Tired of hearing why Toledo is on top of some unsavory lists, including Forbes’ Most Miserable Cities and Fattest Cities in America? Then you’re in luck. This 419 Day (April 19) ProMedica HealthConnect editors are excited to share in the Toledo pride. Here’s our list of the Top Places in Toledo to Find Your Inner Peace.
Toledo Museum of Art (TMA):
Our friends at the TMA have an impressive collection of more than 30,000 pieces of work represented by artists across the globe from various movements. We’re talking classic works by van Gogh, Monet and Picasso; more contemporary pieces like the Spiegel sculpture by Jaume Plensa; and various traveling exhibits that never fail to impress. Every time we step foot inside TMA, there’s something new to marvel at. And one of our favorite places to take a few deep breaths and relax is the Cloister Gallery.
Not a fan of visual art? The Museum has a little something for everyone, including classical concerts performed by the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in the Peristyle Theatre and last year, TMA offered outdoor yoga instruction on the steps near the Monroe Street entrance. Best of all, admission to the Toledo Museum of Art is free. How’s that for a stress reliever?
(Photo courtesy of the Toledo Museum of Art) Oak Openings Preserve Metropark: Slightly west of the Toledo Express Airport is one the most diverse natural habitats in the Toledo area — Oak Openings. It’s the largest of the Toledo Area Metroparks, and contains 4,000 acres and more than 30 miles of hiking trails with unique features, including wetlands and savannahs. Though the other Metroparks are terrific (shout out to Wildwood and Side Cut for providing us memorable picnics and hikes), Oak Openings tops our list because of its vast forest full of majestic black oak trees. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always something beautiful to admire here. We definitely recommend taking in the sights of the wildflowers and rare plants that grow in the sand dunes. Yes, you read that correctly — though located miles away from any major body of water, Oak Openings features sand dunes that shift with the wind. So just like that one Third Eye Blind song, slow down and “believe in the sand beneath your toes.”
(Photo courtesy of Metroparks of the Toledo Area)
Toledo-Lucas County Public Library (TLCPL) – Main Library:
The Main Branch of Toledo-Lucas County Public Library is nothing short of inspiring. With roots dating back to 1838, the library system was Ohio’s first public library founded using tax money, and the main branch opened in 1940. Today, it ranks as the fifth largest collection in the state, and was named one of the top libraries in the United States by the Hennen American Public Library Rating.
History buffs will be delighted by the library’s Local History and Genealogy Department, located on the third floor of the building. Though you can’t check anything out from this particular reference department, you can spend hours browsing historical documents, photo archives, special collections found only at the Main Library, and art exhibits. Warning: You might get lost in time searching through the fascinating Toledo Blade archives.
When you need a break from browsing the collections, or just want to sit down with that James Patterson book you’ve been meaning to check out, one of the most relaxing and picturesque lunches you can experience is a picnic atop the library’s roof. Benches and picnic tables provided!
(Photo courtesy of Toledo-Lucas County Public Library) Toledo Zoo & Aquarium: What’s dark and cool, and relaxing when there aren’t thousands of people around? The new and improved aquarium at the Toledo Zoo. This space has it all. Terrifyingly beautiful jellyfish, check. A 90,000-gallon tank known as “The Reef” where experienced divers swim amongst aquatic species, check. Touch tanks where visitors can gently touch stingrays, sea stars and harmless sharks, check! And that’s just a couple of the impressive things to see in the aquarium. In addition to being face-to-face with sea creatures hailing from across the globe, visitors can’t help but feel like they, too, are under the sea. The detailed artwork, lighting and other design aspects all add to an ambiance that you have to experience for yourself. The aquarium is truly a sight to behold, and if you get the opportunity, we highly recommend booking a special Zoo Snooze, where you and only a handful of other individuals get to spend the night inside the aquarium. This is a popular spot for Toledo residents and visitors alike, and the Snooze is a rare opportunity to experience the aquarium in a semi-private environment.
(Photo courtesy of Toledo Zoo & Aquarium)
Places That Offer Massage Therapy
When it comes to relaxation, nothing comes close to getting a full body massage. Can’t you just feel it now? The gentle rubbing on your temples. The much-needed stretching of your limbs. That feeling of all your stress and anxiety being released from every inch of your body. Don’t let the usual excuses get in the way. Massages do more than pamper; they can also help your body heal and perform better, preventing fatigue and injury. The 419 is home to several spas and clubs that will have you feeling refreshed and restored. Shop around and find a place and therapist that best fits you.
Know a relaxing place in Toledo or the surrounding area that isn’t on our list? Share your favorite local space to find your inner peace in a comment below.