Head to Ohio if you’re seeking a spring break destination situated near lakes, rivers, and exciting attractions. From aviation museums in Dayton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, to the nation’s largest free rock climbing wall in Columbus, the Buckeye State offers plenty of activities for visitors of all ages. Book a stay at one of numerous Ohio vacation rentals today. Take a look at the most popular spring break cities and towns in Ohio.

1. Dayton

wright brothers museum

Home of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, holds bountiful spring break activities. Spend hours or days at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, featuring original aircraft and simulators. America’s Packard Museum: The Citizens Motorcar Co. displays celebrity-owned models of the glamour car. The Wright Cycle Company Complex includes Wilbur and Orville Wright’s bicycle shop, a museum, and a fascinating film. Visit the Paul Lawrence Dunbar House Historic Site, home of the acclaimed African-American poet, and see the Dunbar-Wright brothers’ connection. Kids love the animals and climbing space at Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Savor Peruvian pataconcitos and various empanadas in a no-alcohol family-style setting at La Colombiana. For New Orleans-style bourbon chicken and spicy rice, eat at Bourbon Street Grill and Cafe.

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2. Columbus

columbus ohio wall climbing

Ohio’s capital city, Columbus offers spring break fun particularly from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, “Jungle” Jack Hanna’s home zoo. With more than 300 interactive exhibits, the Center of Science and Industry captivates its visitors. Downtown, tour the Ohio Statehouse, and bike or stroll along miles of parkland and multiuse trails. The CoGo Bike Share Program has dozens of stations and hundreds of durable aluminum-frame bikes available for easy bike pickup and drop off while traveling around the city. Ride to Scioto Audubon Metropark’s nature center, and climb the nation’s largest free climbing wall. Crisp fried chicken, coleslaw, macaroni and cheese, and sweet tea at Hot Chicken Takeover stop hunger pangs. Enjoy light snacks while playing board games at Tabletop Game Cafe before heading back to your Columbus vacation rental.

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3. Toledo

oliver house toledo

Nestled on Lake Erie’s western shore and along the Maumee River in northwest Ohio, Toledo offers attractions that engage kids and adults. On the riverfront, Imagination Station provides hundreds of hand-on science exhibits for all ages. Tour the historic Oliver House, home of the Maumee Bay Brewing Company. Oak Openings Preserve, the city’s largest Metropark, features an interactive nature center, fishing areas, multipurpose trails, and a playground. See what’s blooming at the Toledo Botanical Garden. Downtown, the Toledo Museum of Art features centuries of glass art, a beautiful sculpture garden, and a concert hall that’s home to the Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra. Don’t miss the Hungarian hot dogs with special sauce at the original Tony Packo’s, where celebrities’ signed hot dog buns adorn the walls.

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4. Akron

nativity scene figurine

For big-city attractions in a relaxed atmosphere, make Akron, Ohio, your vacation destination. The Akron Zoo’s compact size and easy maneuvering are perfect for young children and older adults. Preschoolers enjoy hands-on activities at the cozy Akron Children’s Museum. Tour Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, featuring a Tudor Revival-style 65-room mansion, and compare it to the modest home of Dr. Bob, founder of Alcoholic Anonymous. See The Nativity Museum and Replica of Bethlehem’s Cave, featuring an international collection of Nativity scenes, and a replica of Jesus’ birthplace. Contemporary, pop, and classic art lovers enjoy the Akron Art Museum’s outdoor entertainment and indoor gallery. Stop by family-friendly Luigi’s Restaurant’s for pizza and pasta dishes featuring homemade Italian sausage.

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5. Cincinnati

city bridge riverfront

Perched on the Ohio River’s banks, Cincinnati satisfies lots of spring break visitors. An express train ride, a conservation carousel, and up-close encounters with animals make The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden a must-see attraction. Check out the amazing collection of artistic and historic commercial signs at the American Sign Museum. Learn stories of freedom’s heroes through multimedia experiences at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Check operating hours for the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, featuring kid-friendly interactive exhibits. Try Alabama Fish Bar’s fried fish or chicken with spicy honey sauce and sweet potato crock at The Eagle OTR.

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6. Canton

vintage chevy

Canton, Ohio, provides plenty of spring break excitement. Football fans love the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which shows off NFL history with memorabilia and movies. Families enjoy the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum’s science museum, planetarium, model railroad, and recreation of the city’s early days and the U.S. president’s life. The National First Ladies Library, restored home of President and Mrs. McKinley, offers a fascinating look at U.S. presidents’ wives. Nearby, the Canton Classic Car Museum’s displays attract car lovers. At Exploration Gateway at Sippo Lake Park, relax at the lake or library, watch the kids enjoy the playground, or walk the trails. When it ‘s time to eat, feast on Mission BBQ’s pulled pork, chicken, and fresh cut fries.

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7. Cleveland

cleveland ohio museum of art

Positioned on Lake Erie’s shore, Cleveland’s numerous spring break attractions include the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Great Lakes Science Center. Music lovers enjoy the Cleveland Orchestra, and live shows and exhibits at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo features a simulated rain forest and an interactive section for kids. Practice your golf swing indoors at Stonebrook Driving Range, or drive to Sandusky for fun at Kalahari Resorts’ indoor water park, less than 90 minutes away. When you return, stop at Slyman’s Restaurant for awesome corned beef or pastrami sandwiches.

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8. Youngstown

ohio covered bridge

Visit Youngstown and OH WOW! The Rogers and Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology, which has exhibits designed for adults and children to interact together. Kids jump safely at Austintown Bounce, while parents relax in the adult lounge with its big screen TV and Wi-Fi. Walk the trails and covered bridge at Mill Creek Park, and check the operating times for touring Lanterman’s Mill, the park’s historic gristmill that still grinds buckwheat, corn, and wheat. Greystone, the Arms Family Museum, features local history, artwork, and medieval architecture. Dine on roast pork with rice and beans at Papa’s Puerto Rican Cuisine and NY Pizza before heading home.

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