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What’s New in Ohio in 2018

A Museum for Veterans

Across the country, a variety of museums, monuments and memorials are dedicated to veterans of various wars and branches of the armed services. This summer, a new museum in Columbus will serve as the nation’s first institution to honor all veterans from throughout America’s history.

The National Veterans Memorial and Museum has been under construction since 2015 on the Scioto Peninsula in downtown Columbus. This cultural institution is designed to bridge historical stories and current events. More than just a war memorial or a military museum, it will tell narrative stories of individual veterans from throughout the country’s history using photos, letters, personal items, multimedia presentations and interactive exhibits.

The 50,000-square-foot museum will feature exhibition galleries, an interactive media theater, a memorial room honoring fallen heroes and a rotating exhibit area. The architectural highlight of the facility is the rooftop sanctuary, accessible by a spiral processional; it will be available for ceremonies, celebration and reflection.

Rocking Renovation

A mainstay of the Cleveland lakefront, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been telling the stories of music legends for decades. The museum has been undergoing a series of renovations known as “Rock Hall 2.0” that are making the visitor experience even more immersive.

Now complete is the first phase or renovations, which brought updates to the Rock Hall’s main exhibits, and a redesigned cafe is now located on the museum’s first floor and is open to the public without museum admission. The menu now features dishes created by various celebrity chefs from around the area.

Last summer, the museum debuted the new Power of Rock Experience, which gives visitors a front-row seat to performances from Hall of Fame inductees. The three-part exhibit includes an immersive 12-minute film that showcases induction ceremony performances and interactive booths where guests can be “interviewed” by musicians such as Smokey Robinson and Alice Cooper.

Brewery Orchard

On Catawba Island just off the shore of northwestern Ohio in Lake Erie, Twin Oast Brewing has developed a reputation for using home-grown and local ingredients to brew accessible craft beers. This year, the brewery will be taking the “farm to fermenter” concept a step further by inviting guests to visit the 60-acre farm estate surrounding it.

Since 2010, the brewery’s owners have been busy reclaiming a tract of abandoned and overgrown land and restoring it to its agricultural usage. Today the farm grows the brewery’s hops and features stone fruit orchards and other home-grown produce.

The new brewery offers visitors the opportunity to sample one of the company’s beer varieties while exploring the orchards. An on-site kitchen will offer a small menu of rotating seasonal dishes, and food trucks will bring in other creative, artisanal foods designed to pair with the Twin Oast beers. Groups will also be able to enjoy live entertainment at the farm’s natural outdoor amphitheater.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.