21 Interesting And Fun Facts About Ohio [Explained]

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Did you know that long before Ohio became the 17th State in the U.S., the name Ohio came from the Iroquois Indians that had settled around the region in the 1650s and beyond? There are many fun facts about Ohio from its long history to modern-day culture.

If you are planning on taking a trip to the Buckeye State, here are some interesting Ohio facts to know as you explore the area.

Quick Facts And Statistics About Ohio

  • Capital: Columbus
  • Population: 11.76 Million (7th Populous State in the U.S)
  • Land Area: 44,826 sq mi / 116,098 km² (34th Largest in the U.S)
  • Nickname: The Buckeye State
  • Abbreviation: OH
  • Statehood: March 1, 1803 (17th U.S State)
  • State Bird: Cardinal
  • State Flower: Red Carnation

Historical Facts About Ohio

Ohio Used To Be Part Of The British Colonies

This is one of the Ohio facts many people have not heard about. It is understandable considering the state has been part of the Union for centuries.

Originally, Ohio was known as Ohio Valley/Country when France, Britain, and India fought for claims over the area. However, in the late 1780s, the United States made Ohio one of its Northwestern States after minor disputes between other states.


Ohio Played A Key Role In The American Civil War

One of the most known facts about Ohio (at least among people who keep up with history) is that Ohio had significant representation in the Union Army.

From around April 12, 1861, till May 26, 1865, the American Civil War was fought between the states in the North and those in the South. The sole reason behind the war was Abraham Lincoln’s decision to abolish slavery.

Ohio’s population was relatively high, resulting in most young men being sent off to join the war. The only states that provided more men than Ohio at the time were Pennsylvania and New York.

Ultimately, that did earn them Abraham’s praise in a statement, “Glory to God in the Highest. Ohio has saved the Union”.


Home To The First Professional Baseball Team

The Cincinnati Baseball Club, now known as the Cincinnati Red Sox, was put together in 1866 after baseball had been played on the side for years.

By 1868, the Red Sox had begun to charge an admission fee to anyone hoping to watch their games in their State.

The Ohioan team was the first to receive payment for the game, and their first official game was played in 1869. In similar periods, other states had also formed their professional baseball teams.


Aviation Started In Ohio

One of the proud facts about Ohio is that the Wright brothers hail from this northwestern state. The famous pair built the first plane that launched into the skies.

This first-ever plane was made somewhere in Ohio; lots of people believe that it was in Dayton, which is their hometown.

The brothers began by making gliders based on previous designers by pioneers like Augustus Herring. By 1903 the duo had flown the Wright Flyer II over some areas in South Carolina, which was a breakthrough that led to more improvements.

Cultural Facts About Ohio

Buckeye Candies

Some of the interesting facts about Ohio stem from its unique cuisines, and one such dish is the Buckeye candy. You will be able to find buckeye candies in most food outlets, parks, and cafes within the State.

Buckeye candy is a local favorite made with butter, peanut butter, and sugar. The three items are usually appropriately mixed and dipped in chocolate to enrich their taste.

If you’re wondering why it’s called Buckeye; it was given the name due to the similarities in appearance between the candy and the nut from the tree. This is one of the most famous foods in Ohio.


Annual Pumpkin Festival

Every year since 1903, Ohio has held its pumpkin show on the streets of Circleville; the only time it didn’t hold was during the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers in Ohio bring their biggest pumpkins for display, and the giant pumpkin will be determined by weighing.

Additionally, many pumpkin dishes will be available for tasting and purchasing; who knew you could make so much from pumpkins? The show runs for a few days, typically from Wednesday to Saturday. Each day has a line-up of activities to are bound to keep visitors entertained.

Oktoberfest Celebrations

Ohio had some German settlers in its lands around the 1700s and 1800s; as a result, you can find German influence in the local culture.

One of the most popular events and facts about Ohio is the annual Oktoberfest, which is a German tradition adopted by Ohioans.

Oktoberfest is always a big attraction as thousands of residents and visitors gather at different locations in the state to celebrate. This festival is a great excuse for everyone to gather and drink beer. It has been an ongoing tradition since 1974.


Hamburger Festival

When your State was once the home to the inventors of Hamburgers, what do you do? Host an annual hamburger festival, of course. This is one of the Ohio facts that will draw foodies worldwide to Buckeye State.

The Hamburger festival is hosted in 25 different restaurants around the State, and each restaurant prepares about 50 burgers. Each burger is meant to be unique, and the creators win prizes for their inventions.

Apart from the different Hamburger eating games, and displays, the festival still features many other fun activities for all ages.

Interesting Facts About Ohio For Kids


An Ohioan Invented The First Light Bulb

Everyone has heard about how the light bulb came to be and who it was invented by. However, most people don’t know more about Thomas Edison beyond his name and mind-blowing inventions.

Thomas Edison, like the Wright Brothers and several other notable inventors, is from Ohio. Thomas is also credited for inventing the phonograph, one of the essential facts about Ohio for kids to know.

That said, the Thomson Edison birthplace museum is one of the famous historic sites and landmarks in Ohio.

Ohio Is Known As The Birthplace Of Presidents

When the first Ohioan President, William Henry Harrison, was elected into office in 1841, no one could have guessed he was paving the way for many more U.S. Presidents to emerge. Since President Williams’s time, Ohio has produced 7 other presidents.

The last U.S. President that hailed from Ohio is Warren G. Harding. He was elected into office in 1921 but died of a heart attack two years later. Although, since his time, the state hasn’t had another president. This is one piece of information that’ll likely come up in an Ohio trivia.

 Inventors In Ohio Manufactured One Of The First Automobiles

There is a constant debate about who built the first automobile. The answers are always relative, depending on one factor or the other. However, John William Lambert from Ohio is credited as the first inventor to build the gasoline-powered single-cylinder automobile.

Lambert achieved this by remodeling a three-cylinder gasoline-driven automobile and remodeling it to work with one cylinder. He also recorded the first automobile accident; however, he kept improving on his designs and patented other inventions.

It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that this is a state of inventors.

Useful Ohio Facts For Travelers

Ohio Is Called Buckeye Because Of Its Trees

One of the fun facts about Ohio that stands out pertains to the origin of the state’s nickname – The Buckeye State. In earlier times, Ohio had many trees with nuts that the natives likened to deer or buck eyes.

However, what really made the “Buckeye” name stick was its inclusion in William Henry Harrison’s campaign strategy. When he won, other people associated the state with the name, and the residents embraced it.

Ohio Has The Longest Bar In The World

Among the fun Ohio facts that appeal to any beer lovers visiting the state is that it is home to the longest bar in the world.

Beer Barrel Saloon located on South Bass Island has a bar that is approximately 405 feet and 10 inches in length. This long counter is served by more than 50 beer taps.

The area is quite surreal at night, it bustles with so much activity once the lights come on. If you are interested in parties and nightlife, check out this place that Ohio is known for. It is sure to be an incredible experience.

Photo Credit: f11photo /Depositphotos.com

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame comes to mind whenever someone speaks of Ohio. This place is one of the most famous landmarks in Cleveland. It features memorabilia from numerous artists including Johnny Cash, The Beatles and Whitney Houston.

The museum showcases how rock music has evolved over time, making for a great experience for anyone who loves music. Apart from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, one of the awesome facts about Ohio is the presence of many other fun museums for all ages.

Photo Credit: teamtime /Depositphotos.com

Beautiful Beaches In Ohio

One of the surprising Ohio facts for many people is the number of nice beaches in the state. Being a landlocked region, beaches are probably not synonymous with Ohio.

Nevertheless, there are many great beaches in Ohio that make it one of the best places to visit during summertime. From Lake Erie’s Marblehead Lighthouse in Sandusky to Geneva State Park in Ashtabula County, check out these locations and experience the beauty of inland beaches.

Common Facts About Ohio

Smoking In Public Spaces Is Banned

For anyone new to the area, one of the essential facts about Ohio you should know is that the state has strict laws against smoking in public. One argument deliberated at that time was the effect of smoking among non-smokers and how it exposes them to the same risks.

In the workplace, you are not allowed to smoke inside or around the premises. Smoking even close to entryways is highly prohibited, except if the openings are sealed.


The Ohio State Bird

The Cardinal is the Ohio State bird, as made official in 1933 by the States General Assembly. Once upon a time, there were actually very few Cardinals in Ohio. However, as urbanization started, the number of Cardinals increased and the bird population prospered.

Right now, you’ll likely see several of them if you take a trip to Ohio, particularly amidst its nature. Of course, you can also visit them and other birds at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary in Mansfield, Ohio.


Lots Of Amusement Parks

For thrill lovers looking up fun facts about Ohio ahead of a visit, it is worth noting that Ohio has many amusement parks. The two most well-known ones are Kings Island Park and Cedar Point.

These parks offer different activities for visitors, including kids, to try out. There are roller coasters, slides, and other kinds of rides available. Some of these parks also have camping facilities and areas for visitors.

Other Interesting Facts About Ohio


Home To The Oldest Astronaut To Travel To Space/First American To Orbit The Earth

One of the most remarkable Ohio facts is that the state has produced many trailblazers. One such person is John Glenn, the oldest Astronaut to travel to space. In 1962, he even orbited the Earth three times.

When John performed this feat, he had already retired from serving actively with the Marine Corps and NASA. Before his demise, John Glenn represented Ohio in the Senate for about 25 years. His achievements and legacy are some of the things Ohio is known for.

Second Largest Amish Community

The Amish Country is in Holmes County, home to a Christian Sect that practices communal living. It’s among the unique Ohio State facts, given that this group engages in very minimal social interactions and shuns the use of modern technology.

The Amish Country in Ohio has grown to nearly 40,000 people. Their conservative lifestyle is a fascination; as a result, their area of residence is a major travel destination in Ohio.

The AA Group Was Formed In Ohio

The Alcoholics Anonymous group is a well-known group where people battling with drinking addictions meet to help each other abstain. You can add this to an Ohio trivia because, just like you must have figured by now, the program started in Ohio.

Two men, Bob Smith, and Bill Wilson struggled with alcohol addiction. After meeting in 1935, they formed a support group to encourage each other to overcome alcohol addictions. The method was effective and, over time, has grown to accommodate millions of members in the US and Canada.

Discovering More Fun Facts About Ohio

There are so many amazing facts about Ohio one can learn even before a visit. This is a state full of wonders, from its lighthouses to its people and traditions.

Many of the interesting Ohio facts can also be seen in its rich history, where you can learn about the state’s journey to being part of the Union. Plus its contribution to ensuring that the Union remained united.

There are many reasons to visit Ohio; you will discover why it is a significant region of the country.



Book Your Flight

I usually use a combination of 2-3 of the following search engines to find cheap flights: Skyscanner, Momondo, Google Flights

Find Your Accommodation

Booking.com is my usual platform for finding accommodation options as they have one of the largest selections. Hostelworld is great for booking hostels. For more private or long term accommodation, Airbnb is my go-to platform.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is important for to protect yourself against unforeseen circumstances. I usually look at a few insurance companies depending on my travel needs.
  • SafetyWings for Travel Health Insurance
  • IMG Global for added Insurance when doing activities outside of usual coverage
Packing for your trip? Check out the packing list for ideas on what to bring

For more travel resources, check out my resources page for best platforms and companies to use when you travel.

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Welcome To NomadsUnveiled
This is Rax. For over a decade, I have traveled to over 60 countries - from a budget backpacker to a business traveler, expat and then a digital nomad. You can find insights and perspectives from myself and other world travelers that will inspire your journey of discovery.


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