Top 10 Landmarks in Ohio

Last updated on May 25th, 2021 at 08:28 am. Originally published on May 12th, 2021

What is a Landmark?

From hills flowing with waterfalls to important archaeological sites that were once home to Native Americans, Ohio is teeming with important landmarks — cultural, historical, and natural. Here are the ones we don’t want you to miss.

What are Some Famous Landmarks in Ohio?

1. Cedar Point

2. Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison

3. Thomas A. Edison Birthplace

4. Zero Gravity Research Facility

5. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

6. Hocking Hills State Park

7. Hopeton Earthworks National Historical Park

8. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

9. Cincinnati Music Hall

10. Covington And Cincinnati Suspension Bridge

Ohio Landmarks

Here are some of the must-visit landmarks Ohio has to offer that you need to put on your upcoming itinerary!

1. Cedar Point

SANDUSKY, OH - June 1, 2018: Cedar Point Amusement Park was originally built in 1870 and has been one of the top amusement parks in the world with 72 rides, including 17 roller coasters.

Otherwise known as the roller coaster capital of the world, Cedar Point is located on the scenic Lake Erie peninsula just outside of Sandusky, in between Toledo and Cleveland. However, along with the roller coasters it’s so well-known for, the park also offers a wide range of other experiences, including less-high-flying but no-less thrilling family friendly rides, dining, entertainment, and games. Live music, segway tours, and funnel cakes are just the beginning — which is probably why so many locals invest in season passes so they can come back again and again!

Things to do near Cedar Point: The north Ohio location of this famous theme park makes it convenient to plenty of the state’s coolest cities, including Toledo and Cleveland. It’s also close to iconic Ohio wildernesses like Kelleys Island State Park, East Harbor State Park and Findley State Park. Here are some nearby RVshare rentals to consider!

2. Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison

The cemetery at Johnson's Island

A 300-acre island situated in the midst of scenic Sandusky Bay, Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison is considered the most significant Civil War site in the state of Ohio — and definitely an important cultural and historical landmark in both the state and the U.S. at large. Over the 40-month period of time the island was used to hold Civil War prisoners, approximately 10,000 men were processed through the institution, the majority of whom were Confederate officers (as well as a few generals). Throughout history, the island was also the location of two vacation resorts operated by the Johnson’s Island Pleasure Resort Company as well as a large limestone quarry. Today, the site is home to a museum that offers visitors a deeper insight into the history of this place as well as a small cemetery.

Things to do near Johnson’s Island Civil War Prison: Immediately across from Sandusky — just about within throwing distance of Cedar Point, in fact — this Civil War prison provides a unique trip into the past from a convenient locale surrounded by urban neighborhoods. Here are some nearby RVshare rentals to consider if you’re looking for a home away from home on your trip!

3. Thomas A. Edison Birthplace

Thomas Edison Birthplace Milan Ohio

That’s right: Ohio was the birthplace of none other than Thomas Alva Edison, he who invented such important innovations as the automatic telegraph, the phonograph, the alkaline storage battery and the lightbulb. Today, the home where he was born and raised for the first even years of his life has been transformed into a museum. The Thomas A. Edison Birthplace is dedicated both to preserving the space as it existed in Edison’s day (although much of the original furniture has been lost to time, gifts and loans from the Edison family and friends as well as purchased period pieces recreate the mid-1800s setting) as well as informing the public about his important life works and hosting educational and entertaining events.

Things to do near the Thomas A. Edison Birthplace: Located in the small town of Milan just a few miles away from the shores of Lake Erie, Findley State Park offers a great place to stay for those visiting the Thomas A. Edison Birthplace. Looking for a great vacation vehicle to make your trip in? Here are the best RVshare vehicles nearby!

4. Zero Gravity Research Facility

Zero Gravity Facility at Lewis Research Center, now known as John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field.

As much attention as Houston or the Florida Space Coast get when it comes to deep space exploration, Cleveland, Ohio has its own important, and all-too-often overlooked, NASA location. The Zero Gravity Research Facility at Ohio’s Glenn Research Center allows scientists to learn more about the ways zero-gravity environments affect, well, everything — and it’s also the largest facility of its type not just in the state of Ohio, but in the world. Originally designed in the midst of the 1960s space race and operating since 1966, the facility is today being used to research “the effects of microgravity on physical phenomena such as combustion and fluid physics.” It’s been considered a National Historic Landmark since 1985, which is also when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Things to do near the Zero Gravity Research Facility: Located on the outskirts of Cleveland, this important scientific landmark is close to plenty of scenic Ohio wildernesses, such as Findley State Park, Portage Lakes State Park, and Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Speaking of which…

5. Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Brandywine Falls, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio

One of the most popular vacation destinations in the midwest and the only national park in all of Ohio to speak of, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is composed of a breathtaking landscape including dramatic rock faces, cascading waterfalls (more than 100 of them!), and lush greenery — not to mention the way the flora go technicolor come fall. The park offers more than 125 miles of hiking trails as well as paddling and watersports along its 100-mile-long river, a scenic railroad, and more — so it’s no wonder it draws more than 2.2 million visitors each year. With a multiplicity of both public and private campgrounds around Cuyahoga, this is the perfect place to plan an RV getaway for Ohio city dwellers from miles around.

Things to do near Cuyahoga Valley National Park: Tucked between Cleveland and Akron, this national park has the unique benefit of offering access to extremely rural and rugged landscapes within a quick drive of urban locales. Come see what Ohio looked like before all of the development that makes its cities what they are today… and then enjoy a bite to eat or a shopping trip in one of those cities, even on the same day! Here are some nearby RVshare rentals to consider.

6. Hocking Hills State Park

Located in the Hocking Hills of Ohio, Ash Cave is an enormous sandstone recess cave adorned with a beautiful waterfall after spring rains.

Easily one of the most scenic places in all of the U.S., not just the midwest, Hocking Hills State Park is truly a special landscape. Carved into the unique-to-this-area Black Hand sandstone that characterizes the area, this state park will have you feel as though you’ve traveled much further afield than Ohio with its inviting and picturesque caves, stunning and serenity-producing waterfalls, and historically fascinating geological formations. Whether you meander along its 25+ miles of hiking trails (which are interconnected with longer hiking routes for those seeing a through trip) or simply walk up to its main attractions like Old Man’s Cave and enjoy picnicking at the nearby shelter, you’re sure to learn exactly how incredible the Ohio hills can be when you visit.

Things to do near Hocking Hills State Park: Located in scenic southeastern Ohio between Columbus and the college town of Athens, Hocking Hills State Park is close to other well-known wildernesses like Lake Alma State Park, Strouds Run State Park, and Wayne National Forest. Here are some premier RV rentals in the area to help you make the most of your exploration.

7. Hopeton Earthworks National Historical Park

One of the few remaining wall segments of the Hopeton Earthworks, a set of earthworks built by Hopewellian peoples above the Scioto River north of Chillicothe in Springfield Township, Ross County, Ohio, United States.

One of the most important archeological sites in America, Hopeton Earthworks National Historical Park preserves today what was once an important location for the American Indians who followed the Hopewell tradition, who called these lands home well before any white person ever did. Settled more than 2,000 years ago and inhabited for half a millennia, this area is today marked by a 20-acre circle and 20-acre square demarcating at least two cities where these peoples lived and thrived. The Hopewell culture was known for its handcrafted earthen architecture and day-to-day items, as well as the ceremonial mounds that are visible in so many parts of the midwest. Today’s visitors will encounter both serene vistas and plenty of important learning opportunities!

Things to do near Hopeton Earthworks National Historical Park: Tucked less than an hour south of Columbus just outside of the town of Chillicothe, this is another Ohio landmark that offers easy access to other exploration-worthy wildernesses, such as Great Seal State Park, Scioto Trail State Park and others. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider!

8. Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

Dayton, OH—May 2, 2019 sunsets behind the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park with the two story brick wright brothers bicycle shop in the back ground

The miracle of human flight really is just that, as much as we can take it for granted these days — and it all started right here in the outskirts of Dayton. Offering access to well-preserved historical sites like the Wright Cycle Shop as well as the Huffman Prairie Interpretive Center, Huffman Prairie Flying Field, and more, the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park is about more than just flying: it’s about the dreams we aspire to, the lofty goals we put in place and the lengths we go to, as human beings, to reach them. It’s also simply a great spot to add to your itinerary, particularly if you’ll already be in Dayton.

Things to do near Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park: Just about equidistant from Cincinnati and Columbus, Dayton is filled with fun things to see, do, and explore in its own right, and is also within an easy drive to wildernesses like Sycamore State Park and Caesar Creek State Park. Here are some local RVshare rentals for those looking to make it into a vacation!

9. Cincinnati Music Hall

CINCINNATI - JULY 12: Cincinnati Music Hall in Cincinnati on July 12, 2013. Cincinnati Music Hall is a national historic landmark home to multiple venues.

Think the Grand Ole Opry is the most historical music house in the states? Think again: Cincinnati Music Hall was originally built all the way back in 1878 (as opposed to the Opry’s 1974) and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Over its nearly 150-year history, a huge range of musicians and other entertainers have graced its stage, and with its stunning Venetian Gothic architecture, the structure itself puts on something of a show. Whether you go simply to admire its spires and rose windows or to see your favorite act on stage, the Cincinnati Music Hall is a must-see for anyone in town.

Things to do near Cincinnati Music Hall: Located just across the street from Washington Park and otherwise in a very walkable part of Cincinnati, you could easily pair your trip to the Music Hall with a venture to Hard Rock Casino Cincinnati or the Taft Museum of Art. Looking for a great RVshare rental in the area or a campground to stay in? We’ve got you covered!

10. Covington And Cincinnati Suspension Bridge

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky spanning the Ohio River. United States

Otherwise known as the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge or the Covington-Cincinnati Bridge, this 1,643-foot construction of oak and iron has been updated and reconstructed since its original 1866 opening date, and was named a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. A true feat of engineering in its day, the bridge still offers charm and intrigue to today’s travelers, whether they traverse it by vehicle or on foot — and also allows you to move freely across the Ohio River into Kentucky, should you want to.

Things to do near the Covington And Cincinnati Suspension Bridge: On the Ohio side, the bridge is right alongside the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Great American Ball Park. In Kentucky, catch some waves at the Newport Aquarium — and either way, check out these local RVshare rentals and campgrounds to make your stay that much easier!

Planning an RV Trip to Ohio

An RV trip is the perfect way to experience all the unique landmarks Ohio has to offer — and we can help you every step of the way! Check out our fleet of comfortable and affordable peer-to-peer RV rentals, as well as our guides to the best campgrounds, state parks, and cities Ohio has to offer.

We can’t wait to hear all about your trip. Enjoy!

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