By 1812Blockhouse; TourismOhio Release

When the state’s tourism organization set out to pinpoint the best of Ohio attractions and opportunities this spring, one of those chosen targets was right here in Richland County.

In downtown Mansfield, to be specific, a place gaining a reputation for its museum offerings.

It won’t be long before social media feeds are full of photos from seasonal sports and spring break. The good news is Ohioans, and their friends and family from surrounding states, don’t have to travel far to get away. Whether travelers are looking to cheer on the home team, plan a spring break getaway, or appreciate the arts, Ohio has everything you need to plan the next memorable excursion. Ordering the 2023 Ohio Travel Guide or reading the digital issue is a great place to start.

March Madness

March is one of the busiest months for major sporting events in Ohio, and it’s not just one but multiple events ranging from college basketball to the opening of major and minor league baseball. Sports fans will want to put Dayton and Columbus on their travel itinerary this month as college hoops get underway. The road to March Madness starts at the University of Dayton Arena, where the in-person First Four® games on March 14 and 15 tip off the NCAA® men’s tournament. In Columbus, Nationwide Arena will host first and second round games of the tournament on March 17 and 19.

Ohio’s professional basketball, hockey, and soccer teams are big draws for tourists and locals. And for those who prefer watching soccer from the couch, grab a pint of Jeni’s Ice Cream’s new flavor, called “Biscuits with the Boss”, created especially for the new season of Ted Lasso, which drops March 15.

March and April mean it’s time to play ball in Ohio as minor and major league baseball season gets underway. Opening Day happens in Cincinnati on March 30 with the Reds against the Pittsburgh Pirates and in Cleveland on April 7 when the Guardians host the Seattle Mariners. The Toledo Mudhens start off the Triple-A season with their home opener on March 31, and the Columbus Clippers play their first home game of the season on April 4.

Spring Break

Daylight saving time began March 12, giving everyone an extra hour of daylight to enjoy everything Ohio has to offer. Some of Ohio’s best locations offer both outside activities and indoor options. Here are a few ideas for a fun and memorable Ohio spring break adventure.

  • Ohio State Park Lodges, including Maumee Bay Lodge and Conference Center and the new Hocking Hills State Park Lodge, are on or near lakes and offer plenty of outdoor activities and overnight accommodations.
  • Sawmill Creek Resort and Castaway Bay in Sandusky have undergone significant renovations and offer hiking and golf nearby as well as indoor pools and water parks. Both are perfect options for families with young kids ready to burn off some energy. 
  • Ohio’s inviting regions, which include Toledo/northwest Ohio and Shores & Islands, make perfect locations for a spring sojourn, thanks to their proximity to Lake Erie. Ohio’s larger cities offer vibrant areas to explore with plenty of nightlife, restaurants, and cool hotels. The Birthplace of Aviation in Dayton is another must see this year as the National Museum of the United States Airforce celebrates its 100 year anniversary.
  • Shop till you drop at places like Destination Outlets near Jeffersonville filled with designer and name brand discounted retailers. Or head to Springfield, considered the Antique Capital of the Midwest, with antique shows and flea market weekends scheduled in March and April. Dayton and Cincinnati hold Vintage Market Days April 21 through 23 featuring art, antiques, and outdoor furniture.

Arts and Entertainment

For those who prefer a more intellectual adventure, the arts and sciences in Ohio have plenty to choose from this spring. 

  • Historic Theatres: From ballet to Broadway, the Ohio Theatre in Columbus is just one of dozens of theaters in Ohio that offer a full entertainment calendar. Schedule a tour of the one-of-a-kind venue that turns 95 this year and learn about its unique architecture, including the 21-foot chandelier and one of the only playable organs that dates back to the silent films.
  • The Columbus Metropolitan Library celebrates 150 years in 2023 with events throughout the year. Be sure to tour the crown jewel of the award-winning library system — the Main Library in downtown Columbus — which is an architectural marvel and a book lover’s paradise.
  • The Buckeye Imagination Museum in downtown Mansfield is a hands-on, play-based museum for children 10 and under. A new area for older kids opens later this year. COSI in Columbus and the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland top the list of the country’s best science and children’s museums.
  • Film fanatics could build trips around upcoming film festivals including the Cleveland International Film Festival, which runs March 22 through April 1, and Cinema Columbus happening later in April.

For more travel ideas and inspiration, visit Ohio.org.

Photo: TourismOhio

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