Those in search of more muscular, fast-driving attractions should head out to Route 70 to the Columbus suburb of Pickerington, wooded hills that surround the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, 13515 Yarmouth Dr. (tel. 614/856-2222; www.motorcyclemuseum.org). The goal of this unusual museum, which is run by the American Motorcyclist Association, is to chronicle the history of motorcycling with a Hall of Fame and three other galleries-two of which rotate yearly, and the third every two years. The 200-member Hall of Fame inducts those who have made noteworthy contributions to chopper design, innovation, business and, of course, riding, racing, and stunts-Evel Knievel is a member. The Hall of Fame portion of the museum includes bikes, helmets, trophies and photographs on display. This one-of-a-kind museum is not merely a collection of motorcycle parking lots-they have over 145 bikes from all corners of the world, including a replica of an what's believed to be the first motorcycle, the 1885 Daimler "Einspur," and many from 1910 through the present.
On the flipside of gender interests, perhaps, is the Longaberger Homestead, 5563 Raiders Rd. Frazeysburg (tel. 740/322-5588; www.longaberger.com) located 45 miles east of Columbus. Long before they became a home business rage along the lines of Tupperware or Pampered Chef, these baskets were useful items found in homes in the area for years, used as commonly as we use paper bags today. There's an entire homestead to honor the Longaberger family, which settled in Dresden (nearby) in 1896. You could easily spend an entire day shopping, dining at the homespun heavy Longaberger Restaurant, take an afternoon break at the Tea Garden. The Longaberger experience leaves no opportunity to sustain the fantasy of this turn-of-the-century world untapped: they even have their own hotel, The Place Off the Square. Tours of the manufacturing facility are available, you can register for Make-A-Basket and bring one home as a souvenir, see the world's largest apple basket, at over 29 feet tall. And of course, you can buy baskets, some of which are only available there. Racing enthusiasts-that's horse, not car-will be pleased to discover two tracks, one in Columbus and one in nearby Grove City. Scioto Downs, 6000 S. High St. (tel. 614/491-2515; www.sciotodowns.com) features top harness racing and simulcasting at one of the top thoroughbred and harness tracks in the country, located two miles south of Route 270 and ten minutes from downtown. The track opened in 1958 and ran its first race a year later, but they're best known for the Jug Preview, which is the final preparation for horses that race in the historic Little Brown Jug in Delaware Ohio. The grandstand seats 3,500, the Penthouse Racebook features 114 free seats for simulcasting between 15-20 races, 7 days a week, 363 days a year. For a more exclusive experience you can sit at the Clubhouse Restaurant and outdoor patio, but reservations are recommended. The racing season in general runs from May through September. Grandstand admission $1.50; clubhouse $3, and parking is a mere $1.Beulah Park, 3664 Grant Ave., Grove City (tel. 614/871-9600; www.beulahpark.com) in nearby Grove City, was founded in 1923 and has the honor of being named Ohio's "original home" of thoroughbred horseracing and its "first original" racetrack. The Park recently completed a multi-million dollar redevelopment and restoration plan that resulted in improved grandstand, clubhouse and barn areas, as well as a modern outdoor paddock area and a popular outdoor walking ring. Located just a few miles south of Columbus, the Park is easily accessible by Route I-71 and Route 270, and for those who want to take public transportation COTA bus route #15 stops there. Parking and admission are free when there are simulcasting events. Otherwise, parking is $5 and admission is $4.95 in advance; $10 at the gates.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.