March Archives




Total Eclipse of The Farm

Have a solar-bration at Niederman Family Farm, clouds or shine!

Plenty of family activities will make Eclipse Day a fun time before and after the Total Eclipse of The Farm. And if you can’t make it April 8th, that’s okay; they hope to provide the same family fun in 75 years for the next one. Don’t eclipse that thought! This is a chance to make a memory for a lifetime.

Pinky the Pig says to avoid the crowds, grab a blanket on Niederman’s 210-acre family farm on April 8, 2024, have a picnic, and enjoy the farm fun provided that day, whether the sky is blue or gray. A limited number of tickets are available to ensure every guest can spread out and find their perfect viewing spot around the farm.

While you are at the farm for this astronomical phenomenon, there’s plenty to solar-brate from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm. Admission will include a special pair of commemorative solar eclipse glasses! These glasses meet the requirements for ISO 12312-2:2015 certification.

There are two ticket options for April 8th:

  1. The Eclipse admission will include farm admission with unlimited access to the activities*, a commemorative pair of viewing glasses, and one raffle ticket.
  1. The Total Eclipse admission will include farm admission with unlimited access to the activities*, a commemorative pair of viewing glasses, three raffle tickets, and a solar eclipse snack pack that will include a drink with solar treats.

*Over 20 activities to pass the time will be available and included in the admission: the crowd-favorite jumping pillow, the low ropes course, adult-size trikes, playhouses, swing set, basketball throw, football toss, corn hole, the Barnyard Butt Buster, tire pile, bubble station, barrel train, giant swing, tractor pull, Clucko, bowling, giant yard games, wall ball, gravity chairs, pumpkin toss, 8-hole putt-putt and more!

All guests are encouraged to bring chairs and blankets to spread around the farm, have a picnic lunch, and fly a kite if it’s a windy day! There’s ample parking, restrooms, and concessions on site.

Niederman Family Farm is located at 5110 LeSourdsville-West Chester Road in Liberty Township, Ohio, between Cincinnati and Dayton.

Click here for more details and directions and to purchase tickets while they last.

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Darkness Above & Below Ohio Caverns

Discover Ohio Caverns’ Total Darkness:
An Epic Solar Eclipse Adventure

Calling all Ohio explorers! Get ready for an incredible experience at Ohio Caverns on April 8th. They will host an exclusive event that’s all about embracing ‘total darkness above and below ground’ during the solar eclipse.

Why settle for a typical eclipse viewing when you can make it a full day of fascinating exploration? As the sky darkens, you’ll have a front-row seat to witness the solar eclipse’s mesmerizing and rare display. But here’s where it gets even better – before or after nature puts on its show in the sky, you’ll have the chance to venture into the Historical and Natural Wonder paths of Ohio Caverns.

Think of it as a dual adventure. Above ground, you’ll watch the skies go dark. Below ground, you’ll be exploring an underground world filled with stunning crystal formations that have been forming for thousands of years. Whether you’re a seasoned caver or someone looking for a new experience, this event promises to be unforgettable.

Ohio Caverns invites you to be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime event, so grab your tickets online now. Each ticket includes on-site parking, a tour through the cavern, special edition eclipse viewing glasses, and, for kids 5-12, a gem mining experience. As a special treat, the first 300 guests who get their tickets scanned on April 8th will receive an Ohio Caverns ‘darkness’ lantern as a keepsake. Secure your spot today and prepare to delve into an exciting journey that merges the skies and underground in April! Visit https://ohiocaverns.com/darkness-tour/.

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Are You Afraid of the Dark?

On April 8th in Sidney, Ohio, the moon will totally block the bright rays of the afternoon sun at 3:09 p.m. For nearly the next 4 minutes, the entirety of this small west-central Ohio city will be blanketed by total darkness in what will essentially be the middle of the afternoon. Are you afraid of the dark?

Not since 1806 has a total solar eclipse been visible in Ohio. If you’re wondering, this same celestial event will not occur again in Ohio until 2099. In fact, only 21 times in the history of the United States has a total solar eclipse crossed the lower 48. Sounds like something worth seeing, doesn’t it?

This April 8th, the Great North American Eclipse will travel the continental US from Texas to Maine, when the moon will cast its shadow onto the Earth’s surface. This shadowed area of a total eclipse is known as the “path of totality,” and in Ohio, that path will be 124 miles wide.

Situated on the centerline on the path of totality is Shelby County, where a partial eclipse will begin around 1:54 p.m. Directly on the centerline are the Shelby County villages of Fort Loramie and Botkins, where eclipse enthusiasts will experience a whopping 3 minutes and 58 seconds of total darkness. Sidney, the county seat, is expecting 3 minutes and 52 seconds of eclipse darkness, and just to its north, the village of Anna will find its town dark for 3 minutes and 57 seconds.

Sidney, Botkins, and Anna are ideal viewing locations for several reasons. First, all are conveniently located on I75, making for the easiest possible arrival and departure access for automobiles, trucks, RVs, and campers. Secondly, being on or within a few miles of the centerline makes for optimal viewing if your goal, like most, is to maximize the “total darkness” experience. Nowhere in Ohio will you find a longer period of totality than in the Shelby County villages of Fort Loramie and Botkins.

While in the area, eclipse fans will find plenty to enjoy while leading up to the grand finale on Monday afternoon. The Sidney/Shelby County community has been planning this cosmic weekend for many months. Guests will surely enjoy the attractions, restaurants, and bars, along with camping, eclipse entertainment, and other organized activities.

Of special note, the venue that annually hosts Country Concert, a nationally known music festival, has organized an eclipse experience for campers and lovers of live music. Hickory Hill Lakes offers a three-night experience beginning Saturday, April 6th, and running through Tuesday, April 9th, where guests will enjoy food trucks, great live entertainment on Saturday & Sunday, and a DJ on Monday. No RV | No Problem. D&D RV will deliver, set up, and instruct you on using a rental RV. Deluxe electric and water hookups are available.

The Shelby County Fairgrounds is hosting a Dark Side of the Moon event, offering camping, food trucks, live entertainment, and convenience to many nearby restaurants, bistros, and attractions.

Another fun option is Total Eclipse at the Farm at Vandemark Farm in Sidney. This “agritainment” venue offers zip lines, a giant swing, miniature golf, a petting zoo, a Kids Zone play area, and more.  Perfect for camping & eclipse viewing and located only 2 minutes off I75. Not only is this an easy-on-easy-off highway option, but Vandemark Farm is conveniently located near all area restaurants, attractions, and other points of interest.

Also deserving of attention is the Under the Eclipse event at Lake Loramie State Park. Although both RV and primitive campsites are already sold out, the park is offering food trucks, cold drinks, and live entertainment on Sunday and Monday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., and admission is FREE.

Arrowhead Golf Course near Fort Loramie also hosts a public viewing party plus live entertainment on April 7th and 8th. Guests will enjoy two live bands on Sunday, another live performance on Monday, food trucks each day, a full bar and soft drinks, souvenir T-shirt & Koozie, safe solar viewing glasses, golf course access, indoor restrooms, and more.

On the web site of the Sidney Visitors Bureau, interested “eclipsers” can learn about these events and more planned for the weekend.

Don’t be afraid of the dark. Share the spirit in Sidney, Ohio. Your next adventure begins at VisitSidneyShelby.com.

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It’s SOLARbration Time!

On April 8, 2024, Miami County will be in the path of totality of a solar eclipse! Join us to experience this extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In preparation for the solar eclipse, here is a guide for you of things to do.

What is a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse is nature’s grand celestial spectacle where the Moon aligns perfectly between the Earth and the Sun, casting its shadow on our planet. During a solar eclipse, the Moon’s shadow falls on Earth, obscuring the Sun partially or, in the case of a total solar eclipse, completely.

Safety tip: DO NOT look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed Sun with the naked eye or through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device. DO NOT look at the Sun through an optical device using eclipse glasses or viewers – the concentrated solar rays damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious and potentially permanent injury.

Events during Ohio’s Solar Eclipse

While you are in Ohio for the solar eclipse, enjoy some of the events offered in the heart of Miami County.

An extended weekend SOLARbration at the Fairgrounds

Get ready for an exciting weekend at the Miami County Fairgrounds filled with camping, food trucks, entertainment, and weekend activities. And mark your calendars for Saturday, April 6, for a double feature movie night.

Solar Eclipse Block Party in Tipp City

Fill the streets of Tipp City at the Solar Eclipse Block Party. The evening will be filled with live entertainment, activities for the kids, extra evening hours at the downtown shops, and fantastic dining. Celebrate this cosmic event in Tipp City! This event is free on Saturday, April 6, from 10 am to 10 pm.

A Night in the Stars in Troy

Spend your evening under the stars, jamming to music on the square in downtown Troy. With a variety of delicious food and drink options, exciting activities, and endless fun, you’re sure to have a great time all night long. Plus, the solar eclipse excitement will surely add a special touch to the evening.

A Night in the Stars is on the square in Downtown Troy (the rain location is Hobart Arena). This event is free Sunday, April 7, 4:30-9:30 pm.

The Sun Will Rise Music Festival and Campout

Get ready to witness the mesmerizing solar eclipse at Harmony Farm’s breathtaking 70 acres in Tipp City, Ohio, during The Sun Will Rise Music Festival. You will enjoy live music, bonfires, a lantern glow, a vendor marketplace, food trucks, exploring, and more. Begins Sunday, April 7 at 5:00 p.m.

Eclipse on the Square in Downtown Troy

Get ready to witness the breathtaking eclipse in the heart of downtown Troy! Join Eclipse on the Square for an unforgettable experience as Party Punch rocks the stage with its electrifying performance. At the same time, Ranger Vic creates stunning balloon art right in front of your eyes. And that’s not all! It is on the square in Downtown Troy (the rain location is Hobart Arena). This event is free Monday, April 8, Noon-3:00 pm.

Solar Eclipse Party in the Park

The Solar Eclipse Party in the Park in West Milton is the perfect place to enjoy live music, food, and local shopping while waiting to view the solar eclipse. There will be bounce houses and face painting onsite. Play BINGO with The Lions Club while enjoying the sounds of Mark and Laura Sauers. This event is free Monday, April 8, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm.

Lost Creek Eclipse Experience

We’re thrilled to invite you to the Lost Creek Reserve Experience, where you can enjoy abundant open space for viewing, free eclipse glasses (while supplies last), entertainment, educational children’s crafts, delicious snacks, and exciting activities. This event is free with a charge for parking on Monday, April 8, 12:00-5:00 pm.

Tip: Most events will have glasses available; check before you go. Click here to learn about more events and viewing areas in Miami County.

Places to Stay in Troy, Tipp City, and Piqua, Ohio, during the Solar Eclipse

Miami County, Ohio, offers many places to stay, catering to different budgets and preferences. If you’re looking for comfort and convenience, there are several hotels and motels in the area, including national chains like Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Comfort Inn. If you’re traveling with a group or on a budget, there are also several campgrounds and RV parks in Miami County, such as the Miami County Fairgrounds and WACO Air Museum. Whatever your needs and preferences, you will find a suitable place to stay in Miami County, Ohio.

Click here to learn about all the overnight options for the solar eclipse in Miami County.

Things to Do in Ohio while Visiting during the Solar Eclipse

Visit the WACO Air Museum and Airfield, where innovation and history collide. Tour the buildings filled with WACO memorabilia and a rich history that will engage you! Find yourself at Indian Creek Distillery, an Ohio century farm with an interesting story to tell, all aboard the railroad history at Bradford Ohio Railroad Museum and BF Interlocking Tower, where you can learn about the tracks that once ran through this town. Rev up your engine for a walk through the Gale Halderman Museum, filled with the Ford Mustang story, by appointment only. Get outside for a walk in the park and see the nature center at Brukner Nature Center, stop at the bird displays, and reconnect with the outdoors. Spend the evening inside at Duckpin Bowling at Tipp City Pizza for dinner and a game; check for reservations on this busy weekend.

Miami County Eclipse apparel, stickers, and posters can be found here.

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Underground – A Lost Brew Town

These were the original beer caves!

When modernization rendered the elaborate labyrinth obsolete, there was no practical use for the tunnel system. It was buried and largely forgotten. As old streets were torn up and old buildings were torn down, the crushed brick and concrete pieces were brushed into the vent and drainage systems to fall into the idle caverns below.

Many decades later, like archaeologists excavating a lost city, these tunnels and caverns were slowly chiseled out and cleared. And then, tours took people into the depths to rediscover Cincinnati’s drunk history. Click here to read the rest of the story.

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Play Yoder’s Video

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Enjoy a leisurely day shopping
Yoder’s Bakery and Furniture
Formerly Keim Family Market
in Ohio’s gorgeous
Wheat Ridge Amish Community
in Seaman, Ohio.

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to plan your visit

Yoder’s is a sponsor of OhioTraveler

Tale of Two Packard Museums

Ohio has two Packard automobile museums, one in the northeast and the other in the southwest part of the state.

“Hey there, friend, what can we put you in today?” may echo in both museums.

The National Packard Museum is where the automobile was first invented in Warren, Ohio, by the Packard brothers. Walk around, and the nostalgia and authenticity of Packard’s origin come to life. It’s another chapter of Ohio’s innovation at the turn of the Nineteenth to Twentieth Centuries.

The American Packard Museum boasts the most extensive public collection of Packard automobiles and memorabilia worldwide. The museum is in a former Packard dealership that opened in 1917. It would be an excellent find for Hollywood if a movie needed a scene from a classy auto dealer’s showroom.

Until that happens, know that the museums have acquired their Hollywood stars. An example is the 1948 Henney Landau 3-way Hearse displayed at The American Packard Museum. It was featured in the 1972 movie The Godfather when Vito Corleone (played by Marlon Brando) was taken to the cemetery and buried.

Two shooting stars crossed paths in the 1950s. As Packard was fizzling out, DeLorean was burning red hot. The illustrious and infamous John DeLorean invented the iconic DeLorean car of Back to the Future cinematic fame. During his early career, he worked for Packard. The 28-year-old auto engineer set out to improve  the company’s new “Ultramatic Drive” (automatic transmission).

The Packard Motor Car Company invented several key components of the automobile. These innovations included the steering wheel (cars until then used steering rudders), bumpers, and air conditioning. It was, after all, America’s most luxurious automobile. It was known for its unsurpassed quality and luxury, with a price tag to match it. The first Packard was built by two brothers, James and William Packard, in Warren, Ohio, in 1899. Their company name changed from the Ohio Automobile Company to Packard Motor Car Company a few years later.

Packard autos were a status symbol for their owners, rivaling names like Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce. Celebrities of the 1930s, like Charlie Chaplin, owned a Packard among their collection of glamour toys. That is until the company tried to compete in the mid-market autos in the 1930s. This was in part due to the rise of the Cadillac as America’s new darling in the luxury automobile market. Its overall market share shrinking, the company attempted to remain relevant but ultimately folded. Its last hurrah was merging with another fading favorite, Studebaker. The last Packards made were in the mid to late 1950s.

In its heyday, Packard was a household name even though most households couldn’t afford one, at least until its later years. The Dayton museum features a 1934 Super Eight Sport Phaeton, made special for the New York Auto Show that year. Its color, Orello, was a unique blend of orange and yellow, although this color wasn’t  in the Packard catalog. Its price tag was more than $3,000 when the average new automobile only cost $700. The cost was double the average annual salary and half that of a new house. The story behind this particular car on display is that wealthy parents gifted it to their sweet 16-year-old daughter. She hated the color.

Fun tales like this abound at both museums. Plan a visit to see how high society rolled in America back in the early decades of the Twentieth Century.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

The County Poor House

Upon approach, the old Wood County Infirmary is very inviting. But the stories from within the walls of this “Poor House” are much glummer.

“The Home” as it was called is one of the last county poor houses still standing in Ohio. The main building was constructed in 1868 and housed Wood County’s poor, elderly, orphaned, sick, and mentally ill. Additional buildings were added several years later such as the Pest House and Lunatic House. The Lunatic House was used for the violently insane. The Pestilence House was used to quarantine residents inflicted with infectious diseases.

The former farm’s compound of buildings and structures appear more mansionesque featuring an Italianate influence.

At its center is a brick Victorian Era building, now a museum with over thirty exhibit rooms dedicated to showcasing the history of the Home and of Wood County. Adjacent brick buildings for former residences add an air of warmth along with its two-story sprawling wood porches. The scene is inspirational. And maybe that was the objective.

The elaborate and massive stone fence around the perimeter and its arching stone gateway lead to parklike grounds, including an arboretum. The outdoor park, maintained by the Wood County Park District, offers an herb garden, nature trails, and numerous outdoor points of interest including a working oil derrick and an extensive collection of farm implements.

The Infirmary averaged 80 residents but during The Great Depression, it packed in 140. It operated for over 100 years before finally closing in 1971. Several years later, it opened its doors again as the Wood County Historical Center and Museum. And the Wood County Museum has been providing tours ever since.

For those who enjoy “true crime” podcasts and television exposes, there’s a room at the Wood County Museum dedicated to a story that will not disappoint. And in it is a jar of human remains from a murder victim dating to the 1880s. In short, Carl and Mary Bachman and their three children were having financial stress causing Carl to mortgage their Wood County farm. Turmoil in the marriage resulted in an assault, file for divorce, and custody battle before Carl struck Mary 18 forceful blows with a corn-cutter. She was seven months pregnant.

The tragic story including trial transcripts is meticulously kept.

The severed fingers preserved and kept as evidence by Sheriff George Murray Brown along with curious other “mementos” are telling of the peculiar relationship he and Carl Bach formed during Bach’s incarceration at the jailhouse for two years before being executed by hanging at the county courthouse.

The museum is full of nooks and crannies, each with a fascinating story to tell. Exhibits will explain the history of Ohio’s county poor houses. Inside the Lunatic Asylum, mental illness misconceptions and treatments are explained. Another exhibit explores global disease and social programs pioneering sanitation, bath culture, urban planning, and more. Displayed is a full-body iron lung metal coffin-like contraction used in the treatment of polio and other ailments affecting the breathing of patients. There’s also an original Icehouse on the property. It was built before electric refrigeration and was used to preserve the food for the Infirmary residents.

The permanent and temporary exhibits at the Wood County Museum are described at https://woodcountyhistory.org/exhibits/. Upcoming events are posted to https://woodcountyhistory.org/events/.

Who knew a visit to the poor house could be so rich … in history?

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

Ohio’s Hollywood Prison

They drove along Reformatory Drive, their attention captured by the stone monster flickering through the fence.

One car was smothered amid a hundred bikers, all donning their leather cuts and club patch. The mass of vehicles slowly constricted to turn and enter a time capsule behind the main gate. Ahead was an avenue of buckeye trees emphasizing – “arrival.” It led smack into the prison, looming as an imposing castle.

“How would you like to live across the street from a prison?” A man asked a boy as they walked, gesturing at the houses across the way.

“Living across from a castle would be awesome!” The boy exclaimed, ignoring the leading question.

Everyone stood in awe of The Ohio State Reformatory. No wonder epic films like Shawshank Redemption were shot at this architectural gem in Mansfield, Ohio. With well over 100 years of hellish stories in its vault, it is ironic that this place was originally meant to inspire. Yet, just as easily, its mixture of architectural styles featuring Chateauesque and Richardsonian with Gothic overtones could also intimidate.  … Click here for the rest of the story

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for the FULL multimedia story

Secret Access to the Cupola

Go through a secret door. Ascend the castle-like spiral staircase made of stone. See the interior graffiti wall.

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Take a minute to see the rarely viewed interior of the cupola at the Ohio Statehouse.

Giant Trolls at Aullwood

Three giant trolls made from recycled materials now live among the natural habitats at Aullwood Audubon in Dayton, Ohio, in an exhibit called “The Troll That Hatched an Egg.”

Two of these towering pieces of art are placed subtly in the woodlands. They blend in so well; visitors may be stunned when they come into view. Out on the prairie is one you can see from across the open field at quite a distance. It, too, is a stunning sight. Together, these majestic creatures named Bo, Bodil, and Bibbi tell a story about birds, flight, and why preserving habitats is essential.

The giant trolls are the creation of internationally renowned artist Thomas Dambo. There are only nine other exhibitions of this kind in the country. But this one tells explicitly a story that combines the area’s environment and history of flight.

Dambo is from Copenhagen, Denmark, and is recognized around the globe as a master recycle artist. His giant trolls have been popping up around the world for the past decade. Aullwood’s trio of trolls was created from locally sourced materials. It’s why they blend so well with their surrounding ecosystem. Dead branches in the area made the troll’s nest.

People of all ages are enjoying the opportunity to get out and see such a wonderous imagination come to life among the natural jewel that is Aullwood Audubon. Plan a trip to see “The Troll That Hatched an Egg” at Aullwood.org.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun! 

Ohio’s Lazy River Town

In the old days, moms and dads would gather up the kids and things into the station wagon and go on a Sunday drive to get out of the city, into open spaces, and spend a lazy day together to shed the stress of the rat race in the rearview mirror.

Driving, it’s interesting to note where urban architecture ends, streetlights disappear, and a state route winds between barns that look like they should be in a painting. In this trip, that state route is 52, and it hugs the Ohio River heading east of Cincinnati, offering some beautiful views.

Entering Ohio’s lazy river town… click here for the rest of the story.

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for the rest of the story

The Sky is Now Her Limit

Pieces of Ohio … In Maine

“The Sky is Now Her Limit” by E.A. Bushnell published in Sandusky Star-Herald August 23, 1920.

The top rung reads, “Presidency.”

Click the photo to enlarge and read each rung of the ladder.

Note: The placard under the piece errantly cites “Elmer Busnell” misspelling the last name of Elmer Andrews (E.A.) Bushnell.

Bushnell was a cartoonist who worked at newspapers in Ohio and New York. This piece was created upon the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to represent the opportunities now open to enfranchised women. Source: Google Arts & Culture

Traveling around the country, we often run into “Pieces of Ohio,” so we decided to collect them and bring them home to OhioTraveler.com.

This piece of Ohio was found at the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Mount Desert Island, Maine, by Acadia National Park on what is called “The Quiet Side.” It was a traveling exhibition illustrating the struggle to win women’s right to vote.

By Frank Rocco Satullo, The OhioTraveler, Your Tour Guide to Fun

Ohio Tours and trails

Enjoy over 40 tours and trails!

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Learn about the madcap grocer. Go backstage where legendary acts performed. Get lost in dungeons and caves. Sit behind bars where Shawshank Redemption was filmed. Walk the tunnels under a major city. Drive the clothesline of quilts. And see how things are made from glass to chocolate to baseball bats. Open the doors to imagination and inspiration. Explore Ohio’s tours and trails. All of which are just a daytrip away.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Enjoy 40 Ohio planes, trains and automobile attractions. Oh, and maritime, too!

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Plan a trip to a classic car museum. Take flight into aviation history. Ride the rails of Yesteryear. Or set sail! So, pilot, drive, engineer, or captain your way to Ohio’s transportation destinations. Click here for a ticket to your next journey.

Top 50 Attractions in Ohio

OhioTraveler’s
Standouts in Ohio Tourism

Over the years, we have recognized 50 of the top attractions or destinations in Ohio travel and tourism. In the coming years, we’ll continue our journey until we discover the TOP-100 attractions in Ohio. See 51-100 as they are added over time by clicking here.

Here are our top 50 out of 100 Standouts in Ohio Tourism in no particular order:

Dennison Railroad Depot Museum

Clifton Mill 

Contemporary Arts Center

The American Sign Museum

Great Mohican Pow-Wow

COSI

Bear’s Mill

Historic Sauder Village

African Safari Wildlife Park:

The Toledo Museum of Art

Castle Noel

Toledo Zoo & Aquarium

Rainbow Hills Vineyards

Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival

All American Soap Box Derby

Historic Roscoe Village

Ghostly Manor Thrill Center

Cedar Point

Freedom Center

Hocking Ice

House from a Christmas Story

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Ohio Renaissance Festival

Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens

Cincinnati Union Terminal

Wake Nation

Original Bob Evans Farm

Hartman Rock Garden

Allen County Museum

Warther Museum

Ye Olde Mill

Shadowbox Live

Hocking Hills Canopy Tours

Buckin’ Ohio

USS Cod

Topiary Park

KD Guest Ranch

The Wilds

National Museum of The U.S. Air Force

The RainForest

Ohio State Reformatory

Jungle Jim’s International Market

Lehman’s

West Side Market

EnterTRAINment Junction

Ohio Caverns

The Unusual Junction

Memphis Kiddie Park

For a guide to all Ohio travel and tourism destinations listed on OhioTraveler.com, CLICK HERE.

Attention Ohio Foodie Lovers

Eli’s BBQ in Cincinnati is located in a place that’s not well marked but everyone knows where to go for great-tasting barbeque and atmosphere. It’s in an old river neighborhood a stone’s skip from the Ohio River. When you walk into the weathered building, you first notice the worn wooden floor. On one wall there’s a collection of rock’s finest vinyl records. On another wall, there’s an old stereo system with a turntable spinning records from the collection.

You’ll walk to the counter in the back and order your food. Then, find a seat in the front dining room with the most peculiar art for sale, hanging on the walls. Or you may sit outside or in an adjacent tented eating area. They’ll bring the food to you when it’s ready. The pulled pork, ribs and creamy southern coleslaw are to die for! But there are plenty of other great options to feast on. If you enjoy Jalapeño, try the cheddar grits and cornbread.

Eli’s BBQ has been listed in national top-10 lists for best barbeque and is also available at some Cincinnati area Kroger stores. They also have a stand at the historic Findlay Market for take-out in downtown Cincinnati. Elis is open daily from 11am – 9pm. You’ll find it at (Map It) 3313 Riverside Drive in Cincinnati, Ohio. You may call 513-533-1957 or visit http://www.elisbarbeque.com/.

For more of Ohio’s unique eateries, vsit https://www.ohiotraveler.com/restaurants-eateries/. If you want to suggest a place for our taste buds to determine if it gets added to the list, email scoops@ohiotraveler.com.

By Rocco Satullo, your Tour Guide to Fun

Yep, There’s A Museum for That!

What do trolls, cardboard boats and pencil sharpeners have in common? They each have their own museum in Ohio.

Let’s jump down this rabbit hole to discover another world within our own.

Or maybe a troll hole?

The Troll Hole Museum in Alliance, Ohio displays the world’s largest collection of troll dolls. Explorers of this one-of-a-kind museum will discover the history and creation of troll dolls. And with that, the myth, magic and folklore of the ancient trolls themselves! The museum features rooms containing floor to ceiling trolls. In addition, there’s a troll hunters’ cabin, a walk-through troll cave, treasure room, and even an indoor waterfall. For visitor details, click here.

Diving further down the rabbit hole, maybe your new troll would like a cardboard boat.

The Cardboard Boat Museum in New Richmond, Ohio claims to be the world’s only cardboard boat racing museum and America’s cardboard boat racing capital. The museum is owned and run by some of the best cardboard boat engineers and builders in the country. They are serious about their craft and have built many a winning vessel that’s sailed in cardboard boat regattas all over. These architects will provide tours as well as building tips to give your sea-worthy cardboard an advantage in your next race. The exotic and unusual boats are constructed with only cardboard, duct tape and paint. The displays are ever rotating so visitors keep coming back to see what’s new. Click here for visitor information.

And if you’re not far enough down the rabbit hole, let’s make one last stop at a tiny place with a huge collection.

You’ll discover more than 3,000 pencil sharpeners at Paul’s Pencil Sharpener Museum in Logan, Ohio. Paul Johnson started collecting pencil sharpeners, of all things, in 1989. It is then that his wife, Charlotte, bought him two little metal car pencil sharpeners. This fueled an idea and drove Paul to collect a large number and wide variety of pencil sharpeners. When you take a close look at these miniature art forms, you can appreciate the imagination behind the eclectic collection. It is interesting to hear the excitement of people of every age examining the pieces declaring, “Look at this one” or “Found my favorite.” Heck, there’s even a monster sharpener that belches after devouring pencil shavings. Sharpeners take the form of globes, skateboards, people, animals, you-name-it. For more information on this tiny pleasure, click here.

These three little gems of museums aren’t the only places housing unique displays in Ohio. For more, click here.

Antique & Unique Shopping Trail

Nestled in the foothills of Coshocton County are some of most unique shopping experiences in Ohio. Make plans to visit Coshocton for the newest Vera Bradley purse, vintage glassware, quilting materials, extraordinary home decor, antique furniture, Ohio-made products, and locally made fine art. From Historic Roscoe Village, “over town” to Coshocton, and out into the country, shoppers will find many treasures to take home. Along the way there are cozy places for refreshments during a day in Coshocton County on the new Antique & Unique Shopping Trail.

Being greeted with a smile by the shop owner is one reason shoppers love this trail.

“Upon arrival at the Kozy Kottage Antiques & Gifts, I was  kindly greeted by sisters Debbie Ungurean and Patti Ridenbaugh, ” said Coshocton Visitors Bureau manager, Kelly Florian. “I especially enjoyed the greeting from Patsy Cline, the shop’s dog, who wore a pink bandana and a cute puppy smile.”

The Kozy Kottage has no shortage of treasures your parents and grandparents may have grown up with. Take a step onto their outdoor patio to find unusual terrariums and vintage items of all shapes and sizes. Owners Debbie and Patti recall thrifting when they were younger and found it to be so much fun that they decided to open their very own shop in Coshocton.

“Reclaim. Unique. Salvage.” is Rust Decor’s motto, which captures the essence of the new trail perfectly. Owner Jenny Coffman, along with her family, are breaking barriers with their new shop. Jenny finds discarded and salvage furniture and decorative items and brings them back to life through creative painting and repurposing. Daughter Elle is a young fashion ambassador that has her own ladies clothing line which is also available at Rust Decor.

Roscoe General Store has been making their famous fudge for many years. The shop, located in Historic Roscoe Village, is filled with home decor, toys, cookbooks, & gourmet treats, including homemade apple butter. Set in a beautifully restored 1830s canal town, it is one of many shops on the trail located in Historic Roscoe Village.  Others include The Village Crafter’s Shop, The Cottage Gate, Ohio State of Mind, Canal Cargo, and Abigail Birch & Company.

The Antique and Unique Shopping Trail goes into town and off the beaten path to The Grainery, The Rusty Olde Crow, Treasure Hunt Antiques, Coshocton Antique Mall, Cherokee Trading Post, Mercantile on Main, C&M Collectibles and Unusual Junction.

No day of shopping is complete without at least one stop for good coffee. Coshocton Coffee Connection and Hannah Marie’s Specialty Bakery and Coffee Shop are both darling places to relax and recharge.  For shoppers who want a more formal place to sit down, English Ivy is located in an 1800’s era Victorian house and features a shady outdoor patio.

If 17 shops seems too many to experience in one day, you are invited to stay in one of our many cabins, bed and breakfasts or local hotels. Coshocton Village Inn and Suites features a “Girlfriend’s Getaway” package! For more information, visit www.visitcoshocton.com/.

Sauder Village is a Standout!

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Historic Sauder Village is a standout in Ohio history. This has been a family favorite stop for many over the years. Known as Ohio’s largest living-history village, you are invited to take a step back in time. Authenticity abounds with costumed guides and craftsmen at work. Plenty of hands-on experiences await. In addition to its rich history, it also has delicious food inside the 150 year old Barn Restaurant and dessert at the Doughbox Bakery. Take a stroll through the Village’s 40 shops and historic homes. Spend the night at the campground or in the 98-room country inn. Throughout the year, there are wonderful special events. Click here for more information. 

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This award recognizes Ohio’s standouts in tourism. More details about the award and all award recipients are at ohiotraveler.com/standouts-in-ohio-tourism/.

Ohio Farm Turned Classroom

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Old-fashioned farm tour meets current curriculum standards

Excerpt from a past edition of OhioTraveler.

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Niederman Family Farm meets many of Ohio’s common core requirements for grades K-6.

Agriculture used to be an American way of life, something you just knew. Today, it’s something taught, but not in the traditional sense or classroom – at least not on Niederman Family Farm. Perhaps Southwest Ohio’s largest classroom, this farm opens its 210 acres to busloads of school children every spring and fall so they can learn about a lifestyle all but forgotten, yet still critical to our local and national economy.

Unfortunately, many farming communities have been overrun by suburban sprawl. Niederman Farm is one of the holdouts found between Cincinnati and Dayton. The massive loss of farms across the Midwest has left generations of children removed from the seeds that sowed America since its birth. But the Niederman family is changing that one group at a time.

“We run a working farm and use Agritourism to bring a unique educational opportunity to kids in an entertaining way,” said Bethann Niederman of Niederman Family Farm.

Science and Social Studies are two of the main ingredients the Niedermans work into the educational mix. Science is learned through daily and seasonal changes while food grows and is harvested. It covers the physical and behavioral traits of living things and the need for food, water and shelter.

“The kids flip out over Bessie!” said Brian Garver, Manager at Niederman Family Farm. “She’s a mechanical cow that kids can actually milk. They get to touch live animals in the large and small animal barns, too, as a way to teach basic needs of living things.”

But not to worry parents, every student is required to use the hand sanitizer provided at every station or classroom.

The Science Studies curriculum also features lessons on sun, energy and weather covered in the self-guided pumpkin school and the basic needs of living things.

The Social Studies curriculum covers the generations of heritage farming, food dependence and the farmer’s rainbow (“food pyramid”). Scarcity – the importance of not wasting – is also featured along with a class on production and consumption focusing on community produced goods.

“We cover a lot more than this,” said Garver. “Our web site has a comprehensive list of Common Core requirements we meet shown under the farm tours section.”

Spring and fall are also ideal seasons to get kids out of the classroom to an outdoor setting that still serves as an educational classroom. Both spring and fall tours are currently booking at Niederman Family Farm. To learn more, email niederman@fuse.net.

When the new farmhands are finished with an honest day’s work and have filled their heads with newfound knowledge, a piece of the farm follows them back to their classrooms. Special teaching aids, programs and agri-learning tools prepared in traveling kits for teachers continue the lesson long after leaving Niederman Family Farm.

The Niederman family continues to adapt, educate, entertain and grow memories for school kids every year. As a farming family in its fourth generation, they have a lot of knowledge to share. Three generations of Niedermans currently live and work on the farm. They take pleasure in offering insight to today’s farms as well as a nostalgic look back at farming in America.

Niederman Family Farm is located at 5110 LeSourdesville-West Chester Road in Liberty Township, Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton. Reservations for spring tours are required. Call 513-779-6184, email niederman@fuse.net or visit www.niedermanfamilyfarm.com.