



Of course, people who love hiking can choose to take one of the many trails that the Cuyahoga Valley is home to. Portions of the Buckeye Trail run through this area and the Towpath Trail and the Kendall Lake Area trails.


Make sure you take a physical map to any hiking trail and plenty of water, food, and extra layers!


Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

To experience a completely different, beautiful thread through Ohio’s cultural history, Hopewell Culture National Park is one of Ohio’s best-kept secrets. This area has enclosures called “sacred mounds,” which are simply grassy mounds shaped like small hills or even in geometric patterns. According to the National Park Service, these mounds were used for rituals and rites of passage in American Indian culture.  


Hopewell Culture is about an hour south of Columbus. If you’re anywhere near this area, you’ll want to see these fascinating relics.




Maybe you’re moving to Ohio and are wondering what kind of careers are available there. Ohio has strong energy and agricultural industries, as well as many other satellite industries surrounding them.


Here’s what the energy and agricultural industries look like in Ohio:




Perhaps Ohio’s biggest industry is its energy industry. According to CNN, Ohio is currently the second in the nation in solar manufacturing and will soon have the biggest solar factory in the world besides China.


According to Wikipedia, the state is nicknamed the “Fuel Cell Corridor” of the country. It is home to some of the largest energy companies in the US, including American Electric Power and Marathon Petroleum Corporation.  


Ohio is also a major producer of ethanol, which this article will explore a little bit more below. Ohio could be the place for you if the energy industry is a space you’re interested in.




According to Ohio’s Secretary of State website, Ohio has many agricultural claims to its name. Believe it or not, Ohio is the second in the US in egg production. It’s also the first in the production of swiss cheese and third in pumpkins and tomatoes. That’s a lot of food coming out of Ohio!


Ethanol is another major industry in Ohio, which uses corn to create fuel. According to Ohio Corn Education, 40% of corn grown in Ohio is used for ethanol production, but 33% of this corn is returned to the market as animal feed. That’s a lot of corn changing hands and a lot of opportunities for jobs.


In short, Ohio is one of the best states in the United States for agriculture.



Colleges & Universities

Ohio is full of prestigious universities. Students interested in nursing, agriculture, or engineering will find a great program at one of its undergraduate or graduate schools. Here’s a brief rundown of some of Ohio’s higher education offerings and what they specialize in:



Those are by no means the only colleges in the state! If you’re willing to do some searching, you’ll find a program in Ohio that’s perfect for you.



Final Thoughts

Ohio has so much to offer for tourists and residents alike, with a bustling music scene, strong energy and agricultural industries, and beautiful outdoor attractions. The sports teams in Ohio have strong fan bases that will make going to games fun even if you’re not a sports fan. Whether you’re a tourist or local, you’ll find plenty to do no matter where you are in the state.  

If you find yourself on the other side of the state, keep in mind that Cincinnati and Cleveland, located in opposite corners of Ohio, are only a four-hour drive away from each other!


If you’re visiting the Ohio area be sure to check out this book of day trips to plan our trip efficiently!