Thursday, November 07, 2013
15 Awesome Things about Ohio
Maybe it's just me, but I feel like Ohio is the butt of the joke most of the time. From our 'redneck' jokes to 'construction' jokes and the fact that apparently we marry our cousins, there doesn't seem to be a lot of good impressions floating around about our state. I'm here to tell you that it's not that bad. Ohio is actually a really nice place to live and I love it most of the time. Here are a few things that I think are AWESOME about Ohio:
1) Culture - We are immersed in culture. From Native Indian to Islamic to Amish cultures, you can explore a wide variety of culture in Ohio. We have beautiful mosques, buggies driving up and down our country roads, Indian burials and camps, and so, so much more.
2) History - Look up some random Ohio facts and the first thing you'll notice is that Ohio has a lot of firsts. We also have museums and historic societies and someone willing to talk about something historic on pretty much every corner. We love history and we love showing off the fact that we do.
3) Lake Erie - If you live a good distance away from the ocean like we do, Lake Erie is really the next best thing. Sand and water for as far as the eye can see, fishing and boating, swimming and picnicking. And if you visit at just the right time, you can also go surfing. Not to mention the awesome islands that you can take a quick boat ride to any time of day.
4) Cedar Point & King's Island - That's right, we have not one, but two HUGE amusement parks in Ohio. Head north to go to one right along the lake or head south the visit the other. If you're looking for a fun day out and a good thrill, more than likely you'll be headed to one or the other.
5) United States Air Force Museum - I know I've already mentioned museums but this museum is special. Anytime that we visit the air force museum, the first thing we do is count the amount of different licence plates we see in the parking lot. It never fails to find states that you would never imagine driving just to visit this one place - but they do! It's near and dear to those who served heart's and it's really an awesome place to visit.
6) Sinclair Community College - Widely known as one of the best community college in the region, it also hosts the most amount of students in the country. A student can actually graduate from Sinclair with an associates degree and have less money invested than one quarter at a university. They work so closely with other universities that credits almost always transfer and they have SO many programs that one can really not go wrong starting their school career at Sinclair. The program that my husband graduated from is known as the best in the country. We truly have a gem of a school sitting in Dayton.
7) Sports - Um, Hello! We are OH-IO afterall! From Ohio State's Buckeye's to Cincinnati's Bengals and Reds, we are state who love our sports and LOVE our teams. It doesn't hurt that a lot of other American's love our teams too. ;)
8) Jungle Jim's International Market - Located in Fairfield, Jungle Jim's is best known for having, well, everything. People all over the state will make the long drive just to visit the market that has a tram coming out of the side of it and jungle animals stationed outside the doors. From a HUGE selection of beer (think 1200 different types) to seafood to hot sauces to international specific food, you can go and leave with a cart-full of unique goodies or just spend hours walking around.
9) Skyline Chili - My personal favorite. You hear people say that if you want good chili, go to Texas. I totally disagree. If you want good chili, go to Cincinnati! Those of you who have never had the pleasure of eating Cincinnati chili (on spaghetti and piled high with cheese, none the less), I feel so bad for you - you are totally missing out!
10) Graeter's Icecream - Something else you're totally missing out on. Creamy, delicious, Cincinnati icecream.
11) Local Produce & U-Picks - The best part about living in farm country is that even your big-chain grocery stores carry local produce. Not that you'd need to go to the store to purchase it. We have farm stands and farmers markets galore and you can always find the best produce (at a great price) at them. If you're feeling super ambitious and want a fun day out, you can also go and pick your own at a huge variety of places.
12) Wine - Mentioning local produce, we also have local wineries that have wine tastings every weekend and some pretty amazing wine. Sure, we're no California, but we still have some unique and great tasting wine right here in Ohio.
13) Buckeyes - And no, I'm not talking about the team again. I'm talking about the little round candies that are made to look like the real buckeyes that fall off of our buckeye trees. It's chocolate and peanut butter goodness and can be found in just about every homemade 'cookie' tin at Christmas time.
14) Bike Trails - We have these amazing bike trails in Ohio that literally stretch from the far south-west corner of the state all the way to the far north-east corner of the state. The best part is that most of these trails go away the river or creeks and through beautiful forests and scenery. You can choose to go ride for an hour or two, or spend days riding the trails.
Last but not least...the one thing that I love MOST about Ohio is this:
15) Seasons - Ohio really has it all when it comes to seasons. From beautiful, mild weather in the spring and fall to hot, hot days in the summer, and freezing cold days in the winter. Sure, our weather can be a bit bipolar sometimes, but the point is, I can enjoy every single season for exactly what they're known for. We can play in the rain in the spring and watch new life sprout up and grow. We can swim in the summer and lay out by the pool to get a tan. We can rake up leaves in the fall and have bonfires in the crisp, fresh air. We can build snowmen and igloos in the winter while cuddling up next to a fire with our warm slippers and hot chocolate. It's my absolute favorite thing about Ohio and I don't think I could ever live in a place where I couldn't do it all.
Fellow Ohioians, what do you love about our buckeye state?