25 Famous Landmarks in Ohio State You Must Visit

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Ohio is a dynamic state featuring large cities as well as small towns and villages

Ohio, in the Midwestern United States, is a diverse state with both big cities and quaint villages and towns. If planning a visit, you'll find an array of things to do and attractions to check out.

Luckily, there are also incredible landmarks to see all across Ohio, not just in the big cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati.

What are some famous landmarks in Ohio?

Some famous landmarks in Ohio state include the National Veterans Memorial & Museum, the Pro-Football Hall of Fame, various state parks, and more.

Whether you enjoy nature activities, historical and political attractions, or more modern landmarks, you're sure to find places of interest in Ohio.

If visiting this Midwest state, be sure to see as many of these famous places in Ohio as you can!

  • 25 landmarks

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Ohio Landmarks Map

Using the map of Ohio, you can explore all the landmarks.

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The Fallen Timbers Battlefield marks the site of an American victory in 1794

The Fallen Timbers Battlefield and Fort Miamis National Historic Site, Maumee

Located in Maumee, the Fallen Timbers Battlefield is the site of an American victory over Native Americans and the British. Occurring in 1794, this win at Battle of Fallen Timbers ended the Northwest Indian War and the American Revolution.

When visiting this landmark, there are three areas to explore: the Fallen Timbers Battlefield, Fallen Timbers Monument, and Fort Miamis, which also played a role in the War of 1812. You’ll also have access to resources that teach you more about the history of these sites.

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Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield

The Ohio State Reformatory is one of many interesting famous places in Ohio. The building was a prison from the early 1900s through to 1990.

Today, it’s a museum with exhibits on the building's past as a reformatory. You can also take tours of the building and go on paranormal and ghost hunting tours.

The building has been used as a set for many films too. The most well-known movie filmed here is the Shawshank Redemption. There is even an exhibit in the museum with props from the movie.

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William Howard Taft Historic Site, Cincinnati

Ohio has many historical landmarks, including the William Howard Taft Historic Site in Cincinnati. This building is the birthplace of the 27th US president. William Howard Taft was born here in 1857 and spent his childhood in the home.

The home is now a museum and features exhibits on the politician’s career and personal life. In addition, many of the rooms are styled in the way they would have been when William Howard Taft lived there.

There are also park rangers on-site to offer extra information and explain the exhibits and pieces on display.

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Cincinnati Music Hall, Cincinnati

Cincinnati Music Hall is a National Historic Landmark located in Cincinnati. The theatre was constructed in 1878 and is Cincinnati’s most recognizable landmark.

The exterior of the building is warm red-brick and is designed in a Victorian-gothic style. Inside, you’ll find hand-painted high ceilings and many other ornate details.

Performances to watch include those by the Cincinnati Opera and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. You can also see the ballet and attend special events and concerts.

The Music Hall is additionally home to the May Festival, one of the world’s longest-running choral festivals.

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National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Columbus

Found in Columbus, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum is the US’ national museum for the Armed Forces and veterans. Visiting this museum is the ideal way to honor soldiers and veterans and learn their stories.

Exhibits to see include those highlighting personal experiences, remembering lost soldiers, and explaining the struggle of PTSD in veterans. There is also a 9/11 exhibit honoring and remembering those lost and affected by the tragedy.

This Ohio landmark can be somber at times, but it’s a must-visit to connect with and pay respect to those fighting for the US.

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The white Ohio Statehouse Museum is one of the most famous landmarks in Ohio
The grand Ohio Statehouse Museum is one of the most famous landmarks in Ohio

Ohio Statehouse Museum, Columbus

Found in the state capital of Columbus, the Ohio Statehouse Museum offers a look at the history and importance of politics in Ohio. The Statehouse is the seat of government for Ohio state, and the museum is on the building’s ground floor.

Along with giving background on politics in Ohio, the exhibits act as educational resources. The goal is to encourage visitors to participate in the processes of state governments.

When visiting the Ohio Statehouse, guided tours of part of the building can be arranged. There are also gardens with memorials and statues to explore.

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Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Columbus

If you love exotic plants, then the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is one of the best places to visit in Ohio.

There are over 400 plant species to see, including orchids, tulips, and bonsai trees. You’ll also discover art installations and wildlife like birds and vibrant butterflies.

A range of events get held across the year, too, so make sure you check out the event calendar before visiting. You can even host your own events here in the beautiful scenic setting.

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A Christmas Story House, Cleveland

A Christmas Story House is a 19th-century Victorian home that was used in Ralphie Parker’s movie A Christmas Story. Having been restored to as it was in the film, the house is now open to the public as a museum.

Exhibits feature props, costumes, photos, and memorabilia from the movie. Along with the interesting exhibits, there is a gift shop where you can buy movie merchandise and prop replicas. You can even spend the night in the parts of the house not open to the public.

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a 150,000-square-foot museum devoted to musicians

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland

This landmark has to be on every music lover's Ohio bucket list! The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a 150,000 square-foot museum in Cleveland dedicated to Rock and Roll. Genres from folk-rock to heavy metal as well as blues, jazz, and hip hop are represented.

When visiting, you’ll discover exhibits on rock and roll legends and those featuring clothing, artwork, album covers, and more related to famous musicians. There’s also an area with a live band and a space to play with your own band.

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Room with one black casket and the other covered with a white, red, & blue flag
The James A. Garfield Memorial is the final resting place of the 20th US President

James A Garfield Memorial and Tomb, Cleveland

This memorial and tomb of the United States’ assassinated 20th president is unique as it’s the only memorial to a president to house their casket. Ohio was selected for the memorial as James Garfield was born here in 1831.

Located in Lake View Cemetery, the memorial comprises a two-story gothic tower. The monument also features carvings and plaques providing more history on the president.

You can also enter the tomb and memorial during your visit. The interior features a statue of Garfield, ornately decorated walls and ceilings, and the president’s casket.

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Wooden bridge with yellow and red trees around during autumn
The hiking path to Blue Hen Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Brecksville

Ohio has many amazing national and state parks, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the most popular national parks on the East Coast. Tourists and residents enjoy visiting this urban park to hike and bike.

A well-known hiking path here is the Towpath Trail. This trail is a restored section of the Ohio and Erie Canal towpath. Brandywine Falls is another favored attraction here, and there is also a moderately easy trail to the falls.

When exploring the park and enjoying the forest views, you may spot wildlife like deer, woodchucks, and beavers.

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Hocking Hills State Park has many attractions, like Ash Cave and Cedar Falls

Hocking Hills State Park, Logan

Hocking Hills State Park is a much-loved park in Ohio. The park has incredible scenery, including tall cliffs, multiple waterfalls, and gorges. It’s a nature and hiking lover's paradise!

Popular attractions to hike include Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, and Cedar Falls. Conveniently, there are trails for all activity levels so everyone can enjoy this incredible state park.

In addition to excellent hiking options, the park features many quaint cabins, meaning you can spend the night surrounded by nature. Mountain biking, fishing, and boating are some other activities to try at Hocking Hills State Park.

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Huffman Prairie Flying Field is where the Wright Brothers built the first airplane

Huffman Prairie Flying Field, Dayton

Huffman Prairie Flying Field is part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. This landmark is notable as it’s where the Wright brothers work on the first motor-operated flight.

The brothers’ first flight took place in a town on the Outer Banks, North Carolina. However, Huffman Prairie Flying Field is where all the work leading to that momentous moment was undertaken.

A well-known sight to see here is the Wright Flyer III, which was the third-powered aircraft the Wright brothers built. You’ll also have access to resources to learn about aviation history while visiting.

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Wright Cycle Company Shop, Dayton

The Wright Cycle Company Shop is another Ohio landmark found at Dayton Aviation National Historical Park. Again, this attraction relates to the Wright brothers. This complex houses the bicycle business that the Wright brothers owned and is a National Historic Landmark.

The site is of significance as manufacturing and repairing bikes here is what gave the brothers the know-how to start working on powered aircraft. You’ll also find the brothers' printing shop in this area of the complex.

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Paul Laurence Dunbar House, Dayton

Paul Laurence Dunbar was a notable poet active during the late 1800s. Having been born in Dayton to freed slaves, he became one of the first influential African-Americans in US literature.

To learn more about this notable literary figure, you can visit Paul Laurence Dunbar House. The poet lived here between 1904 and 1906 when he passed away.

During this time, he wrote some of his most influential works. Visitors can explore the home and learn more about Paul Laurence Dunbar’s life and poetry.

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The National Museum of the US Air Force is the largest aviation museum in the world

National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton

Located at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, this Ohio Landmark is the official museum of the United States Air Force. It also holds the title of being the largest and oldest aviation museum in the world.

The National Museum of the US Air Force features over 350 aircraft and missiles. All exhibits also provide background information on the planes and weaponry.

Aircraft on display include those used in WWI, WWII, and the Cold War, as well as more modern aircraft. There are also exhibits on the Wright brothers and space travel.

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Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Akron

The Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens are a stunning stately home and garden in Akron. The home was constructed in 1915 for the founder of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Stan Hywet Hall has 65 rooms and a carriage house. It’s the sixth-largest house in the US that’s open to the public.

Visitors can wander around the house and take in its history and beauty. The gardens are also open to the public and feature manicured lawns, pretty flower gardens, and rustic vegetable plots.

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Cedar Point Amusement Park is the country's second-oldest amusement park

Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sandusky

Cedar Point Amusement Park is one of the best places to visit in Ohio. This theme park opened in 1870, making it the second-oldest amusement park in the United States. Being located right on Lake Erie, you can admire fantastic views as you explore the park.

Visitors to the park ride 18 roller coasters along with enjoying a range of other rides. There is also an 18-acre waterpark with an array of fun waterslides. Having spent an exciting day discovering the amusements, you can spend the night at an on-site hotel or the Cedar Point Resort.

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Saxton McKinley House, Canton

This historical Ohio landmark was named after former first lady Ida Saxton McKinley as she formerly lived there. It’s also known as the First Ladies National Historic Site and is operated by the National Park Service.

Today, the Victorian building is home to the National First Ladies Library. The exhibits here document the accomplishments of all of the United States’ first ladies and some other notable females in US history. You can also tour the entire home with a guide who will offer more background on Ida Saxton McKinley.

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Pro-Football Hall of Fame, Canton

Home to all things NFL and American Football, the Pro-Football Hall of Fame is one of Ohio’s prized landmarks. The museum features interactive games, memorabilia like Super Bowl rings, and the Bronzed Bust Gallery with statues of American Football legends.

There is also history on NFL Hall of Fame members with new inductees added every year. You can additionally find exhibits on all NFL teams to learn more about your favorite.

Before you leave, be sure to grab some team gear at the gift shop stocked with merchandise from all 32 teams.

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Thomas A Edison Birthplace Museum, Milan

Most people don’t know that American inventor Thomas Edison was born in Ohio in a town called Milan. Those visiting Ohio will learn more about the inventor’s early years at the Thomas A Edison Birthplace Museum.

The small brick house stands almost as it was when Edison was born in 1847. Inside, you’ll find the museum featuring Edison’s early inventions as well as items belonging to his family. A tour guide is also on-site to offer more background on the house, the items displayed, and Edison himself.

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Buffington Island Battlefield Memorial Park, Portland

Of the many historic landmarks in Ohio, Buffington Island Battlefield is one of the only ones related to the Civil War. The battle at Buffington Island was the only significant one during the US Civil War.

Notably, a primary fighter for the Union Army, Major Daniel McCook, died in battle here, and there is a plaque in his memorial. There is also a battlefield monument commemorating the fight and its importance in the eventual Union victory.

Along with viewing these memorials, you can explore the park and learn more about this battle’s role in the war.

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A white coast guard station with a small dock overlooking a lake during sunset
Lake Erie borders four states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio

Lake Erie

Lake Erie is one of the United State’s five Great Lakes. Despite covering 871 miles of shoreline, it’s the smallest of the Great Lakes.

This renowned lake borders four states: Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ohio. A trip to Lake Erie is a popular activity with residents and tourists who visit to fish, boat and relax on its banks.

You’ll also discover many quaint towns around the lake. These are perfect for exploring and finding a charming cabin or B&B to stay at. Vermillion, Ohio, is a particularly famous Lake Erie town worth checking out.

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Silhouette of a bridge over a tranquil river during a beautiful sunrise
The Ohio River, which runs through five states, is the tenth longest river in the US

Ohio River

The Ohio River is another of the notable geographical landmarks in Ohio. This river is 981-miles long and is the third-largest river by volume in the United States.

It's also the tenth longest river in the US. Despite being named the Ohio River, the river runs through five other states, including Illinois and Pennsylvania.

You can see the river in many cities in Ohio. No matter where you visit, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to view it and walk along its banks.

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White boat on a canal under a bridge, surrounded by green trees on a foggy day
The Ohio and Erie Canal was built in the 1820s

Ohio and Erie Canal

This canal system was constructed in the 1820s, primarily as a way to connect Akron with the Cuyahoga River. It also serves as a way to connect Lake Erie with the Ohio River.

The canal was highly effective at increasing economic prosperity in the state of Ohio. It was one of the first transport systems to easily and cheaply connect larger cities in Ohio to those that were less accessible.

Today, the canal is still in use. Biking or hiking the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail is a popular activity for residents and visitors.

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In Conclusion

Ohio is an exciting state packed full of things to do and places to see. Many of the famous landmarks in Ohio are found in populated cities like Cleveland and Columbus.

However, you'll also discover attractions in smaller cities across the state. This means that wherever you're visiting in Ohio, there'll likely be some incredible landmarks to check out.

Although this list just scratches the surface of the many amazing attractions in Ohio, it covers those most popular with tourists. Hopefully, the guide will help you plan a memorable visit to this Midwest state and ensure you don't miss any top sights!

This article was edited by Loredana Elena.

Written by Alli Sewell

allisewell WRITER Currently based in Canada, I've also lived and worked in the UK and Brazil and travelled in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. I love finding the best photo-ops and food and drink locations wherever I go!

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