My Modern Midwest: Roadtripping Through Northwest Ohio

AMweills-Roche de Boeuf-Waterville Ohio

Andrew Weills dreams of hitting the open road with nothing but a Volkswagen bus and a camera. It’s his wife Amy who gently reminds him of things like bills and mortgage payments. For now, the two get away every weekend they can to explore the Midwest with their cameras and their VW Beetle. The weekend road trips keep their wanderlust sated…for now. For My Modern Midwest, Andrew (@amweills) shared snapshots from his road trip archives.


Snook’s Dream Cars is a vintage car museum in Bowling Green, Ohio with a working 1940s style Texaco gas station. I got lucky that the museum owner was just about to take his car out for a drive and pulled it up to the pump so I could take this shot.

The Wabash-Cannonball railroad is one of the oldest railroads in the state. It cuts through Whitehouse, Ohio where you can find small town restaurants, an old log cabin from the settler days, and this old Wabash caboose left behind for posterity.

Oak Openings Metro Park — Northwest Ohio has several amazing metro parks, but Oak Openings is a favorite destination of photographers. A particular grove of White Pines in the park has even become know as the “The Spot” amongst local Instagram users.

Call it “the north coast” of Ohio — the shores of Lake Erie yield so many great photo opportunities with beaches and coastal marshes. My favorite by far is Marblehead Light House, which has been in operation since 1822.

Toledo, Ohio — the hub of Northwest Ohio. The city sits at the mouth of the mighty Maumee River and is a major shipping port for the Great Lakes. I’ve called it home for 44 years. Downtown you can stroll through riverfront parks and catch great shots of the skyline. Take in a Toledo Mudhens Game at 5/3rd Field, grab a legendary hot dog from Tony Packo’s or visit the world famous Toledo Museum of Art.

A short drive south of Toledo you can find the historical Swartz and Parker Covered Bridges that span the Sandusky River in Wyondot Count. Both bridges date back to the late 1800s.

Not everyone would drive an hour to see a stack of VW Beetles, but you can count me as one of them. Stacked in the parking lot of a pawn shop in Defiance, Ohio, these Beetles are welcome you to town as you cross over the Maumee River. Defiance was named after Fort Defiance, built by General “Mad” Anthony Wayne in the war of 1812. There’s a lot of cool historical stuff to see there but, man, them bugs!

Northwest Ohio has some hot humid summers, and some cold, brutal winters. This shot from Sidecut Metro Park captures the Maumee River in the heart of both seasons. The park is great to visit any time of year — old towpaths once used by mules to pull boats along the canal have since been paved and make excellent bike trails.