This study looked at the best states to vacation in this summer, with Ohio taking the fifth spot, behind Virginia, Florida, Illinois and Georgia. Neighbors Indiana and Kentucky ranked sixth and seventh, respectively.
To create these rankings, Gambling.com looked at five metrics: accommodation availability (number of two-room accommodation options on Booking.com for two adults and two children between June 11-18); accommodation affordability (percentage of rooms under $200 a night), the state's crime rate, how much sunlight each state gets in the summer and the number of parks and landmarks in each state. Each data point was measured out of 100 using the PERCENTRANK formula and averaged.
Ohio scored 63.6 overall, scoring the highest in room affordability (83.6/100) and the number of landmarks and parks we have (73.4/100). Kentucky scored highest in room availability (93.8/100) and for its crime rates (63.3/100 — keep in mind: the lower the crime rates the higher the score), for an overall score of 61.2.
Gambling.com isn't the only one singing our praises, either. Last year, Condé Nast Traveler named Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky one of the best 23 places in the U.S. to travel to in 2023, citing Northern Kentucky's bourbon culture and Over-the-Rhine nightclub Ghost Baby as top reasons.
And AAA earlier this year awarded Four Diamond status to seven Greater Cincinnati hotels and two restaurants: Boca and Nicola's. Meanwhile, the Lytle Park Hotel was named one of the top 500 hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure.
And when you think about how many cool things the Queen City has to offer, it's really no wonder why Ohio and Kentucky rank so high on the list. We're home to so many fun, touristy attractions you can spend days exploring, like Kings Island, Findlay Market, the Cincinnati Museum Center, the American Sign Museum and even a ventriloquist doll museum (if you can brave it).
And if you're a sports fan, summer is an excellent time to be in Ohio, specifically Cincinnati, as you can catch a Reds game at Great American Ball Park, an FC Cincinnati soccer match at TQL Stadium or a pre-season Bengals game at Paycor Stadium.
Ohio's also home to a number of charming small towns and even beaches, as well as close to plenty of other worthy road trip destinations. And let's not forget the kooky roadside attractions throughout the Buckeye State, with Hug Me Jesus just north of Cincinnati in Monroe taking the weird cake.
But, if you're not planning on straying too far from home this summer, check out some Cincinnati bucket list things you can check off in the upcoming season below.
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