COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ohio is unveiling a host of new and unique travel experiences this year, ranging from a one-of-a-kind elephant habitat to a rare glimpse into the life of Cleopatra and from Civil War history to Women Who Rock!
"Located within a day's drive of about 60 percent of the U.S. population and with Ohio's reputation for delivering world-class experiences on an affordable budget, Ohio is perfectly situated for travelers seeking a vacation close to home," said Ohio Tourism Director Amir Eylon. "No matter your interests, Ohio has a new adventure to enhance your visit in 2011."
Following are just a few highlights of the new exhibits, attractions, events and travel opportunities that make Ohio Too Much Fun For Just One Day! For more information, check out DiscoverOhio.com, follow us on Twitter @DiscoverOhio, become a fan of the Ohio Tourism Division on Facebook or join the conversation on our blog at DiscoveringOhio.com.
Go for an exhilarating spin on WindSeeker, a new thrill ride debuting at both Kings Island and Cedar Point in the 2011 season. The 301-foot-tall tower will spin riders nearly 30 stories above the ground in two-person swings, reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour and flaring out 45 degrees from the tower.
Dinosaurs Alive! – Kings Island, Cincinnati (Opens May 26)
Get an up-close look at the world's largest animatronic dinosaur, the Ruyang Yellow River dinosaur – measuring an incredible 72 feet long, 12 feet wide and 30 feet high – and more than 60 of his life-sized friends like the meat-eating Tyrannosaurs Rex and the three-horned Triceratops. Other highlights in the 12.5-acre, Jurassic forest setting include a kids' paleontological dig site where visitors can uncover prehistoric fossils, and interactive consoles that allow guests to guide movement in some of the dinosaurs.
African Elephant Crossing at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – Cleveland (Opens May 5)
Modeled after African savannas, the new exhibit offers a naturalistic five-acre habitat with two sprawling ranges, deep ponds, a waterfall and mud wallow for up to 10 elephants. Visitors will be immersed in a realistic African village setting at the Crossing's education center that offers interactive displays, as well as "nose-to-trunk" viewing areas.
Sports & Recreation
Hocking Hills Canopy Zipline Night Flight – Rockbridge (Beginning in May)
If you've ever dreamed of zipping in the darkness, this two-hour nocturnal tour, offered on Fridays and Saturdays beginning in May, is made for you. You'll experience the sounds, the smells and the creatures of the night – then bravely zip off into the blackness! The tour includes six ziplines and four skybridges.
Scottish Links Golf Course at Glenlaurel – Rockbridge (Opens in May)
The Scottish Links at Glenlaurel will replicate the links-style courses built in the British Isles hundreds of years ago. This eight-hole, private course will be available for guests of Glenlaurel, a Scottish-themed inn in the Hocking Hills, and may be played with modern clubs or – for a true old-time experience – visitors can rent hickory-shaft clubs and vintage golf balls.
Cities, Culture & Cuisine
Columbus Food Adventures – Columbus (Now Open)
In addition to sampling a variety of dishes, these tours showcase a new side of the city, including eclectic neighborhoods, unique architecture and ethnic offerings. Starting in June, Columbus Food Adventures will add a German Village walking tour to its existing tours that focus on taco trucks, alternative eats, Short North food and desserts.
Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power – Cleveland (Opens May 13)
The exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum will fill two entire floors of the museum and touch on the firsts, the best, the celebrated, under-rated, and every rockin' woman who moved rock and roll music forward. Check out artifacts, video and listening stations, and other interactive exhibits that will tell the stories of more than 60 artists.
History & Heritage
Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt – Cincinnati (Open through September 5)
The world of Cleopatra, which has been lost to sea and sand for nearly 2,000 years, has resurfaced in a new exhibition, "Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt," at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Roughly 150 artifacts in the exhibition – from the smallest gold coins and jewelry to a papyrus document believed to be hand-written by Cleopatra and colossal statues – provide a window into Cleopatra's life and times.
Civil War Sesquicentennial (Now through 2015)
Ohioans from communities across the state played critical roles in the Civil War, and the sesquicentennial, observed from 2011 through 2015, is an ideal time to learn about and honor those individuals. Options include the recently relocated and renovated American Civil War Museum of Ohio in Tiffin, which offers eight exhibit rooms that follow the Civil War and Ohio's role in the conflict, boasting more than 10,000-square-feet of exhibit space and research. Additionally, the Ohio Statehouse – the spot where Abraham Lincoln learned he was officially elected U.S. President – is celebrating its 150th birthday in 2011 with a series of special events.
About the Ohio Tourism Division
The Ohio Tourism Division is the premier source of information for travelers and media about Ohio's vibrant tourism experiences, attractions and economy. Division marketing programs contributed to an estimated $36 billion in total sales in 2009 and 437,000 jobs sustained by visitors to the state. A part of the Ohio Department of Development, the Division's mission is to promote and celebrate Ohio's unique travel opportunities and market the state's outstanding quality of life.
SOURCE Ohio Tourism Division