Plane at National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Road Trips: Ohio Military Museums and Memorials

These destinations across Ohio honor those who gave of themselves to protect the United States of America.

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Dayton: This sprawling museum preserves and shares the history of the U.S. Air Force in four hangars that house aircraft spanning from flight’s earliest years to present day. See the famous World War II B-17 F Memphis Belle and the plane that served as Air Force One for President John F. Kennedy and others who held our nation’s top office. 1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Patterson AFB 45433, 937/255-3286,

National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Columbus: Focusing on stories over artifacts, this destination pays tribute to our men and women in uniform. Exhibits offer insight into the shared military experience and tell the stories of veterans in their own words. A memorial grove and an upstairs space with multicolored windows inspired by the colors of military service ribbons offer places for reflection. 300 W. Broad St., Columbus 43215, 888/987-6866,

Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument, Cleveland: The 125-foot-tall Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument lists the names of Cuyahoga County’s 9,000 Civil War veterans in its Memorial Room. Four relief sculptures trace the war’s progression. One depicts Abraham Lincoln unshackling an enslaved man and offering him a gun to fight. Another shows Ohio’s famous Civil War generals and war-time governors. 3 Public Square, Cleveland 44114, 216/621-3710,

Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial, Put-in-Bay: In September 1813, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led the United States to one of the most pivotal victories in the War of 1812 near South Bass Island. Today, the Battle of Lake Erie and the lasting peace between the U.S., Great Britain and Canada ever since is remembered with a 352-foot Doric column at this National Park Service site. 93 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay 43456, 419/285-2184,

Motts Military Museum, Groveport: Warren Motts started with collecting Civil War artifacts, a passion that in 1987 prompted him to begin accepting donations for a military museum located at his home. In 1999, he moved the museum to a former garden center and constructed a second wing in 2006. Today, it tells the stories of the military from the colonial era to present day. 5075 S. Hamilton Rd., Groveport 43125, 614/836-1500,

Want more travel ideas? Click here for our other Ohio Road Trips!