State: Ohio – OH

Published on June 4th, 2015 | by Brandon Ramsey in Geography


Ohio is one of the 50 U.S States located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is one of the smaller locations in the country, but it has some major cities and tourist attractions packed within it. Today we’ll explore the geography, climate, and the various tourist attractions it offers.

Before we dive into these things though, first let’s take a look at some important information about the state:

  • Capital: Columbus
  • Nicknames: “The Buckeye State,” “The Mother of Presidents,” “Birthplace of Aviation,” “The Heart of It All.”
  • State motto: “With God, all things are possible.”
  • 34th largest state, 7th largest population
  • Admitted to the Union: March 1, 1803
  • Time Zone: Eastern UTC -5/-4
  • State Flag
  • State Website: ohio.gov

map of ohio in the united states

A Broad Overview of Ohio

Among the 50 United States, this one is one of the smallest in size (ranked 34th), but it has one of the highest populations (ranked 7th). The capital of the state is Columbus, which also happens to be the largest city as well. The state’s name originated from the Iroquois word ohi-yo which means “great river” or “large creek.”

map of ohio

The state’s boundaries were taken from the Northwest Territory and it was admitted to the union as the 17th state under the Northwest Ordinance. While the story behind the location’s nickname “The Buckeye State” is conflicted in its origins (most believe it originates from the native buckeye tree) people in the state refer to themselves as “Buckeyes” as well.

The government of the state is composed of the typical three branches. The executive branch is led by the Governor, the Legislative branch led by the General Assembly, and the Judicial branch which is led by the Supreme Court.

In national elections, this state is known as a “swing state” and a “bellwether.” These terms refer to the state’s reputation of not supporting either of the main political parties very strongly. Six United States Presidents have also had homes in this state.

OH Climate and Geography

The majority of Ohio is classified as a humid continental climate. The southernmost counties located in the Bluegrass region sit on the northern border of the humid subtropical climate that the Upland South region of the United States is known for. Summers in the state are hot and humid, while winters can range from cool to very cold.

Rainfall is moderate through out the year, but severe weather is fairly common. That being said, there are fewer tornado reports here than in the states that are located in Tornado Alley. In addition, lake effect snowstorms are common near the southeast shore of Lake Erie which is part of a region called the Snowbelt.

The change in climate from the northern to southern regions of the state affects the type of plants you will see. Exceptions to the rule like the blackjack oak will appear north of the Ohio River, but plants such as the Southern magnolia, mimosa, Crape Myrtle, and others will grow in the south part of the state, but not in the north.

When traveling on Interstate 75 from Cincinnati to Toledo, travelers can see this change in the local flora and fauna if they are looking closely. The highest temperature ever recorded in the state was 113 degrees Fahrenheit in 1934. The lowest temperature was -39 degrees Fahrenheit in 1899.

The location geographically has afforded it a substantial amount of growth and expansion in the economy. The location links the Northeast and the Midwest regions of the United States which requires a lot of cargo and business to pass through it. Lake Erie to the north allows for 312 miles of coast for the state to employ cargo ports.

Pennsylvania sits to the east, Michigan to the northwest, Canada to the north, Indiana to the west, Kentucky to the south, and West Virginia to the southeast. The boundaries of the state were defined by metes and bounds in the Enabling Act of 1802. Metes are boundaries defined by specific courses or measurements, while bounds are physical boundaries like rivers, mountains, roads, walls, and so on.

The vast majority of the geography is composed of glaciated plains. One particular area, known as the Great Black Swamp is extremely flat. There are parts of the state that have hills and higher elevation, such as the Appalachian Plateaus in the southeast.

There have been several earthquakes, but only one truly horrific weather event. This was the Great Dayton Flood of 1913 when the Miami River watershed flooded, along with the downtown district of Dayton. Since 1776 there have been over 200 earthquakes with a magnitude of 2.0 or higher in the state.

The biggest quake was the Anna earthquake which occurred in March of 1937. It had an epicenter in the western portion of the state, and its magnitude was 5.4. Several other quakes have occurred in the 4.0 range, with the most recent one being on new year’s eve of 2011 which had a magnitude of 4.0.

Things to See and Do

Ohio is surprisingly full of things to do. Everything from museums, to zoos, to theme parks. Let’s take a look at a few examples of attractions and landmarks you’ll want to visit:

1. Cedar Point Amusement Park 

This park was once nominated as the Best Amusement Park in the world. It is renowned for its collection of pulse-pounding roller coasters. Combine these rides with areas for kids, live entertainment, and a location right on the beach.

2. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum 

That’s right, this place is home to the official Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The museum’s motto speaks volumes: “To engage, teach, and inspire through the power of rock and roll.” Even as you walk up to the unique pyramid shaped building, you’ll know you’ve come to a place with a lot of history and respect for this genre of music.

3. LeVeque Tower 

From the moment it was constructed in 1927, the LeVeque tower has been an iconic scene on the Columbus skyline. While the occupants have changed over the years, the unique architecture has remained stylish and impressive throughout.

4. The Pro Football Hall of Fame 

Yet another massively popular museum! In Canton you’ll find the official football hall of fame along with a museum for you to visit. Guided tours take you through the history of this incredibly popular sport as you see the legends of their respective times.

5. The Cincinnati Zoo 

This incredible zoo seeks to excite and educate its visitors through a variety of exhibits and live shows. While some of the things are subject to the seasons, for the most part the zoo is always packed, especially during the spring and summer seasons.

Before you go, be sure to check out our list of Ohio state facts to maximize your knowledge of this state. Don’t forget to weigh in with your stories about visiting or living here in the comments below!

printable map of ohio



About the Author
Brandon Ramsey

Brandon Ramsey is the head author and editor of The Time Now Blog. Be sure to follow us via social media!


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