15 of the Best Things to Do in Central Ohio
Ohio is a wonderful state to explore. Stretching from the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains, the state boasts a wide variety of landscapes and traditions. One great place to experience all we have to offer is in the central region. Come to the heart of Ohio and discover the rich history, culture, and nature it offers! From gorgeous state parks to challenging hiking trails, historic sites and museums, fun events, and delicious restaurants, it has it all to conquer your heart! Speaking of hearts, did you know we were also a prime location for couple’s getaways? Read on to find out all the amazing things to do in Central Ohio and start planning your trip today! Don’t forget to download a copy of our free Vacation Guide. It can help you find even more amazing local spots around our property!
3 Day Trip Destinations To Enjoy the Best Things to Do in Central Ohio
Central Ohio is so much more than a region; it’s a variety of cities and towns with their own personalities and attractions. If you’re planning to explore the pillars of our state, then start with these three destinations below!
THINGS TO DO IN MANSFIELD
Mansfield is part of Richland County, halfway between the cities of Columbus and Cleveland. It offers a lot of attractions for visitors, including famous Hollywood filming locations and exciting sporting events. Did you know Mansfield was also known as the haunted capital of Ohio? Read on to find out why, if you dare…
Top Attractions in Mansfield
Mansfield Reformatory and the Shawshank Trail
The Mansfield Reformatory gained fame from the 1994 Hollywood movie The Shawshank Redemption. Tour the massive Victorian building with the self-guided Shawshank Trail. You’ll feel as if you stepped right back in time and through the silver screen! Who knows, you might even see a ghost.
Mansfield Motor Speedway
Are you a sports fan? Then you must stop at the Mansfield Motor Speedway. This location frequently host thrilling dirt races and monster truck rallies. You can even catch some gorgeous fireworks after the race! Check the schedule to make sure you attend one of these thrilling events. We recommend booking in advance!
Malabar Farm State Park
If you consider yourself a history buff, then Malabar Farm State Park is the ideal attraction for you. This 900-acre country estate is one of the most famous in America. It belongs to the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Bromfield. Check out interactive displays at the Visitor Center, tour the farm, taste the products, and bring home some goodies from the gift shop!
If you want to catch a show in Mansfield, the Renaissance Theater is your best bet. This gorgeous 1928 theater hosts Broadway-style musicals as well as classical performances, and even concerts. You’ll get to experience an entertaining evening but also marvel at the incredible baroque architecture of the building!
Kingwood Center Gardens
Take a stroll through the historic Kingwood Center Gardens. The 47-acre estate was previously the home of Charles K. King and features gorgeous floral displays. Take a look at the French-inspired mansion and marvel at the explosion of colors of all the flowers surrounding you! They also offer events and workshops all year long, so don’t hesitate to take a look at their schedule.
Food and Drinks in Mansfield
Phoenix Brewing Company
Phoenix Brewing Company is one of the top breweries around HideAway, and one we frequently recommend to our guests. Make sure you try their Redemption IPA! It’s the perfect follow-up after a visit of the Reformatory.
Malabar Farm Restaurant
Extend your historical experience at the 1820 mansion and stop to eat at their restaurant! Malabar Farm Restaurant serves upscale French and American cuisine, including hand-cut steaks, fresh seafood, and handmade pasta.
Uncle John’s Place
Uncle John’s Place is a local favorite. This joint serves delicious and juicy burgers, steaks, fried chicken, and fresh sandwiches. Their fries are to die for!
THINGS TO DO IN MARION
Marion is in the Northern part of Central Ohio, roughly 50 miles away from Columbus. It’s home to several historic properties, including some listed on the National Registry. The town was founded in 1822 and named after General Francis Marion. President Warren G. Harding also lived in Marion most of his life!
Top Attractions in Marion
Marion Popcorn Festival
The Marion Popcorn Festival attracts thousands of visitors each September. Stroll through the downtown area and watch the parade, participate in family-friendly activities, and discover hundreds of local vendors and crafts.
Wyandot Popcorn Museum
The Wyandot Popcorn Museum is the only one in the world entirely dedicated to popcorn and its associated memorabilia. It was opened in 1982 before the second Popcorn Festival and displays antique poppers and antiques.
Marion Tallgrass Bike Trail
If you love riding bikes, then the Marion Tallgrass Trail is made for you. Not only is it merely an hour away from our inn, but it also gives you the chance to reconnect with nature and enjoy your favorite hobby. The trail is paved for over 12 miles and takes you along the historic Marion railroad. Discover all the other bike trails in Ohio and make a trip out of it!
Marion Palace Theater
The Marion Palace Theater boasts a gorgeous Colonial Revival architecture style and has been operating since 1928. It was fully restored in 1975 and offers 16 theater rooms, an outdoor palace courtyard, and a beautiful night sky painting ceiling.
Food and Drinks in Marion
Carlyle’s Restaurant is a modern spot in downtown Marion that serves delicious American staples such as burgers, chicken wraps, and other delicious homemade goods. It’s the perfect place for a quick lunch!
Iron Chef Steakhouse Restaurant
If you’re looking for a more upscale experience or a dinner date spot, then Iron Chef Steakhouse restaurant is ideal. Their sushi menu is excellent, and we highly recommend the Alaska roll and scallop roll! You can also try their famous Hibachi and pair it with a glass of white wine.
If you’re craving Italian dishes, head over to the Warehouse. They serve the best chicken alfredo in the whole region! The sauce is a wonder. The eclectic mix of decor gives the place a laid-back atmosphere that you will love.
THINGS TO DO IN UPPER SANDUSKY
Welcome to Upper Sandusky! The history of this Central Ohio town goes back all the way to the Wyandot Indian villages and settlements in the late 1700s. Neil Armstrong was born there, as well as the football player Bob Schnelker! Discover all the great things you can do during your stop in Upper Sandusky.
Top Attractions in Upper Sandusky
Indian Mill Museum
Learn more about the Wyandot Indian villages at the Indian Mill Museum! Drive to the north of Upper Sandusky and along the scenic Sandusky River, where the Indian Mill stands. This historic landmark was built in 1861 and features several exhibits about the local Wyandotte Indians, as well as several artifacts.
Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area
Killdeer Plains Wildlife Area is a wonderful spot for nature lovers. You can hunt, fish, hike, birdwatch, and more. It’s the ultimate outdoor escape in Upper Sandusky. Remember to take your camera; the landscapes will take your breath away!
Harrison Smith Park
If you want to take a lovely stroll in a park, the Harrison Smith Park is your best choice. Wander around the 33-acre land and marvel at the simplicity of nature. Pass by the picturesque red covered-bridge, picnic on the grass, relax by the pond, and watch your worries fly away with the birds.
Food and Drinks in Upper Sandusky
White Shutter Winery
Wine lovers will enjoy a trip to the White Shutter Winery. Located just outside of Upper Sandusky, it’s a local favorite we’re sure you’ll love, too. Browse their selection of wines and beers and don’t hesitate to try their slushies if you’re visiting in the summer.
Village Family restaurant
Looking for a quick bite and some comfort food? Village Family Restaurant is your best bet in Upper Sandusky. They feature great hamburgers and even better French fries! Their menu is homemade and the staff is as friendly as the food is delicious.
The Steer Barn
Are you seeking a more high-end experience? The Steer Barn offers a picturesque and authentic experience. The dining room is in the 1897 barn building overlooking a pond, and the interior features original timbers, beams, and framework. Don’t hesitate to try their lobster mac and cheese and prime rib!
Why HideAway Country Inn Is the Best B&B in Central Ohio!
One great asset of Hideaway Country Inn is the location. We’re approximately an hour and a half from Ohio’s biggest cities. Our boutique hotel is situated north of Columbus, Ohio and south of Cleveland and Toledo. We’re also within an hour drive of locations, like Hocking Hills and Amish Country, without being in the middle of the crowds. Even locations in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Indiana are only a couple of hours away!
Our charming B&B is the perfect escape from the city and its busy routine and it located near dozens of exciting things to do in Central Ohio. Imagine yourself surrounded by farmland and gorgeous sunsets with the one you love. You can treat yourself to a stay in our Country Oak Loft Suite and enjoy all of the amazing amenities! This two-story deluxe room features a spiral staircase, a Jacuzzi tub, and a private covered porch. Finish your night with a breathtaking view of the stars through the overhead skylight. Your getaway in Central Ohio is just a click away!