Traveling to Ohio early this July? There are plenty of great places to stop and visit over the holidays. Whether you’re looking for a fun vacation rental out on the lake or at the beach, or want to explore some local towns and eateries, Ohio is filled with fun activities for the whole family. Check out our list of the best places to visit over the 4th!

1. Cedar Point- Sandusky

amusement park
Source: Flickr / Jeremy Thompson

Love roller coasters and amusement parks? Cedar Point is the place for you! Known as the roller coaster capital of the world, this park is filled with award-winning roller coasters that are sure to thrill the whole family, young and old! When you need a quick break from all the rides, take a break on the beach and enjoy the beautiful views of Lake Erie, or play a nice game of beach volleyball. Vacation rentals and hotels are available all around the area. On the fourth, the park hosts their annual “Light Up the Point” event with fireworks and all-you-can-eat grilling!

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2. Columbus

fireworks in the city
Source: Flickr / Dan Marshall

The capital of Ohio is known for having great festivities around the Fourth of July. Downtown Columbus will be hosting their annual “Red, White, and BOOM” festival, which features the largest firework display in all of Ohio, the largest Independence Day Parade in Central Ohio, a food festival and an afterparty. Go out during the day and explore the festivities, then return to your vacation rental at night and enjoy the incredible view of the fireworks. The event is filled with a variety of family-friendly activities, so be sure to bring everyone out to join in on the fun!

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3. Hocking Hills

waterfalls under the bridge
Source: Flickr / See1,Do1,Teach1

For a more scenic vacation, Hocking Hills is the place to be. This beautiful nature-oriented town is filled with various natural wonders including Old Man’s Cave and Cedar Falls. On the Fourth of July, Hocking college hosts “Thunder in the Valley”, southeast Ohio’s top fireworks display. You can enjoy the show from your vacation rental or cabin, or venture out and explore some of the different food trucks and vendors that will be in the area for the event. Bring the kids along for some fun games, or get together and plan a nice Fourth of July canoe trip down Lake Hope.

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4. Coney Island- Cincinnati

hot air balloons
Source: coneyislandpark.com

This small amusement park comes alive every Fourth of July with not only fireworks but hot air balloons! LaRosa’s Balloon Glow is an annual event at the park that comes with music, entertainment, and fun roller coasters! Spend your entire day at the park at Sunlite Water Adventure, or relax at your vacation rental near the Ohio River until it’s time for the hot air balloon display to begin. For this event, we would recommend choosing a vacation rental near Coney Island in order to limit the amount you have to pay for parking.

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5. Akron

fireworks show
Source: lock3live.com

Barbecue fans will want to check this one out. Akron’s annual “Rib, White, and Blue” event takes place over four days and features a great selection of fall-off-the-bone barbecue ribs. There’s an on-going rib cook-off happening throughout the event, so be sure to try as many vendors as you can to judge for yourself. This event also features a great selection of live music, from tribute bands to a grand finale show by the Akron Symphony Orchestra. Also at the end of the night is a spectacular firework show! Choose a vacation rental in Akron for the weekend to be near all the action, or plan a day trip to the city on the fourth to enjoy a quick taste of BBQ and fireworks.

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6. Blossom Music Festival- Cuyahoga Falls

orchestra show
Source: Flickr / sfgamchick

This is a great place to be for a nice, relaxing Fourth of July holiday. The Blossom Music Festival is put on by the Cleveland Orchestra every summer, and features a variety of different American composers; Including band legend John Philip Sousa. At the end of the concert, there is a nice firework show as the orchestra plays the iconic “1812 Overture.” This is a great event for older kids and adults, so plan a picnic on the lawn or have a nice barbecue at your vacation rental before you head over!

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7. Dayton

events poster
Source: daytonlocal.com

Dayton’s “Lights in Flight” festival is a great multi-cultural event that takes place around the fourth every year. With a firework show that earned the Dayton People’s Choice Award for best firework show in the Miami Valley, this festival is a great place to bring the family. There’s live music, great food, and plenty of fun entertainment opportunities! Walk around downtown Dayton to enjoy the festival, or enjoy the scenic views of the RiverScape Metropark from your vacation rental. The festival runs down the riverfront, so you’ll be able to enjoy your holidays along the water.

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8. Toledo

 

father and daughter on a ride
Source: Flickr / sally9258

Known as Ohio’s longest living-history village, Toledo always hosts an “Old-Fashioned 4th of July Weekend” event that’s filled with fun activities for the whole family. Grab a scoop of hand-cranked ice cream, play some old-fashioned patriotic games, or listen to the historic tunes being played on the reed organ. The festival also runs events through local museums! This is a great festival for the kids to come and have fun while learning more about this country’s history, as well as a little about the history of Toledo. Choose a vacation rental near the downtown area to be near all the fun!

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9. Bay Village

stone walls at the beach
Source: Flickr / Alan Openiano

At Bay Village’s annual Bay Day festival, there are activities for everyone in the family to participate in. From a classic car cruise-in to the magic show and variety of small rides, this festival is a great weekend adventure for you and the kids. At the end of the festival there is a huge fireworks display, so bring your picnic blanket or camp out in front of your vacation rental to watch from home. Bay Village is also located right on Lake Erie, so if the festival isn’t your thing take the family out for a fun beach day at Huntington State Park.

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10. Greater Cleveland Aquarium- Cleveland

live band performing
Source: greaterclevelandaquarium.com

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium hosts their annual “Red White and Brew” event every year around the Fourth of July. Enjoy live music waterfront and a great selection of food and beer all day while you explore the aquarium, and at night you can step outside and enjoy the beautiful view of the City of Cleveland’s fireworks. The aquarium is also located in the Flats district of downtown Cleveland, so feel free to wander around and explore the variety of different waterfront activities the city has to offer. Choose a vacation rental near the water so you can rent a boat and enjoy your day on the lake, or boat over to the aquarium to join in on all the fun!

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Ready to plan your 4th of July trip in Ohio?