The 15 Best Things to Do in Toledo, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio, often dubbed the Glass City, is a vibrant hub of culture, art, and entertainment with a rich history and a promising array of activities for visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re an art aficionado, nature lover, or history enthusiast, Toledo’s diverse attractions offer something unique for every taste. Let’s explore the top things to do in Toledo, Ohio, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

Toledo Zoo & Aquarium

The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium stands out as a beacon of wildlife conservation and family entertainment, offering a multifaceted experience that goes beyond the ordinary zoo visit. What makes it truly remarkable is its commitment to providing immersive habitats for its inhabitants—over 10,000 animals spanning more than 720 species—ensuring they live in environments that closely mimic their natural settings. This attention to authentic habitat design enriches the visitor experience, enabling guests to observe animals in settings that reflect their original ecosystems, from the lush landscapes of the African savannah to the mysterious depths of oceanic realms.

Moreover, the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium excels in educational outreach, engaging visitors with interactive exhibits, informative talks, and live demonstrations that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for wildlife conservation. Its dedication to research and conservation initiatives both locally and globally underscores its role not just as an attraction, but as a pivotal player in wildlife preservation efforts. This blend of educational depth, conservation commitment, and the opportunity to witness a diverse range of animal life in thoughtfully designed habitats makes the Toledo Zoo & Aquarium a distinguished destination, offering a compelling and enriching experience for all ages.

Address: 2 Hippo Way, Toledo, OH 43609

The Toledo Museum of Art

The Toledo Museum of Art is a premier cultural institution that stands as a testament to the transformative power of art. Its greatness lies not only in the breadth of its collections, which span from ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces, but also in its inclusive philosophy that art is for everyone. This museum offers free admission, reflecting its commitment to accessibility and community engagement, allowing visitors from all walks of life to explore the rich tapestry of human creativity housed within its walls.

One of the museum’s crown jewels is the Glass Pavilion, a stunning architectural masterpiece that serves as a living tribute to Toledo’s legacy as the “Glass City.” This facility not only displays an exquisite collection of glass art but also hosts live glassblowing demonstrations, providing a unique, interactive experience that mesmerizes audiences. The Toledo Museum of Art’s dedication to education is evident through its array of programs and workshops designed to inspire visitors of all ages, making it a beacon of art education and appreciation in the heart of Toledo.

Address: 2445 Monroe St. Toledo, OH 43620

The National Museum of the Great Lakes

The National Museum of the Great Lakes offers an unparalleled exploration into the profound impact these bodies of water have had on the United States and Canada. What sets this museum apart is its dynamic approach to storytelling, weaving together the tales of explorers, shipwrecks, and the economic development tied to the Great Lakes. Through interactive exhibits and an extensive collection of artifacts, the museum brings to life the rich maritime history, making it a compelling experience for visitors of all ages.

A standout feature of the museum is the SS Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship. This restored freighter allows visitors to step aboard and experience the life of a Great Lakes sailor firsthand, offering a tangible connection to the past that is both educational and engaging. The museum’s commitment to preserving and showcasing the intricate history of the Great Lakes, from their ecological significance to their role in industry and transportation, makes it a unique and invaluable resource. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through the heart of North America’s maritime heritage.

Address: 1701 Front St. Toledo, OH 43605

Maumee Bay State Park

Maumee Bay State Park is a gem of natural beauty and recreational diversity, offering visitors a panoramic escape into nature’s embrace. What sets this park apart is its stunning array of landscapes, from the lush wetlands and scenic meadows to the sandy shores of Lake Erie, providing a serene backdrop for a multitude of outdoor activities. The park’s trails invite hikers and bird watchers to explore its rich biodiversity, with the boardwalk trail offering an intimate view of the wetland ecosystem and its inhabitants.

A hallmark of Maumee Bay State Park is its commitment to catering to a wide range of interests and ages, featuring amenities such as a golf course, comfortable lodging, and camping facilities, alongside beaches that beckon for relaxation or playful exploration. The park seamlessly blends the tranquility of nature with the comfort of modern facilities, making it an ideal retreat for those seeking a peaceful getaway or an active adventure. Its natural beauty, coupled with thoughtful amenities, ensures that Maumee Bay State Park remains a beloved destination for families, nature enthusiasts, and anyone looking to unwind amidst Ohio’s stunning landscapes.

Address: 1400 State Park Rd. Oregon, OH 43616

Imagination Station

Imagination Station, Toledo’s premier science center, is a vibrant hub of discovery and innovation that makes science accessible and fun for all ages. Its greatness lies in its interactive approach to education, allowing visitors to engage directly with scientific concepts through hands-on exhibits and activities. From exploring the laws of physics in the Energy Factory to understanding human biology in the Health Zone, the center covers a wide array of scientific disciplines in engaging and imaginative ways.

What sets Imagination Station apart is its dedication to sparking curiosity and fostering a lifelong love of learning. The IDEA Lab, for instance, is a maker space where creativity meets technology, allowing visitors to experiment with 3D printing, robotics, and more, blurring the lines between play and education. Additionally, the Little KIDSPACE, designed for younger children, ensures that even the smallest visitors can explore and learn in a space just for them. By providing an environment where experimentation and exploration are encouraged, Imagination Station inspires future generations of scientists, engineers, and innovators.

Address: 1 Discovery Way, Toledo, OH 43604

Toledo Botanical Garden

The Toledo Botanical Garden is a verdant sanctuary that offers a peaceful retreat into the beauty of nature, distinguished by its diverse botanical collections and artistic installations. Its greatness lies in the harmonious blend of art and horticulture, creating an immersive experience that stimulates both the mind and the senses. Visitors can wander through a variety of themed gardens, including the tranquil shade garden, the vibrant perennial garden, and the pioneering pioneer garden, each offering a unique display of flora and design.

A key feature that sets the Toledo Botanical Garden apart is its role as a cultural center, hosting a range of events from art exhibits to jazz concerts, thus weaving the threads of community, culture, and conservation into the fabric of Toledo’s social life. Additionally, its commitment to education is evident through workshops and programs designed to inspire gardeners of all skill levels and ages, promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship. This dynamic fusion of natural beauty, artistic expression, and community engagement makes the Toledo Botanical Garden a cherished oasis of inspiration and tranquility.

Address: 5403 Elmer Dr. Toledo, OH 43615

Wildwood Preserve Metropark

Wildwood Preserve Metropark stands as a testament to the natural and historical riches of Toledo, offering a serene yet stimulating environment for visitors. Its greatness is rooted in the diverse experiences it provides, blending recreational activities with the preservation of history and nature. The centerpiece, the Manor House, is a beautifully restored 1930s estate that gives a glimpse into the region’s past, surrounded by over 490 acres of lush landscapes.

What makes Wildwood Preserve uniquely appealing is its extensive network of trails that cater to both casual strolls and more vigorous hikes, guiding visitors through varied terrains and ecosystems. These trails not only offer a peaceful respite from the urban bustle but also serve as a corridor for observing wildlife and the changing seasons. The park’s commitment to environmental education is evident in its programming, which includes nature walks, educational workshops, and birdwatching events, fostering a deeper connection between the community and the natural world. Wildwood Preserve Metropark is a cherished green space, offering a blend of history, nature, and recreation that enriches the Toledo community.

Address: 5100 Central Ave. Toledo, OH 43615

Fifth Third Field

Fifth Third Field, the home of the Toledo Mud Hens, is more than just a ballpark; it’s a cornerstone of community and entertainment in Toledo. What makes it exceptional is its intimate atmosphere and fan-friendly environment, ensuring every visitor enjoys not just the game but a memorable experience. With a seating capacity that brings fans close to the action, the stadium offers unparalleled views of the field, creating an engaging atmosphere that resonates with the excitement of Minor League Baseball.

The park’s design thoughtfully incorporates Toledo’s rich history and modern amenities, from the nostalgic feel of its architecture to the state-of-the-art scoreboard. Beyond the game, Fifth Third Field hosts a variety of events, including family nights, fireworks, and special promotions, catering to a broad audience beyond baseball enthusiasts. Its location in downtown Toledo also means that a visit to the ballpark can be part of a larger exploration of the city’s dining and entertainment options. Fifth Third Field stands as a beacon of community pride, offering an inclusive, enjoyable experience for families, fans, and visitors alike.

Address: 406 Washington St. Toledo, OH 43604

The Valentine Theatre

The Valentine Theatre, a historic gem in the heart of Toledo, is celebrated for its architectural beauty and acoustical excellence, making it a premier venue for the performing arts. Restored to its former glory, the theatre combines the elegance of early 20th-century design with modern technical capabilities, providing an intimate yet grand setting for a wide range of performances. What sets the Valentine apart is its diverse programming, which includes Broadway shows, concerts, ballets, and operas, catering to varied artistic tastes and interests.

The theatre’s commitment to cultural enrichment extends beyond professional shows, hosting community events and educational programs that engage local talent and schools, reinforcing its role as a pillar of the arts in Toledo. The Valentine’s ambiance, characterized by its ornate detailing and cozy seating, ensures every visit is a special occasion, allowing audiences to immerse themselves fully in the spectacle on stage. This combination of historical significance, community involvement, and a broad spectrum of performances makes The Valentine Theatre a treasured destination for arts enthusiasts and a vital part of Toledo’s cultural landscape.

Address: 410 Adams St. Toledo, OH 43604

The Old West End Neighborhood

The Old West End Neighborhood in Toledo is a living museum of architectural grandeur, showcasing one of the finest collections of late Victorian, Edwardian, and arts and crafts homes in the United States. What makes this neighborhood stand out is not just the preservation of its historic buildings, but the vibrant community spirit and cultural diversity that thrive within its bounds. Walking through the Old West End is like stepping back in time, with each street offering a glimpse into the opulence and style of a bygone era.

The area’s greatness is further amplified by the annual Old West End Festival, a celebration of art, music, and history that draws visitors and locals alike into a weekend of tours, performances, and camaraderie. This event highlights the neighborhood’s commitment to fostering a sense of community and celebrating the rich heritage that makes it unique. The Old West End Neighborhood’s blend of architectural beauty, historical significance, and lively cultural scene make it a remarkable and cherished part of Toledo’s identity.

Address: Old West End Toledo

Tony Packo’s Café

Tony Packo’s Café is not just a restaurant; it’s a cultural icon in Toledo, celebrated for its distinctive Hungarian-American cuisine and unique memorabilia. Their claim to fame is its world-renowned Hungarian hot dogs, a delicious twist on the American classic, topped with a savory chili sauce that has been enticing locals and visitors alike since 1932. What sets Tony Packo’s apart is its fascinating history, immortalized by celebrity endorsements and appearances in popular media, most notably on the television show MASH*, which catapulted the café into national fame.

The walls of Tony Packo’s are adorned with autographed hot dog buns, a testament to the café’s widespread appeal and a unique feature that captivates guests. This collection, featuring signatures from celebrities, politicians, and athletes, adds to the eclectic charm and nostalgic atmosphere of the dining experience. Beyond the novelty and nostalgia, Tony Packo’s Café maintains a commitment to quality food and a welcoming environment, making it a beloved staple of Toledo’s culinary scene and a must-visit destination for those seeking to experience the city’s rich cultural tapestry.

Address: 1902 Front St. Toledo, OH 43605

Collingwood Arts Center

The Collingwood Arts Center in Toledo is a beacon for the creative spirit, housed in a majestic former convent that has been transformed into a vibrant hub for artists and art lovers alike. Its greatness lies in its dedication to fostering creativity across a wide array of disciplines, providing studios, galleries, and performance spaces that support and showcase local talent. This inclusive approach to the arts makes it a unique and vital part of the city’s cultural landscape.

What sets the Collingwood Arts Center apart is its nurturing environment for artists of all kinds, offering them a place to work, collaborate, and exhibit their creations. The center’s Gothic architecture adds to its allure, creating an inspiring backdrop for artistic exploration and expression. With a dynamic calendar of events, workshops, and exhibitions, the Collingwood Arts Center encourages community engagement and cultural enrichment. Its role in promoting the arts and nurturing talent has made it a cornerstone of Toledo’s artistic community, providing a space where creativity can thrive and be celebrated.

Address: 2413 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, OH 43620

Metroparks Toledo

Metroparks Toledo is an expansive network of natural areas and parks that stands as a testament to the beauty and biodiversity of Northwestern Ohio. Spanning over a dozen unique sites, each Metropark offers visitors a distinct experience, from the serene waters of Oak Openings Preserve, renowned for its rare oak savanna ecosystems, to the historic charm of Wildwood Preserve with its stately Manor House. What makes Metroparks Toledo truly exceptional is its commitment to conservation and accessibility, ensuring that these natural treasures are preserved for future generations while being fully accessible to the public today.

The diversity of activities available within the Metroparks system is remarkable. Hikers, bird-watchers, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts can find trails, waterways, and programs that cater to their interests, promoting an active and engaged relationship with the natural world. Educational programs and volunteer opportunities abound, fostering community involvement and environmental stewardship. This holistic approach to nature conservation, recreation, and education makes Metroparks Toledo a pivotal element of the region’s ecological and cultural fabric, offering endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.

Handmade Toledo

Handmade Toledo is a vibrant cornerstone of creativity and local craftsmanship located in the heart of Toledo. It distinguishes itself by showcasing a diverse collection of handmade goods from over 100 artists and crafters, primarily from Toledo and the surrounding region. What makes Handmade Toledo truly exceptional is its dedication to promoting independent makers, offering a platform where their unique creations—from jewelry and apparel to art prints and home decor—can shine. This commitment to local talent not only supports the community’s economy but also fosters a strong sense of unity and pride among residents.

The space itself is a testament to creativity, serving as both a retail store and a workshop venue where individuals can unleash their creativity through a variety of classes and events. Handmade Toledo’s emphasis on sustainability, community, and creativity aligns with a growing desire for meaningful, locally produced goods and experiences. By providing a gathering place for artists and patrons alike, Handmade Toledo stands out as a beacon of inspiration, celebrating the spirit of innovation and the art of the handmade.

Address: 1717 Adams St. Toledo, OH 43604

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, Toledo’s only cathedral, is a masterpiece of Spanish Plateresque architecture, making it a unique and striking presence in the region. What sets this cathedral apart is not just its architectural beauty, with intricate façades and stunning stained-glass windows, but also its role as a spiritual and cultural beacon for the community. This cathedral is a living museum of sacred art, housing an impressive array of religious artifacts, sculptures, and paintings that tell the story of faith through the ages.

The greatness of Holy Rosary Cathedral lies in its ability to blend art, history, and spirituality in a way that is accessible to all, regardless of one’s religious affiliation. The cathedral’s commitment to music and the arts is evident in its hosting of concerts and events that utilize its magnificent organ and acoustics, making it a center for cultural gatherings. Furthermore, its welcoming atmosphere invites visitors to explore, reflect, and find solace within its walls. The Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral stands as a testament to Toledo’s rich spiritual heritage and its enduring commitment to community and the arts.

Address: 2535 Collingwood Blvd. Toledo, OH 43610


Toledo, Ohio, offers a plethora of activities that cater to a wide range of interests. From its artistic treasures and natural wonders to its rich history and vibrant community spirit, Toledo invites visitors to explore and enjoy its many offerings. Each destination provides a unique glimpse into the city’s heart and soul, promising memorable experiences for all who venture into this dynamic city.

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