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Toledo, Ohio: Activities, Attractions and the Next Location for Your Big Vacation

When considering the ideal destination for your next big getaway, let your search come to a close with Toledo, Ohio. The history of the city dates back to 1800. After the Battle of Fallen Timbers, Fort Industry was established where Toledo now stands. In 1817, the land that was used for the city was purchased by two private companies. Each of the companies established their own individual towns, Vistula and Port Lawrence. The 1830’s brought growth to the area thanks to the creation of the Erie and Wabash Canals. A network of railways was also built and by 1836, both growing communities combined to form Toledo.


The second half of the 19th century brought growth and prosperity to Toledo. With the canals and railroads running at full steam, Toledo transitioned into a center for industry, trade and commerce. By 1880, Toledo had a population over 50,000, and was one of the largest cities in Ohio. While the area quickly became an economic and manufacturing hub, it also suffered the hardships that came with living in an early industrialized city. The rough living conditions helped ignite the progressive movement in Toledo. The movement thrived under the leadership of former Mayor Samuel M. Jones and living conditions across the board in the city were vastly improved.


Toledo continued to grow as it entered the 20th century. The railroads overtook canals as the major form of transportation. This lead to more materials and people moving into the city than ever before. Due to the fact that Toledo was built on manufacturing, the Great Depression took a big toll. Even though many public building projects were implemented to give people jobs and to improve the city, the depression couldn’t be avoided. High unemployment, hunger, and poverty hindered the city until America choose to enter WWII. With the American war machine in full swing, manufacturing skyrocketed and the unemployment rate in Toledo virtually disappeared. In fact the city became one of the leading producers for Jeep’s used in the war, residents today still take pride in their effect on the war effort. Today, Toledo has a population over 280,000 and is the county seat of Lucas County.


Situated on the west end of Lake Erie and at the mouth of the Maumee River, Toledo has a wide range of outdoor activities and environments to enjoy. With the water so close, the maritime activities here are second to none. The scenic coastline is perfect for a guided boat tour. Boat tours are great for visitors because they give you a unique perspective of the local wilderness and wildlife. The lake and rivers provide great opportunities for fishing and you’ll find many guides and locations to purchase licenses and equipment. Kayaking, boating and rafting are also popular on the waterways and you’ll encounter numerous marinas ready to outfit you on your maritime adventures.


Toledo is also home to some spectacular parks and public areas. In fact, the city is home to a diverse collection of public parks called Metroparks of the Toledo Area. This group encompasses 14 unique park experiences. Let's take a look at a couple of examples. Bend View Park sits right on the remains of the Miami and Erie Canal and features lush surroundings, abundant wildlife and a network of scenic trails. Oak Openings Preserve is a lush and unique outdoor experience that covers a sprawling 4,000 acres. Here you’ll be able to hike, take photographs, watch wildlife and you get to see first hand, how important the wetlands are to the ecosystem. Maumee Bay State Park is a another great option for you to visit. The park cover over 1,300 acres and is recognized as one of the top outdoor recreation locations in the entire Midwest. Maumee Bay Resort is located on the grounds of the park and provides you with top tier amenities and gives your direct access to all the activities that the park has to offer.


If you're traveling with your family, friends, or your significant other, you're going to want to find some fun attractions to enjoy. Toledo plays host to many different attractions that will appeal to almost anyone, regardless of taste. The Toledo Zoo is nationally recognized as one of the best zoo’s in America. They offer a wide variety of wildlife, sealife, educational programs, and exhibits, which are great for visitors of all ages. Make sure not to miss out on their brand new aquarium. Another unique location to visit is the Toledo Farmers Market. You’ll love the lively and friendly atmosphere, as well as plenty of handmade goods, fresh vegetables and meats, delicious baked goods, flowers, plants and so much more. The Toledo Mud Hens are the AAA affiliate of the Detroit Tigers and they play their games at the beautiful and easy to access Third Fifth Field, it’s a great experience for all ages and any fan of baseball. Cedar Point Amusement Park is the perfect place for an entire day with the family or friends. The park hosts numerous events and features a multitude of rides, more fun games than you can count, and some great festival faire. The park truly has something for everyone!


Toledo is also home to a vibrant creative and artisan scene.  This is on display all over the city and a majority of the venues are easily accessible by visitors. The Toledo Museum of Art is a sprawling and beautiful establishment, packed full of unique pieces from many different art disciplines. Their Glass Pavilion is world renowned and absolutely breathtaking. The exhibits and organization of the facility are second to none, and the experience is more than memorable. The city is home to many other art galleries, shows and exhibits, all of which will give you an up-close, hands-on look at the unique art the region produces. Imagination Station is a can't miss destination for families and knowledge seekers. You’ll find a fully immersive learning experience that is based on fun activities, interactive exhibits and educational programs.


You’ll find some great live entertainment and beautiful venues to witness performers in the city.  Performing arts in Toledo are taken quite seriously. Multiple theater companies, dance companies, orchestras, bands and comedians call the area home. From historic venues to cutting edge new locales, this city has a wonderful assortment of places to witness live performances. The Huntington Center is one of the newer venues in the city. It holds 8,000 people and it's a great environment for large concerts. The Peristyle Theater, seats 1,700 and is home to the Toledo Symphony Orchestra's "Classic Series". It’s a beautiful venue modeled after the style of the Greek Revival, perfect for epic performances. The new Hensville Entertainment District hosts a series of great concerts and events, and you’ll absolutely love the new facilities and the fun overall atmosphere.

We’ve only just started to introduce you to the wonderful vacation destination that is Toledo, Ohio. With so many sights and sounds, you’ll likely want to extend your stay or make it an annual destination. If you're looking for more information about Toledo, please visit the Destination Toledo website.