Appreciating Glass in Toledo, Ohio

The fourth largest city in the state of Ohio, Toledo is a water-loving town. Located at the western end of Lake Erie, downtown Toledo is built along the banks of the Maumee River that spills out into the Great Lake. Fed by the automotive and glass industries, urban Toledo has embraced the brownstone architecture revitalization similar to nearby Chicago and Milwaukee.

Home to over 600,000 Ohioans, greater Toledo offers many of the cultural venues, sports teams, and educational opportunities that come as a rite-of-passage with this population density. Known as the “glass city,” beaming high rises are constructed of materials melted from the sands of Lake Erie. Ornamental as much as functional, Toledo showcases its glass heritage in galleries, museums, and retail shops. Enough to make you want to carry Windex in a hip holster, here are two “glassy” venues for seeing Toledo clearly.

Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion

Pill Spill

Pill Spill by Beverly Fishman

Affiliated with the Toledo Museum of Art, the Glass Pavilion is located in a mostly transparent 74,000 square foot building across from the main art museum on 2445 Monroe Street. Featuring the works of world-renowned artisans including Dale Chihuly and Dominick Labino, the museum is segmented into galleries, conference space, a coffee bar and gift shop, and two state-of-the-art glassblowing studios. Providing materials, demonstrations, and instruction on glassblowing techniques, class schedules and event information is best found on the Glass Pavilion website. A work-of-art in itself, even the bathroom sinks are hip-and-trendy. Admission to both the Toledo Museum of Art and the Glass Pavilion is free.

Where to Stay

Find family-friendly accommodations in Toledo, Ohio from traditional hotels to private vacation rentals through

Libbey Glass Showroom

Libbey Glass Showroom

Libbey Glass Showroom

With the invention of the world’s first automated bottle-making machine in 1903, Edward Drummond Libbey and Michael J.Owens set the glass industry’s revolution into motion. Significantly contributing to the both the local job market and the studio glass movement, people around the world have been decorating their tables with Libbey Glass for over a century. Located at 205 South Erie Street in Toledo, the 60,000 square foot Libbey Glass Showroom is a bargain-hunters paradise. At prices below suggested retail value, the outlet store features glassware, flatware, candles, dinnerware, decorative glass and porcelain, and gifts including towels, cards, and seasonal tchotchkes. Ideal for special events and celebrations, leave a corner of your trunk unpacked if you plan to stop at Libbey.

For more information on Toledo area glass artists and resources, visit or ask for assistance from the friendly folks at the Toledo Convention and Visitors Bureau.

This post was originally published (by me) on sister-site Road Trips for Girlfriends. 

About the Author

Julie Henning
Julie Henning is a freelance writer and journalist based out of Eugene, Oregon. She is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and owner of the family-travel website She is a recent past member of the Midwest Travel Writers Association and the Association for Great Lakes Outdoor Writers. Julie is the Oregon Coast destination specialist for Bindu Media, an itinerary-focused website launching in Spring 2016 and featuring the work of 200+ professional, indie travel writers. Julie has been published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, The Daily Journal (Kankakee, Illinois), the Rochester Post Bulletin, Wisconsin Natural Resources (DNR) Magazine, Sustainable Chicago Magazine, Group Tour Magazine, Student Group Tour Magazine, Silent Sports Magazine, Intercom Magazine,, and FTF Geocacher Magazine. Julie has appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio, Ohio Public Radio, and KCBX FM Central Coast Radio and is an affiliate producer with the Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, a National Public Radio travel podcast. She has blogged for, Travel Oregon, and VISIT Milwaukee. Julie travels with her three kids and black lab as much as possible and lives by the motto, "Not all who wander are lost." Check out some of her best work at