Updated Sun, May 18, 2014 6:35 am
Visitors to Northwest Ohio will have no problem filling their days and nights with a variety of leisure activities.
From scenic bike trails and historic villages to top-notch museums and a theme park, here are must-see things in the region:
Oak Openings Preserve, Maumee State Forest
For those with a passion for horseback riding, the trails at Oak Openings Preserve and Maumee State Forest have been called some of the best in the state. There are nearly 20 miles of riding trails at Oak Openings Preserve and a dedicated horse center in the park.
Toledo Metroparks manages more than 150 miles of bicycle and all-purpose trails, throughout nine 10 parks in Lucas County. More than 3 million visitors each year take advantage of the quarter-mile to 15-mile trails.
The paths wind along the Maumee River and through some of the rarest ecosystems on the planet. (www.metroparkstoledo.com)
1902 Front St., Toledo (Lucas County)
The Original Tony Packo’s, a local favorite, has a long history in Toledo. Open since 1932, the eatery is noted for its signature sandwich, also known as the Hungarian hot dog, and large collection of hot dog buns signed by celebrities.
The restaurant became famous when it was mentioned in several M*A*S*H episodes by native Toledoan Jamie Farr (who played corporal Max Klinger). The original shop is located in the Hungarian neighborhood of Birmingham in East Toledo, with four other locations in the area. (419-691-1953, www.tonypacko.com)
Final Cut Steak & Seafood
Hollywood Casino Toledo, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Toledo (Lucas County)
Home to the only restaurant in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana to receive a coveted four-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide, Final Cut Steak & Seafood restaurant in Hollywood Casino Toledo is a high-end dinner-only establishment. The menu boasts top-quality American Wagyu beef, wild-caught salmon and cold-water lobster.
With floor-to-ceiling windows, the romantic setting features plush decor, including Hollywood memorabilia. The Forbes Travel Guide lists only 133 four-star restaurants and only 28 five-star restaurants throughout the United States. (419-661-5200, 1-877-777-9579, www.hollywoodcasinotoledo.com)
22611 Rt. 2, Archbold (Fulton County)
Experience history up close at Sauder Village, Ohio’s largest living-history village, with 40 historic homes, shops, farms and gardens. A costumed staff leads activities and demonstrations of daily rural life in the 19th- and early-20th centuries, while craftsmen blend skill and creativity in glass, metals, fabric, wood and clay. Guests can also enjoy homemade foods.
The village hosts many special events and exhibits during the summer, and also houses a collection of historic and vintage textiles and agriculture equipment. Tickets: $16, or $10 for children 6 to 16, free for children 5 and younger; $2 discount for senior citizens (1-800-590-9755, www.saudervillage.com)
Canal Experience at Providence Metropark
13827 Rt. 24 W. (at Rt. 578) Grand Rapids (Wood County)
It’s always 1876 on the Canal Experience at Providence Metropark. Located in what was once the canal town of Providence, today the park has one of the greatest concentrations of canal-era features in the country, including a mule-drawn canal boat, costumed tour guides, one of the last working 19th-century limestone locks, and the Isaac Ludwig Mill, a working water-powered saw and gristmill. (419-407-9700, www.metroparkstoledo.com for ticket prices and hours of operation)
1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky (Erie County)
No trip to northwest Ohio is complete without a visit to the roller-coaster capital of the world. Cedar Point, which sits on a Lake Erie peninsula, features more than 150 rides, indoor and outdoor water parks, an area known as Challenge Park, two marinas and several nearby resorts.
This year, the amusement park debuted two new rides: The Pipe Scream, a thrill ride that soars 43 feet above the midway at 43 mph, and Lake Erie Eagles, a rider-controlled experience that spins and swings outward. Cedar Point attracts more than 3 million visitors annually. For ticket prices,call 419-627-2350 or visit www.cedarpoint.com.
Lake Erie Islands
Whether you prefer a getaway filled with lazy days at the beach, fishing, bicycling around an island, or the excitement of water slides and parasailing, the Lake Erie Islands have something for everyone.
The tiny 2-by-4-mile Bass islands are dotted with historic homes, quaint restaurants and pubs. You’ll also find some of the best walleye and perch fishing in the United States. Put in Bay on South Bass Island is also home to a winery, antique car museum, butterfly house, chocolate museum, wildlife center and the nation’s third-tallest monument, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, at 352 feet. Jet skiing, charter-boat fishing and many other water excursions are available. (www.putinbay.com)
Nearby Kelleys Island offers miles of self-guided nature and hiking trails. The entire island is on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can walk the perimeter of the largest example of glacial grooves or view the flat-topped limestone boulder that has faint pictographs of men, birds and animals carved by the Erie Indians 300 to 400 years ago. Downtown is bustling with gift and clothing shops and activities. Kelleys Island State Park offers a sandy beach, a stone pier for fishing and camping sites. (www.kelleysisland.com)
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area
13229 W. Rt. 2, Oak Harbor (Ottawa County)
Each year, thousands of nature lovers flock to Magee Marsh Wildlife Area on the southern shore of Lake Erie, to witness North American warblers and large songbird concentrations migrate north.
Other nearby birding sites include Ottawa National Wildlife Reserve and Metzger Marsh, adjacent to Magee Marsh, and Maumee Bay State Park, about 15 minutes away. Red-headed woodpeckers can be found nesting at Oak Openings Metropark in Toledo. (www.mageemarsh.org, http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov, friendsofmageemarsh.org)
Toledo Museum of Art
2445 Monroe St., Toledo (Lucas County)
In addition to more than 30,000 pieces of art, the internationally known Toledo Museum of Art is home to stunning architecture and historic buildings designed by renowned artists. The exterior and many of the interior walls of the Glass Pavilion are made entirely of glass, standing more than 13 feet tall and weighing between 1,300 and 1,500 pounds.
Artworks at the museum represent American and European painting; glass art; medieval art; sculpture; ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian works; Asian and African art; graphic arts; and modern and contemporary works . For ticket prices, call 419-255-8000 or visit www.toledomuseum.org.
A sampling of popular summertime activities, compiled by Columbus Dispatch staff members:
THEME AND WATER PARKS
Cedar Point, Soak City, Challenge Park, Castaway Bay
Description: With more than 70 rides, including 17 roller coasters, Cedar Point has more rides and coasters than any park in the world; the 18-acre Soak City water park has slides, inner-tube rivers and a wave pool. Cedar Point and Soak City border Challenge Park features rides, go-carts and miniature golf. Castaway Bay, only minutes from Cedar Point, offers 237 rooms and suites and a large water park that boasts a water coaster, body slides, a wave pool and more.
Location: 1 Cedar Point Dr., Sandusky (Erie County)
Open: daily, operating hours vary through Sept. 7; weekends only Sept. 12 through Nov. 2
Admission, Cedar Point: $59.99 for those age 3 and older, 48 inches or taller; or $34.99 for senior citizens 62 and older and those age 3 and older who are less than 48 inches tall in shoes; free for children 2 and younger; online, military, evening, combo and group rates available
Soak City: open daily May 24 through Sept. 1, operating hours vary
Admission: $33.99 for those age 3 to 61 who are 48 inches or taller in bare feet; or $19.99 for senior citizens 62 and older and those age 3 and older but less than 48 inches tall; free for children 2 and younger
Challenge Park: open daily, operating hours vary through Sept. 2, (also open Sept. 5 and 7) and weekends only Sept. 12 through Nov. 2 (call for details)
Admission: prices vary, call for details
Castaway Bay: indoor water-park resort open year-round
Admission: $29 day passes, or free for children 2 and younger; availability based on occupancy; call 419-627-2500 or visit www.castawaybay.com
Parking: $15; $20 for oversized vehicles requiring more than one space; preferred parking $25 near the gate
New attractions: Pipe Scream will take thrill seekers over 302 feet of track, flying 43 feet above the midway at 43 mph, as it twists and spins; Lake Erie Eagles — an updated version of a classic thrill ride, riders sit in one of eight “eagles” suspended from arms 28 feet in the air. As the ride spins, the eagles will swing outward; Frog Hopper, relocated to Camp Snoopy, is now Woodstock’s Airmail, and Jr. Gemini is now Wilderness Run; and Light House Point — 52 new deluxe cabins, accommodating up to 10 guests
Least-busy days: Tuesdays through Thursdays
Information: 419-627-2350, www.cedarpoint.com
Great Wolf Lodge
Description: A 33,000-square-foot indoor water park including slides, pools, a dumping bucket, a lazy river and an outdoor pool area.
Location: 4600 Milan Rd., Sandusky (Erie County)
Admission: must be an overnight guest; various rooms and suites available
Least-busy days: midweek May and September
Information/reservations: 419-609-6000, 1-800-641-9653, www.greatwolf.com
Description: The indoor/outdoor water park includes a large wave pool, two indoor surfing attractions, a lazy river, tube rides, body slides and family raft rides, as well as the Safari Outdoor Adventure Park — including rope courses, climbing walls and an animal park.
Location: 7000 Kalahari Dr., Sandusky (Erie County)
Open: year-round, operating hours vary; water park availability to nonguests based on resort occupancy; call first
Admission: varies, check website for availability; Safari Outdoor Adventure Park admission: $29.99
New attraction: Spa Kalahari Jr., featuring hair and nail services, skin care and massages for children 3 and older; Coral Cove has been expanded to include more activities, slides and mini-basketball
Parking: free; valet parking $12 a day
Least-busy days: weekdays
Where to buy tickets: for nonguests, online (highly recommended) and at the water park entrance when available
Information: 419-433-7200, 1-888-451-5248, www.kalahariresorts.com\ohio
Maui Sands Resort & Indoor Waterpark
Location: 5513 Milan Rd., Sandusky (Erie County)
Description: An indoor tropical setting within the Maui Sands Resort, featuring Maui Wowie Bowl Slide — a bowl-shaped tube slide reaching up to 45 mph; MakaMaka Treehouse featuring dump buckets, water cannons, racing slide and body slides; and Coconut Cove activity area featuring a swirl pool and water basketball.
Open: daily June 12 through Sept. 1, operating hours vary, check website for details
Admission: $39.95 for those 42 inches and taller, $12.99 for those less than 42 inches tall, free for children younger than 2; $10-a-day spectator pass; after-4 p.m. discounts available
New attractions: 80 rooms and suites have been added
Least-busy days: Mondays through Wednesdays
Where to buy tickets: on site
Information: 419-621-7357, http://mauisandsresort-px.trvlclick.com
Description: A three-story slide, lazy river, adventure treehouse, go-carts, a miniature golf course and a bumper-boat pond are among the park’s attractions.
Location: 1530 S. Danbury Rd. N., Port Clinton (Ottawa County)
Open: daily, operating hours vary May 24-26, May 31-June 1, June 7 through Aug. 24 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1; call for details
Admission: water park, $17, or $10 for senior citizens 62 and older, free for children 2 and younger; Do-it-all passes available
Where to buy tickets: at the gate
Information: 419-732-6671, 1-866-732-6671, www.monsoonlagoonwaterpark.com
Description: An intimate venue with a seating capacity of about 1,000.
Location: 5773 Centennial Rd., Sylvania, near Toledo (Lucas County)
Performances: May 24 (8 p.m.): the Beach Boys; June 19 (8 p.m.): the Temptations, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas; June 20 (8 p.m.): Chris Young; June 21 (8 p.m.): Get the Led Out; July 11 (8 p.m.): Tesla; July 12 (8 p.m.): 1964 — the Tribute; July 23 (7:30 p.m.): Boz Scaggs; July 31 (8 p.m.): Happy Together Tour
Tickets: $12.50 to $65 at www.etix.com or Toledo’s Stranahan Theater box office: 419-381-8851
Information: 419-882-1500, www.centennialterrace.org
Armstrong Air & Space Museum
Description: A museum chronicling Ohio’s contributions to the history of space flight, including the accomplishments of Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon.
Location: 500 Apollo Dr., Wapakoneta (Auglaize County)
Open: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Admission: $8, or $7 for senior citizens 60 and older, $4 for children 6 to 12, free for children 5 and younger
Parking: free on site
Information: 419-738-8811, www.armstrongmuseum.org
Description: The hands-on science-and-learning center also features a simulation theater.
Location: 1 Discovery Way (corner of Summit and Adams streets), Toledo (Lucas County)
Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Admission: $10, or $9 for senior citizens 65 and older, $8 for children 3 to 12, free for children 2 and younger
Parking: nearby surface lots
Special exhibits: Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition — featuring artifacts recovered from the ocean floor along with room re-creations and personal stories (through June 15)
Information: 419-244-2674, www.imaginationstationtoledo.org
Toledo Museum of Art
Description: The museum covers 41/2 acres on two levels, with 45 galleries; the Glass Pavilion features five galleries.
Location: 2445 Monroe St. at Scottwood Avenue, Toledo (Lucas County)
Open: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Admission: free; fees charged for some special exhibits
Special exhibits: In Fine Feather: Birds, Art & Science — featuring works by noted bird artists and illustrators including Audubon, Alexander Wilson, John Gould and Roger Tory Peterson (through July 6); The Art of Video Games — the emergence of video games as a means of storytelling and audience engagement (June 19 through Sept. 28); Venetian Glass Birds: Lino Tagliapietra -- celebrating the annual songbird migration through the marshes along the southern shore of Lake Erie, the chosen works represent three of Tagliapietra’s recent glass-blowing series (through June 22); The Great War: Art on the Front Line — July 28, 2014, marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I (1914–1918). The exhibit includes paintings, sculpture and works on paper by Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Childe Hassam, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Kathe Kollwitz and others (July 25 through Oct. 19)
Information: 419-255-8000, www.toledomuseum.org
SPORTING EVENTS: BASEBALL
Toledo Mud Hens
Description: The Detroit Tigers’ triple-A affiliate is an International League rival of the Columbus Clippers.
Location: Fifth Third Field, 406 Washington St., Toledo (Lucas County)
Home games: May 26-29 vs. Durham; May 30-June 2 vs. Charlotte; June 12-15 vs. Buffalo; June 16-19 vs. Scranton; June 28-29 vs. Columbus; July 2-3 vs. Columbus; July 10-13 vs. Pawtucket; July 17-20 vs. Louisville; July 29-Aug. 1 vs. Norfolk; Aug. 7-10 vs. Lehigh Valley; Aug. 12-14 vs. Indianapolis; Aug. 15-17 vs. Columbus; Aug. 23-25 vs. Louisville; Aug. 26-27 vs. Columbus
Admission: $10, or $8 for senior citizens and children 3 to 12; free for children 2 and younger
Parking: nearby lots
Tickets/information: available at the Mud Hens office, 419-725-4367; at the park; or online, www.mudhens.com
SPORTING EVENTS: GOLF
Description: A showcase for some of the best female golfers on the LPGA tour.
Location: Highland Meadows Golf Club, 7445 Erie St., Sylvania
Dates: July 14-20
Admission: weekly grounds admission, $50; daily tickets Monday through Friday, $15; Saturday and Sunday, $20; free for those 17 and younger with accompanying adult
Parking: $5 daily, or $10 weekly parking pass; Lot B located at Centennial and Brint
Tickets/information: 419-531-3277; www.marathonclassic.com
SPORTING EVENTS: MOTOR SPORTS
Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Description: A comprehensive motorsports facility, Mid-Ohio features a permanent road-racing circuit with a 2.4-mile, 15-turn and a 2.25-mile, 13-turn circuit.
Location: 7721 Steam Corners Rd., Lexington (Morrow County)
Events: June 27-29: Mechanics Bank Vintage Grand Prix of Mid-Ohio; July 11-13: AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days; July 19-20: Buckeye Superbike Weekend; Aug. 1-3: Honda Indy 200; Aug. 15-16: Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200
Admission: $25 to $95, depending on event; free for children 12 and younger when accompanied by an adult
Parking: free, non-infield
Wheelchair access: yes
Tickets/information: available by calling the track office, 1-800-643-6446, or online; 419-884-4000, www.midohio.com
SPORTING EVENTS: HARNESS RACING
Description: Originally built for auto racing, it now has a five-eighths-mile track for harness racing.
Location: 5700 Telegraph Rd., Toledo (Lucas County)
Season: Saturdays and Sundays (post time 6 p.m.) through Sept. 15; simulcasting Wednesdays through Sundays noon to midnight through June 30
Wheelchair access: yes
Tickets/information: available at the gate; 419-476-7751; www.racewayparktoledo.com
Description: More than 6,000 animals representing 500-plus species live on the 74-acre grounds.
Location: 2 Hippo Way, Toledo (Lucas County)
Big attractions: Penguin Beach, opening May 23, is an all-new animal space that takes Toledo Zoo visitors right through the exhibit with a holding pool, nesting dens, on-site quarantine facility and an outdoor space with land, stream and 20,000-gallon pool. Flamingo Key provides visitors an island getaway with more than 20 Caribbean Flamingos,15 grey chicks with five adults of stunning color; while experiences throughout all across the zoo feature prehistoric creatures, flying replies and more.
Open: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, until 6 p.m. weekends Memorial Day through Labor Day
Admission: $15, or $12 for senior citizens 60 and older and children 2 to 11, free for children younger than 2
Parking: $7, or $15 for vehicles that take more than one space
Information: 419-385-4040, www.toledozoo.org