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20 Great Ways to Spend the Weekend in North Central Ohio

A lot of people don’t know about some of the hidden gems here in the northern part of the buckeye state. North Central Ohio has plenty in its arsenal to provide an awesome weekend for anyone. Want an adventure? Got it. Want a relaxing weekend getaway? Got it. Want a vacation the whole family will enjoy? We have absolutely got it!

This list of 20 things to do in North Central Ohio is just the tip of the ice burg, but it should get the ball rolling when you’re planning your visit!

Outdoor Adventure

Do you consider yourself an adventurer? Are you often described as ‘outdoorsy’? Are you craving the taste of fresh air?

1. Zip Lining


Common Ground Canopy Tours

Have you heard about Common Ground’s Canopy Tours yet? It just opened this summer, and it should be on everyone’s to-do list. It’s a 2 ½ hour tour that includes not only zip lining, but also aerial bridges and stairways between the platforms suspended high above the trees. You’ll not only get your heart beating a few beats faster, but you’ll get a truly unique view of the gorgeous natural landscape. You can learn more from their feature on New Day Cleveland.

2. The Thorn Bike Trail


The Thorn Mountain Bike Trail

Are you a cyclist looking for a new challenge? The Thorn might be just what you’re looking for! The trail offers sections of level terrain and, steep, short climbs, fast winding sections, bank turns, and north shore obstacles through the woods of Findley State Park. And of course, The Thorn is far from our only trail! Check out our Back Roads and Beaches route, too!


SUP yoga at Lake Erie Paddler

3. SUP

I know what you’re thinking. What in the world is ‘SUP’?! It stands for Standup Paddling and it’s one of the fastest growing (and in my opinion, most fun) water sports in the world. It hit Lake Erie with Lake Erie Paddler a few years back and they offer Paddle Board Sales, LessonsRentalsFitnessSUP Yoga and Excursions. What was that? SUP Yoga? That’s right- yoga on a paddleboard in the middle of Lake Erie.

                                                                                                                                                                        4. Kayak


Kayaking on the Black River

Speaking of fun on the water, North Central Ohio is a great place for kayaking. Whether you’re looking for guided tours, rentals, instruction, or just a new place to paddle, we’re the place to be! There are opportunities to get your boat wet in multiple locations through North Central Ohio, like the Black River, Lake Erie, or Vermilion River!

5. Fishing


My Bonnie Fishing Charter

Calling all anglers! Lake Erie has walleye, perch, smallmouth bass, and steelhead trout just waiting to be caught! You can go out alone, or book a day with a charter captain! Here are some recommendations.

6 & 7. Hiking and Camping

This part of Ohio has numerous metro parks just waiting to be explored! Spend your afternoon hiking or walking through the great outdoors in some truly beautiful places, and then pitch a tent and stay the night! Check out some area campgrounds here.

Sit Back and Relax

Need some time to slow down, have a little peace and quiet, and just relax? There are plenty of ways for you to unwind here in North Central Ohio.

8. Wineries


Vermilion Valley Vineyards

Have you discovered the hidden gem that is Ohio Wine yet? Napa Valley is far from the only place in the country to go on a wine tour. A lot of these Ohio wineries even grow their own fruit. Lake Erie provides temperature moderation in the northern part of the state. Check out this list of Northern Ohio wineries!

9. Golfing

Dragon Ranch, Hickory Nut, and Forest Hills are some great places to golf in the area!

10. Art Galleries/Museums


Fava Gallery

There are some truly unique art galleries in this area. FAVA and Ginko Gallery have different exhibits on rotation throughout the year. We are also bursting with local historical societies or small museums like the  Spirit of ’76 Museum or Amherst Historical Society & Sandstone Village. You’re sure to find something truly unique exploring our culture!

11. Farmer’s Market


Oberlin Farmer’s Market

Nothing you buy at the supermarket can ever taste quite as good as farm fresh. In North Central Ohio we have a lot of great farmer’s markets to sink your teeth into. You can even pick your own at some places if the season is right!

12. Live Theater

Oberlin Summer Theater Festival puts on free shows every summer for your viewing pleasure! And that’s not all! You can also catch a live performance from one of the oldest ‘theaters in the round’ in Ohio at Workshop Players or one of many other performing arts venues.

13. Live Music

The little towns in North Central Ohio love to have live local music play at public venues in the summer (see the schedule for these and other area events here). You can also catch great local music at one of the wineries, or at venues like Riverdog Retreat that often bring in extraordinary talent.

14. A Day at the Beach


Miller Road Park

Nothing relaxes a person quite like a day by the water! The Ohio coast has plenty of beaches to choose from where you can hang out and soak up the sun.

Fun for the Whole Family

Need a destination for your next family vacation? Look no further than North Central Ohio!

15. Cedar Point

For those of us lucky enough to live in Northern Ohio, no summer is complete without a trip to America’s Rockin’ Roller Coast! Come visit Cedar Point and see for yourself what all the fuss is about. You’ll be a ride warrior in no time!

16. Festivals


There are some great festivals and events in North Central Ohio that you do not want to miss. We are home to the Ohio Scottish Games, Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival, award winning Woolybear Festival, Oberlin Chalk Walk, and many more awesome events throughout the year!

17. Ghostly Manor

Ghostly Manor Thrill Center & Skateworld was featured on The Travel Channel’s “Best Places I’ve Ever Been” and was recognized by Forbes as a Top Ten Great Haunted Attraction for 2013. If you’re not the type to enjoy a good scare, never fear! You can still have fun on their mini golf course, skating rink, arcade, or virtual roller coaster!

18. Train Ride

Lake Shore Railway Association and the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad both provide the opportunity to see Ohio by train! They also offer special events such as the Polar Express in the winter, Halloween rides, or wine tastings.

19. Baseball

Get your peanuts and cracker jacks ready and see a game! You don’t have to go for the major leagues either- go cheer on the Ironmen in their collegiate wood bat league or closest independent professional team, the Crushers!

20. Underground Railroad


Westwood Cemetery

Ohio is rich with Underground Railroad history, and a lot of it is in the North Central area. This area provided a direct path to Lake Erie where slaves could escape to Canada, their promised land. This area is also home to the famous Wellington-Oberlin slave rescue of 1858. There are multiple ways to explore this part of our nations history. You could go on a self-guided tour, book a group tour, or visit the Oberlin Heritage Center.


There you have it! 20 great new ways to have fun. You can’t fit all your favorites into just one day, no worries… we have some recommendations of places to stay the night!

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posted by lorain at 12:12 pm

So this is Christmas…

So this is Christmas…

Petittis Garden Center in Avon With less than a month to go now  until the big show, we’ve outlined some great holiday ideas for you! It’s a carry-over from our November blog, encouraging you to “Shop Small” this Christmas season… One of Lorain County’s most popular boutiques is  The Mermaid’s Tale, a fashion savvy shop […]

posted by lorain at 5:05 pm

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