By Heather Rader
Posted On: Aug 21, 2020
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.
Arts & Culture Walking Tours
Cincinnati -- View vibrant and larger-than-life art murals throughout the Queen City with a walking tour from ArtWorks Cincinnati. Marvel at historical buildings in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, then descend below the city streets to explore the underground tunnels that were once vital to Cincinnati’s brewing heritage. 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.
The Queen City Underground Tour is available from American Legacy Tours and is also located in OTR. After your tour, walk right across the street from your meeting destination for some chicken wings at Pontiac or head to Sacred Beast Diner for something a little more upscale.
NOTE: ArtWorks Mural public weekend walking tours are operating with safety precautions in place. Precautions include limiting the maximum number of guests to 10 people or less per tour and requiring face masks. They offer private walking group mural tours, which can be scheduled on an ongoing basis. They are indefinitely suspending bus tours.
Columbus -- Sharing highlights of the nationally praised urban historic district, admire the picturesque neighborhood of German Village while walking among historic brick streets with this 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.
Cleveland -- Offering daily guided tours of the museum’s collections is The Cleveland Museum of Art, where you can learn history and behind-the-scenes information about artwork and hear stories pertaining to the artists from knowledgeable docents. 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. Prior to starting the tour at Public Square, grab some tacos at Barrio. If you’re hungry afterwards, explore Playhouse Square and eat an authentic Italian meal at Cibreo Italian Kitchen.
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.
The Cleveland Museum of Art tours are still operating and the museum has issued enhanced daily cleaning, antibacterial solution stations through the museum, reduced capacity and is promoting social distancing and mandating facial coverings. They're asking visitors to provide the names of everyone in their party at the time of reservation for contact tracing purposes. The information won't be shared with outside parties beyond the situation.
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 will 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 Ohio’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 (operating by special request only), Anchorage Tours (appointment only) and Paranormal Investigation (private groups encouraged). If you’re still hungry after hearing the haunting history, walk the few blocks to Harmar Tavern for some traditional yet tasty bar food.
Food Walking Tours
Columbus -- Columbus Food Adventures offers a Taco Truck Tour. This tour will be run as a self-driving tour. All 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. Group sizes will be limited to 10 people, and appropriate social distancing practices will be 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.