When it comes to popularity, The Buckeye State has no shortage of it. Filled with popular sports teams, Midwest culinary creations, and easy road trips to everywhere in the state, it’s also filled with quirky roadside attractions to make you giggle and smile. This is our list of fourteen quirky things to visit in Ohio.
Not used as a way of showcasing the summer and winter solstices in England but instead, a field of giant corn cobs, Cornhenge, officially titled Field of Corn (with Osage Oranges Trees), in Dublin pays homage to Sam Franz and Ohio’s agriculture. Working with Ohio State University, Franz helped to create several varieties of hybrid corn, and the 109 cobs were carefully placed on the land that was used. Fashioned to look exactly like the Corn Belt Dent varietal, each six-foot-tall cob offers a different perspective on the three individual ones used as reference.
2. Horse-Drawn Buggy ATM
Head to the opposite corner of The Spirit of ‘76 Museum in Wellington, and you’ll spy a cool piece of Americana that’s also an ATM Machine. Officially called “Ye Olde Automatic Teller Machine,” the original piece has been a delight to see since 1999. Originally built to resemble an Amish horse-drawn wagon, it was refurbished in 2015 and put back on display as a horse-drawn wagon in 2020.
3. Crying Haserot Angel
Visit the famous Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland with its 100,000 graves, and you’ll either love its serenity or steer away from one of the creepiest places in Ohio. For those who find it beautiful, the Crying Haserot Angel gravesite is worth seeing. With “The Angel of Death Victorious” sitting prominently on Francis Haserot and the family’s gravesite surrounded by beautiful marble, compliments of the statue’s bronze weathering, it looks like it’s crying black tears.
A Wyandot Native American leader, Leatherlips ruled during the late 18th and into the 19th Centuries. To encourage cooperation between the Native American tribes in Ohio and the white settlers, he signed the Treaty of Greenville. In honor of the brave man, Scioto Park in Dublin has a beautiful sculpture to pay tribute to his effort. Created by Ralph Hemlick and installed in 1990, the 12-foot-high piece was created with native limestone that was stacked and then mortared in place.
5. The Troll Hole
With the honor of being the “World’s Largest Troll Collection” by the Guinness Book of World Records, The Troll Hole Museum in Alliance will not disappoint fans of the toy. Taking an abandoned building and fixing it up, owner Sherry Groom has collected the brightly-colored hair dolls since she was five years old. Today, the museum showcases over 8,000 trolls and has over 25,000 pieces of troll memorabilia. Including a Troll Hall of Fame, Troll Cave, and Scandinavian Trolls history rooms, guests come away with a newfound knowledge of the cute collectible.
6. Feline Historical Museum
As a self-professed crazy cat lady, there’s no way I could talk about quirky things to visit in Ohio without mentioning the Feline Historical Museum in Alliance. Starting in 1990 with a mere 100 books on the four-legged cuties, its library now houses over 8,500. In addition to the reference material, educational displays throughout the building trace the history of cats. If you love a good “Where’s Waldo?” hunt and search, keep an eye out for the museum’s live cats that roam around.
7. The World’s Largest Crystal Cave
I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the World’s Largest Crystal Cave on Put-in-Bay Island near Sandusky, and it truly is a gem, pun intended. Located at Heineman’s Winery, it was discovered while drilling for a well on the grounds in 1897. Filled with the mineral celestite, when you tour the geode, you’ll have to traverse up and down steep stairs, but it’s worth the exercise as you’ll get a history lesson and a sample of wine included with admission.
8. Shortest Street in America
Bellefontaine has two street accolades: “The World’s Oldest Concrete Street” and “The Shortest Street in America.” Named after one of eight U.S. Presidents hailing from Ohio, McKinley Street claims to be a mere 15 feet long, while others have stated it’s 30 feet long. Once dubbed “The World’s Shortest Street,” the city had to change its official sign when Ebenezer Place in Wick, Scotland, which came in at only six feet, nine inches long, was given the title.
9. American Sign Museum
If you think you need to go to Las Vegas to see giant neon signs, Cincinnati has you covered instead. The American Sign Museum is all about keeping commercial signs and sign-making popular by showcasing their art and history. With 20,000 feet of space spanning multiple rooms, it’s like walking through 100 years of design and technology. Opening in 2012 as the current location, owner Tod Swormsdedt has outgrown previous homes compliments of a love of Americana signs.
10. Pretty Boy Floyd Mask
Ahh, the days of the gangsters. They stole and robbed and did unspeakable deeds, but their place in American history gets more popular with each passing year. One of history’s most famous gangsters, Public Enemy #1, Charles Arthur Floyd, aka Pretty Boy Floyd, was gunned down in a field outside of East Liverpool on October 22, 1934. Taken to a local mortician at Sturgis Funeral Home in the city, his death mask was made out of pottery slip and now can be seen in that same basement, although the funeral home is now a bed and breakfast.
11. Merry-Go-Round Museum
Not only is Sandusky home to the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” Cedar Point, but the Merry-Go-Round Museum in the downtown area. Complete with an indoor carousel that’s free to ride with paid admission, the museum showcases not only intricately carved horses but also a menagerie of other animals that have made their way onto carousels. Hit the timing right, and you may spy on an artist working on a replica carving.
12. Topiary Park
If you’re familiar with painter George Surat, his masterpiece Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte will undoubtedly bring a beautiful water scene to mind. As for Topiary Park in Downtown Columbus, creator James T. Mason gets the accolade for the seven-acre recreation. In 1989, when he and his wife pitched the concept to the Ohio capitol city, James created everything from the bronze frames that make up the topiaries’ interiors but carved out the pond and created hills. With 54 people, three dogs, a cat, a monkey, and eight boats, yew trees were used for each piece.
13. Dave Grohl Alley
Running parallel from Market Street in Warren, Dave Grohl Alley pays homage to Nirvana’s and Foo Fighter’s famous drummer and all-around cool dude. Grohl, born in Ohio, moved to Alexandria, VA, when very young but still has family ties to the city. With murals dedicated to the musician created by local artists, its color palette is as vibrant as the man himself. If that wasn’t enough to encourage rock fans to visit, it’s also the home to the “World’s Largest Drumsticks,” made from 23-foot-long poplar logs.
14. World’s Largest Rubber Stamp
An outdoor sculpture at Willard Park in Cleveland, the Free Stamp is the “World’s Largest Rubber Stamp.” Measuring in at 28 feet 10 inches by 26 feet by 49 feet, it was commissioned by Standard Oil of Ohio in 1985. With its freedom theme created to reference the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument across the street, it was donated to the city of Cleveland in 1991.
Travel journalist, Published author, Editor, Copywriter
- Expertise: Travel content, Travel segment expert
- Education: Kent State University
- Published Work: Secret Pittsburgh (2020)
- Over 700 articles published both online and in print.
Experience: Karyn Locke got her start writing Walt Disney World reviews over ten years ago for trekaroo. Bitten by the travel bug compliments of her military brat upbringing, she’s put her passion for road trips into popular content featuring theme parks, large cities and small towns, where the locals go, and of course, Disney theme parks.
Present day, Karyn is the lead writer and editor for her travel website, Sand and Snow. She also highlights the best places to visit as the travel expert on a monthly live television segment on KDKA Pittsburgh’s Talk Pittsburgh show. Additionally, she’s proud to call herself both a travel expert and travel editor at Wealth of Geeks and uses her experience at both jobs to provide tips and tricks to all who love to hit the road.
You can find Karyn on her travel website, Sand and Snow, and on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and X @karynlocke. Email Karyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.