If you’re looking for ideas for Ohio family vacations, you have a huge range of options. Each region of the state offers unique and wonderful attractions, from the beaches of Lake Erie to Amish Country. In this article, we’ll share our top recommendations for the best family vacation spots Ohio offers!
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Ottawa Metro Park | Lima, OH
Ottawa Metro Park is a huge park and campground located in Lima, OH. It’s a popular spot for RV camping and has a full range of facilities available. The park is also home to paved walking paths and an 89-acre water reservoir.
Enjoy the swimming beach, where you will find places to fish and dock your boat, as well as a splash pad, water trampoline, and slide. Lifeguards are on duty throughout the year.
Ottawa Metro Park is a great place to enjoy camping and some fun in the sun without being totally removed from the amenities of the real world.
Allen County Fairgrounds | Lima, OH
The Allen County Fairgrounds is one of the biggest outdoor event spaces in Northwest Ohio. Festivals, concerts, markets, and more are held here throughout the year.
The fair itself is a popular attraction, but the fairgrounds feature horse shows, craft shows, holiday lights displays, and the Ohio National Championship Motorcycle Races in the offseason. There are plenty of RV campgrounds nearby, and you can camp on the fairgrounds if you’re exhibiting livestock.
If you want a family camping experience that’s still jam-packed with activities, the Allen County Fairgrounds is the perfect spot for your family vacation.
Maumee Bay State Park | Oregon, OH
Maumee Bay State Park is a fascinating spot characterized by the land and Lake Erie combing together. The result is a diverse area with forests, wetlands, marshes, and meadows. You’ll also find some of the most unique animal and plant life here!
The huge state park is home to a camping area, including an RV park. There are also countless activities to do.
Spend time swimming the lake and exploring the forest, or participate in group activities — archery, golf, fishing, and hunting. The famed Storybook Trail features a walk-through version of a beloved children’s story, which changes throughout the season.
Catawba Island State Park | Port Clinton, OH
Catawba Island State Park is one of five parks on the Lake Erie islands. Here, visitors can enjoy all the experiences of the Great Lakes, from swimming and boating to fishing, hiking, and exploring.
Though the summer is the most active season, you’ll even find plenty of things to do during the winter — the park is a popular spot for ice skating and ice fishing. The beach features a boat launch to help you get into the water and plenty of facilities to help you stay comfortable during your visit.
Also, you’ll find some fascinating wildlife in the area. In particular, it’s home to interesting reptiles and rare songbirds.
Erie Angler Charters | Oak Harbor
Northwest Ohio is all about the Great Lakes, so it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of places to fish! Erie Angler Charters is one of the prime places to learn about the history of the Great Lakes and the art of angling.
Different fishing seasons occur throughout the year, with walleye in the spring and yellow perch in the autumn. Lake Erie is one of the biggest spots in the world for these fish, so angling enthusiasts will love it. Additionally, there are plenty of places to stay in the vicinity, whether you want to camp or find a lodge.
Cedar Point Amusement Park | Sandusky, OH
Cedar Point Amusement Park is one of the most famous amusement parks in the United States, drawing 3.5 million visitors every year. This “roller coaster capital of the world” is right at hand in Ohio!
The park features 17 roller coasters, including some of the most intense and unique ones you’ll find at any amusement park on the planet. There are many other rides as well, ensuring that there’s something for visitors of all ages.
Cedar Point Shores | Sandusky, OH
Cedar Point is one of the most famous amusement parks in the country. However, the whole area is an attraction.
The small lip of land extending into Lake Erie is home to some of the best hotels, outdoor fun, amusement parks, and water parks in Northwest Ohio. You’ll find attractions for visitors of every age here, from Segway tours to shopping, concerts, kids’ activities, and events on the marina.
The Cedar Point Shores water park is 18 acres of attractions, including pools, fountains, waterslides, a huge drop slide, cabanas, and concessions. In addition, Cedar Point has an indoor water park — Castaway Bay. This 38,000-square-foot resort is an oasis with accommodations.
Kelleys Island | Kelleys Island, OH
Situated in Lake Eerie, just north of Cedar Point, Kelleys Island is an island where visitors can do everything from shopping, playing mini-golf, or relaxing in Memorial Park within the downtown area. You have many opportunities to explore nature and go fishing on the island as well.
DeRivera Park | Put-in-Bay, OH
DeRivera Park is a beautiful oasis in the center of the town of Put-in-Bay, which is on South Bass Island. On the banks of Lake Erie, the park is a popular spot for picnics and barbecues. It also rests alongside the docking location for the Jet Express Ferry, a comfortable welcoming point for visitors.
While it’s a beautiful green spot, DeRivera Park is just minutes from the center of downtown Put-in-Bay, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and places to stay. There’s a full playground featuring slides, swings, a fireman’s pole, and a coin fountain too.
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Common Ground | Oberlin, OH
Common Ground is a retreat center in Oberlin that provides short retreats for people of all ages. It’s a great chance for your family to get away together and bond through team-building exercises and fun. Located on 30 acres of private forest, it has zip-line challenges, a high ROPES course, and more.
Common Ground’s retreats are designed to improve communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and emotional intelligence through unique challenges that are perfect for a family weekend getaway. There are also programs designed just for kids or adults!
Clay’s Park Resort | North Lawrence, OH
Clay’s Park Resort is one of the most upscale and amenity-rich campgrounds in northeast Ohio! It’s impossible to be bored when you stay here, whether in your own tent, RV, or a rental cabin. You can even find glamping facilities for a really upscale experience.
The resort is home to a mini-golf course, fishing lake, heated pool, splash pad, and playground. You’ll find everything from boat rentals to fishing equipment on hand. The water park is another popular draw, with rides and playscapes galore.
Coblentz Country Cabins | Berlin, OH
Coblentz Country Cabins offers visitors a door into Amish country. This beautiful part of the Midwest draws visitors from all over the world. These properties include a range of cabins deep in Amish country, some of them perfect for a family getaway.
From here, you can access the many unique experiences of this part of the country, including beautiful handmade furniture, fresh farm produce, and delicious food. The cabins include modern amenities and are close to the nearest towns. This is a great choice for family weekend getaways in Ohio!
Hale Farm & Village | Akron, OH
Hale Farm & Village in Akron is a great place to visit to get away from the busy world while learning about local history. The reserve is featured on the National Register of Historic Places.
Built in 1825, the farm serves as a living history museum and is maintained by the Western Reserve Historical Society. You can explore the farm and village exhibits, learn about local history, and see live demonstrations of 19th-century trades, such as candlemaking, blacksmithing, and glass blowing.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park | Peninsula, OH
Just south of Cleveland Ohio, Cuyahoga Valley National Park feels a world away from the hustle and bustle. It’s a refuge for native wildlife and plants while providing a playground of discovery with forests, rolling hills, and the Cuyahoga River.
An abundance of activities awaits — walk or bike the Towpath Trail, hike the many trails throughout the park, paddle the river, go fishing or horseback riding, or enjoy bird-watching. You can even travel around the park via the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad!
Geneva State Park | Geneva, OH
Geneva State Park is a gem of Northeast Ohio. This huge, expansive campground lies on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. The grounds are hugely diverse, featuring forests and wetlands as well as estuaries.
You’ll find campgrounds, cottages, and cabins here, as well as a beautiful beach. The extensive hiking and biking trails and ample fishing and boating draw visitors throughout the year.
Also, the park features many fascinating activities to keep boredom at bay, from archery to zip lining. A lifeguard is on duty on the beach throughout the summer, and there’s a dog-friendly area to bring your canine friend!
Grandpa’s Castles | Conneaut, OH
Grandpa’s Castles is one of the most comfortable, family-friendly bed and breakfasts in Northeast Ohio. It’s a brick house dating from 1890 and is located just 1 mile from Lake Erie, making it a comfortable and convenient place to stay while visiting the lake!
This gorgeous restored home features four suites and one separate cottage. It has a pool, kitchen, bar, and dry sauna too, so you don’t even have to leave to find something to do.
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Hickory Grove Lake Campground | Marion, OH
Hickory Grove Lake Campground in Marion is a 38-acre campground and outdoor recreational area right in the center of the state. With a full-amenity RV park and campground, as well as cabins available for rent, there are plenty of places to stay.
Enjoy a weekend swimming at the beach, exploring the local trails, or kayaking. There are also regular events for kids and families. Amenities on-site include a rec room, laundry room, showers, arcade, playground, and even Wi-Fi.
Mt. Gilead State Park | Mt. Gilead, OH
Mt. Gilead State Park is a spot that draws visitors throughout the year, whether for enjoying picnics and other outdoor activities or attending concerts, festivals, and even weddings. The nearby wooded areas feature simple trails and beautiful plant life.
The park is famous for its breathtaking wildflowers. It also features a small lake where visitors are welcome to swim and fish. Meanwhile, the expansive green space includes a gazebo that’s perfect for capturing family photos.
Lobdell Reserve | Alexandria, OH
Lobdell Reserve is a 210-acre area that offers diverse terrain, breathtaking views, and multiple hiking trails. This area includes not just forest but also meadows, a stream corridor, and cliffs offering a beautiful look over the surrounding land.
The reserve features safe, marked trails for hikers, bikers, and equestrians. You’re welcome to bring your pets on a leash to join in the fun too. There’s also an acclaimed disc golfing course, which is perfect for family reunions!
Olentangy Caverns | Delaware, OH
Olentangy Caverns is one of the most beautiful natural spots near Columbus. It features not only the chance to explore but also many educational events and activities!
Visitors can tour the three-level caves and learn about how they were formed millions of years ago by river water. The facilities also offer the chance to enjoy a cave treasure hunt, “mine” for gemstones, play miniature golf, or visit animals at a petting zoo.
Stratford Ecological Center | Delaware, OH
The Stratford Ecological Center is the perfect place to learn about the importance of protecting nature in a safe and beautiful place. This preserve features miles of nature trails, livestock, and a wide variety of land — swamps, prairies, and a creek.
Here, you can roam, explore, volunteer, or join an educational program to learn about caring for one another and the land. Or, if you prefer, you can simply enjoy the natural beauty around you.
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Serpent Mound | Peebles, OH
Serpent Mound is one of the most fascinating historic sites in the state. This ancient burial mound is a relic of the Indigenous Peoples — the Adena and the Fort Ancient — who lived in the area between 800 BCE and 1650 CE.
It’s speculated that the Serpent Mound might be nearly 2,500 years old. It winds in a serpent shape with a curling tail. The site is one of the oldest and most fascinating cultural spots in Ohio, so it should not be missed!
Brukner Nature Center | Troy, OH
Brukner Nature Center is a place for education and rehabilitation of wildlife. Here, you can learn about protecting Earth and the animals with whom we share it. The center is a nonprofit and offers many activities to visitors, including bird-watching, hiking, and regular events.
Also, there’s a wildlife exhibit where you can see more than 50 native Ohio animals that are in danger of extinction. On top of that, you’ll find a nature art exhibit and a historic log house on the property.
Sycamore State Park | Trotwood, OH
Sycamore State Park is a beautiful nature park in the center of the state. Visitors can enjoy many acres of forest and meadowlands that still show evidence of occupation by the Adena people, the ancient Indigenous People of Ohio.
The park includes a creek, which is surrounded by the sycamore trees for which it’s named. It’s a great place to hike, fish, and more. Keep an eye out for the unique animal and plant life here, such as fox, deer, birds, woodchucks, and coyotes. A lot of wildflowers bloom in the spring as well!
Charleston Falls Preserve | Tipp City, OH
Charleston Falls Preserve is a beautiful nature preserve in Tipp City. Visitors can find 216 acres of preserved land, including prairie and forest. The most striking part is the waterfall that gives the preserve its name.
This beautiful waterfall has been termed “the miniature Niagara,” descending 37 feet into the Miami River. There are 3 miles of hiking trails surrounding the falls, offering unrivaled views of rare plant life and gorgeous prairie vistas.
Indian Lake State Park | Lakeview, OH
Indian Lake State Park is one of the most popular destinations for water sports, boating, and fishing in Southwest Ohio. This lake, which feeds into both the Miami River and the Erie Canal, continues to be a busy spot throughout the year.
During the summer, you’ll find tourists flocking here for swimming, boating, fishing, and hiking. During the winter, the park remains active with snowmobiling and ice fishing. There are also playgrounds around the park and regular events scheduled.
Kings Island | Mason, OH
Kings Island near Cincinnati is one of the most iconic amusement park destinations in the Midwest! It features dozens of rides, including several hugely popular roller coasters — like the legendary Diamondback — a water park, and more.
Feel free to bring along younger kids as well, though. Kings Island has rides and attractions for visitors of every age. There are also regular events and festivals, such as the iconic Winterfest celebration that runs throughout November and December.
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Jesse Owens State Park | McConnelsville, OH
Jesse Owens State Park might just be one of the best places to view animal life in Ohio. This enormous park, which spans nearly 3,000 acres, lies alongside a wildlife area, which is another 4,800 acres.
There are four campgrounds throughout the property. The multiple lakes and ponds are popular places to swim, boat, and fish. You may be able to spot animals like grouse, deer, foxes, coyotes, turkeys, doves, and rabbits.
Hocking Hills State Park | Hocking Hills, OH
Hocking Hills State Park is one of the largest and most diverse state parks in the state of Ohio. The park lies alongside Hocking State Forest. It features more than 25 miles of hiking trails, making it a hugely popular spot for hikers, bikers, and bird-watchers.
You’ll also find ancient rock formations, waterfalls, and many other breathtaking natural sights here. This is a must-visit destination for all outdoor enthusiasts or people who love exploring nature.
Old Man’s Cave | Logan, OH
It might have an odd name, but Old Man’s Cave is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Southeast Ohio. This cave, which extends off Grandma Gatewood Trail, features fascinating and ancient rock formations, gorges, and waterfalls.
Located in Hocking Hills State Park, it’s a hugely popular spot for outdoor exploration, one that is rife with the history of the ancient peoples of Ohio. You can find many cabins for rent near the cave, making this a perfect vacation spot for a family.
Long’s Retreat Family Resort | Latham, OH
Long’s Retreat and Family Resort is the best place to get away from your phone and reconnect with your loved ones. This fantastic resort offers multiple options for overnight stays, including an RV camp, rental cabins, and deluxe units.
There are so many things to do here — waterslides to Go-Karts, mini golf, bounce houses, canoes and paddleboats, a train for kids, and even rides. You might need multiple visits to try them all!
Lake Snowden | Albany, OH
Lake Snowden is an amazing park and nature preserve located in Albany. Here, you’ll find four lakes and 136 miles of natural land. The park is a popular destination for outdoorsmen, and you’ll see visitors flocking there to hike, bike, swim, boat, and fish all year.
You’ll feel like you are truly out in nature, surrounded by breathtaking views. But the park also features many amenities and is only 5 miles from the center of nearby Athens.
John Glenn Astronomy Park | Logan, OH
The John Glenn Astronomy Park in Logan is a labor of love by those who want to promote learning. Its unique location was chosen because it’s one of the few rural areas that remains untouched by modern light pollution.
The result is crystal-clear skies that allow for year-round viewing of the heavens. You’ll find events going on at any time, and they’re designed to educate and inspire as you gaze into the night sky.
Tree Houses at River Ranch | Logan, OH
Have you ever dreamed about sleeping in a treehouse? At River Ranch, you can fulfill your childhood fantasy by doing just that. This one-of-a-kind getaway is located on 150 acres and is all about combining luxury with being out in nature.
In Logan, the treehouses are within a short distance of attractions like Old Man’s Cave, Cedar Falls, and Conkle’s Hollow. Don’t think it’s all outdoor attractions, either. You’ll find zoos, art studios, restaurants, and more in the vicinity.
Finding the Perfect Family Vacation Spot in Ohio
These are only about half of the awesome family vacation spots Ohio offers. You’ll find beautiful state parks, ancient ruins, family retreats, and action-packed water parks across the whole state.
For instance, you have plenty of chances to make memories with the many things to do in Toledo. And, you can’t wrong with a trip that includes Marietta things to do. There are even tons of winter things to do in Ohio.