This is my seventh post about our adventure traveling through Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana. You can find the first post from this trip here and links to all the other educational US travel our family has done here.
Because I blog about educational travel, I received free admission tickets, discounts, media rates, and other benefits for some of the hotels and attractions we visited throughout the trip. Many attractions we toured are free to everyone. I paid full price for the rest. This has no bearing on my reviews. Everything I'm sharing is something that I whole-heartedly recommend. If you notice any gaps in my narrative, it is because I didn't love a particular hotel, attraction, or restaurant enough to recommend it to you, regardless of how much I paid or didn't pay.
We left Akron early on Monday 7/30, headed 125 miles toward Columbus. Our first stop was at the American Whistle Corporation for a tour.
I love their logo. Very clever!
We learned how whistles are made and who are their primary users in the US (police, teachers, lifeguards, referees, etc.). Their whistles are made of brass, and can be plated with a variety of different metals and embossed with customs designs.
Here is a 24K gold souvenir whistle made for Super Bowl XLVII referees. They come in an engraved box and you can only get one if you’re an official at the game. Or, I suppose, if you own the American Whistle Corporation!
We thoroughly enjoyed the tour and left with our whistles in our family colors. Then we drove by a field of corn. Or, more accurately, Field of Corn.
Locals call it Cornhenge.
Unfortunately, they do not have factory tours on Mondays, but the friendly women working there gave us an abbreviated tour and did the best they could to show us everything.
We tried their famous Buckeyes (which were fabulous)...
... and admired their 235-pound buckeye. It could be yours for only $3500!
Of course, we wanted to know about the story behind the giant buckeye. It turns out that they made the first one over 15 years ago to celebrate a victory by Ohio State (the Buckeyes). Anthony Thomas donated the 235-pound candy to the team, who loved it. Then they made a second one out of solid chocolate (no peanut butter center, which would get rancid) to display in the store. It’s been there for 15 years and no one has ever bought one. But if anyone does, they’ll make a fresh one and deliver it and leave the display one in place.
We left the chocolate factory to find lunch at the Columbus North Market.
The market was clean and safe, with convenient parking, and lots of seating indoors and out. We walked through the whole market before making our selections.
It was tough to choose, as there were so many wonderful options. Steve and Trevor ordered Nepalese food...
... while I ordered a Belgian PB&J. Everything was delicious.
We'd left room for dessert because Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams looked too good to pass up.
It was too difficult to choose a flavor...
... so we ended up getting a tasting plate! All the flavors were fantastic. Yum.
If I lived in Columbus, I'd be at the North Market constantly. I'd love to eat my way through the whole place over the course of a year!
After lunch, we toured the Ohio Statehouse.
It is made of Ohio Limestone, which is rich with fossils. In fact, you could see fossils randomly all over the place, on the walls, on the stairs, everywhere. It was really neat.
The building had 5 different architects from start to finish, so there is quite a bit of variety in the various sections. There used to be a breezeway between two buildings, but the rain, snow, and pigeons made it unpleasant to pass between the two. There were so many pigeons that you picked up an umbrella at one end, darted across, and returned the umbrella to a bin at the other end. In the 1990’s they closed it in, making passage between the two buildings seamless. They have a stuffed pigeon up in the rafters as an homage and it’s still called Pigeon Passage.
We really enjoyed the tour. They had a great gift shop, too, one of the best we’ve ever seen at a Capitol. We hated to say goodbye to Columbus so soon after we'd arrived. It is a great city, and one I hope to explore more thoroughly someday.
We hated saying goodbye to Ohio, too. We had a great visit.
But we had other places to explore. Next stop: Charleston, West Virginia!