SARAH BARNEY — Ohio is seen as one of the most average, if not below average, states. Yes, it’s in the Midwest and yes, it may have -35 degree wind chills, but Ohio has many other attributes that the majority of people forget about and sleep on. The many tourist attractions, wildlife, sports teams and Lake Erie are all peculiarities unique to Ohio that make it the best state in the United States.

The countless attractions in Ohio bring in people from all over the world. There are two top-notch amusement parks, Kings Island, which has the longest roller coaster with a whopping 7,359 feet, and America’s rollercoaster capital, Cedar Point. Cedar Point allures people not only for its roller coasters, but for its Halloween season (Halloweekends), arcades and water rides. One of three Kalahari Resorts (a massive indoor waterpark) and Great Wolf Lodge (a less massive, but still impressive indoor waterpark) are both located in the same town of Sandusky. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame located in Cleveland displays iconic bands and artists including Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, and Jimi Hendrix. In total, the museum honors 330 inductees. The Cleveland Museum of Art is nationally ranked for best art museum.

The state is also home to renowned sports teams. The Ohio State Buckeyes have a huge fan base that can be found all over the country. There are even candy buckeyes honoring Ohio State that every Ohioan has made and devoured. Cleveland has three professional sports teams, the Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers. Both the Browns and Cavaliers may have record-long losing streaks, but at least they have records that make them known around the country. And don’t forget about LeBron James. He may have left the Cavaliers twice, but he opened a public school in Akron in attempt to heighten the graduation rate of low-income and at-risk students. This is, quite frankly, is more notable than his ongoing basketball career.

Ohio has some of the most diverse and arbitrary wildlife. Traveling up and down the state the ecosystems range from beautiful hills and forestry to flat wetlands. There are roughly 139 state and national parks to enjoy. Birders from all over the country flock to Northern Ohio to witness the hundreds if species migratory birds in the spring. Also, Northern Ohio was flattened by glaciers, and therefore, had the privilege of woolly mammoths strolling on its soil. And absolutely nothing will beat an Ohio sunset.

Lake Erie is another valuable contributor to Ohio’s greatness. The lake offers tourist attractions that draw people in like camping, fishing, boating, and much more. It holds numerous islands belonging to Ohio including the popular Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay. While these islands are very different, there are many suitable attractions on each to appeal to anyone. Both of these islands have breweries, wineries, live music, historical sights, state parks, and most importantly mini golf. Although it is one of the dirtiest lakes and turns green once a year from algae, it is still desirable and remarkable because at least Ohio borders a great lake.

Despite how bad Ohio may seem, and regardless of its oscillating weather, Ohio is home a variety of attractions and idiosyncratic qualities that are enticing to a number of people, and overall make it the best state.