Planning a vacation close to home this summer? Here are some suggestions in Ohio

GALION — With a full slate of exciting new developments and experiences, Ohio has lots to celebrate in 2019. From iconic anniversaries and exciting expansions, to lodging updates and new cultural offerings, there will be even more for visitors to enjoy in Ohio during 2019.

“Ohio’s constantly evolving tourism industry will be on full display this year creating meaningful experiences that travelers can share together,” said Matt MacLaren, director of TourismOhio. “Whether you want to explore the wonders of space and the beauty of nature or take an exciting road trip and sample delicious local dishes, you can find it here in 2019.”

Celebrate major milestones

ONeil Armstrong took his first iconic step on the lunar surface 50 years ago, and Ohio is going all out to celebrate its native son and the achievements of space travel. There are plenty of cool places to make your outer space dreams a reality in Ohio including: the Armstrong Air & Space Museum, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, John & Annie Glenn Museum, NASA Glenn Research Center, Great Lakes Science Center and John Glenn Astronomy Park. Events will be held across the state to honor the occasion and Ohio’s deep space and aviation roots.

America’s first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds, celebrate their 150th anniversary this year. The team will hold several special events throughout the 2019 Major League Baseball season. On May 4, the date commemorating the 1869 Red Stockings’ first season, and on July 5, the Reds Rockin’ 150 Open House at Great American Ball Park, fans can celebrate with food, entertainment and fireworks.

Destination Mansfield and the Shawshank Trail invite fans to the 25th Anniversary of The Shawshank Redemption celebration in 2019. Throughout the weekend of August 16-18, there will be tours, celebrity appearances and special events at several locations where the 1994 movie was filmed, including at the historic Ohio State Reformatory. The annual Shawshank Hustle 7k will also take place during the weekend, with runners starting and finishing at the Reformatory and passing several of the film’s locations along the course.

The Dayton Art Institute is commemorating its centennial in 2019 with several special events and exhibits to mark the occasion. For America: Paintings from the National Academy kicks off the special exhibition schedule in March followed by Our Century: Dayton Area Collects in June and Maker & Muse: Women and Early 20th-Century Art Jewelry in October.

The Butler Institute of Art also celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2019. Established in 1919, the Butler Institute is the first museum dedicated to works created by American artists and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Get in the game

The Cleveland Indians and Progressive Field have been selected to host the 90th Major League Baseball All-Star game on July 9. Numerous events and celebrations will be held throughout the city in the months leading up to the big game.

Explore the 0utdoors

The Akron Zoo is undertaking its largest expansion yet, adding two new areas through 2020. Pride of Africa, scheduled to open in June, will showcase the beauty of a Kenyan savannah and feature areas dedicated to African lions, Speke’s gazelle, white storks and goats. During the summer of 2020, visitors can experience the new Wild Asia exhibit which will recreate the jungles of southeast Asia and Himalayan forests.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources is opening a new Hocking Hills Visitors Center in 2019. The new center will be a gateway to Ohio’s premier state park, Hocking Hills, which attracts more than two million visitors annually.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is also opening a new visitors center this year. The Boston Mill Visitor Center is the first official welcome center created for the park in 43 years and will serve as a resource for visitors to plan their National Park and Ohio & Erie Canalway experiences. The facility is housed in a restored historic building that once served as a store for mill workers.

Metroparks Toledo will open the Cannaley Treehouse Village in 2019. This new village features a variety of one-of-a-kind overnight accommodations, including treehouses designed by Nelson Treehouse and Supply of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters and tent and hammock platforms.

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake will complete several additions and renovations in 2019. This popular resort, located along the shores of Lake Erie and adjacent to Geneva State Park, will add a grand portico and renovate the grand ballroom.

Debuted in late 2018, the 144-mile-long Ohio Art Corridor is anticipated to be the largest outdoor art exhibit in the world. Expected to grow to more than 200 miles at completion, the corridor stretches through Ohio’s southeastern Appalachian counties. It will bring visitors to the area through distinctive, large, outdoor artwork placed across the region.

For more travel ideas and inspiration, visit Download the free “Official Ohio Travel Guide by TourismOhio” app for easy access to everything you need to explore Ohio.


Staff report



TourismOhio, operating within the state of Ohio’s Development Services Agency, works to position Ohio as a destination of choice to enrich lives through authentic travel experiences. The branding Ohio. Find It Here. supports Ohio’s $44 billion tourism industry. For more, visit