Columbus Skyline (Image Credit: Cody Ellis)

5 Hidden Treasures of… Ohio

Columbus Skyline (Image Credit: Cody Ellis)

Columbus Skyline (Image Credit: Cody Ellis)

I asked a few of my friends from other states what they thought of when Ohio comes to mind. Their answer was something along the lines of: “Uhm, you?” The fact of the matter is, not a lot of people think much about the mid-west treasure that is Ohio, especially when it’s not an election year. Born and raised in Southern Ohio, I know better than to skip passed this amazing state of food, adventure and beauty. Though there are many more than five, here are my favorite parts about Ohio that most people don’t know exist. 

Cedar Falls

When people think of Ohio, often times they don’t think of the amazing hiking trails it has to offer. Located in Southern Ohio, Hocking Hills State Park offers an amazing trail that leads you to a gorgeous waterfall. While walking the trail you’re surrounded by cliffs and caves to explore. My best advice? Hike this trail during autumn. Not only will you have great weather conditions for this kind of excursion, but you’ll also be surrounded by the brilliant colors of the season on the way to this Ohio treasure.

Franklin Conservatory (Image Credit: Vasenka Photography)

Franklin Conservatory (Image Credit: Vasenka Photography)

Franklin Park Conservatory

This is one of my absolute favorite places to visit. Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin Park Conservatory has multiple biomes that you can visit. When you step inside, you literally feel like you’re inside the rainforest, the desert and many others. My personal favorite is the Pacific Island Water Biome, as hundreds of friendly butterflies fly freely throughout the space and land on you without warning. I consider it one of the most underrated places in Ohio.

Cincinnati Skyline Chili

Now, right off the bat I need to tell you that Skyline Chili is not like the chili you are used to eating. Rather, this style of chili is often served over hotdogs, spaghetti or as a kind of chip dip here in Ohio. It may sound a little strange, but trust me; once you’ve had a taste you won’t be able to get enough. It was founded by the Greek immigrant Nicholas Lambrinides in 1949, and has since been a staple here in Ohio. I suggest the next time you’re in this area you treat yourself to the signature Cincinnati Skyline Chili cheese coney. You’ll thank me later.

Short North Arts District (Image Credit: Scott Teresi)

Short North Arts District (Image Credit: Scott Teresi)

Short North Arts District

No matter the city or the state, I am always excited when I come across a location that showcases local art, music, food and boutiques. The Short North in Columbus, Ohio does all of that in one street. As you walk around, you get a feel for multiple cultures and tastes, and have the opportunity to be exposed to one-of-a-kind galleries, restaurants and music venues. The first Saturday of every month is called the Gallery Hop on the Short North, where most galleries and stores stay open late to showcase their products. The streets are lined with performers and vendors, and are full of life and excitement. This is an experience you can only get right there, and you shouldn’t miss out on!

South Bass Island

Ohio isn’t the place you would associate with an island, would you? Well, surprise, ladies and gents: there is one. And it’s beautiful. South Bass Island sits in the western part of the gorgeous Lake Erie and will make you feel like you’re at the beach while in the mid-west. I suggest going boating on the lake and finishing your trip on the island to relax with a picnic and enjoy the scenery. There’s nothing better than a day on the lake.

Whether you’re on the lake, eating at Skyline or hiking through Hocking Hills State Park, you’re experiencing the local beauties of Ohio. I suggest the next time you’re passing through or even visiting on purpose, you stop and take a moment to find your own hidden treasures. 

Images courtesy of Cody EllisVasenka Photography and Scott Teresi
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