I did something that as a Michigander I never thought I'd do: I visited Ohio. And I actually liked it.

No, I didn't lose a bet which exiled me to the Buckeye State or anything like that. I actively and willingly chose to ring in the New Year and start my 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Why? For a concert, of course.

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When I heard one of my favorite up-and-coming bands, Goose, was playing a run of New Year's Eve shows I knew I had to be there. The only catch was I had to venture down to Ohio in order to see them. Not only were the shows amazing but Ohio, especially Cincinnati, did not disappoint either!

Lauren G/TSM
Lauren G/TSM
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My best friend and I found ourselves continually amazed by the landscape, history, and vibe of Ohio and found ourselves making mock-travel slogans that would convince our fellow Michiganders and folks from nearby states that maybe the Buckeye State isn't so bad after all. Here's what we came up with:


"Clearly, Ohio"

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A play on our "Pure Michigan" tourism campaign. What counts as "Clearly, Ohio"? You'll know when it happens. Mowing the lawn naked, calling the cops on your cat, Cedar Point-- these are all things that are clearly, Ohio.


Ohio - "We Have Some Hills"

Photo by Carl Schlabach on Unsplash
Photo by Carl Schlabach on Unsplash
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I'm not sure what I expected the landscape of Ohio to be like, but I didn't expect it to be so hilly. Our travels took us to the Ohio-Kentucky border and I was surprised at how not entirely flat it was.

Fun fact: Cincinnati is known as "The City of Seven Hills." And did you know the eastern part of the state is considered part of the Appalachian Mountains? Because I didn't either.


Ohio - "You Are Here."

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My lack of familiarity with Ohio caused me to constantly pull up Google Maps on my phone so I could get my bearings. It seems like all the major cities in Ohio all start with the letter C: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus. It's hard to keep them all straight! I think every city in Ohio should have a map at the city center with a "You Are Here" sticker on it.


Ohio - "The New York of the Midwest"

Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash
Photo by Sean Foster on Unsplash
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A mix of sprawling farmland and bustling metropolises, Ohio reminded me of New York state. Especially in the industrial city of Cincinnati, you'll see a combination of skyscrapers and old brownstone apartment buildings. It felt very New York City-like. If Ohio is the New York of the Midwest, then Cincinnati is the NYC!


Ohio - "Who Knew?"

Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
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Seriously, why didn't anyone tell me that Ohio isn't so bad? They have major cities with active music scenes, they have art and museums including the American Sign Museum and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ohio also has Skyline Chili and a ton of craft breweries. Who knew?! I sure didn't.

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