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Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

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Cleveland, OH
posts: 12
reviews: 1
Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

OK. Just found out my daughter's favorite band will be at the Ohio State Fair. We are planning on taking her. We would be driving down from Cleveland, so could you suggest a convenient/safe/relatively inexpesvie place to stay? Is the traffic really bad during the week for the fair? We are trying to decide to stay the night before the concert and spend the day at the fair or head in the afternoon of the concert, spend the night and go to the fair the following day. Any suggestions or thoughts would be greatly appreciated as we have never been to the state fair. If it matters, my daughter is 7. :-)

Destination Expert
for Road Trips
posts: 6,241
reviews: 196
1. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

since I live in the area, I do not stay in the hotels-- cannot help there-- but I will say that the area immediately surrounding the fair grounds is NOT where you want to stay. Check hotel reviews in Gahanna and the Easton area. Not a far drive to the fair grounds from there. Hopefully, someone else will be able to help more with hotel ideas.

Traffic, yes-- I go every year and tend to go early in the day, just after opening and the crowds and traffic are not bad at all. It's very organized getting in and out. I would probably come in the afternoon for the concert since you are coming from Cleveland, and then go early the following day to enjoy the fair. There's specials almost every day (discount with a Kroger plus car, AAA card, etc) Check the website for your dates and you will likely find discounts running. It's a good fair-- you'll enjoy it :) Make sure to go to the natural resources area in the heat of the day. Lots of shade and your daughter will love the area with it's animals and Smokey the Bear :)

Columbus, Ohio
posts: 311
reviews: 85
2. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

My preference would be to drive down the afternoon of and then stay the night...then you have time the next morning in case there are other things you'd like to do while you are in town. Plus, if it's a hot day....I would not want to be burned out from that, then the concert, then have to make the trip back home all in one day. I would normally recommend hotels in the downtown area for out-of-towners. But since you will be with your daughter, it might make more sense to stay in the Easton area. There are plenty of hotels there, and Easton has tons of shopping and other things to do for kids her age. I know my niece adores Easton when she comes to visit. :) Easton is not too far from the fairgrounds - maybe a 15 minute commute.

Hotels (that are reasonably priced) near Easton include Courtyard by Marriott, Hampton Inn and Suites, and Residence Inn.

As far as the traffic, I don't think it's bad. I used to live off of the OSU campus (off of 16th Ave. close to Summit) and traffic was surprisingly well-managed for such a large event.

Have fun!!! :)

Columbus, Oh
Destination Expert
for Columbus
posts: 350
3. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

I'd agree with Easton if you wanted to do some shopping as well.

Staying downtown would be super easy, just drive up 4th St until 17th. Go to fairgrounds.


Columbus, Ohio
posts: 227
reviews: 1
4. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

Okay not really sure but for some reason people on here seem to frown upon the hotels directly close to the fairgrounds and the ones an exit above off Morse. The fair doesn't even list these hotels with the hotels list, some cite unsafe areas and other site unkempt.....Not sure if I can say that about all of them but I can say that they will most likely be booked unless you book now. You have a days inn, Comfort suites, and hojo off morse, check the reviews and the prices if they suit you then book it. Not sure what you consider inexpensive but if it was me coming from cleveland I would look for a hotel downtown preferably one like Drury inn that serves breakfast included in the price which is something I always like to do when traveling with young ones especially if on a budget and stay on which evernight that was availiable and was the cheapest. Also as mentioned if the fair website has any special around the second, third or fourth I'd go that day....Not sure if admission is included in the Big Time Rush concert as they sometimes do with some concerts. The other reason I would stay downtown is so that way you don't have to deal with traffic and it puts you in the center hub of public transportation. The bus service similar to RTA has specials that run to and from the fair allowing you to save on parking and traffic. This is how I go to the fair and alot of other events. Also if your downtown and you are interested you'll be close by Cosi, if your a member of cleveland natural history or great lakes science you can get in free if not you can check out prices at www.cosi.com Also since Cleveland is only about a two hour drive and the concert is at 7:30 and if you get admission included I would check in the day of spend that night and head home.

Destination Expert
for Ohio, Cleveland
posts: 8,105
reviews: 23
5. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

Another area to consider is the Polaris area. Many restaurants and a unique mall there. It's on the north side of Columbus, as is the fair. Hotels there include a Comfort Inn, Cambria Suites, Wingate, Hilton Garden Inn and a Hampton Inn.

I would suggest you check the schedule of fair events before deciding when to come to the fair. E.g., if your daughter likes horses, check the equestrian events. These can be great fun and the fair has a first-rate equestrian building. Some events might be more appealing than other events.

So I would book a hotel for the night of the concert. This would give you the ability to come early if there was some other event that you wanted to see on the day of the concert. If not, you could come down in the afternoon, check in, and then attend the fair on the day after the concert.

Another reason to book the room for the night of the concert is the weather. If the weather is bad the day of the concert, you could attend the fair the next day.

Personally, I would plan to drive to the fair and park. Kids love the tractor-pulled wagons that deliver visitors to the fair from the parking lots. The parking is extremely well managed at the fair and not crowded in my experience, but perhaps I didn't visit during busy periods.

Have fun! Your daughter will love it.

Destination Expert
for Ohio, Cleveland
posts: 8,105
reviews: 23
6. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

There are several Holiday Inn Express hotels in the Columbus area, one very near the fairgrounds. I noticed looking at the TA Columbus hotel listings, that the HI Express hotels are offering up to 20 percent off for advanced bookings. They all offer complimentary breakfasts.

The HI Express on Olentangy near Ohio State is relatively new. It appears to be offering up to 20 percent off for all days of the week in August. It might offer a great deal as it mostly appeals to university traffic and is a bit further from the fairgrounds.


Good luck!

Columbus, Ohio
posts: 301
reviews: 71
7. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

I would suggest coming in the afternoon of the concert check into the hotel and head to the concert. Go back the next morning when its cooler and not as crowded. I would recommend staying off of 71 that way its a quick straight shot to the fairgrounds. Check out the Crown Plaza 6500 DOUBLETREE AVENUE COLUMBUS, OH 43229 UNITED STATES

Hotel Front Desk: 1-614-8851885 | Hotel Fax: 1-614-8857222 , its in a decent neighborhood (not upscale but safe I live near by so I can tell you first hand that it is a safe neighborhood) and from what I hear its the hotel is clean and nice. It would allow you to hop right on the freeway (71 south) go up a few exits and park at the fair. For parking at the fair I would suggest exiting on 17th Ave and parking near the Ohio Historical Center, they have a shuttle that will take you to the fair. This would probably be the easiest since you are not familiar with the area.

Now if you want to have more to do besides the fair or a slightly more upscale area you might want to think about staying by Polaris (also off of 71) try Hilton Columbus/Polaris

8700 Lyra Drive, Columbus, Ohio, United States 43240

Tel: 1-614-885-1600 Fax: 614-885-1605

8. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

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Cleveland, OH
posts: 12
reviews: 1
9. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

Thanks for all your suggestions. We have decided to stay at the Polaris exit and hope that traffic won't be too bed getting to the fair. Can you come and go from the parking during the day or do you have to pay $5 each time? Where do you recommend to park?

At this point I guess the weather will play a role in whether we spend the day of the concert at the fair or go in the afternoon, spend the night and go back in the morning.

Do you recommend buying a ride wrist band for my daughter?

posts: 67
10. Re: Ohio State Fair August 3, 2011

Just another idea for you. You can stay near the fair, but to the west of it, in a safe area that has a couple nice hotels. This area is just north of the OSU campus, has several places to eat, and allows you to drive back roads to the fair, no real traffic issues.

There's a new Holiday Inn Express and a Fairfield Inn and Suites, among other hotels, on Olentangy River Road. (The Holiday Inn is at 3045 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43202 (614) 447-1212).

If you decide to use this option, let me know and I can tell you how to get to the fair.