Plenty of American greats – from U.S. presidents to inventors to authors and more – called Ohio home. No wonder the state is dotted with famed estates and historic homes, including some that you can admire from outside, while others are available for tours or overnight stays.
Here’s just a handful of the many homes to add to your list of places to explore in the state.
The Glidden House – Cleveland
Driving around University Circle, I initially mistook The Glidden House for another museum. After all, it sits within walking distance of the Cleveland Muesum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Cleveland Botanical Garden. Yet this 1910-built Gothic treasure is now a boutique hotel, offering guests a chance to stay in a piece of history. One highlight of my stay was the European-style breakfast buffet in the morning that you eat right in the mansion’s parlor and sunroom areas.
Harriet Beecher Stowe House – Cincinnati
As the former residence of abolitionist and author, Harriet Beecher Stowe, you’ll learn more about the influences that led her to write the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin back in 1850. Tours through the home include information about Stowe, along with the Underground Railroad and women’s rights movements taking place in the 1830s.
Thomas A. Edison Birthplace – Milan
One of America’s greatest inventors was born in an unassuming home about an hour west of Cleveland and just south of Sandusky. Born in Milan in 1847, Edison went on to create an impressive list of firsts from the phonograph to the incandescent light bulb and even motion picture cameras (and that’s just a partial list!). The home has been restored to what it may have looked like at the time Thomas came into the world.
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens – Akron
Spread over 70 acres, take your time walking through the curated grounds and carefully tended gardens all around Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. The estate dates back to 1912, built as an American Country Estate for entrepreneur F.A. Seiberling, one of the co-founders (with his brother) of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Some outdoor standouts include the Dell, where an explosion of wildflowers greet visitors, the romantic Rose Garden and the newer interactive garden, dubbed a Playgarden. Inside, choose from guided or self-led tours through sections of the 65-room Tudor Revival Manor home.
James A. Garfield National Historic Site – Mentor
Born and raised in Ohio, James A. Garfield served multiple terms in the U.S. Congress before being elected the 20th president of the United States in March of 1881. President Garfield served only 200 days before being assassinated. Remembered for this strong leadership and stance against slavery, visitors can get to know Garfield, along with what life would have been like in the 1880s, while touring the home.
Thurber House – Columbus
Known for his keen wit that was frequently on display within the cartoons he created for The New Yorker, James Thurber was born right in Ohio’s capital city of Columbus. Also celebrated as a playwright, author and journalist, you’ll uncover more about his life and mission at the Thurber House (built in 1873) that’s now a hotspot for both established and aspiring writers.
William Howard Taft National Historic Site – Cincinnati
Born in 1857 in Cincinnati, William Howard Taft went on to become a successful lawyer and judge before eventually becoming the 27th President of the United States in 1909. Those are just some of the details you’ll delve into while touring Taft’s birthplace and childhood home. One more interesting distinction that sets Taft apart from any other president? Once his days in the White House were over, he was appointed a Chief Justice.