Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Toledo, OH

  • Published 2022/11/05

The city of Toledo in Lucas County, Ohio, is a destination of its own.

This city, named after its sister city in Toledo, Spain, spans 217.1 square kilometers.

It’s also known as the “Glass City” for its extensive history in the glass-making industry.

After its founding in 1833, Toledo has grown into one of the Midwest’s major trade hubs.

Its population and growth have also grown over the years.

It’s home to over 271,000 inhabitants and some of Ohio’s best attractions.

Frequently, people pass by Toledo as they travel along Interstate 75, missing plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities and other fascinating things.

Toledo has plenty to offer for those who take the time to explore the city.

The city’s magnificent museum, historical attractions, zoo, theme parks, and other attractions make it a lovely travel destination.

Check out the best things to do in Toledo, Ohio, to give you the best ideas for your visit there.

Meet the Animals at Toledo Zoo

Polar bear at Toledo Zoo

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Toledo Zoo should be your next stop after visiting the Toledo Art Museum.

You can visit this vast zoo along Hippo Way and up close to over 10,000 individual animals from over 720 species.

Bring your family to this magnificent zoo and see tigers, orangutans, polar bears, elephants, hippos, and plenty more.

For a more enjoyable experience, watch its birding events featuring trained birds strutting their talents to the crowd.

Flamingos at Toledo Zoo

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Otherwise, join its garden tours and workshops with the zoo’s horticulturists.

You can also check out Toledo Zoo’s aquarium, home to over a thousand fish from dozens of species.

Or perhaps learn more about the zoo’s conservation efforts that help protect 80 animal species.

Fish in Toledo Zoo's aquarium

Juli V /

Witness Amazing Artworks in the Toledo Museum of Art

Exterior of the Toledo Museum of Art

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The Toledo Museum of Art has earned recognition worldwide for its rare and magnificent art collection.

You can visit this art museum along Monroe Street.

It has over 30,000 objects, primarily artworks from various artists from the present and past.

This place is a must-visit upon arriving in Toledo since it has no entry fee.

Entrance to the Toledo Museum of Art

Susan Montgomery /

Join guided tours or explore over 45 galleries through this museum spanning over 280,000 square feet.

You’ll come across art collections from African, Medieval, Greek, Egyptian, and Asian, to Classic American and modern artworks inside.

After a worthwhile tour, head to the Toledo Museum of Art café and treat yourself to some snacks and a cup of coffee.

Columns of the Toledo Museum of Art

Juli V /

Grab Your Lunch at Tony Packo’s Café

Head to the famous Tony Packo’s Café for a quick lunch and a trip down memory lane.

You can visit this casual and long-running Hungarian-American eatery along Front Street.

It’s your go-to place in Toledo to enjoy quick meals such as Hungarian hotdogs, classic entrees, and soups.

This eatery has served Toledo’s locals since 1908.

Hungarian immigrant Tony Packo founded the restaurant.

It became famous worldwide for being mentioned by Corporal Maxwell Klinger in the popular TV 1970s show M*A*S*H.

Before Klinger even mentioned it on his hit TV show, this eatery had already captivated the hearts of Toledo’s locals.

It’s renowned for its delicious Hungarian hotdogs, frankfurters, chicken paprika, roast beef sandwich, and world-famous chili.

Head to Tony Packo’s Café for a tasty lunch and a bit of a historical side trip.

Travel Back in Time at the National Museum of the Great Lakes

Welcome sign of National Museum of the Great Lakes

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Drop by the National Museum of the Great Lakes if you’re up for more trips with history.

You can visit this museum along Front Street and witness magnificent exhibits displaying the natural and artificial heritage of the Great Lakes.

There are plenty of reasons to visit this museum since it’s home to one of Ohio’s most extensive maritime museums.

Exterior of National Museum of the Great Lakes

MrJacon000, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It’s home to more than 300 well-preserved artifacts, photographs, and audio-visual displays detailing Toledo’s maritime history.

To satisfy your curiosity, roam the National Museum of the Great Lakes and see its hundreds of historical artifacts.

Visit its charming gift shop to buy some souvenirs.

Get Captivated by Toledo Botanical Garden

Fountain on a lake at Toledo Botanical Garden

Fsendek /

Toledo Botanical Garden spans over 60 acres of beautifully-landscaped and manicured themed gardens.

You can visit this fascinating attraction along Elmer Drive and see one of Toledo’s most beautiful spots for an afternoon or morning hike.

George P. Crosby donated 20 acres of land to the City of Toledo.

Metroparks Toledo then developed into the city’s garden that expanded over 60 acres.

Gazebo at Toledo Botanical Garden


This botanical garden is home to over a hundred plant and flower species, well-maintained by local horticulturists.

Explore various themed garden sections, playscapes for kids, and an onsite museum while appreciating the stunning beauty of this botanical garden.

Don’t forget to take photos at the Toledo Botanical Garden with your family or travel buddies for souvenirs during your visit there.

Pretty flowers at Toledo Botanical Garden

Lflorot /

Go Medieval at Pythian Castle

Pythian Castle is probably Toledo’s most unique building.

You can check out this building along N Ontario St and appreciate its intricate Medieval-style Romanesque structure.

Historically, this building is the only remaining two constructed in the late 1800s in Toledo’s downtown area.

It has magnificent black spires and steeples that stand over a hundred feet from the ground, symbolizing Toledo’s prominent past.

Initially, this building served as the headquarters and meeting place for the Knights of Pythias, a secret society based in Toledo.

Dropping by Pythian Castle lets you travel back to the medieval ages by taking photos of its structure.

Besides its historical significance, it also served as one of downtown Toledo’s focal points because of its gorgeous architecture.

Relive Your Childhood at Imagination Station

Exterior of Imagination Station

Susan Montgomery /

Imagination Station is a place for kids of all ages.

This non-profit, interactive science museum along Discovery Way is home to over 300 hands-on and interactive science exhibits.

This science museum opened in 1997 as the Center of Science and Industry (COSI).

However, it momentarily shut down in the early 2000s due to failed tax levies.

Due to public clamor, it reopened as the Imagination Station in 2009 and remains open to everyone up to this day.

Music machine displayed in Imagination Station

Photo by and ©2007 Dustin M. Ramsey (Kralizec!), CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

This is your family’s go-to place for a fantastic indoor adventure in Toledo.

While touring inside, engage in various fun and educational science exhibits featuring chemistry, physics, natural science, and more.

Besides its science exhibits, Imagination Station also has a theater.

It regularly screens films about wildlife, arts, and other fascinating topics, giving you more reasons to visit this place.

Try Your Luck at Hollywood Casino Toledo

Exterior of Hollywood Casino Toledo

MichaelAnthonyPhotos /

Hollywood Casino Toledo is your go-to place for a different kind of entertainment and thrill.

You can visit this world-class casino along Miami Street.

Prepare to be overwhelmed by its 2,000-plus slot machines, 20 poker tables, and 60 table games inside its massive 125,000 square feet space.

It’s an excellent place to bring your travel buddies for a highly-entertaining night in Toledo.

This casino has all you want, from entertainment to top-notch games and tables to fancy restaurants.

The best time to visit Hollywood Casino Toledo is during the weekends.

Live performances from DJs, musicians, and local bands bring more excitement to its atmosphere.

Don’t forget to add this famous casino to your itinerary for a night to remember in Toledo.

Marvel at the Glass City Metropark

Glass City Metropark highlights the beauty of the Maumee River.

You can visit this park along Front Street and explore its beauty meandering the Maumee River.

This park is best known for its wonderfully-designed glass pavilion surrounded by walking paths, gardens, rooftop plants, and a sledding hill.

You can also get a nice view of the entire park by climbing its sledding hill overlooking the Maumee River.

Otherwise, have a lovely picnic at the Glass City Metropark to make your visit there more worthwhile.

You might even catch a free concert while spending your day at this park, especially during the holiday season.

See the Martin Luther King Bridge Go Up and Down

Daytime view of the Martin Luther King Bridge

Ibagli, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Martin Luther King Bridge is a historic bridge in Toledo that opened to traffic in 1914.

This double-leaf bascule bridge connects Toledo’s Cherry Street and Main Street across the Maumee River.

Formerly called Cherry Street Bridge, it was renamed the Martin Luther King Bridge to honor the late civil rights leader.

This four-lane bridge stretches 1,100 feet.

It is a fascinating sight, especially when it rises to let passing water vessels cross safely.

Visiting or even crossing the Martin Luther King Bridge is an engaging activity in Toledo, especially for those who haven’t seen a bascule bridge or a drawbridge.

See a Show at the Stranahan Theater

Welcome sign of Stranahan Theater

MrJacon000, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Stranahan Theater is an entertainment icon in Toledo.

You can visit this performing arts theater along Heathersdown Boulevard to watch its top-notch live performances.

This theater opened in 1969 with a seating capacity of over 2,400.

It has hosted countless top-notch live shows such as plays, Broadway musicals, concerts, comedy shows, and holiday specials.

Also, the theater’s state-of-the-art audio, acoustics, and lighting systems provide a more immersive watching experience.

With all that in mind, check out Stranahan Theater and catch some of its scheduled shows for a phenomenal theater experience.

Play and Relax at Jamie Farr Park

Jamie Farr Park is the best place in Toledo to spend the outdoors on a beautiful sunny day.

You can visit this park along N. Summit Street.

Spend your day with various outdoor recreation at this park.

The place also honors celebrity Jamie Farr who starred in the 70s television hit M*A*S*H.

It has all the amenities that make an excellent park, such as a picnic pavilion, a playground, and a vast green open space.

If you’re curious about the park’s history, check out the plaque dedicated to Farr, which serves as its centerpiece.

Above all, Jamie Farr Park is one of your go-to places in Toledo that offers you a pleasurable activity since it’s open to the public for free.

Reflect at the Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral

Exterior of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral

Susan Montgomery /

Head to the Our Lady Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral and take a break from exploring Toledo’s attractions.

You can drop by this Roman Catholic cathedral along Collingwood Boulevard.

As the mother church of over 122 parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo, this cathedral is an important religious center.

However, people visit this cathedral more than its significance but also for its gorgeous architectural design.

The cathedral will leave you in awe because of its stunning Spanish Plateresque style, designed after the cathedral in Toledo, Spain.

Interior of Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral

Nheyob, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The cathedral’s medieval design allows you to travel to Europe virtually.

Apart from the cathedral’s structural design, you’ll also appreciate its picturesque ceiling.

An excellent way to enjoy your visit to the Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral is by taking photos of its gorgeous designs and joining its guided tour.

However, you can also pray and reflect on its solemn atmosphere.

Hallway in Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral

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Cheer for the Toledo Mud Hens at Fifth Third Field

Aerial view of Fifth Third Field

Seasurfer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To wrap up your Toledo adventure, head to Fifth Third Field and watch the Toledo Mud Hens play baseball.

You can visit this baseball field along Washing Street, where the Hens play their home games in Minor League Baseball.

This field can accommodate 10,300 baseball fans cheering for the home team.

Watching the Hens take on various MLB teams is a spectacular sports experience.

Join baseball fans to cheer for the team while enjoying the festive atmosphere.

The Toledo Mud Hens have 71 regular season games each year, many of which are played at Fifth Third Field.

Hike through the Manhattan Marsh Preserve Metropark

Manhattan Marsh Preserve Metropark is a regional park within the heart of Toledo.

You can visit this park along Clifford Street.

Enjoy its natural scenery and calm atmosphere, perfect for outdoor hiking.

This park has a 1.3-mile hiking trail and a 1,500 feet boardwalk, making it a perfect place for a relaxing hike with nature.

Historically, the Manhattan Marsh Preserve Metropark is one of the remaining marshes along Maumee Bay that supports local flora and fauna.

Besides hiking, it’s also an excellent place to do birdwatching activities.

Over a hundred migratory birds and waterfowl seasonally stop at the park’s marsh.

Aside from migratory birds, you can spot local wildlife such as white-tailed deer, muskrats, eastern fox squirrels, groundhogs, raccoons, and coyotes.

Final Thoughts

There’s no doubt that Toledo is an underrated travel destination in the Midwest.

This curated list of the best things to do in Toledo, Ohio, should open your eyes to the great experience that awaits you.

Of course, plenty of attractions await you to discover in this charming city.

Start planning your trip today!

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