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> Ohio Starter Kit
post May 1 2009, 03:52 PM
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From: Dayton, Ohio
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Ohio is located in the Midwest of the United States of America bordering Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania with Lake Erie on the northern border. Although Ohio may seem nondescript, it is home state to many famous innovators, the major including the Wright Brothers, who built the first airplane before the first successful flight in North Carolina which revolutionized the travel industry in the early 1900s.

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Population: Over 11,500,000 people with 277/sq. mile

State Capitol: Columbus, Ohio and run by Governor Ted Strickland [D].

Language: English

Currency: US Dollar ($, USD)

Elevation: The highest point is Campbell Hill at 1,550 ft (472 m). The lowest point is on the shore of the Ohio River at 455 ft (139 m).

Climate: The weather in Ohio swings drastically with the seasons. Temperatures in the summer can average in mid-80s (F) and in the winter can get as low as 10-20F. The highest recorded temperature was 113F and lowest was -39F without wind chill affects. It is not surprising to also have one day in the 70s (F) and the next have high 40s (F) frequently in the spring and fall seasons.

Flying into Ohio: Flying into Ohio you’ll have numerous choices of airports in which to pick from. The easiest of which is to pick the one that is closest to your final destination, as prices tend to be consistent between Dayton, Columbus, and Cleveland although deals into Toledo and Akron can also be found. The Cincinnati airport (which is technically located in Kentucky) is one of the most expensive airports in the country, and in most cases it is cheaper to fly in to Dayton and drive 45 minutes south to your destination.

Famous Inventions/People: Airplanes, pop-top cans, automobile self starter, chewing gum, cash register. Thomas Edison, Wright Brothers, Neil Armstrong, Dean Martin, ~7 US Presidents, Annie Oakley, Paul Newman, Steven Spielberg

Places to Go: It may not seem like it, but there are many interesting and exciting places to go to in Ohio that would excite just about anyone, especially for a day stop on a summer road trip or deeper exploration.

Sports Teams: You are never at a loss to find a sporting event during the year no matter what your favorite game is. Cincinnati in the south hosts the Reds (baseball) and Bengals (football). Columbus in the center hosts the Ohio State Buckeyes (college - football) consistently one of the top teams in the country in the past few years, a game in their 100,000 seat stadium is not to be missed. Cleveland hosts the Indians (baseball), Browns (football), and Cavaliers (basketball) with breakout star LeBron James.

Amusement Parks: Ohio is famous for its amusement parks and roller coasters. The world’s highest rated amusement park, Cedar Point (http://www.cedarpoint.com/index.cfm), is located in the north on the shores of Lake Erie in Sandusky. Cedar Point boasts a record 17 roller coasters including Top Thrill Dragster (World’s First 400ft coaster), Millennium Force (World’s First 300ft coaster), Magnum XL-200 (World’s First 200ft coaster) to name a few. About 3.5 hours south near Cincinnati is Kings Island (http://www.pki.com/#actions) in the city of Mason which holds a large number of coasters as well, including The Beast, the world’s longest wooden coaster for 30 years running and one of the few flying coasters in the world. Having personally ridden every one of these, I must say that adrenaline junkies should not miss either.

Museums: While most cities have many museums to visit, there are a few particularly unique ones that are only found in Ohio. The first is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (http://www.rockhall.com/) located in Cleveland, Ohio. This massive complex, shaped like a pyramid, contains many rock paraphernalia from over the years and has been the home to a few induction ceremonies in recent years. Additionally there is the National Museum of the US Air Force (http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/) located near Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio which houses many retired fighter planes and is currently attempting to acquire one of the retiring space shuttles to put on display in the near future, and the National Football Hall of Fame (http://www.profootballhof.com/) in Canton, Ohio.

Movie Fame: Two highly rated and followed movies, among countless others, were filmed in Ohio. The first is The Christmas Story which has become a holiday tradition for many families. The original house where most of the movie was filmed is still standing in Cleveland and is open to the public for a small fee. The second is Shawshank Redemption which a large portion was filmed at the Mansfield Reformatory (http://www.mrps.org/) located in Mansfield, halfway between Columbus and Cleveland. This prison is vacant and now used for movie shoots, public tours for a fee, and ghost hunts in the summer.

Vineyards: Ohio is not the first place you would think of that would have vineyards, but the geographic location and prime soil is ideal for growers to produce many blends of different wines. While there are vineyards located throughout the state, the greatest concentration is in North Eastern Ohio near Lake Erie and between Cleveland and Akron. Most are located only a few miles off the major highways and exit signs are labeled with directions. If you drive by and see one it is definitely worth a stop. During the summer months there are many wine festivals featuring dozens of Ohio vineyards for cheap. My personal favorite is Vintage Ohio in August located in Cleveland (http://www.visitvintageohio.com/). You can have over 100 samples for $22… if you can imbibe that much.

State Parks, Cities, and Other Sites: There are many state and metro parks in Ohio, and any area you are in you are bound to be located near quite a few. Instead of recommending specific ones, I recommend utilizing this site to find one near you and just pick one and go for a nice hike. (http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/parks/parks/res...76/Default.aspx)

Some additional cities that are worth a day trip include Put-in-Bay (http://www.putinbay.com/), an island town in Lake Erie with the world’s longest bar, high speed boats can be caught just east of Sandusky. Yellow Springs (http://www.yellowspringsohio.org/) is a small community located about 45 minutes north east of Dayton that has small unique shops, a bit of the hippy atmosphere, and a prime location near John Bryan State Park.

Feel free to ask me any questions about the state if you are wanting ideas of things to do! I am also pretty good at restaurant recommendations for the Cleveland and Dayton areas as well and can find a restaurant to fit any taste in these two major cities.

Local Expert for Ohio, USA
Next Countries: May 2010: Banff National Park - Canada
Planning RTW in 2010-2011 for Asia and South America - coverage here
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post May 2 2009, 12:35 AM
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Great job on the Ohio Starter Kit! I definitely learned something and now have even more reason to try and make it to the Buckeye State! I never would have guessed about the Movie Fame or the Vineyards....... speak_cool.gif
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post May 4 2009, 04:33 PM
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From: Dayton, Ohio
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Thanks! I can't remember how I stumbled upon the Shawshank Redemption bit. It is my favorite movie. It is ironic because I drive past Mansfield many times a year to go visit my brother, and never realized it was like 15 minutes off the highway. Finally went a few years ago and it was pretty surreal. Aside from having some of the rooms in their shooting condition, there are a lot of random props, like the sewage pipe, sitting on display in some of the random rooms in the jail.

The vineyards are quite nice. I've gone to a half dozen or so and a few festivals. There is one about 45 minutes southeast of me [I am in Dayton] that makes the best honey mead I've ever had. [Valley Vineyards].

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