Ohio has always been an inviting state to settle down and establish roots in, but many don’t realize it is also an exciting tourist destination! From big attractions like Cedar Point and King’s Island to all of our state parks, Ohio has a vast array of places and experiences to visit and enjoy with family and friends. TourismOhio has worked to bring greater awareness to all Ohio has to offer, especially on a national basis.
TourismOhio is an agency that strives to make Ohio an even more attractive state for tourism, with the goals of enhancing the lives of both Ohio’s citizens and visitors and spurring economic growth. According to TourismOhio, the tourism industry generated approximately 200 million visits and $40 billion in sales in 2014 alone. The industry has an incredibly positive impact on Ohio’s overall economy, and the agency’s efforts to promote activities in every region of the state have led to an increase in visitor spending since 2009.
When people plan a visit to Ohio, many think of our three biggest cities—Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati. But tourist spots are hidden all throughout the state, and especially in the 91st House District and the rest of southwestern Ohio.
In the small city of Hillsboro lies Rocky Fork State Park, a perfect spot for nature lovers and those looking to spend time outside. The park not only offers a campsite to bunker down in for a long weekend of fishing and hiking, but it also has beaches for swimming and boating. Rocky Fork is a hidden gem among Ohio’s state parks, with activities for all members of the family.
Not quite a stone’s throw away from Hillsboro, Wilmington also offers much for visitors to take in. While downtown Wilmington itself is enjoyable to spend an afternoon walking through, the city is home to many community markets and antique malls. With local entertainment, Ohio foods, and handmade goods, visitors from a different region of the state and from outside of Ohio can experience the best parts of our state.
It may only be the end of July, but summer is not far from over. Before we know it, kids and teachers will be heading back to school, and schedules will get full and busy. If you’re looking for a day trip or a final family weekend away, don’t look too far! Ohio has so much to offer, whether it is close to home or a couple hours way. Check out www.ohio.org for more ideas on where to take your next adventure.
Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.