Ohio. Home to LeBron James, the Wright Brothers and that collegiate superstar, the Ohio State University. These sparkling attributes may seem far out of reach, or at least out of mind. Fortunately, Ohio boasts a veritable playground, especially for Michiganders on the move and those seeking a close road trip.

Anyone can find an Ohio guidebook at the nearest AAA (there’s one at 1200 S. Main St.), but it takes a native to truly illuminate the must-dos and eats when venturing south.

If a visitor to Ohio plans to eat anything besides a sack lunch, Skyline Chili is an absolute must.

A Cincinnati original that has since spread all over the state, it is simply unlike any other. As a change from typical coney joints in Michigan, Skyline serves their chili over spaghetti. A “3-Way” is chili and cheese topping spaghetti, a “4-Way” adds onions and a “5-Way” includes onions and tomatoes.

There’s no reason to stop at just one, however; Skyline coney dogs are “literally two-bite coneys,” Dayton-born LSA sophomore Louis Preonas said. “My mouth is watering just thinking about them … mmmm, mustard, cheese, chili and onions.”

For those with no immediate plans to visit Ohio, Skyline recently opened locations in East Lansing on Michigan State’s campus and one in Monroe, Mich.

It doesn’t take a trip to the beach to taste sand tarts from Ashley’s Pastry Shop, which have been deemed a legend in Dayton, Ohio. These cookies are molasses and ginger topped with meringue and are capped off with cinnamon and sugar. Ashley’s, located at 21 Park Ave. in Dayton, will overnight ship them anywhere in the United States, especially to celebrity customers Rob Lowe, Martin Sheen and Allison Janney (who will have heart-shaped ones at her wedding this summer).

Ever heard of Dorothy Lane Market? For anyone who’s missed out before, it’s a chain, primarily located in Dayton, that is known for their famous brownies and they will ship their delicious treats anywhere in the world.

These brownies are “killer … really to die for,” said Ohio native and LSA freshman Emily Youra. No Duncan Hines imitation here — a thick layer of caramel with chocolate chips are sandwiched between two layers of brownie, which is then entirely dusted with powdered sugar. Orders can be placed either at the stores themselves or online at www.dorothylane.com.

Sports fans tired of the Michigan home teams can look to Ohio for gametime action. The Toledo Mudhens are a top minor league baseball team in the nation, rarely failing dedicated fans. The season starts in three weeks, and their stadium, Fifth Third Field in Toledo, was just built in 2000.

The Football Hall of Fame in Canton, is a nifty trip for only a $13 pass. Greats such as John Elway, Barry Sanders and Dan Marino are featured in the main gallery, as well as Super Bowl winning teams and historical stadiums.

There are interactive games, too, where visitors can coach simulated teams or test how far they can throw a football. It also encompasses theaters where visitors can watch any of the previous 39 Super Bowl games.

For more Hall of Fame action, check ot the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland. The museum truly is awesome, especially the Elvis room; dedicated entirely to The King, visitors can see themselves in any of his 200 plus costumes and guitars.

“It’s also incredible to see the John Lennon exhibit because you can really see the creative genius behind the Beatles,” said Preonas.

In this floor of the museum, all of Lennon’s lyrics are shown in their original format, even the ones written on napkins and scraps of paper.

There are also theaters to see the induction ceremony of every Hall of Famer, as well as live concerts, such as Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.

The diner is also rock ‘n’ roll themed, decorated with platinum records and original album covers adorning the walls. As an added bonus, it’s only a two-hour drive from Cedar Point if rain hits on the way. A one day pass is $20, and the museum is open year-round.

Ohio is chock-full of delectable dining experiences and crazy coasters, as well as entertainment for sports fans and music lovers alike. It’s nearby, it’s fun and it’s an ideal weekend getaway.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.