Visiting the United States? There are 50 states to see.

Ohio is the birthplace of presidents, aviation and rock and roll.

This Midwestern state’s name is derived from the Seneca Indian word “ohi-yo,” which means “beautiful river” or “large creek” and was originally the name of both the Ohio and Allegheny rivers.

(State Dept.)

Ohio has several nicknames. The state is known as the “birthplace of aviation,” since it is here where Wilbur and Orville Wright worked on building the first successful aircraft and learned to fly. Many famous American astronauts are Ohio natives, including John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, and the late Judy Resnik from the Challenger crew.

Ohio also is called “the mother of presidents” as eight former U.S. presidents hail from the state, including Ulysses S. Grant, William H. Taft and Warren G. Harding.

The ‘Buckeye State’


Ohio also gets called the “Buckeye State.” The mascot for Ohio State University — located in Columbus, the state’s largest city and its capital — is Brutus Buckeye (above). A buckeye is a small dark brown nut from the the buckeye tree, Ohio’s official tree. (The tree’s nut resembles the shape and color of the eye of a deer, or buck.) Ohio legend has it that carrying a buckeye brings good luck.

Rock on

Cleveland, the state’s second-largest city, earned its place on the rock ’n’ roll map in the early 1950s when Alan Freed was the first to call the music he was playing on his nightly radio show “rock and roll.”

(Courtesy photo)

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland showcases the works and artifacts of famous musicians. There you can see Elvis Presley’s three-wheeled motorcycle, guitars played by Johnny Cash and Kurt Cobain, a vest that Jefferson Airplane singer Grace Slick wore onstage at Woodstock, and Michael Jackson’s famed sparkled glove.

Seeing double


Every summer, the city of Twinsburg hosts “Twins Days,” touted as the world’s largest gathering of twins of all ages. More than 2,000 sets of twins have attended the festival in recent years.

Take a ride

(CPFreak/Creative Commons)

Cedar Point amusement park near Lake Erie boasts 72 rides, including 17 roller coasters, some among the tallest in the world.

Signs, signs, everywhere there are signs

(Geoffrey Gallaway/Creative Commons)

Cincinnati, the state’s third-largest city, is home to the American Sign Museum, which preserves historic signs. This sign is from the now defunct Kona Lanes bowling center, which featured neon lights and a Polynesian Tiki–style decor.

Read more about Ohio and check out the other 49 states. If you need a visa to visit, here’s how to get one.