Located along the shores of Lake Erie, Cleveland is a lively town with plenty of attractions. You can check 15 top things to do in Cleveland & if you are looking to get out of town consider taking these amazing day trips from Cleveland. This lively town offers close proximity to several other interesting cities and attractions that you can explore in a day.
Here are the 15 best day trips from Cleveland
1. Lake Erie Islands
Located within Lake Erie, the Lake Erie Islands are some of the best day trips that you can take from Cleveland. Easily accessible, you can take a car ferry over to the islands. Marinas are also available for those traveling by boat.
One of the most popular islands to visit is South Bass Island. Known as the “Key West of the North,” South Bass offers a wide array of shops, restaurants and bars. Other highlights include one of the tallest monuments in the world, the Antique Car Museum, Crystal Cave and Perry’s Cave.
Kelleys Island is also popular and offers a quieter experience. Highlights on the island include some of the world’s largest glacial grooves, and wonderful wildlife spotting.
2. Cedar Point, Ohio
Located around 60 miles away in Sandusky, Cedar Point is one of the best day trips from Cleveland for thrill seekers and families. Spanning more than 360 acres, the massive theme park is down as the roller coaster capital of the world, and offers 18 different roller coasters, plus plenty of other rides and attractions, from mild to wild.
Don’t miss the fun, interactive adventure park within the theme park. Cedar Point also offers experiences not typical to most theme parks, such as a wine tour and a petting zoo.
There’s definitely enough attractions at the park to keep you occupied for the day, but if you’re looking for something different, you can explore the Sandusky Historic District, the Merry-Go-Round Museum or the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area nearby.
3. Columbus, Ohio
Located around 140 miles away from Cleveland, Columbus offers the many attractions and amenities of a big city. One of the most popular attractions is the German Village, where you can get a taste of Germany and browse a bookstore with more than 30 rooms.
There’s a thriving art scene here. Family-friendly highlights include the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Center of Science and Industry (COSI), the American Museum of Natural History Dinosaur Gallery and the Franklin Park Conservatory Botanical Gardens, which also showcases the glass artworks of Dale Chihuly.
Pay your respects at the National Veterans Memorial and Museum, then continue exploring Scioto Mile, with more than 250 acres of parkland and multi-use trails.
To experience a different trail, embark on the Columbus Coffee Trail or the Columbus Ale Trail. If you decide to Stay in Columbus for more then a day and willing to explore nearby destinations you can take best day trips from Columbus, Ohio for extended vacation.
4. Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Located only 20 miles south, Cuyahoga Valley National Park is one of the best day trips from Cleveland to experience the great outdoors. The only national park located in the state of Ohio, the park offers miles of great hiking trails, including the Brandywine Gorge Trail.
Cuyahoga is also home to more than 100 waterfalls. Don’t miss the 60-foot Brandywine Falls, a spectacular destination year-round. The park is also a great spot for birdwatching and other wildlife spotting.
Visitors can also experience history while in the park – there are several historic villages as well as the remains of the old Ohio and Erie Canal, which can be explored along Towpath Trail.
Experience living history at the Hale Farm and Village. For a different perspective on the park, take a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
5. Amish Country
Ohio is home to the largest Amish and Mennonite community in the world. You can visit Amish Country on an easy day trip from Cleveland. Learn about the Amish way of life, their culture and history at the Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center or Yoder’s Amish Farm.
Enjoy a family-friendly theatrical production at the Amish Country Theatre. This is a great place to pick up hand-made goods, such as candles, quilts and furniture, or sample wine from a family-run winery.
Be sure to try some food at a local restaurant. The food will be simple, but hearty and homemade. Cheese lovers in particular will have plenty to enjoy, as Amish Country is known for their cheeses. Popular shops include Grandpa’s Cheese Barn and Heini’s Cheese Chalet.
6. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Located around 130 miles southeast of Cleveland, there’s much to see and do in Pittsburgh. Take a ride on the Duquesne Incline for stunning views of the Pittsburgh skyline.
Check out art at the Andy Warhol Museum, Randyland and the Mattress Factory. Depending on the season, sports fans can catch a Steelers, Penguins or Pirates Game.
Browse for gifts, check out art installations or just people watch at Market Square Downtown or at the lively Strip District. Learn about the history of the area at the Heinz History Center, or tour one of the last remaining blast furnaces in the area at Carrie Furnaces.
Families with kids should plan to spend some time at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium or the Carnegie Science Center. Opt for a guided tour to hit the top highlights of Steel City.
7. Toledo, Ohio
Located around 115 west of Cleveland, Toledo is known as the Glass Capital of the World and is one of the best destinations for a day trip from Cleveland. Enjoy a boat ride down the Maumee River or along the Canal.
There are also numerous parks in the city where you can enjoy the outdoors. Don’t miss the Toledo Botanical Garden. See more than 10,000 animals at the Toledo Zoo. For an educational day out, head to the Imagination Station in downtown Toledo.
Learn about the history of the Great Lakes at the National Museum of the Great Lakes or get artsy at the Toledo Museum of Art. Be sure to stop at the Glass Pavilion to check out incredible glass art.
For a thrilling end to your day, catch a race at the Toledo Speedway, or try your luck at the Hollywood Casino Toledo.
Situated on Lake Erie, around 50 miles away from Cleveland, Geneva-on-the-Lake is one of the oldest lakeside resorts in Ohio. Enjoy the beach at Geneva State Park, which also offers a marina, freshwater marshes and creeks and paved hiking trails along the lake.
Enjoy all sorts of family fun at Adventure Cove, or one of the many arcades along the Strip. For a thrilling adventure, Lake Erie Canopy Tours is an aerial adventure park offering zipping canopy tours and ropes course.
Visit the oldest miniature golf course in the country. Geneva-on-the-Lake is also home to a number of interesting antique shops, and several wineries, including the Lakehouse Inn and Winery and Firehouse Winery.
9. Detroit, Michigan
Located around 170 miles away, there’s much to explore in Detroit, and a guided tour makes it easy to explore the highlights. Learn about the history of Henry Ford and the automotive industry at the Henry Ford Museum and the Automotive Hall of Fame.
For music lovers, a stop at the Motown Museum is a must. Families with kids should head to the Detroit Zoo, SEA LIFE Michigan or the aquarium on Belle Island, which is also home to the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory.
For hours of educational fun, try the LEGOLAND Discovery Center or the Michigan Science Center. Don’t miss the Detroit Institute of Arts, one of the largest art galleries in the country, with more than 65,000 works of art. For a different perspective, hop on a river cruise and enjoy the passing views.
10. Dayton, Ohio
Located around 200 miles southwest of Cleveland, Dayton has a rich aviation history. It was the home of the Wright Brothers and you can learn more about their contributions to flying at the Aviation Heritage National Park.
Dayton is also home to the National Museum of the US Air Force, the largest and oldest military aviation museum in the country. Experience history at the SunWatch Indian Village and the Carillon Historical Park.
The Dayton Art Institute offers a large collection and unique outdoor sculptures. Families with kids can enjoy an educational day at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. To enjoy nature and the outdoors, there are several great MetroParks in Dayton worth exploring.
11. Canton, Ohio
Located around 60 miles south of Cleveland, Canton is a fun day trip from Cleveland. A top attraction is the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which honors top players and covers the history of the sport.
Canton is also home to the William McKinley Tomb, the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, the First Ladies National Historic Site and the National First Ladies’ Library.
Explore old cars at the Canton Classic Car Museum or old airplanes at the MAPS Air Museum. Families with kids can visit the small Sluggers and Putter Amusement Park, or enjoy the waterparks at Clay’s Park and Baylor Beach.
There are also several wineries for the adults, including the beautiful Gervasi Vineyard, which will transport you to Italy, all while in Ohio.
12. Akron, Ohio
Located around 40 miles south of Cleveland, Akron offers a nice day out for families and those with an interest in history. Get up close to animals or enjoy a range of hands-on activities at the Akron Zoo. For a more educational experience, visit the Akron Fossils and Science Center or the Akron Children’s Museum.
Be sure to visit the Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, a Tudor Revival Manor House with beautifully landscaped grounds and conservatory built in the early 1900s.
Step back in time and see what life was like in the 19th century at the Hale Farm and Village. The Akron Art Museum showcases a wide range of art in a historic building.
13. Mansfield, Ohio
Located around 80 miles southwest of Cleveland, the town of Mansfield is known as a main filming site for the movie, The Shawshank Redemption. You can tour the Ohio State Reformatory, and follow the Shawshank Trail around town to see filming locations.
Get up close with wildlife at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary or at Shady Lane Alpaca Farm. Stroll around the stunning Kingwood Center Gardens, and explore the historic Kingswood Hall.
Enjoy a spin on a historic carousel at the Richland Carrousel Park, then grab some tasty desserts at the Buckeye Bakery. Just outside of town, visit the Malabar Farm State Park, where you can tour Pulitzer Prize winning author Louis Bromfield’s house and farm.
14. Marietta, Ohio
Located near the border of West Virginia, around 165 miles south, Marietta is a charming and historic riverboat town situated along the banks of the Ohio River and the Muskingum River.
The downtown area has numerous Colonial-era buildings and stately Victorian and Gothic Revival houses, some of which are open for tours, such as the Castle Historic House Museum. Learn about the area’s history at the Campus Martius Museum and explore an old paddlewheel steamboat at the Ohio River Museum.
Visit the Mound Cemetery to see a 2,000-year-old burial mound. Those traveling with kids should try the Toy and Doll House Museum. There are also plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, from hiking and biking to plenty of water activities on and in the rivers.
15. Pelee Island, Canada
It’s possible to visit Canada on a day trip from Cleveland. Located in Lake Erie, you can reach Pelee Island by ferry from Sandusky.
The largest island on Lake Erie Lake, Pelee Island is also the southernmost inhabited spot in Canada. It’s home to the oldest and largest estate winery in Canada, where you can enjoy tastings and tours in season.
Enjoy the scenery on a drive along Pelee Island Waterfront Trail, stopping at beaches, forests and marshes along the way. The island is a great spot for birdwatching and you can spot birds and other wildlife at the Pelee Island Nature Reserve and Fish Point Nature Reserve.
Other highlights on the island include the Pelee Island Heritage Centre, the Pelee Island Lighthouse and Pelee Island Art Works,
Photo Credit ( Featured Image ) – Joshua Rothhaas
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