Ohio is the most easterly of the Great Lake states and thrives upon a heavily industrialised manufacturing and commericalised industry. Despite this, its main cities Cincinnati and Cleveland have undergone major rejuvenation and are surprisingly attractive, having exchanged factories and warehouses for sophisticated downtown centres. Cleveland is the Rock and Roll city whilst Cincinnati offers a wealth of cultural attractions consisting of art galleries, museums, chic restaurants and varied shopping opportunities. The state capital of Columbus is heavily centred around education, research and commerce and is a vibrant college city boasting fine architecture and a variety of other cultural attractions.
Ohio also offers a great glimpse into its ancient history. Enigmatic traces of Ohio's earliest inhabitants can be seen at the Great Serpent Mound , a grassy state park sixty miles east of Cincinnati, where a cleared hilltop high above a river was reshaped to represent a giant snake swallowing an egg, possibly by the Adena Indians around 800 BC. When the French claimed the area in 1699, it was inhabited by the Iroquois , in whose language Ohio means "something great." In the eighteenth century, its prime position between Lake Erie and the Ohio River made it the subject of fierce contention between the French and British. Once the British had acquired control of most of the French land east of the Mississippi, settlers from New England began to establish communities along both the Ohio River and the Iroquois War Trail paths on the shores of the lake.
Although the state is dominated by its triumvirate of "C"s ( Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati ), its most visited destinations are the Lake Erie Islands , which have benefited from the recent cleanup of the polluted lake and now attract thousands of partying mainlanders. Cincinnati and Cleveland, the latter hit especially hard by the recession, have both undergone major face-lifts and are surprisingly attractive, as is the comparatively unassuming state capital of Columbus.
Amtrak trains between New York or Washington and Chicago stop at either Cincinnati or Cleveland and Toledo. Ohio is well served by Greyhound buses , and there are major airports at Cleveland and Cincinnati.