100 Things to Do in Toledo Before You Die

A local historian’s guide to the area

Author Tedd Long.

Maybe you’ve lived in Toledo a long time, and you think you’ve been everywhere and seen everything in the area. Maybe you’re a newbie looking at the Glass City with fresh— or perhaps even overwhelmed— eyes, unsure where to start. Regardless of your local experience, Tedd Long’s newest book, “100 Things to Do in Toledo Before You Die,” is for you.

“Essentially, it’s a bucket list of 100 things to do in Toledo broken up by categories like places to eat, culture, entertainment, sports and recreation,” said Long. “The intent is for it to be a compilation – it’s not a list, number one is not the first place to go to – it’s just a compilation of 100 places you really need to check out!” 

History and storytelling
The creators of the 100 Things to Do series, a set of books covering various cities, reached out to Long early last year. The series features numerous other cities across the country, and it was time Toledo got the attention it deserved. With his first book, Forgotten Visitors, then recently published and Long’s extensive knowledge of the area, there was not a better pick.

Long has been passionate about both history and storytelling for quite a while, but he credits his initial interest in Toledo’s rich past to one lucky day. “About 15 years ago I was asked to lead the Leadership Toledo regional tour day… It’s a day-long tour of the region, and I had my own ideas of things I wanted to cover. I had just done the tour the year before with Ted [Ligibel], so I kind of saw how he did it. Since then, over the next 15 years I developed my own tour and took a deep dive into all kinds of Toledo history, learned where the resources are at the library and other places and I met people like Ted (Ligibel) and others who are interested in local history. That’s how I got sucked in.”

Since then, Long has become very active with writing and sharing Toledo’s past. He is the curator of holytoledohistory.com, and he has also recently released voice guided tours of the area which can be found on the website. 

Local Recommendations
As well, Long considers himself a foodie, and fortunately, Toledo is full of amazing options. If you’re looking for a burger, he’s the guy to ask. “[The Four Horsemen is] probably one of the best hamburgers in town. I was torn because it was Moe’s or the Four Horseman in the book, and I chose Moe’s flaming burger… I’m kind of a common guy; you’re not gonna hear me talking about the French souffle at some fancy restaurant. I’m more into the (more) regular stuff.”

While any of the area’s local festivals are a great pick, Long has his personal favorite. “I love the Birmingham Festival… there’s something about that neighborhood, there’s something about the people there. It’s just one of those places I just love to go and spend a Sunday afternoon.”

Looking For More?
Long has two more books that he plans to release in upcoming years. A collaboration with architectural photographer Matthew McNulty entitled Remarkable Places in the 419 is set to be published in 2022. Check out Instagram @Remarkable419 or website: remarkable419.com.

In 2023, Long will collaborate with iconic nature photographer and longtime friend Art Weber on a book about the history of the Maumee River, which will include Weber’s photos and Long’s history essays.

Buying the Book
100 Things to Do in Toledo Before You Die is available at most national retailers, but Long encourages people to buy it here, in Toledo.  “Go out and find it at Gathering Volumes. It’s also available at the gift shop at the National Museum of the Great Lakes or the gift shop at Fort Meigs. Local is important to me, so I just want to get that word out.”

TOP TEN of 100 things

Long’s book features trademark Toledo experiences, divided into five sections. Here are just a few area highlights he recommends:

Food and Drink

Delight in a World-Famous Hungarian Hot Dog at Tony Packo’s
(But Make Sure to Visit the Original East Side Location)

Sample Homemade Sweetness from Wixey Bakery

Music and Entertainment

Binge on Music and Pizza at The Village Idiot

Support the Arts at the Valentine Theatre

Sports and Recreation

Get Hooked on T-Town Hockey at a Walleye Game

Hit a Home Run with the Toledo Mud Hens

Culture and History

Meet Some Gangsters on the Unholy Toledo Tour

See More Than 1,000 Butterflies at the Butterfly House

Shopping and Fashion

Get Fresh at the Farmers Market

Support Local Artists at Handmade Toledo