From parades to the opening day of local swimming pools, Memorial Day weekend is an exciting time to take a break from the daily grind and head to Ohio for a vacation. Embark on a biking trip through the scenic city of Cincinnati, or enjoy the thrilling coasters at the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky. As for accommodations, stay at an Ohio vacation rental to be situated in the heart of a bustling city or at a lakefront cottage along Lake Erie. Here’s a look at the nine best Memorial Day weekend getaway spots in Ohio.

1. Cincinnati

Explore the downtown area of Cincinnati with bike rentals from RedBike. Throughout the city, you find kiosk set up where you can rent bikes with a credit card and ride as long as you like, returning the bike at any of the kiosks. As the second oldest zoo in the country, the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is a great place to enjoy the beautiful weather and see all your favorite animals. Sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour to learn more about how a zoo runs. On the banks of the Ohio River, Coney Island is a retro amusement park with bumper cars, a wave pool, and so much more.

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2. Sandusky

Source: Flickr/Andrew Borgen

Families with kids and teens enjoy thrills and chills at the Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky. This park has 18 different roller coasters, including the Valravn with steep dives and the Steel Vengeance with its tall peaks and fast speeds, along with a plethora of kiddie rides for the younger set. On a rainy afternoon, take the family to the Merry-Go-Round Museum for a tour and a ride vintage carousel. At the East Harbor State Park, take a hike and check out the wildlife or opt to soak up the sun on the beach area.

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3. Cleveland

Pack a picnic lunch for the Memorial Day Ceremony at the Garfield Monument in Cleveland. This ceremony includes speakers and a band that plays patriotic music. In the afternoon, take the kids to see the Mentor-on-the-Lake’s annual Memorial Day parade to celebrate the brave men and women who fought for our country. The Chagrin Falls Blossom Time Festival has it all, including hot air balloons, kiddie rides, and food stalls to ensure everyone has a great time. Take a tour of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and gasp in awe as sharks swim around you when you walk through the shark tunnel.

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4. Oregon

Source: Flickr/rayb777

A beach town awaits you when you book a vacation rental in Oregon. This small coastal community sits on the shores of Lake Erie and offers quick access to Maumee Bay State Park, where you find white sand beaches and cool water to celebrate the start of the summer months. Known for its Scottish Links, the Maumee Bay Golf Course is the place to book a tee time for a unique experience. On a hot afternoon, stop by Pearson’s Ice Cream and pick out a picnic table to enjoy your cone or cup of the best ice cream in town.

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5. Toledo

Source: Facebook/Toledo Farmer’s Market

Toledo kicks things into high gear for the Memorial Day weekend. Start your visit at the Port Clinton Walleye Festival. This event includes a parade, a 5K run, a kids’ fishing derby, and live music so that everyone in the family enjoys the day. See a reenactment at the First Seige at Fort Meigs. This fort was the sight of several battles between Europeans and the Native Americans. The Toledo Farmers’ Market hosts the annual Flower Day Weekend with vendors offering yard art, flowers, and the freshest local produce for an amazing dinner at your vacation rental.

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6. Dayton

Source: Facebook/Dayton, Ohio – City Government

Remember the courageous service members at the Dayton Heritage Festival at Carillon Park. After a day of reenactments, special exhibits, and family activities, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra takes the stage and plays a slew of patriotic songs that you can tap your toes to and sing along. Learn more about the military and the Air Force with a tour of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. It has a variety of hands-on exhibits to keep your little ones engaged.

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7. Akron

Source: Facebook/Cuhahoga Valley National Park

Akron offers you life in the city along with easy access to some great outdoor areas. Hop on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad for a ride through the gorgeous Cuyahoga Valley National Park in full bloom at the end of spring. The park has more than 125 miles of hiking trails so there’s something for families with young children and some for dedicated hikers. Take a tour of the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens and enjoy strolling around the gardens after viewing the home. Your kids learn about science, technology, health, and more through play at the Akron Children’s Museum.

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8. Columbus

Source: Flickr/Always Shooting

As the state capital, Columbus has a lot of great outdoor activities to ring in the start of summer. Spend some time at the Scioto Mile, a string of parks that sit on both sides of the Scioto River for walking, biking, and enjoying a picnic lunch. Take the kids to see all the animals on land and sea at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Don’t forget your swimsuits because at this attraction you’ll find Zoombezi Bay, a water amusement park to cool off and enjoy some thrilling rides.

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9. Mason

Source: Facebook/King’s Island

Mason is home to the Kings Island Amusement Park. This amusement park has rides for the entire family along with a waterpark. Tweens flip upside down on the Bat coaster and the family can race each other on the twin-track Racer coaster. For the smaller family members, there’s a dedicated kiddie ride section. Play carnival games and indulge in hot dogs and funnel cakes. At Soak City, zoom down the towering waterslides or float on the lazy river. After a hard day at play, stop by Aponte’s Pizzeria and Family Restaurant for a pizza.

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