Apr 27, 2023 - Things to Do

Travel the world without ever leaving Ohio

Data: U.S. Census, Wikipedia; Visual: Will Chase, Jacque Schrag, Tory Lysik/Axios
Data: U.S. Census, Wikipedia; Visual: Will Chase, Jacque Schrag, Tory Lysik/Axios

You don't need a passport to visit Cairo, Moscow and Toronto. In fact, you don't even need to leave the state.

Driving the news: Ohio is full of communities named for famous foreign places, from Oxford to Rome.

Flashback: These locales were often named by immigrants paying tribute to their native homes, such as Dublin, given that name by Irish surveyor John Shields in 1810.

The intrigue: Ohio has a history of butchering the pronunciation of these namesake places.

  • Alissa and Tyler grew up near the village of Milan, famous for being the birthplace of Thomas Edison. It's called "my-lan," not like the "me-lahn" in Italy.
  • Ohio's also the home to Versailles ("ver-say-ulls"), Rio Grande ("rye-oh grand"), Medina ("meh-dye-nuh") and Cadiz ("caddis").
  • We even messed up Cairo. Here, sans pyramids and kings, it's "care-oh."

Elsewhere in Ohio, you can take a European tour with jaunts to London, Lisbon, Amsterdam and Macedonia.

  • Or go back in time to ancient Greece with trips to Athens and Sparta.
  • If the latter is too far west for you, try East Sparta instead.

We've also got countries: Dine at the historic Golden Lamb Restaurant in Lebanon, escape to the quiet village of Poland and enjoy the scenic Lake Loramie State Park near Russia ("roo-she").

  • We've even got an ocean (the village of Baltic) and a continent (the small community of Africa near Polaris Fashion Place).

Want something new? We suggest the towns of New Bremen, New Holland and New Vienna.

  • Or you can tour New Paris, then scale a replica Eiffel Tower at Kings Island.

The bottom line: Ohio is a melting pot of global names and cultures.

  • Give these towns a visit ā€” just make sure you pronounce them right to the locals.

Think we missed a city on our road trip map? Check out the full list, then let us know at [email protected].

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