1. Disney Ain't Got Nothing On Cedar Point
Disney princesses and big black mouse ears are great, but a world-record 72 rides in one place, including 16 roller coasters in all four height classifications, is way greater. In fact, Cedar Point is the only place on the planet where you can ride coasters in all four classes.
Cedar Point is the country's second-oldest amusement park, and it has everything.
2. That Michigan Really Sucks
OK, so maybe other people know Michigan sucks, too. After all, I'd probably rather eat a bowl of Cincinnati chili than move to Detroit.
But nobody's more adamant about Michigan's suckiness than Ohioans. Most people think it's all about the rivalry between the OSU Buckeyes and the University of Michigan Wolverines. And yes, that has a lot to do with it.
The bad blood goes back to 1835, though, to the Toledo War. Sounds heavy, right? Oh, it was.
When Michigan petitioned that year for statehood, it tried to include an approximately 5-mile strip of land extending out from Lake Erie. The problem was, Ohio had already claimed that land, known as the Toledo Strip.
The two states sent militias to the site and they all called each other a bunch of nasty names. At one point, when tensions peaked, someone got stabbed with a pen knife; his injury was minor. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled on the matter, agreeing the land lies within Ohio's boundaries.
3. Why Anyone Would Ever Let Cincinnati Chili Pass Their Lips
Ohioans have this stuff... it's apparently some sort of food... they call it “Cincinnati chili.” This approximation of what the rest of the world thinks of when they hear “chili con carne” was popularized largely by an Ohio-based chain called Skyline Chili.
Beans and meat with a watery brown sauce—often seasoned with such questionable additions as chocolate, cinnamon, and clove—are poured over plain spaghetti and topped with a heaping helping of grated cheddar cheese. Yum?
4. Buckeyes Make The Best Eating
With all this trash talking about their chili, we should give Ohioans credit for something they do deliciously right: buckeyes.
No, no... not the college football players. They're dirty and sweaty and chewy and not recommended for consumption. Buckeyes are also a kind of candy made from chocolate-dipped peanut butter fudge balls. They got their name from their resemblance to the nut of the state tree, the buckeye.
And seriously, all other candy bows before the Ohio buckeye.
5. When Weather's The Worst Of Both Worlds
Some people tolerate heat as a tradeoff for mild winters. Others are willing to take some cold and snow to avoid oppressively hot weather. But in Ohio, it's pretty much a lose-lose situation.
The summers are hot and humid, the winters are cold and snowy, and the people suffer year-round. And it sucks.
But why do they put up with it? Maybe for the chili?
6. The Three Cs Are Everything
Everyone needs their home turf, and for Ohioans, it's one of three cities, no matter where they live.
Cleveland, the state's second-most populous city, which rumor has it, rocks, is up in the northeast corner; the state's capital and most populous city, Columbus, is near the middle; and Cincinnati, the third-most populated city (and namesake of that delicious bowl of meaty-beany goodness), is down in the southwest corner.
And everything else is corn fields. Except the soybean fields. Those are soybean fields.
7. Sports Games Are Mostly Just An Excuse For Tailgating
Sure, the Cincinnati Reds were the first professional baseball team, and sure, there are Indians and Bengals and Browns and other teams... but for people from Ohio, there's nothing quite like the Ohio State University Buckeyes.
Except tailgating at their games. The fans' partying is a thoroughly entrenched part of any Buckeyes game, even away games. And they certainly do it up.
All you need is every Ohioan's favorite two things: dirt-cheap beer and that pinnacle of the state's culinary achievements—I think you know what I'm talking about...
8. Library Love Isn't Nerdy, Dammit!
Ohio gets mocked for many things (I mean, have you heard about the chili they eat there?). This includes having a population of nerds because Ohioans make more library visits per capita than any other state residents.
But libraries are cool, and Ohio's are particularly cool. They're so cool they even have a Consortium of Ohioan Libraries (COOL). Branches in the state are some of the highest ranking in the country and they often get national awards and other recognition for their services and innovation.
9. Living In An Amish Paradise
Pennsylvania is famous for its Amish country, but Ohio—with its estimated population of 55,000 to 60,000—is home to the world's largest Amish population. Much of the community lives in Holmes County, Ohio.
Amish country is a great place for a quiet getaway. State residents are well aware of this, and often head to Holmes County for peace and relaxation in the midst of a simpler way of life.
As for the other way around, the Amish partaking in the rest of the state's culture... When Rumspringa rolls around in Ohio, the Amish teens head straight for the nearest Skyline Chili, which in turn sends them running straight back to their homes for baptism.
10. What It Feels Like When All The Eyes In The Nation Are Upon You
It's not paranoia when they really are all watching you. And that's what America's doing to Ohioans at national election time.
Ohio's a famous swing state, with its hefty 18 electoral college votes and the particularly precarious balance between red and blue.
But Ohio also gets the spotlight for being the most reliable bellwether state. The state has only cast its vote to the loser in a Presidential election twice since 1896 (in 1944 and 1960). It has the Nation’s longest streak for picking the winner.
Feature Image Source: Flickr user OhioStateEngineering