10 Places to Stop on Your Summer Road Trip in Ohio

Whether you’re vacationing or just traveling through, these are the must-see hotspots for a summer trip in Ohio.

a roadtrip map


Grace Cooper


Jan 21, 2021

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Nothing says summer fun more than a family road trip. And, in a place like Ohio, there are endless opportunities for pit stops along the way. From an annual food festival or a historic yard sale, there’s so many places to take a break and have some fun. So, whether you’re headed cross-country and just passing through or looking for a fun day trip with the kids, here are 10 can’t-miss summer events in the Buckeye State.

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The Buy-Way Yard Sale

If you’re spending any time on the Ohio Lincoln Highway in your travels, then you may have the unique opportunity to participate in the annual Buy-Way Yard Sale. The event is designed to benefit the community and small businesses of the lesser-traveled portions of the highway, by allowing anyone owning property along the road to set up their own yard sale. Whether it’s food, antiques, or hand-crafted goods, get ready to search for some treasures on the first transcontinental road in the United States. This year the event will be held August 9-11, so make sure to time your trip right!

Cedar Point

If you’ve never been there before, Cedar Point is definitely worth a rest stop adventure any day of the year. Located in Sandusky, OH, it’s the second-oldest still operational amusement park in the United States and has one of the fastest dive roller coasters in the world. But, if you happen to be by the park on the 4th of July, definitely make the stop. Every year Cedar Point holds an event called Light Up the Point. With fireworks, barbecue, and roller coasters, how could you spend the 4th any other way?

Going to be somewhere else in Ohio for the Fourth? There are plenty of other Independence Day activities to attend throughout the state.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

family sitting on large red letters in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
‍Image courtesy of rockhall.com

If you pass by Cleveland at any point in your travels, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is another must-see in the region. With memorabilia from all your favorite rock and roll legends, the museum is perfect for old school music fans. Besides the usual exhibits, the Hall of Fame also hosts free live music events all summer long, so if you’re just stopping by for a night be sure to swing by for a quick concert that’s sure not to disappoint.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

people canoeing down creek in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Image courtesy of nps.gov

Looking for some place to stretch your legs after a long car ride? Look no further than Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Located between the cities of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley is a great place to enjoy river sports, trail hiking, and spectacular waterfall spotting. The park even has a summer concert series, so you can relax with a walk in the park and a quick concert to get you ready to head back on the road.

Columbus Food Truck Festival

bird's eye view of Columbus food truck festival with buildings in the background
‍Image courtesy of columbusfoodtruckfest.com

Heading through Columbus? Don’t forget to stop by the city’s annual food truck festival. Every August Columbus hosts over 50 different food vendors and several musical guests all for a charitable cause! Last year the event raised almost $50,000 for Nationwide Children’s Hospital—a number the festival is hoping to beat this year. So, get the family together for a day of food and music in the great city of Columbus.

Dublin Irish Festival

an elderly man demonstrating wool working to children
Image courtesy of dublinirishfestival.org

Can’t afford a trip to Ireland this year? Well then how about a trip to Dublin, OH for the largest three-day Irish Festival in the world? Each year the Dublin Irish Festival attracts over 100,000 people. Festival-goers come from all around the world to soak up the culture through food, music, entertainment, and more. So, if you’ll be heading by Dublin in early August, check out the festival for a quick whiskey tasting or an Irish dance show.

Jazz & Rib Fest

Another Columbus festival favorite is the Jazz & Ribs Fest hosted every July. Held in the downtown riverfront of Columbus, people wait all year for this amazing feast of music and barbecue. The festival has a long history, starting as a jazz festival in 1979, and now boasts one of the largest rib cook-offs in the United States. And the best part? Admission to the event is free!


fireworks at night
‍Image courtesy of cincinnatiusa.com

If you’re looking for a place to end your summer road trip with a bang, then look no further than the Cincinnati Riverfest. Each year on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, Cincinnati puts on a spectacular firework show on the city’s waterfront to close out the summer season. Since it’s beginnings 40 years ago, the annual event has turned into an all-day extravaganza with music, food, and plenty of good company.

Cincy Brew Ha-Ha

The Cincy Brew Ha-Ha is the largest beer and comedy festival in the United States, making it a favorite with locals and newcomers alike. Located on Sawyer Point Park on the Ohio River, the festival boasts over 120 different types of beers and 75 comedians on 4 stages. Another plus? The comedy is free and the profits from the beer go to benefit local charities!

Cleveland Pizza Fest

No summer trip past Cleveland is complete without attending the annual Cleveland Pizza Fest. Although there’s plenty of pizza, the festival also features live music, a motorcycle and car show, a 5k run, a cornhole tournament, and much more, making it a great family outing. Come for the pizza, stay for the festivities.

August 1, 2018
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