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If you are in the US state of Ohio, be sure to visit a modern and beautiful city called Toledo. The city is located in the north-west of the state and borders with the neighboring state of Michigan. The history of Toledo originates in 1974, when the territory of the modern city was inhabited by immigrants from Europe, the first city was inhabited by representatives of French nationality. This happened after the Battle of the Broken Forest (the territory of the present suburb of Toledo) between the legion of the American army and the tribes of the Indians.
Initially, the city was used as a port center that connected the Momi River with the Great Lakes, but in the second half of the 19th century Toledo became the largest railway center in the Midwest, thanks to which, rapid industrial development began. The most famous are the enterprises, the main activity of which was the processing of glass. In this regard, you can recall the first building in the world, which was covered with glass – the administrative building of the company Owen-Illinois, built in 1936. There are a lot of interesting things to do in Toledo Ohio and now we are going to talk about those that are worth your attention.
- Thing to do number 1: Visit the Museum of Fine Arts
- Thing to do number 2: Go to the Toledo Zoo
- Thing to do number 3: Go to the Botanical Garden
- Thing to do number 4: Go to the Interactive Science Museum
- Thing to do number 5: Visit the Wildwood Preserve Metropark
- Thing to do number 6: Listen to the Toledo Symphony Orchestra
- Thing to do number 7: Enjoy Toledo Flavors Food Tours
- Thing to do number 8: Go to the Oak Openings Preserve
- Thing to do number 9: Go to the Valentine Theatre
- Thing to do number 10: Taste the famous Tony Packo’s Hot Dog
Nowadays the city is famous for the Toledo Museum of Fine Arts, located in a neoclassical marble building, in the historic Old West End district. It contains a collection of more than 30,000 objects. The museum was founded by the glass master Toledo Edward Drummond Libbay in 1901 and moved to its present place – the building of the revival in Greece, developed by Edward B. Green and Harry W. Wachter in 1912. The main building was expanded twice, in the 1920s and 1930s. Additional buildings were added in the 1990s and 2006.
Since 1901, the Toledo Museum of Art has won a global reputation for the quality of its collection, the innovative and extensive educational programs and architecturally significant campus.
More than 30,000 works of art represent:
- American and European paintings,
- art history in glass,
- ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian works,
- Asian and African art,
- medieval art,
- decorative art,
- contemporary art.
In order to take into account the ever growing collection and demand for art education, the museum’s campus has grown exponentially since its foundation. From a modest first exhibition space in two leased rooms, the museum grew to 36 hectares with six buildings. The main interior of the museum building contains four and a half hectares of area on two levels. It has 45 galleries, 15 classrooms, a 1750-seat Peristyle concert hall, a 176-seat Little Theater lecture hall, a resource center for teachers, a family center, a collection of visual resources, a museum cafe and a museum store.
In the glass pavilion there are five galleries, a glass cabinet room, classrooms, two bus stations, a multipurpose GlasSalon, a public and private space in the courtyard and a cafe bar.
Interesting: Thanks to the benevolence of its founders, as well as the continued support of its members, the Toledo Museum of Art remains a private non-profit institution and free of charge opens its collection for free six days a week, 309 days a year being closed on Mondays and major holidays only.
The Toledo Zoo was founded in 1900 as the Toledo Zoological Gardens. At that time, it was run by the City of Toledo’s Parks Board. In 1982, it was transferred to the ownership of a private non-profit organization. It contains more than 30 species of animals that are threatened with complete extinction. The zoo takes part in over 30 programs intended to survive species. There are a number of exhibits that you should see. They are divided into categories:
- Africa: You will see the East African crowned cranes, Grant’s zebra, greater kudu, helmeted guineafowl,impala,Masai giraffe,Nile lechwe,ostrich,watusi cattle, and Cheetahs. Children can ride the African animal carousel.
- Aquarium: The aquarium has over 3000 aquatic animals. There is a tank containing stingrays and small sharks.
- Arctic Encounter: The Arctic Encounter offers to look at wolves, harbor seals, and polar bears. There is a kids’ cave for children and adults demonstrating what it is like to be a polar bear.
- Bald eagles: The bald eagle exhibit and rescue is located in the middle of the north side pedestrian ramp to the bridge. The first inhabitants had an injured wing and a blind eye.
- The Valley: For many years the exhibit inhabited a female cheetah with several litters of cubs. Today, there are 3 reindeer.
- Nature’s Neighborhood: It contains live animal shows, a treehouse, a forest room, Jumpin’ Junction, a workshop and a climbing wall.
- Kingdom of the Apes: There is the Gorilla Meadow covering an area of 0.3 acres.
- Penguin Beach: There are African penguins and multiple species of duck.
- Tembo Trail: Tembo Trail has African Elephants,Hippos,Grizzly Bears,Tasmanian Devils,Meerkats,Bactrian Camels, Naked Mole Rats.
Interesting: The Toledo Zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
The Botanical Garden is situated on Elmer Drive northwest of downtown Toledo. This is a 60-acre garden, which, by right, refers to one of the best things to do in Toledo. The only botanical garden in the area, the Toledo Botanical Garden is a garden open to everybody. You don’t need to pay to visit the garden.There are a lot of sculptures. Here you will find:
- the green garden,
- herb garden,
- perennial garden,
- pioneer garden.
Interesting: The botanical garden isn’t only a place to look at plants. There are a number of interesting events to visit. Among them there are such as the Crosby Festival of Arts, Heralding the Holidays, and the Jazz in the Park Garden Concert Series. There is also a Seasons Gift Shop and Visitor Center.
If you want to make your trip not only relaxing but also entertaining and educational, assure that you have time for visiting the Imagination Station. This is a hands-on interactive science museum on Discovery Way located on the riverfront of the Maumee River.
Before this organization has been known as the Center of Science and Industry. At the moment, the museum has over 300 interactive exhibits. This isn’t an ordinary museum. Every child and adult will have fun here as its main goal is to make engineering, math, science, and technology fun for every guest of the museum, regardless of age.
- Some of the exhibits like “Eat It Up!” teach about nutrition,
- Exhibits like the “Science Studio” teach children about biology, chemistry, and physics.
If you are wondering what to do with kids in Toledo, the Imagination Station is the best place to go to.
Important: You will find a lot of childhood programs, homeschool workshops, scout programs, and summer camps in one place.
The Wildwood Preserve Metropark is situated on West Central Avenue in the northwest of downtown Toledo. Wonder what place it is? There is the Wildwood Manor House, which is a Georgian Colonial home. You can enjoy free tours provided to the city guests and the locals.
- Taking tea in the Solarium is one of the most favorite activities on the 1st Friday of the months of April until November except July.
- The house hosts musical concerts and has a collectibles program.
If you want to celebrate a birthday party or any other special event, including wedding, you are welcome to rent it. If you are interested in having a tour, you are recommended to check out the schedule.
Interesting: Usually, tours are offered on Sundays from January through March, on Tuesdays through Fridays and on Sundays from April to October. Keep in mind that the house can’t be visited in November and December.
Do you love music? Then, don’t miss a chance to go to the Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1943 with 22 part time musicians. Nowadays, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra can boast with 80 professional musicians who make visitors happy with their performances and educational programs.
If you want to spend a romantic evening with your beloved in Toledo, choose a performance by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.
- The symphony performs at the Peristyle Theater, which is part of the Toledo Museum of Art.
- You can visit this place with the whole family and everyone will find something to his or her taste as the symphony offers various programs for children and adults.
- The Toledo Symphony Youth Orchestra consists of 200 local students, and private lessons are available from the symphony players as well as from other musicians from this area.
- You can choose group classes, individual lessons, and special performances.
Important: If music is your calling, you will have a woderful opportunity to learn from the professional musician, or even play in a group.
There are not only educational and sightseeing tours in Toledo, Ohio. Here, you will be offered to learn more about the traditional food of this place thanks to the food tour. Have you ever heard about such? If not, you have a great opportunity to gain new experience. The Toledo Flavors Food Tours are organized with the aim to help people to get to know and appreciate the food available in Toledo. Tours start near the intersection of South Superior Street and Washington Street located close to the Maumee River in the downtown Toledo.
During the Warehouse District Food Tour guests are able to taste food from a variety of places, including:
- a bakery,
- a coffee shop,
- a food truck,
- a pub,
- a restaurant,
- and a wine bar.
You will find these tours fun and useful. You will be able to visit a number of interesting local places.
Important: In addition to the tastings, tour guides are aimed at providing you with the better understanding of the architecture, art, and history of the warehouse district.
Oak Openings Preserve is a nature preserve and the largest park in Toledo. It is situated on Girdham Road southwest of downtown Toledo. Oak Openings is considered a part of Toledo Metroparks. Moreover, it is also the home of the Beuhner Center. This place is a popular location for scout camping. You can visit an interactive nature center located here.
In the preserve, you will find:
- an oak savanna,
- sand and vegetated dunes,
- and several rare species of plants.
Some of the interesting plants growing here include:
- and wild lupines.
There are also many birds such as whippoorwills, indigo buntings, and bluebirds.
Interesting: You can enjoy active rest here by enjoying such activities as camping, fishing, horseback riding, and picnicking on the daily basis.
Being in Toledo, you have a great opportunity to visit a 109-year-old Valentine Theater, which has 901-seat facility. It is operated by the Toledo Cultural Arts Center, Inc., an organization devoted to providing cultural arts experiences. Here, every visitor will find something to his or her taste. There are many different performances. The selection is so wide that it is difficult to decide what to see. Here you will find everything you like: from classical concerts to world renowned ballets.
In 1999, the Valentine Theatre was renovated, which cost $28 mln, however, the success that followed was worth this money. After the renovation, it attracted over 40,000 visitors. This place doesn’t look like a standard theater. Here, you will feel the cozy atmosphere, which will remind you of home. There is something intimate in its design. Community groups present their concerts at this theater. These groups include such as:
- the Toledo Symphony,
- Toledo Opera,
- Toledo Ballet,
- Toledo Jazz Society,
- Masterworks Chorale,
- University of Toledo,
- Central Catholic High School
- and St. John’s High School.
Interesting: International and national tours, for exampe, the Grigorovich Ballet and the National Ballet of Bahia, visited this place.
If you have visited all above mentioned places above, you must be very hungry! Why not go to Packo’s and eat something tasty? People come here to taste:
- hot dogs,
- homemade buns,
- sauce prepared according to Tony’s secret recipe.
This place is known as a family business that appeared in 1932. Since then, the family has opened five locations in Toledo.
The Packo’s is a large family restaurant, which welcomes both locals and tourists to enjoy the high-quality service. You will see polite servers with full trays, hurrying to help you make the best choice. Everyone is enjoying meals and communication, that’s why there is a friendly home atmosphere here.
Interesting: The best thing to do is to choose a smoked hot dog on a bun, with Tony’s famous sauce, with a bit of chili and cheese.