Having gone to school at the University of Toledo, I thought I knew all there was to know about the city that borders that state to the north. It was only when I visited again for work a few weeks ago, that I realized I was blind as a college student (shocker right!?).
We began our day with a tour of the Seagate Convention Center, a perfect space for exhibits, tradeshows and more. We walked along the skywalk to the stunning Huntington Center, an 8,000-seat arena that hosts concerts, ice hockey and even bull riding (coming in February 2015). We stayed for a while to watch the Toledo Walleye, an ECHL (East Coast Hockey League) team affiliated with the Detroit Red Wings, practice on the ice. There is a lot of buzz about the upcoming Winterfest (Dec. 26-Jan. 4) when the Walleye will play two outdoor games at Fifth Third Field on December 27 and January 3. Winterfest also includes several open skate opportunites for the public to enjoy the outdoor ice.
The folks at Destination Toledo were gracious enough to show us some of the other highlights of Toledo. We stopped by the Toledo Zoo and met Emerson – a 100-year-old tortoise who was active and quite curious about his visitors.
We also got a sneak peak of the aquarium renovation at the Zoo which will include a 93,000 gallon tank that will take you on an “under the sea” adventure when it opens in March 2015. Currently, you can visit the Zoo to enjoy “Lights Before Christmas” which runs through January 4, 2015.
By this point, we were getting a little hungry and excited to head to the Docks downtown to enjoy some tasty seafood at the Real Seafood Company. Despite the rainy day, the view of Toledo and the Maumee River was very impressive, and I was happy to see Toledo has made such great use of its riverfront.
But the day was far from over! We stopped by the newly opened National Museum of the Great Lakes. It was so interactive that any age would enjoy learning about the fascinating history of the Great Lakes including some ship wrecks that have yielded some spooky happenings around the museum. There is also the SS Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship (formerly the SS Willis B. Boyer) next door that is truly massive and on our list for a future visit.
Of course we had to stop by the famous Tony Packo’s for some Hungarian hot dogs while in town. The restaurant’s Hungarian roots date back to 1935. It received national recognition thanks to actor Jamie Farr of the TV show “M*A*S*H” who had a taste for those Hungarian hot dogs! We also had the chance to taste the chicken paprikas, stuffed cabbage, and warm apple dumplings – yum!
We topped off the visit with the impressive Toledo Museum of Art. The buildings themselves on the campus are a work of art! They include the main museum with 45 galleries, the Glass Pavilion, the Center for the Visual Arts, the Professional Arts Building and more. There are more than 30,000 works of art to enjoy and a fantastic gift shop that features the work of talented local artists.
It was a great trip to T-town and we can’t wait to go back!