COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Over the last year, some of the country's largest media outlets discovered and shared Ohio's most authentic and unique experiences. From Conde Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure to USA TODAY and The New York Times, Ohio rooms, restaurants, arts and fashion, outdoor recreation and more appeared in "top-ten lists" or were named among the country's best places for visitors to enjoy.
"Ohio's major cities have undergone a renaissance in the last decade," said Mary Cusick, TourismOhio Director. "This is being noted by the national media, and they are coming to Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and everywhere in-between to experience and share our original spaces, places and people."
While there are plenty of reasons to travel Ohio in 2014, following are 10 tourism experiences touted by major media outlets last year.
Rooms with a View
21c Museum Hotel in Cincinnati was named the "#1 Hotel in the Country and #11 internationally" by Conde Nast Traveler. Magazine editors traveled to 57 countries and visited 201 new hotels to create the prestigious list of the "Top 100 Hotels in the World." In 2012, Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson opened 21c Cincinnati in the 100-year-old former Metropole Hotel building in the heart of downtown Cincinnati. They combined their idea for a modern art museum with a 156-room, boutique-style hotel featuring a rooftop cocktail terrace and Metropole restaurant led by Chef Michael Paley.
Zoar Bed & Breakfasts earned a spot in SmarterTravel.com's list of "America's 10 Coolest Hotel Conversions." Three buildings in the Historic Village of Zoar, founded by German separatists in 1817, have been repurposed as bed & breakfasts: the Cider Mill of Zoar (1863 cider mill), Zoar School Inn (1836 schoolhouse) and the Cobbler Shop Bed & Breakfast. Located approximately 75 miles south of Cleveland, Zoar visitors can also tour the historic village and its gorgeous gardens.
Taste of Ohio
The Orchids at Palm Court in Cincinnati was ranked No. 7 in OpenTable's "2013 Diners' Choice Top 10 Best Restaurants in America." Located at the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, a National Historic Landmark, the Orchids at Palm Court features modern American food using French technique and is led by Executive Chef Todd Kelly, the American Culinary Federation's 2011-2012 USA Chef of the Year. The building is French Art Deco with an original Rookwood Pottery fountain all restored to its 1930s grandeur.
Middle West Spirits in Columbus was included in Travel + Leisure magazine's list of "America's Coolest Distilleries" along with 14 other entrepreneurs from across the country. Middle West co-founders Brady Konya and Ryan Lang, make their products by hand from grains and agricultural ingredients grown in Ohio. Their flagship OYO wheat whiskey can be found in Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams' "OYO Whiskey and Pecans" flavor. The company also shares its barrels with The Tavern Vinegar Company, Chef Jonathan Sawyer's outlet for producing handcrafted vinegars from local ingredients, and Rockmill Brewery, which ages dark Belgian ale in OYO barrels.
USA TODAY said Columbus is emerging as an unlikely fashion hub, thanks in part to serving as home to large scale retailers including The Limited, Abercrombie & Fitch, Express and Victoria's Secret. Kelli Martin, a Columbus native and Project Runway alum, attributed the city's growing fashion culture to the students and aspiring designers at the Columbus College of Art & Design, as well as global fashion recruits and a creative class of entrepreneurs in the Short North Arts District. Fashionistas will want to read the whole article to get a list of recommended hip shopping spots, cool eateries, refreshing spas and artsy overnight lodging.
According to The New York Times, "Culture Blooms in Cleveland." Long the seat of northeast Ohio's arts scene, the area known as University Circle has blossomed with the multi-million renovation of the Cleveland Museum of Art, a new Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. At the Museum of Art, it isn't just the gorgeous new expansion and soaring atrium that have changed. The introduction of Provenance, a new restaurant by Chef Douglas Katz, provides creative menus that coincide with art exhibits. Nearby, the Cleveland Institute of Art is building a new 80,000-square-foot facility that will house the Cinematheque art-house film theater, along with classrooms and galleries.
Back to Nature
Among exotic travel locations such as French Polynesia, Tunisia and Croatia BuzzFeed featured one U.S. site – Hocking Hills – at number 19 in their list of "22 Stunning Under-The-Radar Destinations To Add to Your Bucket List in 2014." Known for its sandstone cliffs, gorges and waterfalls, BuzzFeed says Hocking Hills is "a must for nature lovers."
Headlands Beach State Park in Mentor was noted by CNN in its "20 More Can't-Miss U.S. Beaches" photo gallery. Headlands is surrounded by Headlands Dunes State Nature Preserve, and as the longest public beach in Ohio, the area is known as an exceptional spot for viewing, birds, butterflies and rare plants.
AOL Travel highlighted Ohio's amazing fall color in "Ohio Fall Foliage Drive." The author suggested a combination road trip and time outside hiking to really absorb the brilliant red, gold, auburn and purple of Ohio's autumn. Areas featured for visits include Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Amish Country and Hocking Hills State Park.
Roller Coaster Capital of the World
For the 16th year in a row, Amusement Today named Cedar Point the "Best Amusement Park in the Country" through its Golden Ticket Awards competition. Located on a peninsula in Lake Erie, Cedar Point has more coasters than any other park, along with plenty of additional rides and shows. Not to be outdone, Kings Island in Mason took the Golden Ticket for "Best Kids Area," a title they have held for 13 years. A waterpark, Planet Snoopy and a healthy grouping of scream machines round out this family friendly park.
To keep up to date on what the world is saying about Ohio tourism experiences; follow our Ohio Travel News Board on Pinterest. For more information, check out DiscoverOhio.com, follow TourismOhio on Twitter @DiscoverOhio, like Discover Ohio on Facebook or join the conversation on our blog at DiscoveringOhio.com.
About the Office of TourismOhio
The Office of TourismOhio is the premier source of information for travelers and media about Ohio's vibrant tourism experiences, attractions and economy. Tourism marketing programs helped generate more than 188 million visits to Ohio in 2012. A part of the Ohio Development Services Agency, TourismOhio markets Ohio's distinctive travel opportunities and promotes the State's outstanding quality of life.
SOURCE Office of TourismOhio