Toledo is a moderate-sized city in northwestern Ohio, on the Maumee River, at the edge of Lake Erie, and, most important, at the intersection of I-75 and I-80. Everybody travelling in the midwest United States has been through it at least once.
People had big dreams for Toledo. The city is set on some of the most inhospitable land in the Midwest: the Great Black Swamp. Early white settlers spent years digging ditches through the swamp and lining them with clay tiles, when they weren't catching mosquito-borne diseases. Later settlers came over from Eastern Europe by the boatload, or up from down south, to work on the Erie Canal and in local factories that made cars and auto parts. To this day, Toledo is a union town; the bloody Auto-Lite strike of 1934 was a key event in labor history.
Today, Toledo is a city of 315,000 with a big local university, a decent daily paper (non-chain), and a lot of empty space downtown that gets turned into artists' lofts. There's a huge and beautiful neighborhood of Victorian mansions near downtown, a world-class art museum, and a band in every garage. The food is worth stopping for: not only Tony Packo's famous hot dogs, but also classy Middle Eastern food, Hungarian baked goods, and a few good old diners.
Greyhound makes regular stops in Toledo. (Be warned: The bus stop is not in a safe/high crime area.)
Amtrak stops in Toledo.
TARTA -- local public transportation
Toledo Museum of Art -- 2445 Monroe St. (at Scottwood Avenue), Toledo; 419-255-8000 (tdd); 800-644-6862 (tdd). Tuesday-Thursday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.This is a fantastic, world-class museum. Free.http://www.toledomuseum.org/home.html
The Old West End -- the blocks south of the Art Museum. Historic neighborhood full of huge old mansions and 100-year-old trees. You can tour these homes at Christmas and at a festival the first weekend in June. http://www.oldwestendtoledo.com/
Lights Before Christmas
Crosby Gardens Arts Festival
Rally by the River
Go to the East Side
Boating on the Maumee
Local specialties include,Tony Packo's Pickles'n'Peppers, salt-rising bread from Wixey Bakery and handmade noodles.
Wyndham Toledo Hotel TWO SEAGATE/SUMMIT STREET. Tel: (419) 241-1411. Fax: (419) 241-8161. An oasis of tranquility in the center of Toledo's bustling downtown. Whether you're staying with us for business or pleasure, you'll find attentive service and thoughtful conveniences at the Wyndham Toledo Hotel.
Lake Erie Islands. Located east of Toledo and west of Cleveland, a group of picturesque and festive islands in Lake Erie are accessible via ferry. In addition to several Ohio State Parks located on the islands, there is plenty to do including wineries, restaurants, bars, marinas and beaches.