Like many Fort Wayne residents, I have lived in my own bubble since the COVID-19 health restrictions went into effect last year, but now that some have lifted, I am ready to resume the trip.
I went on a weekend trip to Toledo. Reports that this Rust Belt Midwest city is near death due to the decline in production are grossly exaggerated. On the contrary, the art scene, well-tended parks and riverside redevelopment in the city center make Toledo a perfect weekend getaway.
The famous Toledo Museum of Art is a must see. Since opening in 1901, it has been a magnet for artwork from global and local talent. It has special exhibitions of its collection and organizes traveling and traveling exhibitions in cooperation with other museums. With 45 galleries, the museum covers 280,000 square meters and has more than 30,000 pieces. It contains individual works by well-known artists such as Peter Paul Rubens and Vincent van Gogh. You could spend a full day exploring this museum.
Since Toledo is known as the glass city due to its long history of glass making, it only makes sense for the Toledo Museum of Art to open its glass pavilion dedicated to the glass collection.
Located across from the Toledo Museum of Art, it features more than 5,000 works of art from ancient times to the present day. Since the beginning of glass production in Toledo, it has been possible to collect glass artifacts and other glass works from all over the world.
Toledo is also a great place to learn more about the Great Lakes. The National Museum of the Great Lakes is a maritime museum devoted to the history and development of the Great Lakes. It contains more than 300 artifacts, audiovisual displays and around 40 interactive exhibits to touch. The museum is also the dock for the Tug Ohio Museum Ship and the SS Col. James M. Schoonmaker.
Near the National Museum of the Great Lakes is the International Park along the Maumee River. It has 30 poles in the boat basin that hoist flags from different countries that have a trade connection with the area. The Docks, a building nearby, has a diverse selection of restaurants, many with outdoor seating. Great views of the river and downtown while you eat or just relax with a drink.
On the other side of the river is Promenade Park. It is often thought of as Toledo’s lawn as there is a public space where people can gather to see performances on the river or on a temporary stage in the middle of the park.
The park also offers a nice view of the river. But if seeing the area from the ground doesn’t appeal to you, you might see it from The Heights, a rooftop bar in the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel.
The Heights offers breathtaking views of the river and downtown. It’s inexpensive so it’s worth having a drink to see the area from above.
Downtown is also home to Fifth Third Field, home of the Toledo Mud Hens, a minor league baseball team and a state-of-the-art arena that is home to the Toledo Walleye ice hockey team.
Traveling from Fort Wayne to Toledo may sound boring to some, as the two cities appear to be similar, including the problems both cities have of not having grocery or pharmacy stores in the downtown area. However, embarking on this short journey will take you out of your comfort zone, which you probably set up last year, and have new experiences.
So take this two hour trip and see what you can discover.
David Placher is a Fort Wayne based writer, photographer, and world traveler who values experience about things. He’s always on the lookout for cheap airline tickets and cheap hotel bookings. When not traveling, Placher drafts and reviews technology and information security contracts to make a living. His travel stories appear occasionally in the Journal Gazette.