With world-class museums, breathtaking waterfalls and the chance to step back in time and explore the history and landscape of the state’s native people, this all-in-one route from Cleveland to Canton gets right to the heart of the authentic American experience. Get ready for rock and roll, running backs and rare natural wonders as you travel through the Buckeye State.
Once an old-school steel town, Cleveland has grown into one of the region’s most dynamic cultural capitals. At the heart of this resurgence is the must-visit Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame, which traces the history and influence of this musical style through over 50 exhibits and priceless cultural artifacts, as well as a live concert series and other events. On the shores of Lake Erie, the Great Lakes Science Center is a family-friendly deep dive into the natural environment of the Great Lakes’ region, featuring hands-on experiments and exhibits for all ages. Continue to explore the city’s lakefront location with kayak and jet ski rentals or a waterfront cruise where the Cuyahoga River empties into the vast waters of Lake Erie.
2. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Drive 20 miles, 28 minutes
With a different mission that most National Parks, Cuyahoga Valley isn’t just meant to preserve the area’s serene wilderness. It also aims to preserve the historic and iconic emblems of the Buckeye State, like the photogenic Everett Covered Bridge and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath trail. Brandywine Falls is the park’s centerpiece natural attraction and a must-see when visiting. Canoeing, kayaking and fishing are popular pastimes on the picturesque Cuyahoga River, which winds through the 33,000-acre park. For a truly unique way of getting around, climb aboard the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad, which offers a three-hour sightseeing excursion.
Drive 41 miles, 47 minutes
Less than forty miles south on Route 77, Ohio’s “Museum City” is home to the Professional Football Hall of Fame, the ultimate destination for fans looking to get up close and personal with gridiron greats. Classic game film and compelling exhibits shed light on the impact of the sport and the larger-than-life athletes who dominated the game throughout their careers. Elsewhere in town, try the MAPS Air Museum, which features 47 historic aircraft and interactive exhibits. The Canton Classic Car Museum boasts unique automobiles and other transportation memorabilia. It’s all housed in a building that served as a Ford dealership in 1914.
Drive 127 miles, 2 hours
Ohio’s capital city is brimming with attractions that compete for your attention. The world-famous Cleveland Zoo and Aquarium is one of the globe’s premier conservation organizations and a bucket-list destination that’s home to over 7,000 animals. The equally renowned Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens features stunning gardens and sculptures nestled among the picture-perfect grounds. Even Columbus’ downtown district offers the chance to experience nature within city limits along the Scioto Mile, a 175-acre urban green space that lines the banks of the Scioto River and includes walking and biking trails, a climbing wall and the Scioto Audubon center.
5. Serpent Mound Historical Site
Drive 95 miles, 1 hour, 47 minutes
The perfect place to end your road trip, Serpent Mound Historical Site illuminates the deep history and significance of Ohio’s Native people. The earthwork mound that gives the site its name winds in the curved shape of a snake for over 1,300 feet and is close to 2,000 years old, although scientists have yet to decipher the exact identity of its creators. You can wander the serene grounds and learn more about this singular ancient structure at the on-site museum.