Aerial panorama of the Cedar Point peninsula at dusk, in Sandusky, Ohio, on Erie Lake.

7 Most Beautiful Cities In Ohio

Ohio is a state in the United States located in the Midwestern region with a rich history and many beautiful cities to explore. The state is bordered by Indiana in the west, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in the east, Kentucky in the south, and Michigan and Lake Erie in the north.

The state has some of nature’s best wonders like the Appalachian Plateau, the Glaciated Plain, the Great Black Swamp, and access to water bodies including Alum Creek, Indian Lake, Salt Fork Lake, and Turkey Creek Lake. These beautiful cities in Ohio have their own charm, history, and unique attractions, waiting to explore.


Guernsey County Courthouse, built in 1883 with the Guernsey County Civil War Memorial in front, Cambridge, Ohio.
Cambridge, Ohio. Image credit JNix via Shutterstock

Cambridge is a city in and county seat of Guernsey County in the Appalachian foothills in southeastern Ohio. The city has a population of about 10,000 and is well known as the center of glass making industry. The "S" shaped bridges are another popular fascination in the city dating back to their origins of the building of the National Road in 1828.

For those interested in this pretty town’s history, check out the National Museum of Cambridge Glass and the Mosser Glass Factory. In addition, the city’s iconic main street includes friendly restaurants, fun activities, and intriguing stores. There is always something to try out such as the city’s fun events like the Cambridge Main Street Farmers Market which is open from May through October. This is a great opportunity for people to relish in the locally grown produce and the Cambridge Classic Cruise-In Car Show event. For nature lovers, there is the closeby popular Salt Fork State Park or The Great Guernsey Trail.


McKinley National Memorial, Canton, Ohio
Canton, Ohio.

The northeastern Ohio city of Canton is the county seat of Stark County and is the center of the metropolitan area that includes the cities of North Canton, Massillon, and the village of East Canton. The city has a population of about 70,500 and hosts an abundance of attractions, the most popular one being the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Among the many amazing things to do, and places to visit in this beautiful city, you can choose a combination of indoor and outdoor activities. There are art galleries and museums, live music, public art, theatre, concerts, festivals, wineries, distilleries, breweries, trails, parks, lakes, and much more. The city’s top attractions include McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, a library, and a museum in honor of US president William McKinley, Canton Palace Theatre, a historic movie place downtown, First Ladies National Historic Site, a well-preserved historic site dedicated to American first ladies, Gervasi Vineyard, and Downtown Canton Arts District area.


A scenic byway feeds tourists into the downtown area in the settlement called Marietta in Ohio State
Marietta, Ohio.

Situated in southeastern Ohio, Marietta is a city in and the county seat of Washington County, located at the banks of two rivers, the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, opposite Williamstown city in West Virginia thus sharing its border with the state. With a population of about 13,500, the city is an iconic riverboat town with a rich history dating back to 1788. Famous for its European feel and small-town charm, the city’s beauty includes its majestic brick streets with Victorian houses, local restaurants, unique boutiques, and a historic yet lively downtown scene.

With a rich history, an amazing charm, and activities like Ales Festival, trails, and its rivers, it is no surprise that National Geographic has named this city as one of America’s Best Adventure Towns. The city’s popular attractions include the Campus Martius Museum, The Castle, The Basilica of Saint Mary of the Assumption, the Ohio River Museum, the Marietta River Trail, and the Riverside Artists Gallery.


Photograph of Gibson's Bakery storefront, Oberlin, Ohio
Oberlin, Ohio. Image credit Michael T Hartman via Shutterstock

Located in northern Ohio, Oberlin lies about 35 miles southwest of Ohio’s significant city, Cleveland. Oberlin is a small city with a population of about 8,250, and this small yet vibrant city belongs to Lorain County. Best known for Oberlin College, a private liberal arts college founded in 1833, the college made history when it became the first American higher education institute to grant admission to black students as well as admit female students. The community is close-knit with a lively arts and culture scene, historic homes, an underground railroad, and monuments that enhance its attractiveness.

Voted by the Ohio Magazine in 2012 as being among the state’s best hometowns, this quintessential college town has some rich history along with its scenic beauty. Some of the city’s popular attractions tell beautiful stories of its history such as the Oberlin Heritage Center, the Monroe House, and the Allen Memorial Art Museum. Other amazing places to visit include the Weltzheimer-Johnson House Frank Lloyd Wright Building, a ranch-style house built in the 1940s, Tappan Square, a place amidst nature with wide open spaces amidst animals and nature, and the Little Red Schoolhouse, an 18th-century one-room schoolhouse.


Boats sit idle docked to piers in a harbor along the coast just outside of downtown on a sunny autumn day, Sandusky, Ohio
Sandusky, Ohio. Image credit Big Joe via Shutterstock

Sandusky is a city in and the county seat of Erie County located in northern Ohio along the Sandusky Bay shoreline on Lake Erie. With a population of about 24,800, the city has some exquisite downtown architecture, beautiful parks, and a wealth of history, including its role in the Underground Railroad. Due to the city’s famous family attractions, including water, wildlife, and amusement parks it is referred to as the "Best Coastal Small Town in America."

Since indoor water parks operate all year round such as the iconic and famous Cedar Point Amusement Park with its many roller coasters, the city is also called Ohio's Water Park Capital. Other top attractions include Kalahari Waterparks, Castaway Bay Waterpark, the historic Sandusky State Theatre, and the Merry-Go-Round Museum which has restored wooden animals and a working antique carousel. Ghostly Manor Thrill Center is a must-stop site for sports and thrilling adventure, Shoreline Park, and Lagoon Deer Park for a time in the wild, Firelands Winery for fine wine, and Maritime Museum of Sandusky to see exhibits on shipwrecks, boatbuilding, and ice harvesting.

Tipp City

Charleston Falls Preserve Tipp City, Ohio
Tipp City, Ohio.

Tipp City is a Miami County city located in the west-central part of the state on the Miami River about ten miles north of Dayton and 57 miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio. The city has a population of about 10,000 and prioritizes local jobs.

The city’s downtown is on the National Register of Historic Places and has a dynamic community of old handicraft stores, unique shops, magnificent parks, and home-style restaurants that tourists and residents enjoy. Visitors love the downtown tour as the area is a characteristic highlight of the city. The city also hosts local events including the famous Canal Music Fest which happens in mid-June and the annual Tipp City Mum Festival which takes place in late September and held since 1959. The city’s popular attractions are Charleston Falls Preserve, Honey Creek Preserve, Patriot Antique Shoppe, and Tippecanoe Family Aquatic Center.


The scenic overlook of the Maumee river at Bend View park in Waterville Ohio
Waterville, Ohio.

This Lucas County city of Waterville is a suburb of Toledo, set along the Maumee River near the western corner of Lake Erie and the Michigan border in northwest Ohio. The city is one of Ohio’s best cities to live in and is well-known for its history, small-town vibe, local parks, shops, and businesses. Although first occupied by Europeans in the late 18th century, the history of this pretty little town is much older.

Waterville has a small population of about 6,000 but is popular due to its exquisite structures that have preserved its history adding to the city’s marvel as a tourist destination. One of its main attractions is the 1828 Columbian House, which served as an inn and restaurant, a tavern, and a trading post. Years ago, the rocky outcrop in the Maumee River called Roche de Boeuf served as the locale of Native American councils, another beautiful place to see. The Roche de Boeuf festival is a popular event that people love to experience. Other attractions include parks like Baer Park, Conrad Park, and Memorial Park, and the Interurban Bridge also known as the Ohio Electric Railroad Bridge, an old Roman railroad bridge.

Be it the stunning natural beauty and history of Cambridge, or the beautiful 1800s architecture of Marietta, to the picturesque Sandusky with its outdoor activities, and relaxation on the banks of the Maumee River at Waterville, these cities have endless fun and unique attractions. Whether visitors are looking to make the most of summer on the shores of the beautiful lakes, admire the historic buildings and museums, or just enjoy nature, these beautiful Ohio cities are waiting for you to explore.

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