By Heather Rader
Posted On: Apr 5, 2021
There's no better way to explore a city than by foot, taking in the scenery, sights, sounds and tastes first-hand. Whether your interests include arts and culture, history, food and drink or all the above, there's a walking tour for you in Ohio. Public art displays, architectural icons, historical sites, picturesque neighborhoods and hidden gems that locals love to share await you during one of these great pedestrian-friendly tours. Check out this list of Ohio's best walking tours.
NOTE: Check directly with places before you go to learn about their health guidelines, safety updates and any required reservations.
Arts & Culture Walking Tours
Cincinnati - View vibrant and larger-than-life art murals throughout the Queen City with a walking tour from ArtWorks Cincinnati. Enjoy public art as you stroll about the city on a self guided tour (don't forget to download the map before you head out). You'll work up an appetite during your tour, and luckily, there's an abundance of incredible restaurants in OTR. Head to Bakersfield for some delicious tacos, Goodfellas for pizza or Court Street Lobster Bar for some east coast eats.
Note: ArtWorks Mural public weekend walking tours typically take place May-October. Safety precautions will be in place and you can learn more, plus get updates, on their website. Bus tours are indefinitely suspended.
Columbus - Sharing highlights of the nationally praised urban historic district, admire the picturesque neighborhood of German Village while walking among historic brick streets with a resident-led walking tour. Before heading to the tour, fuel up with savory sandwiches at The Brown Bag Delicatessen, and then cool off with Jeni's Ice Cream.
Note: The resident-led German Village tour is still operating with social distancing practices in place. Face coverings are optional and you must provide your own if you choose to use one. To be able to speak clearly, the guide will not be wearing masks.
Note: Face masks are required when visiting CMA. There's also a limited number of free, timed tickets available. CMA has limited capacity for safety, and advanced reserved tickets are recommended. You can learn more about the guidelines and how to plan your visit on their website.
Take a Downtown Highlights Tour with Tours of Cleveland to see some of the city's best spots like Public Square, Lake Erie, The Arcade and the Cleveland Trust Company Building. You can also check out their new Downtown Public Art Walking Tour. Prior to starting the tour at Public Square, grab some tacos at Barrio.
Note: Tours of Cleveland has reduced the group sizes to help maintain social distancing. Staff and guests are required to wear face coverings. If you do not have a mask, they'll have extras available (free of charge).
Historical Walking Tours
Westerville - Explore the rich history of Westerville with self-guided tours of the city's cultural, historical and architectural heritage through the Westerville Public Library. Learn about the city's involvement in the Underground Railroad, the Westerville Whiskey Bars and how the town became the printing headquarters of the worldwide recognized Anti-Saloon League of America. Nestled across the street from the library is Northstar Cafe, where you can find one of the best veggie burgers in Columbus.
Marietta - As Ohio's oldest town, Marietta is the perfect place to learn about the state's foundation. With a tour from Hidden Marietta, you'll unlock the secrets of Ohio's past by learning about Marietta's paranormal history. Operating tours include Ghost Trek, Anchorage Tours and Paranormal Investigation. If you’re still hungry after hearing the haunting history, walk the few blocks to Harmar Tavern for some traditional - yet tasty- bar food.
Note: Upcoming dates for Hidden Marietta's History Tours will be announced soon. The Ghost Trek tour season begins in June.
Food Walking Tours
Columbus - Columbus Food Adventures offers several tasty tours throughout the city. Be sure to check out the Taco Truck Tour, which runs as a self-driving tour. Participants will meet the tour guide at a central point near the trucks and follow the clearly marked tour van in their cars from truck to truck.
Note: Group sizes will be limited to 10 people, and appropriate social distancing practices is expected. The entirety of the tour will be outdoors, and the indoor Mexican Market stop will be replaced with a dessert stop that remains outdoors.
Note: Call 216-395-0132 to book your ticket for a Taste of Cleveland Food Tour.