Itinerary #11: Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky

I think folks assume Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky are just full of bland, blue collar working-class towns, and might not necessarily plan a road trip here, but let me tell you, they are very exciting places to visit chock full of really fun and interesting things to explore and do. Yvonne, Jacob and Abigail were along for the ride once again and could not wait to explore as we hit the road. Our theme for this region was Industrialization on the American Waterways and we learned how this area was transformed during the American industrial revolution and boomed because of its location close to the Great lakes.

We learned about American innovators like the Wright Brothers who were based in Dayton and Henry Ford in Detroit. We learned how the assembly line transformed American manufacturing and watched it in action at the Ford Rouge Factory as Ford F-150 pickup trucks moved down the line. We watched the same concept at the Louisville Slugger factory as baseball bats came off the factory line to be used to play America’s famous pastime. I think this region is one that so many folks take for granted unaware of the cultural richness, but scratch the surface, and you’ll be awed at what you find here-like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Motown, car culture at the Henry Ford Museum and the Indy 500 Motor Speedway, and all about horses in the rolling pasturelands of Kentucky known as the Derby region. We were surrounded by all American ideas and creativity turned into reality and it made all of us proud to be Americans.

And while so much on our trip was exciting, exploring innovative ideas, there was painful history here as well. Ironically our loop started and stopped at the Ohio River that was the dividing line between slavery and freedom. We were truly moved at the Freedom Center located on the banks of the river in the Cincinnati that was the final destination for many on the Underground Railroad. It was there that we experienced the inside of an authentic slave pen that was recovered less than 60 miles away in Kentucky. As impartial tourists from California, there is no doubt in my mind that the cultural divide between north and south still hangs in the air in these parts.

I love that we are discovering all of America, her most innovative ideas that have changed the world and the saddest chapters in her long and storied history.

States Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky

Theme Industrialization on the American Waterways     Duration 13 Days | Map


Day 1

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky• Fly to Cincinnati
Wake Nation

Day 2

Cincinnati History Museum (Cincinnati)William Howard Taft Historic Site
Cincinnati History Museum
Lunch at Gold Star Chili
The Freedom Center-the Underground Railroad Museum
• Drive to Dayton
The Wright Cycle Company Complex
• Drive to Columbus
Ohio State Capitol Building
• Overnight in Columbus

Day 3

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and KentuckyDrive to Velvet Ice Cream Factory, Utica
• Drive to Cleveland
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Dinner at Melt

Day 4

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky• Drive to Vermillion
Inland Seas Museum
• Drive to Sandusky
Cedar Point Amusement Park
• Drive to Toledo
• Overnight in Toledo

Day 5

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and KentuckyToledo Museum of Art-Glass Pavillion
• Drive to Detroit
Motown-Hitsville USA
Detroit Historical Museum
• Overnight in Dearborn

Day 6

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and KentuckyFord Rouge Factory Tour
The Henry Ford Museum
Pewabic Pottery
Dinner at BD’s Mongolian Grill
• Overnight in Dearborn

Day 7

Thomas Edison Depot Museum (Pt. Huron)• Drive to Pt. Huron
Thomas Edison Train Depot Museum
• Drive to Lansing
Michigan Historical Center
Michigan State Capitol Building
• Overnight in Lansing

Day 8

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky• Drive to Indianapolis
Indiana State Capitol Building
Indianapolis motor speedway hall of fame
• Overnight in Indianapolis

Day 9

Connor Prairie - Interactive History Park (Indianapolis)Indiana History Center
Conner Prairie history Park
• Drive to Louisville Kentucky
Churchill Downs and Kentucky Derby Museum
• Overnight in Louisville

Day 10

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and KentuckyLouisville Slugger Museum
Louisville Glass works
• Overnight in Louisville

Day 11

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky• Drive to Frankfort
Kentucky State Capitol Building
Kentucky History Center
Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory Tour
• Drive to Lexington
Harness Racing at the Red Mile
• Overnight in Lexington

Day 12

Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and KentuckyKentucky Horse Park
• Drive to Cincinnati
• Overnight in Cincinnati

Day 13

• Fly home