Jennifer Sanger, Matt Shiffler and Mandy Muller
Ohio Life

Ohio Local Favorites 2021

From birding and antiques to hearty breakfasts and sweet desserts, we asked notable Ohioans for some hidden gems, beloved classics and new discoveries you’ll want to experience.

We asked interesting, influential and creative Ohioans to share a few of their favorites in areas related to their expertise. Picks range from the best places for night-sky photos and great southeast Ohio adventures to delectable desserts in Dayton and creative capital-city breakfasts. So, whether you’re a bird-watcher, an art lover or a someone just looking for ideas to make the most of the year ahead, you’re sure to find something to love here. 

Marblehead Lighthouse and Matt Shiffler (inset)
Night Sky Photos
Cleveland photographer Matt Shiffler shares a few of his favorite places for starry nights. Click here for 3 Great Ohio Spots for Night-Sky Photos.

Marietta Trail Network and Ryan Smith (photos by Nate Knobel and courtesy of Ryan Smith)
Appalachian Adventures
Marietta Adventure Co.’s Ryan Smith shares a few outdoor favorites in his hometown. Click here for 3 Spots for Outdoor Adventure in Appalachian Ohio.

Owl at Killdeer Plains (photo by Tom Ramsey) and Ken Kaufmann (inset)
Birding Spots
Author and Oak Harbor resident Kenn Kaufman shares a few of his favorite Ohio locations. Click here for 3 Great Ohio Birding Spots.

Walleye (photo by Laura Watilo Blake) and Tory Gabriel (inset)
Fishing Faves
Fisheries educator Tory Gabriel of Ohio Sea Grant shares his advice on where to cast a line. Click here for 4 Favorite Fishing Spots Along Lake Erie.

Sweets and Meats BBQ (by Michelle Reid) and Derrick Braziel (inset)
Cincy Food Startups
Mortar founder Derrick Braziel shares a few spots that the program has helped launch. Click here for 3 Great Cincinnati Food Startups.

Coco's Bistro S'mores Tart, St. Anne the Tart Gem Tart and Mandy Muller (inset)
Gem City Desserts
Mandy Muller offers a tasty tour of Dayton with her Instagram feed focused on foodie finds. Click here for 4 Delicious Dayton Desserts.

Winston's Coffee and Waffles (photo by Mike Beaumont) and Nicholas Dekker (inset)
Capital City Breakfasts
Columbus food blogger Nicholas Dekker offers a few of his favorite places for a morning bite. Click here for 3 Great Columbus Breakfast Spots.

Mrs. Yoder's Kitchen (photo by Laura Watilo Blake) Alyssa Eliot (inset)
Amish Country Eats
Cottonwood Shanty shop owner and Millersburg native Alyssa Eliot shares some of her go-to spots. Click here for 3 Amish Country Food Finds.

Ohio Instagram favorites
Ohio Instagram Feeds
When it comes to great recommendations, the locals know all. Here are three great accounts focused on a particular area of expertise. Click here for 3 Ohio Instagram Accounts You’ll Love.

Child at Momi Land and Jennifer Sanger (inset)
Kid-Friendly Finds
Westerville mom and entrepreneur Jennifer Sanger shares a few of her favorite local places for little ones. Click here for 3 Kid-Friendly Finds Near Columbus.

Ohio True, 7Thirty8, Ohio Forever and sweatshirts (left to right)
Ohio Sweatshirts
When you want to show your Buckeye State spirit and stay warm, Celebrate Local has you covered. Click here for 3 Ohio Sweatshirts You’ll Love.

Patron at 400 West Rich and April Sunami (inset)
Columbus Art Spots

Artist April Sunami shares places where you can find great art beyond the walls of a museum. Click here for 4 Columbus Art Galleries and Studios You'll Love.

Vintage hutch and Michael Free II (inset, photo by Casey Rearick)
Vintage Decor

Michael Free II, owner of Fremont's Dillon House, offers a few great spots for eclectic finds. Click here for 3 Great Ohio Spots for Vintage Decor.