Vacation spots Near Ohio
Cleveland skyline (Photo: cleveland skyline image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com )
Ohioans have several options to consider for vacations within 500 miles of home. Depending upon which section of the state you live in, vacation options abound in the entire Ohio River Valley, and many states west, south, as far north as Canada, and as far east as the coast - and everyplace in between.
Door County, Wisconsin
There's no need for Ohioans to travel all the way to New England for a Cape Cod vacation. They are easily within 500 miles of Door County, Wisconsin, known as "the Cape Cod of the Midwest." The county's 300 miles of shoreline on Lake Michigan consists of a peninsula and islands and features beaches, parks, 10 lighthouses, and Sturgeon Bay Ship Canal and Coast Guard Station. Locals and visitors engage in geocaching all over the county for prizes. Boating, scuba diving, fishing and other water sports are in abundance. Tours of the county include winery tours, the Door County Trolley and a ferry trip to Washington Island for a tour on the Cherry Train. Performance arts, visual arts and museums are plentiful.
The nation's capitol is always a favorite destination, particularly for families and history buffs. The Smithsonian museums can keep visitors occupied for their entire trip, as can the numerous memorials, government buildings, Library of Congress and National Archives. Don't miss the International Spy Museum and Madame Toussaud's Wax Museum. Some tours for visitors include Monuments by Moonlight, Old Town Trolley Tour, City Segway Tours, Tourmobile Sightseeing, and Spirit Cruises on the Potomac. Don't forget the National Gallery of Art, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. And all this is only the beginning of what there is to see and do in Washington, D.C. Amtrak has a daily route from Toledo and Cleveland to D.C., and another from Cincinnati, for travelers who prefer not to drive.
History is everywhere in this city where America's independence from England was born. The National Constitution Center, Independence National Historic Park, Valley Forge National Historic Park and Lights of Liberty are must-sees for first-time visitors. Kids and adults enjoy the Franklin Institute with its interactive exhibits on everything from weather and electricity to the human heart to space exploration. Outdoor enthusiasts have trail, parks horseback riding and boating opportunities.
St. Louis, Missouri
Cross the Mississippi River and visit the Gateway to the West - St. Louis, and its symbolic Gateway Arch. Visitors can ride to the top of the arch and see the exhibits inside, along with the Museum of Westward Expansion. The Anheuser-Busch Brewery gives tours of how it makes its famous Budweiser beer. Animal lovers won't want to miss the Clydesdales at the brewery, St. Louis Zoo, Purina Farms and Grant's Farm, owned by the brewery, which was once farmed by former president Ulysses S. Grant, and has more than 900 animals of 100 different species. Sports aficionados will be occupied at St. Louis Cardinals, Rams and Blues games. Kids love Six Flags Over St. Louis, and music buffs won't want to miss touring ragtime composer Scott Joplin's home.
Nashville is a must for country music lovers who want to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry. The city tourism bureau offers vacation packages for families, special events, music, arts and culture and even a package you can design yourself. Trolleys, river cruises and horse-drawn carriages are fun ways to see the city. The home of President Andrew Jackson, the Hermitage, is in Nashville.