South of Toledo along the Maumee River, a pair of towns preserve important parts of western Ohio’s early history. On the west bank of the river, Maumee (pop. 13,874, pronounced “MAH-mee”) was founded in 1817 at the western edge of settled territory and holds remnants of the Miami and Erie Canal.

Across the river, Perrysburg (pop. 21,592) is a pretty little town of white colonial-style houses, with a nice waterfront park and a short strip of restaurants and bars running east along Louisiana Street. A mile upstream from town, Fort Meigs (419/874-4121 or 800/283-8916, Wed.-Sun. summer, $8) is a full-scale reconstruction of the wooden fortress that played a key role in defending the frontier against British and Native American attacks during the War of 1812.