For the most part, Ohio gets overlooked. Save for every four years when elections come around, and politicians are at each other’s throats, fighting tooth and nail to sell the infamous swing-vote state.
It’s a shame. It’s a huge shame because Ohio is the hidden gem of the Midwest –– home to three incredible cities, some of the craziest sports fans in the world, funky but uber delicious chili, the greatest amusement parks in the United States and an absolutely tasty chocolate covered delicacy called a “Buckeye”.
And, of course, we can’t forget about it being the birthplace to Jeni’s Ice Cream, Graeter’s Ice Cream and Wendy’s (thank Ohio for those delicious chocolate Frosty’s)…
Why moving to Ohio might be the best decision you ever make…
If you’re reading this right now, you’re either considering moving to Ohio or you just really love learning about new states. Regardless, we’re glad you’re here, and we have a lot to share with you. Also, if you are looking for the best places to live in The Buckeye State, we’ve got you covered.
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Anyone who has ever called Ohio a “Flyover State” finds themselves eating their words if they ever visit. To say Ohio is breathtaking is an understatement. When Winston Churchill paid Ohio a visit, he fell in love with what he saw in Cincinnati, the third largest city in the state, describing it as, “the most beautiful of the inland cities of the union.”
Ohio as a whole lives up to Churchill’s bold statement, decorated picture perfectly with tiny towns, lovely foliage, waterfalls (and more waterfalls), flowing rivers and streams and 110 natural lakes. But, Ohio’s stunning natural landscape is just the beginning of the many aspects that make this state a hidden gem in the Midwest. Not to mention, many Ohioans claim that their state does “Autumn” the best… a quick Google search, and we can’t argue with them.
It’s ironic to hear folks call Ohio a “Flyover state” because if they have ever stepped foot in a plane, they have the “Flyover State” to thank. That’s right. Wilbur and Orville Wright, the fathers of flight, were born and raised in Dayton, Ohio where together they dreamed of putting a man in the air. This longing for flight seems to be a gene unique to Ohioans… twenty-five of NASA’s astronauts hail from The Buckeye State… and yes, this includes Neil Armstrong.
As with any state, there are some great aspects about Ohio, and then there are some not so great ones. Thankfully, the good heavily outweighs the bad in The Buckeye State. We’ll give you the bad news first, that way we can end with the good stuff.
A good while back, The Thrillist ranked Ohio as the thirst worst state in the United States, behind Florida at position number one and Delaware at the number two spot. As you can imagine, this hurt Ohioans… and to rub some serious salt in the wound, The Thrillest named Ohio’s arch-nemesis… Michigan as the “best state” in the United States. Their reasoning for Ohio being the third worst? And we quote, “Getting LeBron back only further cemented its position as the Florida of the North.” Come on guys; you’ve got to give us something better than that…
Anyway, we’re not blind, Ohio isn’t perfect. And, while there are a lot of great things about it, the winter’s are as cold as your ex-lover, and the sport’s teams have had a history of being quite bad. But, and this is a very big but, they’re making a comeback… in 2016 the Cavaliers won the NBA championship and Baker Mayfield looks like he might be the QB the Browns have been waiting for.
The list of pros of moving to Ohio could go on forever. So, we’ll just highlight the most impressive aspects about the state. For one, the state has some pretty stellar cities in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus (more on all of those down below) and it offers a relatively reasonable cost of living, even in the larger cities that we just named.
Then, of course, Ohio is filled with little gems scattered across the state. For example, there is an entire island dedicated to total awesomeness. It’s called Put-in-Bay, and it sits in Lake Erie. Thousands of folks visit the island every year to ride around on golf carts, eat great food and drink. And, we can’t forget about Cedar Point… the roller coaster capital of the world… it has set a world record with 71 rides and 17 roller coaster that will scare the living daylights out of you.
Okay, so we know Ohio is a stunning state aesthetically and offers plenty of fun to be had, but is it realistic economically? What’s the cost of living in Ohio? How’s the job market? These are all questions we explore below.
Ohio’s economy has heavily been focused on manufacturing. In fact, it’s manufacturing sector alone employs over 700,000 people. With that said, it’s currently experiencing an exciting transition as young creatives, entrepreneurs and tech-savvy college grads are moving into the workforce.
Columbus, the largest city in Ohio, has a culture and workforce bursting at the seams with creativity. In fact, Behind New York City and Los Angeles, Columbus has more fashion designers than anywhere else in the United States. This, along with the presence of the renowned Columbus College of Art & Design has bred a creative mindset shared by clothing designers, painters, makers, artists, and entrepreneurs. Not to mention, massive brands like Kroger, Macy’s, P&G, Goodyear, Cintas, Sherwin-Williams, Nationwide and Speedway all call Ohio home. So, whether you want to start a career in manufacturing, looking to get your foot in the door at a fortune 500 company, or want to start a business… Ohio isn’t a bad place to be.
We’d argue that this might be Ohio’s greatest strength. It’s one inexpensive state to live in. Ohio’s largest cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland are far more affordable than other Midwestern cities like Chicago. You can find a nice apartment in all of the cities we listed above for under $1,000 no problem. Something we can’t say about many places.
If you’re sold on moving to Ohio then we recommend you make a jump to this article where we highlight the best places to live in the state. We highlight Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus and delve deep into why each of these cities are just so wonderful. But, we’ll give you a concise synopsis here, too.
Columbus is a hidden gem in the Midwest. It is home to the Buckeyes, which sports an undergrad of 66,000 students that attend the university, giving the place a lovely energetic youthfulness. Of all the Ohio cities, it is by far the most creative, ranking behind only New York City and Los Angeles as the city with the most fashion designers in the United States. Not to mention, with the average rent for an apartment in Columbus being $1,074 and the average salary in the city sitting right around $51,000, it’s very doable too.
To put it short, Cinci is stunning. It’s nestled by the Mississippi River and has lovely hills that give the place a pleasant character. Cincinnati also has a surprising number of sports teams for only sporting a population of 300,000… both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Reds call the city home. Average rent for an apartment in Cincinnati is going to cost you $1,132, and a one bedroom can get as low as $900-ish.
We see quite a few strengths in Cleveland. What’s most impressive to us are the opportunities in the city for young professionals and entrepreneurs. The city was actually ranked one of the top fifty entrepreneurial-friendly cities in the world.
Rent can drop as low as $655 for a two bedroom in certain parts of Cleveland… which is a huge plus if you’re looking to start your own business. And, the money that is saved on rent can be spent on some of the best food you’ll find. Cleveland has long been known as a great city for exceptional food. Thrillist considers the city to not only have one of the best food scenes in the country but one that is constantly getting better. Time Magazine seems to agree with them, calling Cleveland the seventh best food city in the United States. Whether you’re looking for killer BBQ or fine dining, it’s all there in Cleveland, Ohio.
If we’ve learned anything in this article, it’s that Ohio is anything but a “flyover state”. It is home to stunning landscape, plenty of history, lovely cities and a level of affordability tough to find in other states.
Check out our guide to the fastest rising neighborhoods in Columbus.
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