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15 Top-Rated Weekend Getaways in Ohio

Written by Anietra Hamper Updated May 3, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Author Anietra Hamper is an Ohio native and has covered all areas of the state for the best experiences and getaways.

When it comes to weekend getaways in Ohio, the state's diverse geographic regions make it easy to find activities and places to stay that let you relax and recharge. Since Ohio is within a one-day drive of nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population, the state is a prime place to visit for weekend getaways that do not require much travel time.

Ash Cave, Hocking Hills, Ohio

From outdoor adventures like hiking and ziplining to the city scenes in the major cities like Columbus or tranquility in Amish Country ...take your pick of what makes the perfect weekend getaway for you.

No matter where you choose to spend a weekend in Ohio, chances are that you will make some unexpected stops along the way, as scenic backroads and the state's varied landscape capture your attention. Plan your next short break with our list of the best weekend getaways in Ohio.

1. Downtown Columbus

2. hocking hills, 3. put-in-bay, 4. amish country, 5. cincinnati, 6. the wilds, 7. marietta sternwheelers, 8. cleveland, 9. maumee bay, 10. maumee bay state park, 11. new plymouth ravenwood castle, 12. geneva-on-the-lake, 13. mohican, 14. granville.

Scioto Mile

Ohio's capital city of Columbus can fill a weekend with culinary surprises and activities to fill one to three days of itineraries . The expanding downtown riverfront is where you'll find cultural, arts, and music festivals almost every weekend in the summer.

The Scioto Mile bike and walking path, which weaves along the riverfront and is one of the best parks in Columbus, is a nice spot to walk, jog, bike, or enjoy the sunset from a bench in the grass.

In the summer, kayak rentals are available on the riverfront. Columbus is a bike-friendly city. Some hotels offer bicycle rentals, or you can rent one at one of the many CoGo bike stations located throughout the downtown streets.

Before your visit, look to see what activities are taking place at Columbus Commons, the public green space in the center of downtown, which hosts free yoga classes on some weekends, festivals, and evening concerts at the outdoor amphitheater.

Downtown Columbus

Nationwide Arena is an entertainment venue in the active Arena District, which hosts popular concert tours and is home to Columbus' NHL Team, the Columbus Blue Jackets . A short walk from the arena is Huntington Park, where you can catch an evening ballgame with the Columbus Clippers capped off with fireworks in front of the Columbus skyline.

On the fringe of downtown, you can walk the brick streets of German Village and grab an outdoor coffee or authentic cream puff for a taste of the area's German heritage. Catch an evening show at Shadowbox Live , a performance theater that produces original comedic and musical acts.

For a quieter visit to the capital city, stop by the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens or some of the top museums like the Columbus Museum of Art .

If the weather is nice, plan to pack a picnic for a lunch in one of the best hidden gems of the city, the Topiary Park, on the site of the old deaf school. The topiary garden is a lifelike replica of George Seurat's famous painting, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of LaGrande Jatte .

A popular stop for a weekend away near downtown is in the Short North Arts District . You'll find several blocks of galleries and boutiques, as well as unique culinary fare. Stop in at the North Market, where you'll find local vendors selling fresh produce and a variety of ethnic foods.

If you visit on the first Saturday of the month, take part in the evening Short North Gallery Hop to enjoy late gallery hours, street entertainment, and some of the best people-watching in the Midwest.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Columbus

Hocking Hills

The southern Ohio Hocking Hills region is one of the most popular weekend getaways in the state. There are plenty of cabins to rent near Hocking Hills State Park and a stunning lodge that just re-opened with a restaurant, cozy nooks for curling up with a good book, and outdoor fire pits where you can gather with friends and take in some of the best stargazing in the state.

Since this area is far away from the city lights, another spot for epic stargazing in the Hocking Hills is at the John Glenn Astronomy Park , where you can stop by on your own or take part in one of the scheduled public programs.

This region is ideal for those who love the outdoors and who are looking for romantic getaways. Hiking, canoeing, zip-lining, and horseback riding are the best ways to enjoy the southern Ohio region. Some people just come to hunker down for a quiet weekend to be surrounded by nature.

There are several hiking areas with multiple trails in each that can fit both leisure hikers and those looking for a challenge. Trail signage is ample, so it is easy to find the right trails for your fitness level. Old Man's Cave , Conkle's Hollow Nature Preserve , Cedar Falls , Cantwell Cliffs, and Ash Cave have popular scenic hiking trails and many have sections that are wheelchair accessible.

The best time to visit the Hocking Hills region is in the fall, when southern Ohio is flush with vibrant colors from the leaves changing on the trees. Winter provides a unique way to see the Hocking Hills region, with frozen waterfalls and a popular annual winter hike that draws thousands of visitors. Be advised that Hocking Hills is one of the most popular getaways for in-state visitors too, so if you plan to go during the fall, make reservations for lodging far in advance.

Read More: Best Places to Visit in Ohio

Marina at Put-in-Bay

Few weekend getaways in Ohio compare to the island resort community at Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island . This Lake Erie getaway offers a range of things to do , from boating, swimming, and kayaking to dining in open-air restaurants while enjoying evening entertainment.

The mood in Put-in-Bay is one of leisure, so you can rent bikes or golf carts and just explore at your own pace. A worthwhile stop while on the island is Perry's Victory and International Memorial . For a small fee, you can make the trek up to the observation desk on the 352-foot-tall monument, where you get the best view of the island.

Kayaking in Put-in-Bay

The best way to get to Put-in-Bay is by the Miller Ferry or Jet Express Ferry , which runs on regular schedules to take you to the island from Port Clinton . It is important to take note of the last ferry that returns from the island at the end of the day, as that is your final opportunity to leave unless you are spending the night.

Like to fish? Catch a charter to experience the excellent perch and walleye fishing on Lake Erie , or if you don't want to put in the effort, at least be sure to try these local delicacies prepared fresh and fried at one of the island restaurants.

During your weekend visit, you can base yourself in Put-in-Bay and plan activities during other days to Kelleys Island and Cedar Point amusement park, which you can get to with the Jet Express ferry.

Amish farm in Ohio

A peaceful weekend getaway in Ohio's Amish country will remind you of life's simple pleasures, which is what makes it one of the top tourist attractions in Ohio . The winding back roads that run through Amish communities in east-central Ohio will take you past laundry drying on the line and farmers plowing fields with workhorses as you share the road with Amish buggies heading to market.

The towns of Charm, Walnut Creek, Millersburg, and Berlin are all located near each other, so you can drive through all of them in one visit. Many quaint bed-and-breakfasts lie throughout Holmes, Tuscarawas, and Knox counties, and they often serve up hearty breakfasts and baked goods made from locally sourced ingredients that are in-season.

To make the most of your visit, plan some time to meander through the winding back roads with no particular agenda. Be sure to stop for a tour and samples at one of several cheese factories in the region like Guggisberg Cheese and Heini's Cheese Chalet in Millersburg .

Amish Country

A must-visit in Ohio's Amish country is Walnut Creek Cheese in Walnut Creek. It's a large grocery store with incredible prices on cheese blocks and baking supplies. Take home a locally made Amish apple fry pie or pick up a cookbook of Amish recipes from the expansive gift shop, so you can take the homemade taste of Amish Country home with you.

Your Amish country visit will undoubtedly include impromptu stops at things you see along the way, like Amish children selling handmade baskets on the roadsides, and small independently owned shops that are located outside of the main tourist areas. These unplanned detours are often the best finds and create the most memorable experiences of your visit.

Read More: Ohio's Amish Country: Highlights and Hidden Treasures

Cincinnati

Cincinnati is synonymous with baseball, and a visit to the Great American Ballpark for a Cincinnati Reds game is a must if you plan to be in Ohio in the summer. If you come in the fall, you can join the legions of local football fans for a Cincinnati Bengals game.

History buffs can plan an entire weekend visiting the many museums, including the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal , the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center , the Center for Holocaust and Humanity Education, and the Cincinnati Art Museum .

A stroll along the downtown riverfront is a great way to see the sunset. Enjoy the swings on the riverwalk as you watch runners pass by or stop and wind down at the Smale Riverfront Park, a popular spot for families.

Holtman's donuts in Cinci's Over The Rhine neighborhood

Foodies can indulge in local history while eating their way through neighborhoods like the Over the Rhine district with a Cincinnati Food Tours experience. You can sample the fare at several restaurants on the walking tour and meet local chefs.

There are more than 50 unique neighborhoods in Cincinnati that you can explore, each with its own vibe, and there are many hotels around the city that can keep you close to where you want to spend the majority of your time. Walk the hilly neighborhood streets of Mount Adams with some of the best views overlooking the city, or soak in the arts scene in Northside.

No matter where you stay in Cincinnati, you do not want to head home without visiting the famous Holtman's Donuts. This family-owned shop cranks out creative donuts every morning from scratch. It is an unforgettable experience for your taste buds, and you can smell the bakery from a block away.

  • Read More: Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Cincinnati

The Wilds

Imagine going on an African safari in Ohio. The Wilds is a 9,000-acre open-range habitat in Cumberland that is home to hundreds of animals, including buffalo, giraffes, rhinos, and many endangered species.

It's a conservation facility that is both educational and entertaining. There are several options for enjoying a safari, from an open-air jeep ride to private tours. Zipline excursions provide one of the most exciting ways to see the animals.

This is a great location for a romantic getaway if you stay in a private yurt in Nomad Ridge overlooking the grounds, and the lodge is perfect for families.

Address: 14000 International Road, Cumberland, Ohio

Read More: Best Things to Do in Ohio

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

You can enjoy the charm of sternwheeler boats along the Ohio River during your getaway in Marietta. This town is themed around Ohio's riverboat heritage. Take a sightseeing cruise on board the Valley Gem Sternwheeler , an authentic steamboat boat that has been in operation since 1973.

The Ohio River Museum is nearby, with a vast history of steamboats that dictates the bygone-era of this town. You can spend several hours in the exhibit building on the campus. You will notice that nearly everything in the town, including the rooms at The Lafayette Hotel , feature the steamboat theme, with actual artifacts and historic photos.

Marietta is a great walking city. A trail runs along the riverfront, and the small town is easy to navigate. The best time to visit is during the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival , a free event that brings many riverboats into town. The annual festival is always held the weekend after Labor Day.

Read More: Top-Rated Small Towns in Ohio

Cleveland

Cleveland is an easy getaway that can fill your agenda with plenty of things to do . The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a must-see if you have never been to the city. At Progressive Field, you can attend a Cleveland Browns Football Game or a Cleveland Guardians baseball game.

Cleveland has an impressive Metroparks system that lets you enjoy the outdoors, with hiking, biking, bird watching, rowing, and one park with an ice chute that is open in the winter. The metroparks are connected around the city.

For a night out, the Flats East Bank is an easy one-stop venue for dining and entertainment. The renovated district is one of the most popular areas in the city, so restaurant reservations are recommended.

Other notable stops in the city include the Cleveland Museum of Art ; the Cleveland Zoo ; and a nostalgic visit to A Christmas Story House , which has been turned into a museum commemorating the classic Christmas movie.

Another must-visit during your Cleveland weekend getaway is the historic West Side Market , which is as interesting in its architecture as its food variety inside from local vendors selling fresh fruit and pastries to authentic hard-to-find ethnic specialties.

The Arcade Cleveland

The Arcade Cleveland is worth a visit while you are in downtown Cleveland. The Arcade was built in 1890 and has been preserved to be one of the best landmarks in Ohio. The Arcade Cleveland was the first indoor shopping mall in the United States and remains a shopping and dining destination.

Maumee Bay

For time away that includes the shores of Lake Erie , hiking, birding, biking, and s'mores by the campfire, Maumee Bay in northwest Ohio makes for a full weekend. Just outside of Toledo , the Maumee Bay area has a diverse ecosystem and a wide range of things to do, including spending time on Lake Erie.

Maumee Bay State Park is one of the best state parks in Ohio , with dozens of hiking trails throughout its 1,300 acres as well as recreational options. The landscape ranges from forestland to marshes, and convenient trails and boardwalks get you up close to the wildlife.

Maumee Bay sits along the Lake Erie Birding Trail , so take your binoculars to spot eagles and songbirds. One of the most popular times to visit is during the Biggest Week in American Birding each spring, when hundreds of birders and photographers come to see the tiny warblers on their migration path.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

One of the most unique cities you can visit for a weekend getaway is in the tiny northern town of Peninsula within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park . This quaint community has shops featuring the work of local artisans and quaint B&Bs that make the stay a peaceful one, whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or solitude.

Since you are within the national park, biking and hiking trails are abundant. Many cyclists who are traveling across the country or making multi-day trips use the bike trail that goes through the park since it connects to a larger trail system where riders can make overnight stays at B&Bs along the way.

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is an enjoyable day out to view the national park by train. For a special occasion, you can book a trip on one of the themed train excursions that change throughout the year.

Read More: Best Waterfalls in Ohio

New Plymouth Ravenwood Castle

While New Plymouth is not on many destination searches, it's one of the best-kept secrets in Ohio because of the medieval Ravenwood Castle . This is one of the most unique romantic getaways in the state.

The castle, a replica of 12th- and 13th-century castles, is tucked away in the Hocking Hills region. The grounds in the area lead you through a medieval village and themed cottages, cabins, and rustic gypsy wagons. The Great Hall has large dining tables, a mural of medieval battles depicting the grand majesty and allure of the times, and stunning stained-glass windows.

A New Plymouth getaway is a great home base if you plan to visit the Hocking Hills, as it is set apart from the other cottages in the area.

Address: 65666 Bethel Road, New Plymouth, Ohio

Geneva-on-the-Lake

Geneva-on-the-Lake is a throwback to the time when vacations were made up of simple pleasures, like arcades, Ferris wheels, and diner foods. Along the one-mile strip through town, many of these notions have not changed from when the resort community was in its heyday in the early 1900s.

You can see donut shops, miniature golf, antique shops, and ice-cream parlors all with original and nostalgic facades. Be sure to make time for lunch at Eddie's Grill , where coney dogs and root beer have been staples on the strip since 1950. Prepare for a wait, especially in the busy summer season.

While cottages are available to rent in the center of the action, your best bet is to stay just off the strip at Geneva-on-the-Lake Boutique Resort Hotel or in a nearby B&B. This allows you to enjoy the quiet serenity that you will find from being on the shores of Lake Erie, yet keeps you close to the tourist attractions in town.

Geneva State Park has hiking trails, fishing, biking, and a marina where you can rent jet skis and paddleboards or book a fishing charter to catch local walleye. Six miles of multi-use recreational trails wind through this park, and they become cross-country and snowmobile trails in the winter. Geneva State Park public beach, one of Ohio's best beaches , is easily accessible for an afternoon on the sand by picturesque Lake Erie.

What is billed as Ohio's first summer resort is ideal for a weekend getaway, because everything is so close and it offers a perfect mix of activities and opportunities to relax and enjoy a Lake Erie sunset.

Read More: Best Ice Fishing Lakes in Ohio

Big Lyons Falls, Mohican State Park

A weekend getaway in the Mohican State Park area is for outdoor lovers. Walk through the hemlock-dense Mohican State Park and state forest as you hike one of the many trails.

Keep an eye out for wildlife like Ohio's white-tailed deer or take your binoculars to enjoy the view and birding opportunities from the Mohican Fire Tower Overlook . The high tower requires a hearty climb up, but the reward is one of the best scenic views in the state, including the Clear Fork Gorge that plunges 300 feet from the south rim.

Mohican is located adjacent to Loudonville , considered Ohio's canoe capital, so you might guess the summer outdoor opportunities that await. Rent a canoe to paddle down the Mohican River or rent a tube and just chill as you float your way through the natural environment.

For a fun way to add to your outdoor weekend, plan a camping trip at Mohican State Park or one of the other local campgrounds or stay in a treehouse at The Mohicans , which offers lodging high in the treetops or in comfortable cabins on the ground.

Granville

The quaint town of Granville has a New England feel and is a quiet way to spend a weekend in Ohio. Granville is about 30 minutes east of Columbus and has all the charm of a small Massachusetts village. Stroll the tree-lined campus of Dennison University, and grab an ice cream cone or a sandwich at one of the locally owned restaurants in the center of town.

Historic bed and breakfasts like the Granville Inn and the Buxton Inn are not only local landmarks but also nice places to stay. One of the most noticeable features of Granville is the pristine landscaping and flowers that add to the New England-style ambience.

The best view of the area is at Alligator Mound, a prehistoric animal effigy mound that sits on a bluff overlooking the area. Two historic sites to visit are the Avery-Downer House and the Robbins Hunter Museum and Bryn Du Mansion . These are iconic century-old estates featuring the elegant and historic architecture that defines Granville.

William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Canton is most known for being the home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame , but there is so much more to the city that can fill a weekend away from home. Start your visit to Canton in the downtown area, where you can base yourself for the weekend and be a part of the local arts and music scene with music venues and dozens of art galleries.

Spend a day visiting the historic sites in Canton, including the William McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, which is also the final resting place for America's 25th President. The Canton Classic Car Museum is another stop that is picture-worthy. The museum houses more than 40 rare and classic cars and automobile memorabilia.

Spend the rest of your visit exploring Canton, making stops in the arts district and taking advantage of the farmer's markets in the summer. If you take a short drive just beyond Canton, you can experience some of the most stunning rural scenery in northeast Ohio.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Ohio Outdoors: Ohio is a wonderful state for enjoying nature and getting active outdoors. For more ideas on what to do here, see our articles on the Best Outdoor Adventures in Ohio and Best Fishing Lakes in Ohio . Winter lovers looking for something to do during the colder months should see our article on the Best Places for Ice Fishing in Ohio .

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40 Incredible Weekend Trips From Cincinnati, Ohio

Are you looking for the best weekend trips from Cincinnati, Ohio? We share our ultimate guide to getaways under 5 hours from Cincinnati.

As an avid weekend traveler, I love to explore small towns, new attractions, and outdoor activities within driving distance. The Ohio River makes a beautiful backdrop to any local adventure, but sometimes you want to explore the world around you, especially hidden gems only a few hours away.

The Best Weekend Getaways From Cincinnati

In this article, we will share the best weekend getaways; whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a weekend away with the family, you will be surprised at all there is to do within a few hours from Cincinnati.

Tips For Deciding On A Weekend Getaway From Cincinnati

In my perfect world, I could pack my bags, hop in the car and drive to my destination without any planning! However, planning is vital in ensuring you make the most of your trip. Especially when trying to head up to Put-In-Bay.; you don’t want to miss that ferry!!

Here are a few things to consider while putting together weekend trips from Cincinnati:

The Weather

The season you are traveling in can make a difference in pricing, activities, and events. Cincinnati locals are familiar with it being 20 degrees in the morning and 68 degrees that afternoon. Winter weather can close many hiking trails in Hocking Hills, while the 4th of July weekend is one of the busiest for amusement parks such as Cedar Point.

Weekend trips from Cincinnati don’t have to break the bank. Many nearby destinations offer an abundance of free activities. Depending on your traveling party’s number of people, things can get pricey quickly. If there is a particular destination or hotel you are looking at staying at, start following them on social media or sign up for their newsletters to receive discounts or deals. For example, the Mohican’s Treehouse Resort will offer last-minute treehouse deals at half the cost!

Feel free to search Groupon for deals as well. Great Wolf Lodge will often put out a winter deal once a year for those who can visit during the week.

Imagination Station in Toledo

Tip: Do you have a local zoo or museum center membership? Check to see if they offer reciprocity at other nearby zoos or museums.  For example, our Cincinnati Zoo membership gets us 50% off at most zoos in Ohio! Our Cincinnati Museum membership gets us in free at the Imagination Station in Toldeo. 

Travel Time

The drive time for weekend getaways is classified differently by everyone. While some consider two hours a weekend getaway, others will drive six or seven hours. In this article, everything is under 5 hours from Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is a great location where travelers can be at Lake Erie in four hours going north or the Smoky Mountain National Park four hours going south. Having Kentucky, Indiana, and West Virginia close by makes for endless possibilities.

Top Weekend Trips From Cincinnati

Put-in-bay and ohio’s islands.

There are four Lake Erie Islands in Ohio where guests can stay overnight. Three islands have a ferry service that takes guests to and from the island. Each island has its own unique vibe, catering to a different type of traveler. Whether looking for a more peaceful getaway on Middle Bass Island or embracing the “Key West” lifestyle on Put-In-Bay, a lake trip to the islands is a must.

weekend getaways from Cincinnati

A trip to the Islands does require some planning, as you will need to catch a ferry, rent a golf cart or arrange transportation. Check out our Guide To Middle Bass Island for tips on planning a visit to any of the islands and top things to do on Middle Bass and Put-In-Bay.

Travel Time From Cincinnati : Roughly four and half hours.

Stay At The French Lick Resort

The historic West Baden Springs Hotel at the French Lick Resort is perfect for a luxury retreat. The iconic atrium lures visitors to this luxury hotel tucked away in the southern hills of Indiana. Between the incredible amenities at the resort and nearby attractions, French Lick is a great place for families, couples, and getaways with friends.

Top Things to do in French Lick Indiana

The West Baden Springs Hotel is home to the stunning atrium once known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Here guests can enjoy fine dining at Sinclair’s, relax with a spa treatment, or shop in the gift shop.

The French Lick Hotel offers plenty of family-friendly amenities. Go bowling at Plutos Lanes, take a dip in the large indoor pool, sunbathe near the outdoor pools, then feast on a breakfast buffet at the Grand Colonnade Restaurant. Hop on a complimentary trolley ride to French Lick Resort or the Casino for even more fun.

Discover our 20 Exciting Things To Do in French Lick, Indiana , and start planning your trip.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: Roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes

Give An Elephant A Bath At The Wilstem Elephant Spa

One of the most incredible animal encounters on your bucket list should be the   Elephant Spa at Wilstem  Wildlife Park. Guests can assist in bathing their resident elephants, including exfoliation and painting their toenails!

We enjoyed learning about the elephants, including why their daily baths are so important. The elephant’s caretaker was extremely knowledgeable, offering us fun facts about the elephants, “Cindy and Vicky.”

Elephant Spa experience at Wilstem

Kids even have the chance to participate in helping care for these gentle giants with options to help scrub, rinse, or paint toenails. Lucky for us, we were the only family, so we got to do it all!

Tips For The Wilstem Elephant Spa

  • This experience is two hours long and includes an elephant educational program.
  • The elephant’s caretaker will give detailed instructions on where to stand, what to do, etc.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes.
  • You will likely get wet but not soaked.
  • There is a bathroom available.
  • They feed the elephant animals crackers as part of their training. You may want to bring a pack for your kids as a snack.
  • Sign your waiver before arriving.

Address: 4229 US-150 W, Paoli, IN 47454

Go Hiking At Hocking Hills State Park

One of our favorite weekend trips from Cincinnati is to Hocking Hills. Deemed one of Ohio’s most scenic state parks, Hocking Hills is full of cascading waterfalls, rugged gorges, sheer rock walls, and towering cliffs. Whether it is a kid-friendly trail or a more thrilling hike, our list of the best hikes in Hocking Hills has something for every type of hiker.

A few of our favorites are Cedar Falls, Old Man’s Cave, Cantwell Cliffs, and the Rock House . Try the paved trails at Ash Cave, and Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve with kids in tow.

hocking hills hiking trails

Hocking Hills has become a booming area, with new lodging popping up every year. Cabins are now abundant, along with unique Airbnb stays.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: Roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes

Discover Eccentric Yellow Springs

The vibrant and eccentric town of Yellow Springs is full of an eclectic assortment of shops and restaurants. Lovingly known as a “hippy town,” Yellow Springs is full of aspiring artists, charming cafes, and unique boutiques. Devote a few hours to discovering the free-spirited nature of Yellow Springs before venturing to the nearby Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve. Chances are it will be hard to leave without finding something that is truly one of a kind.

Yellow Springs: A great weekend getaway from Cincinnati

Don’t miss out on a few of our favorite spots, such as hiking at the Glen Helen Nature Preserve. The 1000-acre nature preserve is home to beautiful waterfalls, ancient trees, and the famous Yellow Spring that the town is named after. 

Stop by Young’s Dairy for a tasty treat of freshly made ice cream and cheese curds. Youngs is a mecca for families with farmyard friends, pumpkin festivals, and mini-golf.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: Roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes

Spend The Weekend Hiking Red River Gorge

A great outdoor adventure awaits at a breathtaking Red River Gorge. This two-hour drive from Cincinnati is well worth it for those seeking to exchange the sounds of the city for those of nature. The gorge is known for its natural bridge, jaw-dropping view, and beautiful trails.

The Daniel Boone National Forest is also home to rafting, canoeing, ziplining, and more. Be sure to explore the gorge underground as you kayak through the cavern. Cabins, campgrounds, and nearby hotels are available for those looking to overnight.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 hours

Kalahari Indoor Waterpark

While the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells holds the record for America’s largest indoor waterpark, Kalahari in Sandusky claims the title as Ohio’s largest.

Kalahari in Sandusky sits along Lake Erie, offering guests many additional attractions to visit during their stay. Spend the day exploring Put-In-Bay, plan an afternoon at one of Lake Erie’s beautiful beaches, or go thrill-seeking at nearby Cedar Point.

Kalahari Resort In Sandusky Ohio

Kalahari Resort is massive and can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Check out our tips on visiting Kalahari before your trip so that you come prepared. I found that Kalahari is great for older kids and teens compared to Ohio’s other indoor water parks. There are more thrilling attractions and slides for them to do. If you visit during the summer, a huge outdoor waterpark opens up for guests!

Kalahari Family Nights are special rates on special dates at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells and Sandusky, Ohio. These special deals are available for anyone who signs up in the “Don White Block.” Utilizing a discount makes it possible for this to be one of the few weekend trips from Cincinnati you can enjoy multiple times a year.

 The “Don White Block” is a particular room block at the Kalahari not available to the general public. A limited number of rooms are set aside at a rate well below the regular Kalahari rates. Learn more about the  Kalahari Family Nights .

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 hours and 40 minutes

The Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay

Columbus is home to many fun family attractions; one of the top spots is the Columbus Zoo. The zoo is spread out, offering animals plenty of space to roam, including an African Savannah! The reason the Zoo is getting its own spot on the list is that families can spend all weekend here!

The Columbus Zoo is home to an incredible zoo, aquarium, amusement park, and Zoombezi Bay water park.

Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay: Weekend Trips From Cincinnati

Adventure Cove is a popular area in the zoo offering amusement rides such as a wooden roller coaster, swings, bumper boats, and more. Guests can purchase a Zoo More wristband to enjoy all the rides throughout the zoo, including those at Adventure Cove.

Zoombezi Bay is a waterpark full of waterslides, a lazy river, a kid’s splash area, and a 21+ Lazy River called Croctail Creek. Cocktail Creek allows adults to float with alcoholic beverages. 

Planning Tip: Admission to Zoombezi Bay also includes admission to the Columbus Zoo. The zoo offers two-day tickets because there is so much to see and do! Remember that attractions such as rides in Adventure Cove, rides throughout the zoo, and special animal programs require an additional charge.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 Hours

Maumee Bay State Park and Lodge

One of the best weekend trips from Cincinnati is a visit to Maumee Bay State Park. The park is 1,450 acres, with excellent birdwatching in the wetlands, bike trails, a golf course, and fishing. Surrounding Maumee Bay State Park is additional refuges to explore, such as Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, Metzger Marsh Wildlife Area, and the Cedar Point National Wildlife Refuge.

We recommend bringing or renting bikes to enjoy along the scenic trails, planning a picnic on the beach, or going birding in the marshy wildlife areas!

quick weekend trips from ohio

Sitting on the scenic shores of Lake Erie sits the tranquil Maumee Bay Lodge. Soak in a spectacular sunset, take a peaceful stroll along the boardwalk, or cozy up next to one of the fireplaces. You will not want to leave with so many great things to do at   Maumee Bay State Park Lodge!  

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 hours and 15 minutes

Go Visit Indy

One of the best places for a weekend getaway from Cincinnati is Indianapolis. Couples will swoon over the historic Iron Works and Bottle Works Hotel, while kids will love exploring the newest exhibit at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum.

Indianapolis Children's Museum

Indianapolis is one of those cities that you can visit multiple times in a year and still not see everything. Discover the thrills of the Indy 500 and tour the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, go underground to see the city’s catacombs, or catch the Dolphin Presentation at the Indy Zoo.

We have your ideal Indianapolis three-day itinerary if you plan a visit with the kids!

Stay overnight at the Bottleworks Hotel

Planning Tip: Families can spend multiple days at the Children’s Museum, with four stories of exhibits and the outdoor Sports Legend Experience (seasonal). If you plan on visiting the museum, expect to spend an entire day there. We spent five hours there and barely made it through half the museum and none of the outdoor experiences.

Sip Your Way Through The Bourbon Trail

Sipping bourbon has become a popular pastime, with many having their favorite bourbon. This is why crafting your own Bourbon Trail Tour makes one of the best weekend trips from Cincinnati. By crafting your own tour, you can ensure your favorite distilleries are en route.

The Bourbon Trail: Weekend Trips From Cincinnati

Kentucky is the world’s bourbon capital, with new bourbon distilleries popping up each year. With so many options, from the classic Kentucky Bourbon Trail to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, it is easy to spend a weekend exploring bourbon country.

Planning Tip: Many distilleries now require you to book a tour time. These tours can book out months in advance. Review our Bourbon Trail Guide for all the tips and tricks before you hit the trail.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: Depends on distilleries. There are stops as close as Northern Kentucky.

Visit The Charming Town Of Little Nashville

Known to many as “Little Nashville,” the town of Nashville, Indiana, boasts trendy boutiques, charming restaurants, and local wineries.  Imagine the most darling county store with a garden of beautiful wildflowers and turn it into a town; that is “ Little Nashville .”   

Quaint shops full of rustic charm line the bloom-filled streets. Every nook and cranny is home to a specialty shop that can’t be overlooked.  Whether you want to glam up your wardrobe, take home that perfect antique, or find an original piece of art in one of the galleries, you can find it here in Nashville.

Girls Weekend In Brown County Indiana

Don’t miss Brown County State Park, Indiana’s largest State Par. The park offers scenic hiking trails, mountain biking, horse-backing riding, and more.  The foliage is stunning during the fall months, making it the ideal season to visit.

A trip to Nashville, TN, is roughly 5 hours from Cincinnati, making it another great weekend getaway full of live music, bachelor and bachelorette parties, southern cooking, and more.

New River Gorge

Discover beautiful, wild West Virginia with a trip to New River Gorge National Park. From exploring an abandoned ghost town to scenic hikes, we highlight a few of our favorite  Things To Do In New River Gorge .  Endless adventures, thrills, and plenty of jaw-dropping landscapes await!

Things To Do In New River Gorge

From Cincinnati, you will drive through the capital of West Virginia, Charleston, to get to Red River Gorge. I would recommend allocating a few hours or even a day to explore the historic sites of this charming city.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 4 Hours and 30 minutes

Big Bone Lick State Park

Big Bone Lick State Park in Union, Kentucky, gives visitors the unique opportunity to view bison completely free! Remains of ancient mammoths and Pleistocene megafauna have been found in the area, making it known as the Big Bone Lick State Historic Site.

Big Bone Lick State Park : Weekend getaways from Cincinnati

With plenty of hiking trails, a family-friendly campground, educational exhibits, a visitor center, and a museum, Big Bone Lick is the perfect Kentucky day trip or family getaway.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 30 minutes

Brewdog Hotel In Columbus

One of the best adult weekend trips from Cincinnati is in Columbus, Ohio. Plan an overnight at the world’s first craft beer hotel with a stay at Brewdog Hotel in Columbus, Ohio. Brewdog Hotel has 32 beer-themed rooms with draft beer on tap in each of them. How would you like a shower beer or a beermosa in the morning? All these dreams can become a reality with this unique overnight.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Stroll The Portsmouth Floodwall Murals

The Portsmouth, Ohio Floodwall Murals are an iconic Ohio landmark portraying local history through exquisitely painted murals. Over 55 murals adorn the floodwalls, each depicting a moment in time. Today guests can take a self-guided tour of the Floodwall murals.

Portsmouth Floodwall Murals : getaways from Cincinnati

While in Portsmouth, plan to visit Shawnee State Park or stay overnight at the rustic Shawnee State Park Lodge . Go antiquing in downtown Portsmouth, visit Mound Park, and stop for coffee at Lofts Coffee Company and Roastery.

Hike in the Great Smoky Mountains

One of the most popular weekend trips from Cincinnati is to the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. Endless attractions, outdoor adventures, and restaurants can be found throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg.

Great Smoky Mountains : Ideal getaway from Cincinnati

Experience the great outdoors with horseback riding, hiking to mountain streams, and even tubing down a river. Thrill seekers will love to spend the weekend exploring Dollywood, while others will enjoy a peaceful retreat in their scenic cabin.

Discover our top 25 things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennesee, with kids.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 4 Hours and 30 Minutes (traffic could increase this)

Indiana Dunes

The tranquility and beauty of the Indiana Dunes will have you questioning if you are actually in Indiana. Soft sand paired with massive dunes, along with the sound of the waves rolling in from Lake Michigan, made me feel like I was at the ocean. The Indiana Dunes is an incredible National Park that has many great hiking trails and activities to explore. A campground is available at the park.

Indiana Dunes: Weekend Trips From Cincinnati

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 4 Hours

Castaway Bay

Splash into the newly reimagined Castaway Bay in Sandusky, Ohio. Cedar Point’s freshly renovated indoor waterpark and hotel is Ohio’s all-new family aqua adventure! Explore all the exciting activities on the property with the help of Castaway Bay’s mascot Gordy and friends.

Whether you are planning a visit to Cedar Point amusement park or a fun winter escape, Castaway Bay is the ideal getaway for families with kids under ten years old—playful touches such as interactive character doors, character meet-n-greets, and an abundance of kid-friendly waterpark attractions make this a top weekend getaway from Cincinnati with kids.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 hours and 45 minutes

Castaway Bay in Sandusky Ohio

Sleep In The Floating Tents In Troy, Ohio

One of the most unique weekend trips from Cincinnati is overnighting in a floating tent. While sleeping in an inflatable tent on a river may frighten some, many embrace the adventure.

Float Troy allows guests to rent floating tents overnight on the Great Miami River. Guests can reserve the tents on select weekends throughout the year. The tents are at Treasure Island Park along the Great Miami River. Each tent has a raft, oars, and life vests to get to and from the tent.

During your visit, the inflatable floating tent is only one of the many  fun things to do in Troy, Ohio .

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 1 hour and ten minutes

floating tent

Plan A Weekend In Dayton

One of the best places to take a weekend trip from Cincinnati, is to discover the history of aviation in the United States is Dayton, Ohio. The hometown of Wilber and Orville Wright, Dayton, boasts an extensive collection of aviation artifacts and museums. The Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park consists of a six-unit park located in and around Dayton.

A great day trip from Cincinnati

See the1905 Wright Flyer III preserved at the Wright Brothers National Museum in Carillon Historical Park. Other historical sites include the Paul Laurence Dunbar House Historic Site , Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, home to The National Museum of the United States Airforce, and The Wright Cycle Company Complex.

If you are visiting with kids, plan a weekend with a visit to the Forest Trolls in Aullwood Audubon, followed by a dinner at the Troll Pub. Explore the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Wegerzyn Gardens, and the Dayton Art Institute.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 45 minutes

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Downtown Fort Wayne is a thriving entertainment hotspot with museums, botanical gardens, and a growing food scene. Zip across town to explore their famous children’s zoo or venture into the intriguing science center. Guests of all ages will love strolling through their newly renovated Promenade Park along the river.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 Hours

Science Central Fort Wayne Indiana

Explore Columbus Ohio

Ohio’s capital city makes the perfect weekend getaway from Cincinnati for all types of travelers. Columbus is a foodie paradise with neighborhoods like the Italian Village and Franklinton Art District, teeming with unique, innovative restaurants, bars, breweries, rooftop views, and more.

Otherworld

Families from Cincinnati will often pilgrimage to Columbus for the science center, COSI, or to experience the bizarre sights at Otherworld. Legoland will bring out the inner brick builder in all of us, while visiting the American Girl store is a bucket list item for many.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Ohio’s Amish Country

Scenic drives through the backroads of Ohio’s Amish Country will have you basking in the simple joys of life. Delight in a home-cooked meal, swing on a front porch, and experience the Amish culture in ways you never thought possible. See the world’s largest Cuckcoo Clock, snack on cheese at Heini’s Cheese Outlet, and visit the Age of Steam Roundhouse.

Holmes county is full of wineries, Amish boutiques, unique lodging, and a variety of outdoor adventures as well! Many will attest that a visit to Ohio’s Amish Country is one of the best weekend trips from Cincinnati.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 Hours 25 minutes

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Visit the only National Park in Ohio with a visit to Cuyahoga Valley. Between Akron and Cleveland, Cuyahoga Valley National Park offers visitors superb hiking trails, gorgeous waterfalls, and a railroad that offers train rides. Fall is especially scenic as the leaves are vibrant colors making it magical.

Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Popular sights include Brandywine Falls, Beaver Marsh, and Blue Hen Falls.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 hours and 30 minutes

Go To The Races

Experience on of the US’s most thrilling races by planning a trip to the Kentucky Derby in Louisville. The experience of seeing the derby attire paired with mint juleps is something you will have to do at least once in your life.

For those not ready to take on the Kentucky Derby, Keeneland in Kentucky offers a smaller, more laid-back racing experience. Guests still dress up in big hats and bright colors, but the crowds are not nearly as large.

See the Public Art In Dublin Ohio

Dublin has a rich Irish history that still shows throughout the city in historic Dublin’s downtown. The 19th-century architecture, limestone fences, and brick sidewalks are reminders of the past. Many different aspects of the Emerald City can be found throughout Dublin, Ohio, such as neighborhood pubs, fairy doors, and hosting one of the largest Irish festivals in the nation.

Public Art Trail in Dublin, Ohio: Weekend Trips From Cincinnati

One of the unique things to do in Dublin, OH, is their art in public places tour. Scattered throughout the city are over 70 public art installations. Visitors can download the  free mobile tour  that will take them to 21 different art installations throughout the city and gives a description.

Get our full list of things to do in Dublin, Ohio !

Grab A Slice of Cake at the Cake Bake Shop

One of the most incredible bakeries in the United States is the charming  Cake Bake Shop  by Gwendolyn Rogers. The whimsical atmosphere paired with dreamy desserts makes visits to the Cake Bake Shop a staple among locals and visitors.

Cake Bake Shop: Weekend trips from Cincinnati Ohio

Offering afternoon tea service, a variety of sweet treats, and a full-service restaurant, the Cake Bake Shop can be entirely reserved for weeks to months.  That is why we recommend making a weekend out of it by checking out all the great things to do in Carmel, Indiana , in between bites of that delicious cake!

Stay Overnight in a Treehouse

The Mohicans offer various treehouse and cabin lodging options near Mohican State Park. These treehouses make the ideal remote getaway that lets guests reconnect with nature. During our weekend getaway, we stayed in the Tin Shed, which was incredible. However, read our tips for staying in the treehouses , so you know what to expect and what to pack!

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 Hours and 30 minutes

The Tin Shed at the Mohicans: A Treehouse Rental In Ohio

The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum

Tucked away in the rolling foothills of Kentucky is an attraction many have heard of but have yet to see.   The Ark Encounter  has sparked lively conversations and piqued the curiosity of many.

Ark Encounter

This full-size wooden replica of Noah’s Ark has attracted visitors from all over the world. It gives guests a glimpse into what life could have been like in the times of Noah and aboard the Ark.  Many guests opt to also visit the Ark’s sister attraction, the Creation Museum, which is roughly an hour away from the ark.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 42 minutes

Salt Fork State Park

Overlooking sparkling Salt Fork Lake, cozy cabins rest peacefully on the shoreline, making it a perfect relaxing Ohio retreat. Whether you want to spend time on the lake fishing, relaxing poolside with a cold drink, or getting out for a scenic hike, the cabins at  Salt Fork Lodge  offer guests a tranquil escape.

Salt Fork Lake Lodge is another one of our favorite weekend trips from Cincinnati.

Cabin Getaways in Ohio

Explore One Of Ohio’s Most Haunted Cities, Athens

Discover the secrets of this sleepy little college town by diving into the local eateries, uncovering ghost stories, all while savoring the beauty of the Appalachian foothills.

The Ridges in Athens, Ohio: Weekend Trips From Cincinnati

The eerie mysteries that shroud the Athens Lunatic Asylum have intrigued and peaked curiosities for years. Now known as The Ridges, the Athens Lunatic Asylum operated from 1874 to 1993.  Today the Ridges is owned by Ohio University. Visitors can still go tour the grounds and visit a small inside portion of the old Asylum, which has been converted into the Kennedy Museum of Art.

Athens embraces their spooky pastime with a Halloween block party, a picturesque fall backdrop, and the naturally, ghosts. While any town is bound to have a ghost story or two, Athens is filled with haunted locations, each with its own spooky tale to tell. 

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 hours and 38 minutes

Mammoth Cave National Park

Adventure seekers can take in the natural wonders of the world’s longest-known cave system with a visit to Mammoth Cave National Park. All cave tours require a ticket, including the popular Mammoth Cave Historic Tour or the self-guided Discovery Tour. Many tours book out in advance; therefore, booking early is recommended.

Roadtrip To Cleveland

Lake Erie’s scenic shoreline, and the breathtaking views at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, all paired with several unique Metroparks, provide plenty of  Outdoor Things to do in Cleveland with Kids . Situated in the northeastern portion of Ohio, Cleveland is one city that packs a big punch in a short visit that leaves a yearning to return.

headlands beach state park

Don’t miss Headlands Beach State Park offers a mile-long sandy beach, the longest in the state of Ohio or the iconic Squire’s Castle! I can guarantee you will want to make Cleveland a staple when choosing weekend trips from Cincinnati.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 hours 45 minutes

Visit Steel City

One of the top weekend trips from Cincinnati is to Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh sits picturesquely at the meeting point of the Monongahela River and Allegheny River, where the Ohio River begins. Whether your crew is into museums, animals, or oddities, there are many unique things to do in Pittsburgh, with or without kids.

weekend getaways from Cincinnati: Pittsburgh

One tour we highly recommend is the Rivers of Steel which dives into the history of the steel industry in the city, and tours of the Carrie Blast Furnaces.

Serpent Mound and Ancient Earthworks

Ohio is home to an impressive collection of ancient Earthworks preserved for generations. The Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio, is the world’s largest effigy mound.

Serpent Mound in Ohio

Ohio has one other well-documented effigy mound called Alligator Mound. Discover  Ohio’s Ancient Trail  to learn about the area’s rich history, earthworks, and more! The Ohio History Connection is a great source of information and guides to Ohio’s Earthworks.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 1 Hour and 10 minutes

Natural Springs Resort In New Paris, Ohio

quick getaway roughly 90 minutes from Cincinnati is  Natural Springs Resort, located in New Paris, Ohio.  Snorkel in the crystal clear lake, snag the perfect fishing spot, then end the day with a marshmallow roast over a campfire. Natural Springs is one place that the family will want to come back to year after year with so much to do.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 1 Hour and 25 Minutes

Natural Springs Resort in Ohio

Ohio’s Wine Country in Ashtabula

Ohio Wine Country is famed for its surrounding vineyards, historic covered bridges, quaint countryside and award-winning wines. Only five miles from the beautiful shores of Lake Erie in northeast Ohio, you’ll find the gently rolling hills of the Grand River Valley. Stay overnight at the Lodge at Geneva-On-The-Lake to catch stunning Lake Erie sunsets.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 4 Hours and 30 Minutes

Discover Ohio Wines : Weekend Trips From Cincinnati

Guests will delight in discovering award-winning estate wines and numerous boutique wineries. Sip on a glass of wine along the waterfront in a century-old church, or catch one of the many wine-centered festivals and events held in the area.

Ohio is full of wine trails throughout the state; another fun weekend getaway is to visit a few stops along the trail!

Holiday World in Santa Claus

Celebrate the holiday season year-round with a visit to the charming small town of Santa Claus . True to its name Christmas takes center stage with a holiday-themed amusement park, attractions, and lodging. Write a letter to Santa at the Santa Claus Museum, grab a frozen hot chocolate from Santa’s candy castle, then see if you can find all of the Santa statues throughout the city.

things to do in Santa Claus Indiana

The best place to visit in Santa Claus, Indiana, with kids, is  Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari . As the premier amusement park and waterpark in southern Indiana, Holiday World takes guests through different holiday-themed lands, and your ticket gives you admission to Splashin’ Safari water park. Ride the Turkey Whirl in Thanksgiving, grab a blue ice cream cone in the 4th of July, and hop a ride on Santa’s Sled in Christmas.

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky

Discover all the great things to do at  Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY .  Enjoy a calm breeze rustling the leaves of the old oak trees while picturing how life used to be. Chuckle at children’s laughter as they put the resident ducks to bed.  Then gaze at the serenity of a beautiful country sunset. 

Exploring Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, KY, will leave guests will endless options and programs to participate in. Did we mention you can stay on the property? This peaceful retreat is the perfect Kentucky weekend getaway. 

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 1 Hour and 30 minutes

There are so many great weekend trips from Cincinnati that it will be hard to choose where to go next! We hope our list has inspired you and introduced you to some new destinations.

Still, looking for more adventure? Check out our separate article: Short Day Trips From Cincinnati

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14 Best Weekend Getaways in Ohio for Girls' Trips, Family Fun, and More

See the best of the Buckeye State on one — or all — of these Ohio weekend getaways.

Stephanie Vermillion is a travel journalist and photographer covering culture and adventure for Travel + Leisure Outside, and more.

quick weekend trips from ohio

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With charming small towns, impressive nature, and charismatic cities, Ohio’s full of can’t-miss weekend escapes. There’s heart-pumping action at world-renowned theme parks. There’s inventive fare — and an oft-overlooked winery scene — ready to treat those taste buds. Add the Buckeye State’s parks, lake access, history, and old haunts, and you’re sure to find a getaway just right for you and your travel crew.

"Ohio is the heart of the heartland," Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development, told Travel + Leisure . "Ohio is incredibly diverse, from 75 state parks to big city amenities which include a thriving arts and culture scene and award-winning culinary experiences, to the charm and comfort that can be found in its distinctive neighborhoods and historic small towns."

Here are 14 of the best weekend getaways in Ohio to consider, from small towns to big cities — with all sorts of adventures in between.

Yellow Springs

Whether it’s a girls’ trip or a family getaway, Yellow Springs promises activities galore. The eclectic town, known for its hippie flair and funky vibes, brims with creative restaurants like Winds Café or Ellie’s , plus a host of stops to embrace the local nature. Bike some of the 80-mile Little Miami Scenic Trail or get your hike on through the forests of Glen Helen and John Bryan State Park. Airbnb options abound here; alternatively, try a bed and breakfast like the Arthur Morgan House.

"If any town can take you back to the '60s, it’s Yellow Springs. Find murals, sculptures, and tiny pieces of groovy art everywhere you go," said Mihalik. "This picturesque town is completely walkable, and your feet can take you from your hotel to a nature preserve and lunch all in one afternoon! Visit the serene Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, then head to one of the many shops for local art.

Mihalik added: "If you’re a pet owner, your fido will love it here as most businesses are dog-friendly and many eateries offer outdoor seating. If you’re with the kiddos, Young’s Jersey Dairy, famous for its ice cream is a great stop. Be sure to visit local favorite, Yellow Springs Brewery for a refreshing pint."

Posnov/Getty Images

If food is your favorite part of travel, don’t miss a weekend in Cincinnati. Few neighborhoods symbolize the city’s increasing rise to culinary fame like Over-the-Rhine, better known as OTR. "Culture reigns supreme in Cincinnati," said Mihalik. "The arts flourish, sports teams entertain, and the food scene is ever-growing. This city in southwestern Ohio offers everything from family-friendly attractions along the Ohio Riverfront to the rich history of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Visit and discover what makes Cincinnati 'The Queen City.'"

New haunts pop up here constantly; don’t miss Salazar , Senate , and The Eagle , to name a few. The bites and brews continue well throughout the Queen City, from Moerlein Lager House on the festive and stadium-dotted waterfront to timeless classic Eli’s BBQ , located east along the waterfront toward Ault Park. As for digs, try the 21c Museum Hotel , a trendy boutique accommodation in the heart of downtown.

Hocking Hills

Helen Cortez/EyeEm/Getty Images

Gorges, waterfalls, and wineries: central Ohio’s Hocking Hills has all the essentials for a relaxing couple’s retreat, a family reunion, or a friends weekend getaway. Nature in Hocking Hills State Park is the main attraction here; add Cantwell Cliffs, Old Man’s Cave, and Conkle’s Hollow to your Hocking Hills to-do list. When it’s time to refuel, hit the low-key but delicious Hocking Hills Winery (try the patio if the weather allows). You have dozens of Airbnb options at your disposal; alternatively, book the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls to wake up in the heart of this verdant park.

Cedar Point

Ali Majdfar/Getty Images

Whether you’re looking for a friends' getaway or a family escape, add world-renowned Cedar Point , a.k.a. the roller-coaster capital of America, to your list. Cedar Point sits on Lake Erie, with sky-high rides that overlook the water and a true beach-vacation vibe, particularly at the adjacent Hotel Breakers , which has a beach bar, volleyball, and water sports rentals. You’ll need at least a weekend to get through all of Cedar Point’s rides, from the soaring Millennium Force , which has one of the longest drops and fastest speeds in the world, to the adrenaline-pumping Valravn , a dive coaster that sees you hanging over a 90-degree precipice — before thundering straight over the edge.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Anna Gorin/Getty Images

For outdoor enthusiasts, it doesn’t get much better than a trip to northeast Ohio’s Cuyahoga Valley National Park . This 33,000-acre forested escape, located 40 minutes south of Cleveland, features towering waterfalls, secluded hiking trails, and a white-steeple-marked main town — Peninsula — that looks like a postcard from New England.

"While Cuyahoga Valley National Park is Ohio's only national park, it's also one of the most visited parks in the country. The falls at Blue Hen are like a scene from a storybook, surrounded by lush forest on all sides," said Mihalik. "You can also explore the area by train with the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad - one of the oldest tourist excursion railways in the country, or by hopping in the water and kayaking the river."

Stay the night at an Airbnb in Peninsula or the surrounding towns, or book a room at The Inn at Brandywine Falls . Add picturesque stops like Brandywine Falls and Ledges Overlook to your itinerary, and bike the Towpath Trail with rentals from Century Cycles . As for the fare, nothing tops Sarah’s Vineyard , a winery within the national park proper — known for its homemade wines, woodfired pizza, and national park views.

Geneva on the Lake

For decades, the Lake Erie-adjacent Geneva on the Lake has welcomed travelers with an assortment of Ohio fun: wineries, boating, and beach access, to name a few. According to Mihalik, this town has been a favorite for decades. "The charm of what locals call 'The Strip' is the reason that some don’t let a year go by without their annual visit to Geneva-on-the-Lake," said Mihalik. "Take the Summer Fun Heritage trail of 30 markers along the Strip that tell the story of the last century and a half. Charter a boat at the Geneva Marina for the best walleye fishing in the world. Take a zipline canopy tour, play a round of mini golf, race go-carts, or simply relax on the beach.

The destination attracts all sorts of travelers, but it’s particularly great for mom-and-daughter trips, family getaways, and couple outings. Book a room at The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake for direct access to the area’s top attractions. There’s a wine shuttle to local vineyards, bike rental, snowshoe rentals, and ziplining, plus onsite restaurants — although it may be hard to pull yourself away from the sips and flavors of Ohio’s wine country .

Lake Erie Islands

"Along Ohio's Lake Erie coast, a pair of islands beckons and surprises with island breezes and a carefree feeling. This Northwest Ohio area features miles of shoreline, perfect for spending a day at the beach or boating on the lake," Mihalik told T+L. "After just one visit you'll be dreaming what it's like to live by the lake and the charming town of Sandusky is just the place! Chosen as USA Today's 'Best Coastal Small Town' and an Ohio Magazine 'Best Hometown' — it's a place that you'll keep falling in love with."

There’s a rule of thumb when traveling to the Lake Erie islands: If you’re looking to party, head to Put-in-Bay. If it’s nature and tranquility you seek, head to Kelleys Island. The former is perfect for bachelor or bachelorette weekends, with raucous festivities and pool parties at local haunts like Beer Barrel Saloon and MIST Pool Bar . Over on Kelleys Island, the second-largest Lake Erie island, couples and families can enjoy a bit more serenity, be it beachcombing, birding, or hiking the North Shore Loop. As for accommodations, try Kelleys Island Venture Resort — the island’s only luxury property. Airbnb provides ideal group accommodations for Put-in-Bay.

Waynesville

Craving a family or group trip? Head to Waynesville, a small Ohio town known for antiques galore and a top-notch theme park: King’s Island . This park, home to 100 rides, attractions, and shows, can be experienced in a full day. That leaves the rest of the Waynesville weekend for exploring antique shops like Brass Lantern or hiking dozens of trail miles at nearby Caesar Creek State Park. Airbnb offers a handful of quaint and charming Waynesville accommodations; for a more outdoorsy stay, try camping at Caesar Creek.

Loveland, a small Cincinnati suburb, is about as charming as Ohio small towns get. Its historic architecture, vibrant main square, kid-friendly restaurants, and nature parks make it perfect for a family getaway. Plus, according to Mihalik, "Loveland features amazing outdoor adventures."

Start your morning on the Loveland Bike Trail, a rails-to-trails project that connects with another local bike trail: the Little Miami Scenic Trail. "While there, you can also check out the Little Miami River canoe and kayak launch – a great way to explore this Scenic River," said Mihalik.

Then, check out the hand-crafted Loveland Castle , go rollerskating at Castle Skateland , or get back to nature at the Little Miami Conservancy . For a central hotel, try the trendy and boutique Loveland Lofts .

Mike Kline/Getty Images

For a guys’ weekend, a father-son escape, or a getaway for sports fans, head to Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie. The city offers numerous ways to enjoy professional sports: the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, the MLB’s Cleveland Guardians, and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. All stadiums and arenas are centrally located near downtown Cleveland, which means you can book a room at the Kimpton Schofield Hotel and walk or Uber to the venue du jour. While sports are the city’s bread and butter, don’t miss the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for a look at music legends, and enjoy the city’s ever-growing list of delicious restaurants, including Mabel’s BBQ , an offering from celebrity chef Michael Symon.

StanRohrer/Getty Images

Dayton offers one of the state’s best weekend getaways for history lovers. The mid-sized city features a variety of museums — think the National Museum of the US Air Force , Carillon Historical Park , and America's Packard Museum . But it’s more than just history. A raved-about brewery and food scene in the Oregon District, plus the bustling Second Street Market, promise a well-rounded weekend getaway — complete with a stay at the Fairfield Inn & Suites , adjacent to downtown’s waterfront attraction: Riverscape MetroPark .

Sean Reid/Getty Images

If you’re an art enthusiast, head to Columbus for a creative weekend escape. This central Ohio city is known for its robust creative scene — take the jam-packed Columbus Museum of Art as proof. "With a vibrant feel as a cultural town, it’s a place where art, numerous universities, and the outdoors inspire," said Mihalik. "Outside of Columbus, you'll find numerous suburbs and surrounding towns with a unique feel and an authentic vibe all their own."

Other unique art experiences include Otherworld , a 32,000-square-foot underground art installation, the Wexner Center for the Arts , and Ohio Theater , a culture hub located in a 1920s venue. For a unique overnight, stay at the quirky and upscale Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph , in Italian Village.

Football fans travel from all over to visit Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame , a museum with permanent and rotating exhibits celebrating beloved players and the history of the sport. The fun doesn’t end with football, though. Families can enjoy the Canton Museum of Art , go-kart racing at K1 Speed Canton , and the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum . The DoubleTree on Market Avenue is the most convenient place to stay for a weekend getaway in Canton; Airbnb has numerous apartment and rental house options, too.

Mansfield, located halfway between Columbus and Cleveland, is a great weekend escape for couples and families, with an array of unique experiences. First up, The Ohio State Reformatory , the filming site of “Shawshank Redemption.” You can tour the prison, participate in limited-time events, or join the spookiest of all options: a paranormal tour of the prison led by an expert guide. Other Mansfield offerings include the nonprofit Ohio Bird Sanctuary and the 150-acre Gorman Nature Center .

"Mansfield has so many amazing things to offer," said Mihalik. "From the iconic — and haunted — Ohio State Reformatory to riding along the Richland B&O Trail that spans 18 miles and connects four of Richland County's communities and one of the area's most beautiful attractions on its trek between North Lake Park in downtown Mansfield and Butler."

When it comes to fare, don’t miss the local winery, The Blueberry Patch . As for hotels, book the Hampton Inn & Suites near the Gorman Nature Center to be close to the main attractions.

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23 Spectacular Weekend Getaways in Ohio

Last Updated: 5/23/2024

If you’re looking for a relaxing weekend away or a few days of adventure with the kids, our list of weekend getaways in Ohio is just what you’re looking for! 

With miles of beautiful Lake Erie coastline, acres of outdoor adventure, and cities full of art, culture, and activity, this list can help you find the perfect getaway.

Outdoor Adventure Weekend Getaways

If enjoying a sunset stroll, hiking to breathtaking waterfalls and getting outside in the fresh air is your idea of a perfect day, then these outdoor adventures would make the perfect weekend getaway!

Hocking Hills State Park

quick weekend trips from ohio

Ohio is home to 75 state parks and Hocking Hills is a favorite with up to 5 million visitors per year. The beautiful 2,373-acre park is full of outdoor adventure, picturesque landforms and natural features that keep people coming back for more.

The park is awe inspiring in every season, so no matter what time of year you choose to visit you won’t be disappointed. Take the whole family to explore the many amazing cliffs, gorges, caves, and waterfalls including Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cantwell Cliff, and the popular Rock House. Activities include hiking, fishing, hunting, disc golf, boating, archery, bridle trails, mountain biking, and a full schedule of naturalist programs.

With so many things to do, you’ll want to plan at least a full weekend and stay at one of the many lodging opportunities. Within the park, you’ll find cabins and a variety of camping options as well as more lodging options in the surrounding area.

Hocking Hills State Park 19852 State Route 664 S, Logan, OH 43138 Website

You may be interested in: More fun things to do in Hocking Hills

Maumee Bay State Park

quick weekend trips from ohio

Located on the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, Maumee Bay State Park is 1,336 acres of natural beauty. With 2 miles of boardwalk and 5 miles of biking/walking paths, the park is perfect for a nature walk or a relaxing bike ride.

Visitors can also enjoy Lake Erie access from the huge sand beach, swim, kayak and sail on the park’s beautiful inland lake, explore the park’s wetlands, and enjoy additional recreational activities including racquetball, a game room, a children’s soft play area, fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, and more at the lodge.

Accommodations include 120 comfortable rooms at the Maumee Bay Lodge, as well as cabins, marina slips, and a variety of camping options including full-hookup and electric sites. Be sure to plan ahead and reserve your room or campsite in advance.

Maumee Bay State Park 1400 State Park Rd, Oregon, OH 43616 Website

quick weekend trips from ohio

Plan for an amazing animal and thrill experience when you visit the Columbus Zoo’s conservation safari park, The Wilds. Located in Cumberland Ohio, your family can learn, explore, and play through the wide variety of immersive experiences, programs, and unique overnight opportunities offered.

The Wild’s 9,000+ acre park is focused on conservation and is home to rare and endangered animal species from Bactrian camels, to cheetahs, to giraffes, to Grevy’s zebras and many, many more. Experience the animals at the Wild’s by taking one or more of their many exciting tours including Open-Air Safari, Fishing Safari, Zipline Tour, and unique specialty tours. Visit their website for a full list of tours and be sure to make your required reservations online and in advance.

Staying at the park is also a wild experience with overnight adult-only yurt packages overlooking the animal pastures, family sized 3 bedroom cabins at Straker Lake, comfortable and spacious larger group accommodations at The Lodge, and for the more adventurous groups, spend a night camping in the pastures with rhinos, giraffes, and other animals nearby!

The Wilds 14000 International Rd., Cumberland, OH 43732 Website

You may be interested in: the top zoos in Ohio and aquariums in Ohio  

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

quick weekend trips from ohio

Established in 1974 as part of the National Park Service, the admission free 33,000 acre Cuyahoga Valley National Park is a beautiful place to explore nature, hosting more than 2 million visitors per year. The park stretches from Cleveland to Akron and offers a multitude of landscapes and natural features to explore including the Cuyahoga river, marshes, gorges, waterfalls, ledges, cliffs, lakes and more. 

Visitors will find miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, paddling, and cross-country skiing offering you many ways to experience the rich wildlife found in the park. You can also enjoy the beauty and nature of the park by train when you plan an excursion on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. The train offers several stops throughout the day and bikes and kayaks are welcome on board.

Spend the weekend at one of the many lodging options in the cities, towns and villages that surround the park. Stay at the Inn at Brandywine Falls, reserve Stanford House for the whole family, rent a cabin, or camp at one of many campgrounds located nearby.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park 15610 Vaughn Rd., Brecksville, OH 44141 Website

You may also be interested in: More waterfalls in Ohio

Mohican State Park

quick weekend trips from ohio

Once the hunting grounds for the Delaware Native Amerians, Mohican State Park is now a place to get away for year round fun in nature.

The park includes 9 hiking trails that lead you to past a scenic covered bridge, two waterfalls, the lake shoreline, and more. Hikers are also welcome on the 25 mile mountain bike trail and bridle trails located in the park and surrounding state forest. If you enjoy fishing, take your rod to try your hand at catching bass, white crappies and brown trout in the many lake and river fishing areas.

When staying in the park, reserve your room at the Mohican Lodge and Conference Center where you’ll find a variety of educational activities, naturalist programs, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, on-site restaurants and recreational activities. The Mohican State Park Campground offers a variety of camping options including cabins, campers, and primitive sites with reservations available up to six months in advance.

Mohican State Park 3116 State Roate 3, Loudenville, OH 44842 Website

You may be interested in: More stunning covered bridges in Ohio

Weekend Getaways to the City

If you prefer to take in sights and sounds of the city, while experiencing art, history and entertainment, then you’ll love these weekend getaways in Ohio’s biggest cities.  

Columbus Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

As the largest city in Ohio and the state capital, there are so many things to do in Columbus Ohio that will make you want to go back before you have even left! The city is located on the beautiful Scioto River and offers educational opportunities, art, entertainment, parks, gardens and so much more than you can enjoy in just one weekend getaway.

With more than 10,000 animals and a long special events calendar, you won’t want to miss the Columbus Zoo. Visit COSI for interactive hands-on science fun with a 3D giant screen theater and onsite Planetarium. Take a guided tour of the Columbus Museum of Art. Explore nature at the Franklin Park Conservatory or Topiary Park. Kayak or boat your way through Alum Creek State Park and finish your fun with a tasty treat at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

Browse our long list of the best things to do in Columbus where you’re sure to find activities your whole family will love.

Find even more fun things to do in Columbus Ohio

Cleveland Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Cleveland is the oldest city in Ohio with miles of beautiful Lake Erie shores, culture, sports, art, recreation, food, history, and tons of family fun and activity.

You’ll find amazing museums and activity centers in the city. Celebrate all things music at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Spend hours exploring the 45,000 permanent works of art at the popular Cleveland Museum of Art. Explore the huge William G. Mather steamship. Get hands-on with science at the Great Lakes Science Center and learn about the history of money at the Cleveland Money Museum.

If you like animals, be sure to take a guided tour, visit animals, or attend a special event at the Cleveland Zoo or Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Enjoy major league baseball at Progressive Field home to the Cleveland Guardians or enjoy beautiful views of Lake Erie at one of the many beaches and parks in the Cleveland Metroparks System.

Find even more fun things to do in Cleveland Ohio

Cincinnati Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Southwestern Ohio is home to the state’s third largest city located on the Ohio River. Cincinnati is the perfect city for a weekend getaway with scenic bridges, beautiful parks, historic landmarks, restaurants, and all the activities and attractions to keep everyone having fun.

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city from the Carew Tower Observation Deck. Explore the many museums at the Cincinnati Museum Center located within the historic Union Terminal. Take a tour of the American Sign Museum to learn about the history and craftsmanship of the sign industry and hear stories of freedom at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. 

For a change of pace enjoy a picnic and play at Sawyers Point Park and Yeatman’s Cove. Enjoy a meal and shop in the Over the Rhine District, visit Loveland Castle, or spend the evening looking to the sky at the Cincinnati Observatory.

Find even more fun things to do in Cincinnati Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Sports, culture, art, history and outdoor activity, Akron has it all with year round fun and options and activities for everyone in the family.

Visit the Akron Zoo for an afternoon of up-close animal experiences. Take a step back in time when you visit Hale Farm and Village outdoor living history museum. Book a train ride on the Cuyahoga Scenic Railway and explore the Cuyahoga Valley National Park by train, foot, bike, or kayak.

Akron is fun all year long and offers tons of seasonal fun. Play in the summer sun at Water Works Park. Enjoy a fall hike or bike on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Ski, snowboard, or tube at Boston Mills and Brandywine Resorts. And take a Christmastime tour of the beautifully decorated historic Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.

Find even more fun things to do in Akron Ohio

Canton Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

With so many options and activities for the whole family, Canton is the perfect spot for a fun “small city” weekend getaway without stress.

Head to Canton to visit the Pro Football Hall of Fame to learn all about the history of the game. Explore all the amazing planes and history artillery found at the MAPs Air Museum. Enjoy a snack or lunch when you explore the colorful Umbrella Alley in Louisville. Or take the kids for a factory tour of  Fannie May Harry London Chocolates. 

When you’re ready to get outside, spend a day in the sun at Clays Park or Baylor Beach Park for hours of water fun. Spend the night at Atwood Lake Park campground and your days at the beach, playground and on the trails. Headout to the countryside (only 15 minutes from downtown Canton) and relax among the grapevines, rolling hills, and willow trees at Gervasi Vineyard.

Find even more fun things to do in Canton Ohio

Toledo Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

As fun and beautiful as Toledo is it’s hard to believe it was once known as the “Great Black Swamp”. The city is home to fun and adventure located on the shores of Lake Erie and the banks of the Maumee River. You’ll find art, history, animal encounters, museums and a large variety of family attractions and activities.

Stay at the lodge or campground at Maumee Bay State Park and enjoy 1,366 acres of lake fun and activity. Bike, hike, ride your horse, cross-country ski and explore nature at Oak Openings Preserve. Play and enjoy the sights at Swan Creek Preserve Metropark. And learn about navel history at the National Museum of the Great Lakes.

For really unique experience head out to Fossil Park to hunt for fossilized brachiopods, corals and more that lived there over 375 million years ago. And no one can spend a weekend in Toledo without taking in a game with the Toledo Mud Hens then and having at least one meal at Tony Packo’s Cafe.

Find even more fun things to do in Toledo Ohio

Dayton Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Dayton is most famously known for the Wright Brothers and the growth of industry, but this southern Ohio city has so many fun things to do from art to Indian village.

The Dayton Art Institute offers work-class works of art and a long list of programs, concerts, lectures, and special events. Visit the Schuster Center and enjoy a performance from the $10 “cheap seats.” Head out to Boonshoft Museum of Discovery for science fun and their Discovery Zoo with over a hundred live animals including tarantulas, crawling critters, and their resident Burmese python. If your family enjoys history, you won’t want to miss Sunwatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park where you explore a Native American life and stay overnight in an 800 year old reconstructed home.

These are just a few of the fun things to do in Dayton. See our full article for more ideas and links.

Find even more fun things to do in Dayton Ohio

Youngstown Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

In addition to all of the popular activities you expect from a modern city, there are also a few gems and unique things to do in Youngstown you might not. From art to hockey, parks to planets and more, you’ll find it all in Youngstown, Ohio.

Head to the Butler Institute of American Art for a tour of this world renowned free art museum or spend an exciting evening of hockey fun with the Youngstown Phantoms. Explore nature and enjoy an outdoor concert at Boardman Park or check out the historic mill at Mill Creek Park before enjoying a bike ride or hike.

If you’re looking for science fun, be sure to include OH WOW! Children’s Center of Science & Technology and the Ward Beecher Planetarium to your weekend plans. The science center is the perfect place to enjoy hands-on science from light to water works and the planetarium offers live shows and a variety of programs for all ages.

Find even more fun things to do in Youngstown Ohio

Sandusky Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

The Sandusky area is most known for the thrill rides at Cedar Point Amusement park, but this city has so much to to see and do that you’ll need to plan more than one weekend getaway to enjoy them all. 

Stay at one of the area’s many fun themed indoor and outdoor water parks for water fun, arcades, bowling, and more. Hang out and build sand castles at Nickle Plate Beach, kayak and enjoy a picnic at Catawba Island State Park, or jet ski at Cedar Point Beach. Spend an afternoon with thrills and chills at the year round haunted house, enjoy skating, VR gaming and more indoor fun at Ghostly Manor amusement center. 

If you’re looking for side trips when staying in Sandusky be sure to catch a boat from the downtown area to explore Put-in-Bay, Kelley’s Island, or go island hopping. Head to Port Clinton for animal fun at the African Safari Wildlife Park and so much more. 

Find even more fun things to do in Sandusky Ohio

Weekend Getaways to the Best Small Towns in Ohio

These charming small towns with unique activities and delicious foods should be at the top of your weekend getaway bucket list.

Amish Country

quick weekend trips from ohio

With beautiful landscapes, hearty Amish foods, shopping, and unique activities, Ohio’s Amish country is perfect for families, romantic getaway, or a girl’s weekend away with friends.

Stay at one of the many inns, cabins, or treehouses in the area then head out for shopping at the Holmes County Flea Market, Lehman’s Hardware, or Sols in Berlin. Stop by Sugarcreek for lunch and see the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock. Visit and feed exotic animals at The Farm at Walnut Creek or enjoy the countryside by horseback at Amish Country Riding Stables. Tour an Amish home, enjoy a meal with the family, take a buggy ride and so much more.

If you’re looking for Amish history, museums and entertainment, Amish Country is the place for you. Find out more about this unique area and friendly people who live there with our featured article on the Best Things to Do in Amish Country .

Find even more fun things to do in Amish Country

Coshocton Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Wine, festivals, history and charm is what you’ll find when you plan a weekend getaway in Coshocton Ohio.

With the beauty of the Appalachian foothills and surrounding countryside, Coshocton offers miles of fun and activity. Stay at one of the historic quaint inns, bed and breakfasts, lodges, cabins, or campgrounds. Shop, eat, take a photo at the Helmick Covered Bridge, or take a horse drawn boat ride and Living History Tour in Historic Roscoe Village. Climb 65 feet to the top of the dome of the Gospel Hill Lighthouse for amazing views.

Coshocton is is also the perfect place explore by motorcycle or car. See if you can find and snap a picture of all of the barns on The Quilt Barn Trail. Hop on the Wine and Beer Trail for dinner and a glass from one of the 9 wineries and breweries. Or enjoy the variety of outdoor recreation opportunities to fish, bike, ride horses, hunt, or just stroll through one of the beautiful gardens or parks. Visit the visitors bureau website for downloadable copy of their visitors guide and festivals list.

Coshocton Visitors Bureau 432 North Whitewoman Street, Coshocton, OH 43812 Website

Yellow Springs Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Not far outside of Dayton and topping out at just under 3,700 residents, Yellow Springs Ohio was given the title as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Travel for its diverse community of arts, entertainment, and culture.

Visitors can shop from the over 50 unique boutiques, enjoy a great meal, and dive into the art and creative community of the area with live theater, music, and more. Surrounded by farm country and preserved woodlands, camp at John Bryan State Park, bike the Little Miami Bike Trail, or have an ice cream and learn about dairy farming at Young’s Dairy.

With so much to enjoy, the village is best known for their annual Street Fair in October, when the village business district hosts over 200 eclectic vendors, street performers with music and entertainment from two stages for a full day of “endless fun.”

Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce 101 Dayton St., Yellow Springs, OH 45387 Website

You may be interested in: More fun things to do in Yellow Springs

Ashtabula Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Lake Erie beaches and beautiful views, history, hiking, biking, covered bridges, and more all await you in Ashtabula County Ohio. Did I mention the wine? With more than 30 wineries, the county is often referred to as Ohio’s Wine Country.

With so much to see and do and so many wineries and restaurants to try, Ashtabula is the perfect weekend getaway in Ohio. Plan a romantic trip and stay at Lakehouse Inn Resort, enjoy a picnic at the Harpersfield Covered Bridge, and spend the evening at Biscotti’s Italian Restaurant. Or take the kids and explore a museum, play at Adventure Zone or Geneva State Park, eat outdoors at the White Turkey Drive-In, or take a bike ride on the Western Reserve Greenway. 

If you’re looking for a getaway with the girls, spend your days shopping, sun bathing, exploring the wineries, or take a self-guided tour of the 19 amazing covered bridges before enjoying dinner and theater at Noble Art Entertainment. Be sure to visit the visitors bureau website for a long list of special events and activities happening year round.

Ashtabula County Visitors Bureau 1850 Austinburg Road, Austinburg, OH 44010 Website

You may also be interested in: Covered Bridges in Ohio  

Relaxing Getaways in Ohio

Ready to sit back, relax and come away rejuvenated at one of these unique locations – vineyards, castles and lake views await!

Gervasi Vineyard

quick weekend trips from ohio

Step out of the everyday and relax in luxury when you spend your weekend at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton. Stay, dine and escape on retreat at the 55 acre Tuscan inspired estate with beautiful views, luxurious accommodations, and delicious cuisine.

The premier winery and resort offers several accommodation options including The Casa, an upscale boutique hotel with 24 all suite guest rooms and private covered patio, The Villas offering 4 Tuscan designed suites within each villa (rent one suite or the whole villa), and the 2,200 sq. ft. original home of the estate, and The Farmhouse, with 4 bedrooms and room for 7-8 guests.

Relax with wine, cocktails, and a delicious meal at one of the three on-site restaurants. Enjoy live music on the patio. Take a yoga class or play bocce on the lawn. Plan a tasting or schedule a tour of the winery. Participate in a culinary class or enjoy one of the many other special events happening while you’re there.

Gervasi Vineyard 1700 55th St. NE, Canton, OH 446721 Website

You may be interested in:  Top resorts in Ohio including family and date night options!

Landoll’s Mohican Castle

quick weekend trips from ohio

Enjoy a unique and relaxing experience when you stay at Landoll’s Mohican Castle. The boutique hotel offers guests the style of an old world castle complete with fine furnishings, uniquely designed rooms, and architectural details through every corner of the property.

Stay in one of the Castle Suites, the Highland Suites, The Stables Suites, or in one of the hotel’s two free-standing cottages. All of the suites and cottages have been designed to provide guests with the same historic, castle charm with amenities including jetted tubs and seasonal fireplaces.

Enjoy your meals at the onsite restaurant featured on Gordon Ramsay’s television show in 2016 and try one of his signature dishes. The Castle also offers several themed events for both guests and the public, including Breakfast with Santa, several Christmas activities, as well as Halloween events, dinners, ghost walks, and history tours.

Landoll’s Mohican Castle 561 Township Road 3352, Loudonville, OH 44842 Website

You may also be interested in: More amazing castles in Ohio

Geneva on the Lake Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Located in Ashtabula County Wine Country and boasted to be Ohio’s first summer resort, the Village of Geneva on the Lake offers visitors Lake Erie views, relaxing beach days, adventurous outdoor activity, and tons of family fun.

Stay at one of the areas available cottages, condominium rentals, bed and breakfast options, or choose from one of four local campgrounds. Play all day at Adventure Zone with mini-golf, go-karts, bumper boats and more. Kayak on the Grand River, rent jet skis, take out a fishing charter, or head out to Lake Erie Canopy Tours to zipline or try the adventure rope course challenge. 

If you’re looking for a slower pace, spend your days shopping at the unique boutique shops, biking, hiking, or sun bathing at Geneva State Park, or take a wine tour by limousine or trolley.

Geneva on the Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau 5540 Lake Road E., Geneva-on-the-Lake, OH 44041 Website

Put in Bay Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Once serving as a base for commander Oliver Hazard Perry during the War of 1812, South Bass Island, popularly known as Put-in-Bay, is now a boaters paradise and island of activity for visitors. 

The second largest of the Lake Erie Islands, Put-in-Bay is only accessible by ferry, private boat, or airplane, but once you arrive the most popular transportation is bike or golf cart. Camp at the State Park, relax lakeside, learn about the history of the island at Perry’s Monument, explore a cave, tour a winery, play at Adventure Bay Amusement Park, and more.

The island offers many lodging options from bed and breakfasts to private homes. Shopping from a candy store to wine, jewelry, gifts and more. And enjoy a meal from the large variety of food, restaurants, and bars. Fun foodie trail videos can be found on their tourism website along with an island guide and map.

Put in Bay Ohio Tourism Bureau 148 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456 Website

Find even more fun things to do in Put in Bay

Kelleys Island Ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

Laid back and relaxing, Kelley’s Island is the largest of the Lake Erie Islands and is home to about 150 year round residents who welcome thousands of visitors by private boat, ferry, and plane to their beautiful shores each year.

Camp at the Kelleys Island State Park with 100 feet of swimming beach, stay at the Kelleys Island Venture Resort and enjoy the outdoor swimming pool with lake views, or rent one of the many cottages and private homes available. 

In addition to the many outdoor activities available on the island, Kelleys offers a variety of experiences including parades and festivals, a history museum, shopping, wine and beer tastings, and more. 

Kelleys Island Ohio 117 Addison Road, Kelleys Island, OH 43438 Website

More Fun Things to do in Ohio

  • Cabin Rentals in Ohio – 37 locations for the perfect getaway
  • Treehouse Rentals in Ohio – 11 Stunning locations (Family & Date Night Options!)
  • Romantic Getaways in Ohio – 14 of Ohio’s most magical, unique getaways
  • Campgrounds in Ohio – The best RV Hookups, Cabins and Tent Camping Options
  • Resorts in Ohio –  Family and date night options

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Travel, Lifestyle, And Fitness For Those Over 60

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Covered bridges abound in Ohio

15 Best Weekend Getaways In Ohio

May 17, 2020 //  by  Linda Malys Yore //   8 Comments

Are you looking for weekend getaways in Ohio? You have definitely come to the right place.

Ohio is located in the midwest and stretches from the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains in the south/southeast to the shores of Lake Erie in the North.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia make up its eastern border. Indiana makes up its western border.

I am a midwestern girl through and through. I was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio.

I love my home state and  I am going to share a wide variety of weekend getaways in Ohio with you. Some will be well known, and others will be off the beaten path.

15 Weekend Getaways In Ohio

Spend your weekend getaway in ohio in cleveland for the big city vibe.

Located right on the shores of Lake Erie, is Cleveland, Ohio.  This cosmopolitan city has about 350,000 inhabitants, and an eclectic array of amenities to offer you.

If you are flying into Ohio, read how to avoid getting sick on your plane . And tips on surviving your long flight.

Most notable is the internationally known Rock and Roll Hall of Fame And Museum . Come and be amazed at the memories and memorabilia from all of your favorite rock and roll artists.

The Great Lakes Science Center is a great way to enrich an afternoon, located right on the water in downtown Cleveland. Take a tour of the Steamship William G Mather located adjacently for a fun history lesson.

For those art aficionados, visit the Cleveland Museum of Art . It is located on Cleveland’s east side and holds extensive collections of Asian and European art.

It is free to the public and is one of the most popular art museums in the world for its extensive collections.

How about some swimming? You can access Lake Erie’s shores at Edgewater Park.

Look here: Cleveland: Private City Tour

West Side Market is the very popular historical food market that sells fresh fruits and vegetables, all sorts of freshly baked goods. This market is a great place to have breakfast and lunch.

The Flats is one of my personal favorite places to visit when having weekend getaways in Cleveland. It is edgy and hip.

Located on the shores of the Cuyahoga River there are bars, clubs, and restaurants galore. It is a trendy place to be, with a lively nightlife.

Look here: Cleveland: Brewery Tour with Tastings

Look here: Cleveland: Eats & Streets Customizable 3-Hour Food Tour

Attending a game at one of Cleveland’s professional sports teams, the Browns, the Cavaliers or the Indians makes Cleveland one of the best weekend getaways in Ohio!

Cleveland has big city vibes and on options for one of your weekend getaways

Cuyahoga Valley National Park 

Located along the Cuyahoga River in Brecksville,  between Cleveland and Akron, is the historical Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

There is lots to experience in this national park. There are 125 miles of hiking and biking trails, most notable is the Ohio and Eire Canal Towpath.

Riding the Cuyahoga Valley  Scenic Railroad through the park is an enjoyable and scenic way to learn the history of the area. A round trip ride takes about three hours.

And then there are the spectacular waterfalls the park is known for. There are over 100 waterfalls in this national park, however, these are most popular with tourists: Brandwine Falls, Blue Hen Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.

No matter the season you are planning your visit, Cuyahoga Falls National Park will make one of the most scenic weekend getaways in Ohio.

Look here for 18 of the best waterfalls in Ohio.

Brandywine Falls in Cuyahoga Valley are spectacular hidden gems in Ohio

Charming Put-In-Bay

Perry's International Peace Memorial is great to see during one of your weekend getaways in Ohio

Geneva-On-The-Lake

This tiny village of only 1200 locals has been drawing tourists since the early 1900s. And why not? Located on the shores of Lake Erie this idyllic hamlet has everything you want to have relaxing weekend getaways in Ohio.

Hiking and swimming in Geneva State Park is a great option as is walking or driving down “the Strip,” where you will feel like you have stepped back into the 1950s. The retro vibe is felt in the bars, restaurants, and arcades all along the way.

The Strip has a lively nightlife with something to please everyone young and old. Eddie’s Grill is a landmark of Geneva-On-The-Lake.

Here are more incredible things to do in Ohio to read about.

Lovely Lake Erie Sunset at Geneva on the Lake

Cedar Point For The Thrills

You do not have to be a roller coaster aficionado (like me!) to enjoy one of America’s premier attractions. There are plenty of rides and attractions to keep you happy.

However, it is the vast variety of roller coasters that lure a lot of visitors to the theme park. From pint-sized coasters for the kids to the adrenalin-pumping Steel Vengeance, there is a coaster for everyone!

When it is time to switch gears, head on over to Cedar Point Shores , the accompanying 18-acre water attraction.

Here you will find rides and activities to please all ages. From kids, playing with Lemmy, the mythical Lake Erie monster, to heart-pounding water thrill rides, Cedar Point Shores has lots to offer.

Lastly, the beach at Cedar Point is calling your name. A mile-long right on the shores of Lake Erie, Cedar Point’s beach has its own list of opportunities: rent a wave runner, go parasailing, or simply relax and enjoy the sandy beach breezes.

Read about 11 best places to see fall foliage in Ohio here.

Cedar Point is one of the best weekend getaways in Ohio

Kelleys Island

Named after the family from Cleveland that purchased it, Kelleys Island has been called  “an island for all seasons.”

Only four miles by two miles in size, you get to Kelleys Island by ferry. No cars are permitted by visitors on the island. 150 residents live here all year long, and that number swells to 1500 in the summer.

Because of the close proximity, there is ferry service to the nearby Cedar Point and Put-in-Bay.

Kelleys Island State Park has camping available with lots of amenities. There are 9 restaurants on the island. And many hiking trails.

It is the glacial grooves that the tourists flock to see. Made by the movement of the glacier that formed the Great Lakes, this natural phenomenon was saved for all generations to see and learn.

Seeing the glacial slits on Kellye's Island makes for one of the most spectacular weekend getaways in Ohioi

Marblehead For That Vacation Vibe

Marblehead is all about easy living. And enjoying the Lake. Erie that is. Located in an area affectionately referred to as the Shore Next Door, this is a year-round vacation destination.

This is one of the top weekend getaways in Ohio because of its relaxed vibe.

The iconic Marblehead Lighthouse is still in operation guiding those on the water home to safety.

You can catch the ferry for a quick trip to Kelley’s Island, or visit Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery.

I have family that still vacation at Marblehead every summer. Charming restaurants, a cool shopping vibe, and quaint streets. All with that iconic Lake Erie feel.

What’s not to love?

Marblehead Lighthouse on Lake Erie at sunrise is beautiful

Ashtabula For Its History And Covered Bridges

Ashtabula has an interesting and robust history.  A very quaint and charming hamlet, situated where the Ashtabula River joins Lake Erie, Ashtabula deserves a spot on your weekend getaways in Ohio list.

A visit to Ashtabula’s harbor district reveals one aspect of its past: it’s iron ore past. Once one of the largest iron ore ports in the world, these days the warehouses and bars have all been renovated into shops, restaurants, and clubs.

Overlooking Ashtabula Harbor is the Ashtabula Maritime Museum. Here you will find rooms full of exhibits and photographs showcasing Lake Erie and her shipping history. Most good, some sad.

Hubbard House explains through its exhibits just how important Ashtabula was to the Abolitionist Movement. Ashtabula was the end of the Underground Railroad where escaped slaves could catch a boat to Canada which held their freedom.

Walnut Beach is Ashtabula’s jewel with a white sand swimming beach and other amenities.

Ashtabula County is considered the Covered Bridge Capital of Ohio , with 19 equally charming covered bridges within driving distance of the city.

Ashtabula,  located on the shores of Lake Erie, with its historical stories to share, and unique covered bridges is one of the most interesting weekend getaways in Ohio!

drawbridge in Ashtabula Harbor is part of this city's great history

Conneaut. Visit Where I spent My Summers!

Like stepping back in time, Conneaut Ohio is where I spent all of my childhood summers.

Located directly on Lake Erie on the northeastern tip of Ohio, this hidden gem in Ohio has a lot to offer.

Start out your weekend soaking in the spectacular views of Lake Erie at Lakeview Park . The iconic Conneaut Lighthouse, now a historical landmark, was a working lighthouse and used to aid in maritime navigation when I was a child.

Conneaut is renowned for its World War II D-Day Reenactment every August. There is a year-round dedicated museum as well.

You will also find an interesting railroad museum and not far out of town is Raceway 7 , with stock car racing and entertainment.

And of course, plan to spend one of your weekend getaways in Ohio days at  Conneaut Township Park. With a beautiful boardwalk and over 60 acres of amenities to offer, this is surely Conneaut’s “Diamond on the Lake.”

Water sports, picnics, family reunions, the coolest beach, and the best view of the Conneaut Lighthouse, do not miss a visit to Township Park!

After spending one of the most relaxing weekend getaways in Ohio in Conneaut, you will understand why my family chose this hidden gem in Ohio as our summer getaway!

The Conneaut Lighthouse is a monument in Conneaut Ohio

Visit Columbus, The State Capital

The capital of the State of Ohio and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Columbus may just top your list of weekend getaways in Ohio. With good reason!

There is something to please just about every interest. Start out visiting the Ohio Statehouse. 

Plan on spending time exploring the city’s Scioto Mile. Here you will find acres of green space on both sides of the Scioto River. The trails are great for a quick run, or you can rent bicycles for a great family adventure. The interactive fountain is fun too.

The COSI Science Center has hands-on exciting exhibits, and a visit to the Columbus Museum of Art reveals a sculpture garden and exhibits by both American and European artists.

Columbus’ German Village is a wonderful neighborhood to explore. You will see restorations of brick houses like ones built in the 1800s.

Ohio State University is also located in Columbus and a destination in and of itself.

Add shopping, dining, and dazzling nightlife options to please every taste and budget, and you will quickly realize that Columbus is one of the most exciting weekend getaways in Ohio.

The Scioto River runs through the city of Columbus

Youngstown. Where I Grew Up.

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Youngstown. So I may be a bit jaded. Small towns often have a charming vibe to them, and Youngstown is no different.

About 65,000 people live in Youngstown these days.  Remembered for its steel mill history, Youngstown has reinvented itself, and there is a lot to discover.

Start by visiting captivating Mill Creek Park, definitely one of Youngstown’s hidden gems., and part of Ohio’s Metroparks System. Its Fellows Riverside Gardens, and Lanterman’s Mill, along with waterfalls and scores of trails has something for everyone.

The Beecher Planetarium on the campus of Youngstown State University offers a wealth of astronomy programs and it is free to the public. Donations are greatly appreciated though.

The Butler Museum of American Art , located nearby, houses all forms of art, all by American artists. It is also free to the public with donations optional.

If you happen to be visiting in late-August, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Canfield Fair. One of the largest county fairs in the United States, it is almost 400 acres of fair food, rides, exhibits, and concerts!

Read about 18 things to do in Youngstown Ohio for other things to do in the area. Read 15 of the best things to do in Mill Creek Park , a must-visit destination in Youngstown.

Weekend getaways in Ohio should include Lanterman's Mill in Youngstown

Chagrin Falls Has A Waterfall In Its Main Square

Chagrin Falls is a small village about forty miles south of Cleveland.

It is charming and quaint and perfect for weekend getaways in Ohio.

The village has a wide variety of events, and historic architecture to admire. Known for its artistic community Chagrin Falls has ample antique shopping to leisurely pass the day away.

Trendy pubs and restaurants dot the city square, making Chagrin Falls a great weekend getaway destination!

Chagrin Falls is one of the quaintest weekend getaways in Ohio

Visit Ohio’s Amish Country

Growing up in Ohio’s farm country, it was always an exciting day when my father took my siblings and me to visit an Amish farm. Their craftsmanship and their food were unforgettable!

These days Holmes County is home to the largest concentration of Amish in Ohio. And a visit to experience the Amish is one of the most unique weekend getaways in Ohio.

Take a drive down the county’s back lanes, but be careful of the Amish horse-drawn carriages.  You will want to keep a keen eye out for signs signaling country and antique shops. Hand made Amish furniture and handmade Amish cheese.

Seek out the Amish quilts and oh my! especially the Amish bakeries. You can thank me later!! Take a tour of a real Amish farm.

To work off some calories, you can walk, run, or bike a part of the twenty-three mile Holmes County Trail , which is shared with the Amish buggies.

To widen your adventures, the surrounding areas offer breweries, wineries, and lots more options for outdoor adventures!

Visiting the Amish in Ohio is an unforgettable experience.

Explore Cincinnati In Southern Ohio

Located on the north side of the Ohio River, the natural border between Ohio and Kentucky is Cincinnati. Over two million people live in the metro area and Cinci is making itself heard in the financial and economic world.

Look here: Cincinnati: 2-Hour Private Tiki Boat River Sightseeing Tour

Museums, historic neighborhoods, and architecture are abundant in Cincinnati

You might want to check out the American Sign Museum , the largest public museum to signs (think neon!) in the United States.

The Cincinnati Art Museum has free admission and boasts pieces by renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. and other pieces spanning over 6,000 years.

Look here: Cincinnati: Streetcars, Sights and Local Bites

Take the unusual abandoned subway tour for a piece of Cinci history.  Or visit the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Once a German neighborhood to the working-class, today it is trendy with its breweries, gastropubs, and upscale grocers.

Look here: Cincinnati: Mount Adams Discovery Tour with a Pastry & Drink

The Cincinnati Observatory offers day tours and on clear days visitors can peek through the telescope.

Head out to the 300-acre Sculpture Park to see 60 sculptures on display. You will be able to see pieces dating back to 1500BC.

Cincinnati illuminated at night is beautiful

Visit Canton, Home To More Than The Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Making Canton one of your weekend getaways in Ohio is surely a great idea!

Everyone knows the iconic Professional Football Hall of Fame is at home in Canton, Ohio, paying tribute to America’s sport. Visitors flock here from all over the world. And that is probably where you just might head to first.

Interpretive exhibits, tours, and Super Bowl Theatre where short videos are shown, all make up one exceptional experience. Plan on spending several hours here at least.

After that Canton has lots to discover.

The Canton Arts District is a great part of the city to explore. Visit the Canton Museum of Art and the Classic Car Museum.

President William McKinley, our 25th President, is buried in Canton. You can not miss the large circular dome where his tomb is located. Close by is the McKinley Museum and Library (think dinosaurs and bees!) and Planetarium.

Weekend getaways in Ohio could include a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Packing List for Your Weekend Getaways In Ohio

A  concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along on any of your weekend getaways in Ohio. It is always important to protect our personal information.

Read my tips on how to pack lightly here.

This  unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is  lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.

If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do,  these  RFID  sleeves are  the perfect solution.

This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.

If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an  external charging battery . This  Anker high-speed phone charging battery  is  the exact one  I carry with me on all of my trips.

It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!

I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.

My daughter gifted me with this  FugeTek selfie stick and tripod   setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and so easy to use. It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for group shots or that perfect selfie!

I was not a fan of packing cubes until I started to use them! This is the  exact set  of packing organizers I use  whenever I travel.

I cannot believe how much they really do help with the organization. If you have not considered packing cubes, I would recommend giving them a try.

Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.  You will want to bring your own  refillable water bottle  with you.

I never leave home on a trip without my  Bobble filtration bottle .  The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse.

When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble. You can find  filter replacements here. 

Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this  set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.

You will want a  backpack or daypack  with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This   foldable water-resistant backpack   would be great.

It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.

I am sure one of these highly-rated backpacks will fit whatever needs you might have when traveling in 2021!

Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your travel. This  antitheft backpack   has a charging port, is water-resistant, and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.

You will be walking more than usual during your weekend getaways in Ohio. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes  are a must-have. These   waterproof all-season shoes   are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.

Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these  Air Run high fashion sneakers  come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.

If you are visiting Ohio in warmer weather, maybe you want a pair of sandals  to wear to dinner or to the local cafe, I highly recommend these  Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals.

I have several pairs of Vionics that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable and have orthotic footbeds that cradle and support your feet.

We all need to  protect our eyes  from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These  unisex polarized sunglasses   come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.

If you are fond of the  aviator-style of sunglasses  these polarized aviators may interest you.

If you are in need of new luggage, this  expandable soft side spinner luggage  is affordable and comes in lots of colors.

If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this  hard-sided luggage set  better. Both sets come with TSA locks and 8 wheels per piece.

Here I have listed 15 weekend getaways in Ohio for you to enjoy. Some big cities, some small villages. Some popular, some not so popular. I hope you enjoy visiting my home state of Ohio.

Please note that  Linda On The Run  has included affiliate links included in this post which means I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you on purchases you may make. Thank you. 

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Julie Around The Globe

16 Cheap Weekend Getaways in Ohio for Couples and Families

Posted on December 7, 2022 | Julie J. |

Cheap Weekend Getaways in Ohio

Last Updated on March 7, 2023

Planning a weekend trip in Ohio on a budget ? The state is filled with incredible places to explore , from historic small towns to scenic state parks, and everything in between – and most of them can be visited without breaking the bank!

Discover below the best cheap weekend getaways in Ohio for couples or families on a budget . These charming yet affordable inns, B&Bs, and vacation rentals are great places to spend a weekend enjoying the wilderness, visiting historic and cultural places, and making memories with your loved ones.

Travel tip: check the opening time/season for museums and historic homes, especially in small towns, as they might not be open often, or might require booking a few days prior.

Travel tip 2: if you’re planning a last-minute getaway, check out the discounted rates on Expedia (it will automatically show you hotels near you), you might find a gem for half the price.

HELPFUL WEBSITES TO HELP YOU PLAN YOUR TRIP

16 Cheap Weekend Getaways in Ohio for Couples and Families

FLIGHT DEALS

16 Cheap Weekend Getaways in Ohio for Couples and Families

HOTEL DEALS

16 Cheap Weekend Getaways in Ohio for Couples and Families

TRAVEL INSURANCE

16 Cheap Weekend Getaways in Ohio for Couples and Families

VACATION RENTALS

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on any links and make a purchase, we’ll get a small commission, at no cost to you.

The Victorian Guesthouse, Delphos

Average rate: $90 a night – Book here

The Victorian Guesthouse, Delphos

Located 2-hour north of Columbus, the charming small town of Delphos will make a perfect getaway for couples and families alike. Book a room at the stunning yet affordable Victorian Guesthouse set in a colonial home and furnished with antiques. Each room comes with its own private bathroom and you get access to several common rooms and a fully equipped kitchen.

In town, tour the downtown area where you can visit the Delphos Museum of Postal History and the Delphos Canal Museum , stop by The Creamery for old-fashioned ice cream , or shop for antiques or vintage clothing . In nearby Lima, you’ll find the Allen County Historical Society and Museum where you can tour a log house and a Victorian mansion while learning more about the county’s history.

If you like the outdoors, pack a picnic and head to Kendrick Woods for a hike or to cross-country ski depending on the time of year you visit. If you’re visiting with kids, you’ll find a playground and restrooms there. You’ll also only be 30 minutes away from Grand Lake St. Marys State Park where you’ll find nice beaches and hiking trails , that can be used for snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter.

Berrodin Bed & Breakfast, Akron

Average rate: $100 a night – Book here

Berrodin Bed & Breakfast, Akron

Filled with amazing things to do no matter what you’re into, Akron is one of the best weekend getaways in Northeast Ohio . The inexpensive Berrodin Bed & Breakfast awaits for a comfy stay with all the amenities needed. It’s ideal for couples, friends, and families with older kids.

Breakfast is included and you’ll get access to a fully-equipped kitchen. The host is known for his friendliness and can help you plan your trip to Akron. The B&B is also conveniently located, within walking distance of several restaurants and attractions.

In town and around, there are many places to explore. Some of the most popular attractions include the Hower House, the Akron Children’s Museum , and Akron Art Museum , as well as many historic houses that can be toured and parks that are perfect for a stroll.

For something more outdoorsy, you’ll be near several state parks like Portage Lakes State Park and West Branch State Park and right next door to Cuyahoga Valley National Park where you can hike, bike, or go on a scenic train ride.

Camping at Hocking Hills State Park

Average rate: $25 a night – Book here

Hocking Hills State Park, Logan, United States

A list of cheap weekend getaways in Southern Ohio wouldn’t be complete without including Hocking Hills State Park . There are no entrance fees, you can camp there for as low as $25 , pack your own food, and enjoy the freedom of the outdoors.

There are seven major hiking areas in Hocking Hills State Park: Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave, Rock House, Conkle’s Hollow, Cedar Falls, Cantwell Cliffs, and Whispering Cave Trail. All are breathtaking and worth the hike. Most hikes are short and easy and can be done by the whole family.

At the campgrounds, you’ll find all the basic amenities such as showers, toilets, water, fire rings with cooking grates … You can either bring your RV and find a full-hookup space or bring your tent and pick a spot at the park’s primitive campground (closed in winter).

The Pines of Dresden, Dresden

Average rate: $140 a night – Book here

The Pines of Dresden

The perfect Ohio getaway for couples and families alike , the Pines of Dresden offers spacious rooms that can accommodate up to 5 people, in the small village of Dresden, not far from Columbus. All rooms have their own private bathroom and views of the garden . Guests can enjoy the outdoor firepit , the common room with its fireplace , a daily hearty breakfast , and a homemade dessert in the evening.

The historic three-story restored farmhouse is located on a 2-acre property and is a haven of peace and tranquility . You’ll be within walking distance of a couple of shops and restaurants and will find plenty of fun things to do nearby.

Not far from town, you can visit the Historic Prospect Place Estat e, believed by many to be haunted, then drive to the Historic Roscoe Village , a restored living history town with canal boat rides, costumed guides, and old-fashioned stores. Drive south, and you’ll find Zanesville , one of the largest Amish settlements in the country. There you can visit the Mission Oaks Gardens, the Old Stone Academy Museum, and Putnam Hill Park among others.

Dresden is surrounded by natural areas so you’ll have your pick of hiking trails, scenic views, and outdoor activities of all sorts . Dillon State Park is a short drive away, while Flint Ridge State Memorial and Blackhand Gorge State Nature Preserve are close by too.

Couples looking for a romantic outing can go wine tasting at Raven’s Glenn Winery & Restaurant or Stone Crest Vineyard . If you’re visiting from May through October head to The Velvet Ice Cream Factory where you can sample some ice cream and tour the factory.

The Doctor’s Inn, Oxford

Average rate: $150 a night – Book here

The Doctor's Inn, Oxford

Located less than an hour’s drive from Cincinnati , Oxford is a small college town that will make a perfect destination for a cheap romantic getaway in southern Ohio or for a family trip. The Doctor’s Inn offers rooms that can accommodate up to 4 persons and is conveniently located within a short drive of restaurants, shops, and recreational activities.

The bed and breakfast as been completely renovated in 2017 so you’ll get all the perks of modernity while staying in a historic place . The rooms are spacious and all feature a private bathroom . A tasty breakfast is served daily , you can enjoy the garden, common room, and porch, and use the grill.

In town, you’ll find several museums and historic homes you can visit as well as a couple of parks and preserves , good for hiking and biking. In summer, you can enjoy the beach at Mounds State Recreation Area or go for a hike there, Whitewater Memorial State Park is also a nice option.

You can also spend some time at Hueston Woods State Park , take a detour to drive by the Black Covered Bridge on your way there. The park is great for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and fossil hunting .

Emerald Necklace Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lakewood

Emerald Necklace Inn Bed and Breakfast, Lakewood

Located right next to Cleveland, Lakewood is a great beach destination in Ohio for people on a budget . Book a room at the affordable Emerald Necklace Inn Bed and Breakfast and spend your weekend relaxing and enjoying lakefront views.

The Emerald Necklace Inn Bed and Breakfast offers rooms that can accommodate up to 4 people each featuring a fireplace, a private bathroom , while some have a view over the park, a balcony, and a spa bath . Breakfast is included and you’ll be located right next to hiking and biking trails along the Rocky River and the scenic Valley Parkway.

You can spend a day driving along the Valley Parkway stopping along the way to enjoy the scenery. Rocky River Park and Lakewood Park are great places to plan a picnic or have fun at the playgrounds with the kids while enjoying views of the lake.

Hope Bed and Breakfast, Canton

Hope Bed and Breakfast

Get away from it all at Hope Bed and Breakfast, located among a lush garden in the countryside near Canton , about 20 minutes north of Akron . It will make a perfect weekend getaway in Ohio for families as they have rooms that can accommodate up to 4 people. It’s also ideal for a romantic trip.

Bathrooms are shared, you can use the kitchen, and a free homemade breakfast is served daily . Guests can enjoy taking a stroll through the extensive property, use the outdoor fire pit , and relax on the patio.

Nearby, you can drive to Canton to visit the Canton Museum of Art, the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, and the Football Hall of Fame. If you like the outdoors, go for a hike at Quail Hollow Park where you’ll find several trails and a 48-room manor you can visit.

Couples can plan a romantic outing at Maize Valley Winery & Craft Brewery where you can sample local wines and craft beer while enjoying tasty dishes , and then shopping for local produce. Kids are welcome and they often organize fun events, so make sure to check out their event calendar.

Inn Port D’Vino, Dayton

Inn Port D'Vino, Dayton, Ohio

Dayton is a great destination in Ohio for a weekend getaway. Couples, families, and friends alike will enjoy spending time exploring the area and all that it has to offer. Start by booking a room at the affordable and comfy Inn Port D’Vino where you’ll find clean and comfy rooms that can accommodate up to 4 people.

Some rooms have a spa bath, a fireplace, and/or a kitchen. Breakfast is served daily and you’ll be within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options . Free private parking is available on-site.

In Dayton, you’ll find many museums, parks, and historic sites . Among the city’s most popular attractions, you’ll find the National Museum of the US Air Force, The Dayton Art Institute, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, and the RiverScape MetroPark.

For some outdoor adventures, head to Caesar Creek State Park where you can enjoy the beach and swim or kayak, go for a hike or a mountain bike ride , and during winter, do some cross-country skiing . Closer to town, you can go for an easy hike at the Siebenthaler Fen Boardwalk or explore the nature trails at Sycamore State Park (in winter you can go snowmobiling, sledding, cross-country skiing, and ice skating).

Homestead House Bed and Breakfast, Willoughby

Average rate: $130 a night – Book here

Homestead House Bed and Breakfast, Willoughby

Located on the shores of Lake Erie, the Homestead House Bed and Breakfast makes a great weekend escape from Cleveland . You’ll be in the heart of Willoughby’s Historic District where you can enjoy historic buildings, independent stores, and great restaurants (try the tacos at Barrio Willoughby!).

The bed & breakfast is adult-only, making it a top romantic weekend getaway in Ohio for couples . The rooms are comfy and furnished with antiques, all have their own private bathroom while some feature a spa bath and a kitchenette . A tasty breakfast is included and there are free parking spots for guests.

In the area, you’ll find several parks where you can go for a stroll and have a romantic picnic , as well as a couple of public beaches. The Holden Arboretum and the Penitentiary Glen Reservation are also great places to visit if you like hiking and nature.

A 20-minute drive will take you to the gorgeous scenery of Headlands Beach State Park , home to the largest beach in Ohio.

History buffs can tour the James A. Garfield National Historic Site , drive to the Historic Kirtland Village , and visit the 19th-century Squire’s Castle.

Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast, Steubenville

Average rate: $170 a night – Book here

Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast, Steubenville

Located next to West Virginia, Steubenville is a peaceful destination surrounded by historic sites and natural areas . The small town is one of the best weekend getaways in Ohio for families, couples, and friends alike. Book a room at the stunning Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast and enjoy a comfy stay.

The restored Victorian bed and breakfast offers a daily homemade breakfast, an extensive garden where guests can wander, and a comfy common room with a fireplace and board games . Each room is unique with its own bathroom and some also include a fireplace or a spa bath.

In town, don’t miss the Historic Fort Steuben (open from May through October) and, if you’re visiting during the Holidays, the Steubenville Nutcracker Village right next to the fort. If you want to go for an easy hike, check out Beatty Park, Fernwood State Forest , or Jefferson Lake State Park where you can also enjoy swimming in summer and ice skating and cross-country skiing in winter.

Berlin Heritage Inn, Berlin

Average rate: $110 a night – Book here

Berlin Heritage Inn, cheap weekend getaway in Ohio

Located in the heart of the Amish Country , the Berlin Heritage Inn will make a perfect Ohio getaway for couples and families alike . Enjoy the slow-paced life, shop for handicrafts, antiques, and local produce, and stroll around charming downtowns.

The Berlin Heritage Inn offers clean, basic, and comfortable rooms for up to 4 people. Some rooms feature a jetted tub or spa bath and a fireplace . A tasty breakfast is served daily and you’ll be within walking distance of stores and restaurants.

Take a drive through the Amish Country to visit some of its top sights. Some of the most popular attractions include the German Culture Museum, Holmes County Open Air Art Museum, the Victorian House Museum, and the Ernest Warther Museum & Gardens, among many others.

If you want to spend some time outdoors, head to Dundee Falls where you can hike and swim at the falls . The area is also known for its wineries, the closest to town is Guggisberg Doughty Glen Winery where you can sample their wine and maybe catch a live music performance. Breitenbach Wine Cellars is also a nice option with tours and tastings of its own wines, plus a lunchtime cafe.

Cabin near Delaware

Cabin in Delaware County, Ohio

This cozy vacation rental is a great pick if you are looking for cheap weekend getaways in Ohio. Located a short drive away north of Columbus, the tiny house is ideal for couples and families alike (it can host up to 6 people). It sits on the banks of Ottawa Creek and offers all the comforts needed for a short stay.

The place is ideal to relax and unwind, surrounded by nature. You can enjoy strolling through the property or head to Delaware State Park where you can hike and swim.

Note that this is a rustic cabin, there’s an outhouse but no shower.

Cabin near Athens

Cabin in Athens County, Ohio

One of the best weekend getaways in southern Ohio for people on a budget, this cabin near Athen features gorgeous scenery, a fire pit, and a jacuzzi overlooking a private pond . There’s a big master bedroom and a loft upstairs if you’re traveling with kids or friends. The settings are quiet and peaceful, surrounded by the wilderness.

It’s a great escape from city life for people who want to enjoy nature and get away from it all.

Nearby, you can swim, kayak, or just enjoy the beach at Lake Dow . The Wayne National Forest and Burr Oak State Park are also nearby if you like hiking. Nelsonville is also close by, there you can visit the Nelsonville Train Depot and Robbins Crossing Historic Village.

Guest House in South Webster

Guest House in South Webster

Another great inexpensive weekend getaway in Ohio set in a secluded area , this guest house can accommodate up to 4 people and offers all the amenities needed for a comfy stay. It’s far enough from the main road and you can easily go for a stroll from the property.

If you don’t feel like cooking, stop by Roses Eats and Treats for some simple yet tasty dishes. Nearby, you can visit Jackson Lake State Park and spend the day hiking and enjoying the lake – or head to the small town of Portsmouth where you can visit the Floodwall Mural, the historic downtown, and the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center.

A bit further out, Lake Vesuvius  offers many trails for all abilities and a beach where you can swim.

Camping at East Harbor State Park, Lakeside Marblehead

Nature trail in Sandusky, Ohio

Surrounded by Lake Erie, East Harbor State Park is a great place for outdoorsy couples or families, it’s also one of the cheapest destinations for people on a budget. You can set up camp for as low as $25 a night, use the grills to cook your food, and enjoy hiking, swimming, and just relaxing at the beach.

You’ll find over 10 miles of trails, from easy to moderate, and you can rent bikes at the camp store . Spring and falls are prime times to spot migratory birds.

If you’re there over a long weekend, you can spend a day visiting nearby Sandusky, where you’ll find many museums and plenty of entertainment options.

Cabin at Pike Lake State Park

Average rate: $60 a night – Book here

Lake Ohio

Another great option for people on a budget is to check out state parks that have cabins, most are usually way more affordable than lodges and hotels and will allow spending a weekend away without breaking the bank . Pike Lake State Park is a popular state park in Ohio and offers cabins for as low as $60 a night.

Once you’ve settled in your lodging, head for the beach or go for a hike . At the park, you’ll find a small general store , 5 easy and short hiking trails, and canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats available for rent.

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16 Cheap Weekend Getaways in Ohio for Couples and Families

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9 Delightful Weekend Road Trips From Columbus, Ohio

Posted by Brittany Varano August 11, 2022 Updated May 21, 2024

Grab your fave snacks and crank up the tunes — it’s time for a weekend road trip from Columbus!

Nestled smack dab in the middle of the state, Columbus is near some of the top destinations in Ohio, the Midwest, and even the south. Its convenient location makes visiting the state’s biggest cities and the natural splendor of the Hocking Hills region all the more enticing. Not to mention, Columbus road trippers can reach southern stops in Kentucky and West Virginia around just three hours.

So, the next time you’re free, check out this comprehensive list of the best weekend road trips from Columbus, Ohio.

1. Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

road trips from columbus - hocking hills

Hocking Hills State Park is, by and large, Ohio’s most popular state park. Nestled in Southeastern Ohio where the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains meet a lush state forest, it’s not surprising why. Visitors from far and wide flock to relish the park’s dramatic caves, overhanging cliffs, and cascading waterfalls. A weekend at Hocking Hills also offers an opportunity to hike miles of trails, kayak in the river, and zipline through the treetops.

The park is especially popular in the fall when the forest shifts to vibrant shades of yellows, reds, and oranges. Weekend visitors can camp in the state park, where modern and primitive campsites, as well as cabin rentals, stand ready to host. The quaint little town of Logan is less than 20-minutes away and offers plenty of cozy accommodation for Hocking Hills visitors, too.

  • Distance:  57 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 1 hour

Related Read:   7 Hocking Hills Cabins with Hot Tubs for a Revitalizing Getaway

2. Indianapolis, Indiana

road trips from columbus - indianapolis

When you think of Indianapolis, the Indy 500 likely comes to mind. But “America’s Crossroads” is an exciting weekend road trip from Columbus with more to offer than fast cars and race tracks (although the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum is pretty cool). Meandering through downtown is the idyllic Central Canal, where visitors can enjoy a stroll surrounded by skyline views and greenery.

The White River State Park is five minutes from downtown and offers a scenic area to relax, rent bikes, and cruise on a gondola ride. Foodies who wish to embark on a food tour around the city should make their way to St. Elmo Steak House for a shrimp cocktail and Shapiro’s Delicatessen for their corned beef and pastrami. Indianapolis is conveniently a straight shot from Columbus along highway 70, making the drive a breeze.

  • Distance:  175 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 2 hours 45 minutes

3. Cincinnati, Ohio

road trips from columbus - cincinnati

Cincinnati is Ohio’s third-largest city tucked along the shores of the passing Ohio River and the border with Kentucky. Many of Cincinnati’s top attractions are centered around historical landmarks like the Cincinnati Art Museum and the John A. Roebling Bridge, the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge. A visit to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is also a must. Once home to blue-collar German immigrants, Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine features eye-catching 19th-century buildings and, of course, good German food and beer.

Down the road from Over-the-Rhine, you’ll find Findlay Market , Ohio’s longest-running market. For local fares and Saturday farmers market fun, it’s the place to go. If you still have room, no trip to Cincinnati is complete without weighing in on a city-wide feud: who makes the best Cincinnati chili? Skyline and Gold Star are the two opponents, where you can decide which is best for yourself!

  • Distance: 107 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 1 hour 53 minutes

4. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

road trips from columbus - pittsburgh

Get out of the midwest for a weekend with a trip to Pittsburgh, nicknamed the City of Bridges thanks to the nearly 450 that cross the three large rivers that meet downtown. Although the Steelers and Pirates dominate the local culture, this sporty city boasts pursuits and outdoor fun that lie outside of the sports arena. For example, visitors can rent bikes and ride along the North Shore Bike Trail , which passes through North Shore Riverfront Park where picture-perfect city views await.

Art enthusiasts should make time to see works by famed Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol at the Andy Warhol Museum . And no weekend visit to Pitt is complete without taking the historic funicular up to the top of Mount Washington for stellar views of the Pittsburgh skyline. When hunger strikes, prepare your belly for local specialties like Primanti Bros sandwiches, polish pierogies, and the oxymoronic Pittsburgh Salad topped with french fries.

  • Distance:  185 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours

5. Cleveland, Ohio

road trips from columbus - cleveland

Cleveland is an industrious city that has long attracted tourists. Ohio’s second-largest city is home to the world-famous Rock and Roll Museum and a stretch of shore along Lake Erie. Start your weekend trip with a bagel from The Cleveland Bagel Company before venturing to top Cleveland sights like the West Side Market and the Museum of Art.

For a taste of local theater, catch a show at Playhouse Square, a performance art center that rivals that of NYC. When you’ve had your fill of the concrete jungle, trade the city streets for fresh air at Edgewater Park. The park is home to beaches and miles of walking paths. In the evening, dine on local faves like pierogies and corned beef sandwiches. There’s also a surprising number of free things to do in Cleveland as well.

  • Distance:  142 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 2 hours 6 minutes

6. Louisville, Kentucky

road trips from colubus - louisville

From horse races to baseball equipment, many iconic American institutions have come out of Louisville. Visitors can learn more about them with a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and a tour of the Churchill Downs race track which hosts the thrilling Kentucky Derby every year. Another excellent way to get acquainted with the city is with a ride on the Belle of Louisville, a traditional steamboat that takes visitors down the Ohio River and offers a unique vantage point of the city.

Not to mention, going on a taste test mission along the exciting Kentucky Bourbon Trail , a stretch of distilleries from Lexington to Louisville that continues Kentucky’s proud bourbon heritage. Top spots along this epic trail include Woodford Reserve and Jim Beam. Fried chicken is another Kentuckian treat (KFC anyone?), as is a Hot Brown , a spicy Louisville staple.

  • Distance:  206 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours 17 minutes

7. Dayton, Ohio

road trips from columbus - dayton

Dayton is a mid-sized city in western Ohio best known as being the hometown of the famed Wright Brothers. Aptly dubbed the “birthplace of flight,” visitors can learn more about the remarkable innovations they made in flight at the Wright Brothers National Museum . If you’re a diehard aviation fan, you should also pop over to the National Museum of the United States Air Force , where historic aircraft and space shuttles are displayed.

While it’s best known for its place in America’s aviation history, it boasts other incredible attractions worth seeing on the weekend. Open year-round, the 2nd Street Market is an excellent open-air market where nearly 50 vendors set up shop and offer locally made fares. In pleasant weather, a picnic at the Carillon Historical Park is another fantastic thing to do in Dayton. This 65-acre park hosts exhibits showcasing Dayton’s unique history from its earliest settlers to modern times and even has a Wright Brothers plane on display.

  • Distance:  73 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 1 hour 9 minutes

8. Ann Arbor, Michigan

road trips from columbus - ann arbor

Trade the buzz of one university town for another with a visit to Ann Arbor. This charming city makes for an ideal weekend getaway for any occasion and offers activities suitable for both kids and kids at heart. At the popular Hands-On Museum , the entire family can partake in interactive exhibits while learning a bit about science. Ann Arbor is also a fantastic getaway for outdoor lovers, thanks to its countless city parks and stretch of Huron River where you can kayak and paddle.

Making time for a stroll around the University of Michigan campus is another highly recommended Ann Arbor stop, noted for its many historic buildings and the pretty Nichols Arboretum . As a university town, there’s also plenty of hip cafes, delicious restaurants, and healthy nightlife to be enjoyed by all. After a long day of wandering, satisfy your thirst with a cold craft brew from the Arbor Brewing Company or a cocktail from The Last Word.

  • Distance:  189 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours 5 minutes

Related Read:   10 Refreshing Michigan Swimming Lakes for a Summertime Dip

9. Charleston, West Virginia

road trips from columbus - charleston wv

As West Virginia’s capital city, Charleston is a city brimming with history and charm. Its riverfront locale where the Elk and Kanawha rivers meet beautifully frame the skyline and add greenery to the city. When you first arrive, get acquainted with Charleston by strolling along Capitol Street, a charming area noted for its local shops, restaurants, and red brick buildings.

At the end of the street, the glint of the Capitol’s golden dome will capture your attention. Visitors can step inside and marvel at the marble interiors and the glittering chandelier that hangs in the Rotunda. Coonskin Park lies just outside of town and offers disc golfing, forested hiking trails, and pedal boat rentals. The Kanawha State Forest isn’t far either, where bird watchers and hikers flock to relish the thousands of acres of pristine wilderness.

  • Distance:  163 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 2 hours 42 minutes

Where to Explore Next

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Seen in: Indiana , Kentucky , Michigan , Midwest , Ohio , Pennsylvania , Road Trips , West Virginia

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Posted by Brittany Varano

Brittany is a freelance travel writer and avid photographer with a love of hiking and nature. Originally from Wisconsin, she fell in love with travel blogging after living and teaching English in South Korea. She’s now location independent and enjoys slow travel to new and exciting places.

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A View of Cleveland lettering in front of skyline

20 Unique Day Trips from Cleveland: One Tank Trips Ohio Destinations

If you’re in Cleveland and are looking for one tank trips Ohio destinations, this list will provide you with some of the best Ohio day trips from Cleveland — all less than a 4-hour-drive away, organized from closest to farthest. 

Cleveland Ohio sign

There are plenty of things to do in Cleveland Ohio with its great mix of both city and rural life. There’s always somewhere exciting to explore in town while being surrounded by the beauty and serenity of Lake Erie. 

But… Cleveland just so happens to neighbor so many other fantastic Ohio cities with must-see destinations, like the Holden Arboretum, The Wilds, and even Amish Country. Cleveland is within a few hours of some travel-worthy, out-of-state spots, too – perfect for a quick road trip or weekend getaway. 

You might be surprised to discover some of the lesser-known Ohio gems right outside Cleveland in Northeast Ohio . So, go pack your day bag and explore some of these one tank trips from Cleveland!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Brandywine Falls, Things to do in Canton

Ohio Day Trips from Cleveland

Cuyahoga valley national park in peninsula ohio.

30-minute drive from Cleveland

If you haven’t been to Ohio’s national park yet, you need to! The nearly 33,000-acre park has an abundance of beautiful hiking trails with varying difficulties (more than 125 miles worth) – all so very close to Cleveland.  

If you’re backpacking the state-wide Buckeye Trail, it intersects the park. Make sure to spend some time exploring other areas of Cuyahoga National Park.

Family-friendly activities include traversing through the park on a scenic train ride , picnicking, paddling the river, fishing at Kendall Lake, joining one of the park’s group education or excursion events, and snowshoeing in winter.

Exploring the US Air Force Museum in Dayton Ohio with Kids

Don’t miss exploring Brandywine Falls – one of the park’s most popular features!

Holden Arboretum in Kirtland Ohio

You’ll see some of the most beautiful gardens in Ohio at the 3,500-acre Holden Arboretum . The arboretum is divided into several sections, each featuring different plant and animal life and cared for to maintain the native habitat. 

The Holden Wildflower Garden shows off the beauty of Ohio’s native plants. Spot graceful butterflies and hummingbirds in the peaceful Holden Butterfly Garden. Walk through the tree tops and across a bridge 65 feet above the ground on the Murch Canopy Walk.

If you hike to the top of the 120-foot-tall Kalberer Emergent Tower, you’ll experience scenic 360 views of not only the gardens but as far as Lake Erie.

views of Akron Ohio

Check Out the Sights in Akron Ohio

45-minute drive from Cleveland

Less than an hour away, Akron is the perfect Ohio day trip destination near Cleveland. There are so many great things to do that it’s hard to choose where to start! 

Here are a couple unique, don’t-miss Akron spots:

Tour the Stan Hywet Hall and Garden s, a historic estate that’s one of the largest in the US. The National Historic Landmark was once the home of the co-founder of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company. The beautiful mansion is one of the best Ohio spots to visit around Christmas time, as they adorn the manor with festive decorations. 

Visit the Akron Art Museum , where you’ll find a fantastic collection of modern and contemporary art. The building’s architecture itself is a work of art. 

A couple of other family-friendly destinations include the Akron Zoo and the historic Hale Farm and Village .

The J.M. Smucker Co. Store and Cafe in Orrville Ohio

1-hour drive from Cleveland

Visit the Smucker’s flagship store and cafe to buy unique products from one of America’s most-known and loved brands (they’ve been in operation for more than 120 years). 

The store has for sale from their family of brands a variety of jams and jellies, coffee, peanut butter, pet gifts, kitchen accessories, clothing, and custom gift baskets, too.

Aside from the gift shop and souvenirs, visitors can also have a meal in the cafe. The Smucker Co. Store and Cafe gives you a sense of wholesome Americana while being just an hour away from Cleveland.

J.M. Smucker Co. Store and Cafe - Orrville, Ohio - Cleveland Day Trips

Sip through Ohio’s Wine Country in Ashtabula County Ohio

Just an hour from Cleveland is the scenic Ohio Wine Country . Have a glass at any (or all) of Ashtabula County’s over 30 wineries. Most of these Ohio wineries have vineyards to explore along with tasting rooms.

Some of the best Ohio wineries include Debonne Vineyards (if you like beer, they also have a microbrewery), Harpersfield Vineyards, Laurentia Vineyard and Winery, M Cellars, and Cask 307 (try their delicious charcuterie and cheese). 

If wine isn’t your thing, there are many idyllic, covered bridges in Ashtabula County. The nearly 230-foot-long Harpersfield Covered Bridge is a local favorite; it reaches across the Grand River. Sit down at the nearby park along the river bank and admire the view. 

Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield Ohio

1-hour and 15-minute drive from Cleveland

If you’re a lover of all things paranormal, you won’t want to miss this Ohio day trip from Cleveland. Tour the “haunted” former Mansfield Reformatory during one of their tours or ghost hunts; they also offer The Haunted Prison Experience around Halloween time. 

Its chillingly beautiful exterior and architecture coupled with a dark history draws in visitors from Ohio and from throughout the US. The Ohio State Reformatory first opened in 1896 and is now nearing 130 years old.

Movie buffs will also want to visit the Ohio State Reformatory. It was the primary filming location of the award-winning 1994 film, The Shawshank Redemption . 

Related:  14 Movies Filmed in Ohio: An Incomplete List

Ohio State Reformatory - Mansfield, Ohio - Cleveland Day Trips

Visit Sandusky Ohio

Sandusky is, of course, famous for Cedar Point – the Roller Coaster Capital. The Ohio amusement park has been open since 1870 and is the second-oldest operating in the United States. It’s the perfect spot for thrill seekers with 16 roller coasters, a water park, and more. 

But if you visit Cedar Point, don’t make the mistake of missing out on the rest of what Sandusky has to offer …

  • Ride the classic merry-go-round at the Merry-Go-Round Museum .
  • Paddleboard, kayak, swim, or fish on Lake Erie .
  • Visit the Maritime Museum of Sandusky . 
  • If you’re a foodie, check out some of the fantastic dining options that Sandusky has to offer.

Check Out Youngstown Ohio

Youngstown OH is blooming, especially downtown. If you take the short drive from Cleveland to Youngstown, don’t skip these local favorites.

Indulge at One Hot Cookie ! You can’t miss the cute, pink and white trailer that’s home to delectable desserts like the Cherry Cheesecake Cookie or the Death by Chocolate Cookie. If you have a late-night craving, you’re in luck; on Friday and Saturday, they’re open until 2:30 AM. 

Toast at Whistle and Keg . Spend the evening out at this brewery and beer hall with a ton of craft beers on tap. Top-rated pours include CRYOHIO, an imperial IPA from Fat Head’s Brewery; Most Excellent Razberry Limeade, a mead from Crafted Artisan Meadery; and Gumballhead, a wheat beer from 3 Floyds Brewing.

Relax and enjoy the outdoors at Mill Creek Park . Inside the park are also the beautiful Fellows Riverside Gardens and Lanterman’s Mill , which was constructed in the 1840s.

Mill Creek Park - Youngstown, Ohio

Take a Trip to Amish Country in Holmes County Ohio

1-hour and 30-minute drive from Cleveland

Just a short drive from Cleveland is the world’s largest Amish and Mennonite community! If you embark on this Ohio day trip from Cleveland, there are a few stops you simply have to make. 

Educate yourself about their culture and unique community at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage/Behalt Center , or at Yoder’s Amish Home . 

Immerse yourself in the slow-living communities of Walnut Creek, Farmerstown, and Charm (yes, it’s charming there), where you can shop, dine, and take in the scenery. Check out the local bakeries and produce stands for deliciously fresh baked goods and produce. 

Ohio Amish Country is also known for its beautiful expanses of rolling hills and farmland; for this reason, many Holmes County roads are designated as scenic byways.

P.S. The world’s largest cuckoo clock is in Sugarcreek (in the neighboring Tuscarawas County).

Escape to Kelleys Island Ohio

2-hour drive from Cleveland

Kelleys Island is the perfect getaway for those embarking on an Ohio day trip . 

For the easiest (and most fun) way to get around the popular island, rent a golf cart or bike after getting off the ferry. Take a ride and you’ll find some shops and restaurants, hiking trails, sandy beaches, and fantastic views of Lake Erie.

One of the island’s most unique sights is the glacial grooves, which are the biggest in the world at 400 feet long by 35 feet wide and up to 10 feet deep. These Ice Age remnants are an extraordinary National Natural Landmark .

Other things to do on Kelleys Island include kayak rentals and tours, exploring Kelleys Island State Park , touring the Kelleys Island Historical Association museum , and admiring the artwork of the Charles Herndon Sculpture Garden and Galleries . 

Kelleys Island - Kelleys Island, Ohio

Visit German Village in Columbus Ohio

2-hour and 15-minute drive from Cleveland

German Village is one of Ohio’s destinations on the National Register of Historic Places. The lovely neighborhood has quaint, brick buildings and idyllic scenery along with fantastic food, culture, and things to do. 

For foodies: have an ice cream cone filled with Salted Peanut Butter with Chocolate Flecks at Jeni’s Ice Cream , or indulge in decadent fudge while you watch it being made at Schmidt’s Fudge Haus . 

Art lovers can enjoy the Umbrella Girl fountain at the historic Schiller Park , or the contemporary and historic art collection at Keny Galleries .

Catch a production at Actor’s Theater of Columbus , or if you’d rather snuggle up with a book, visit The Book Loft — a massive haven for literature-lovers housed within an old general store, saloon, and other historic buildings.

Explore Attractions in Put-In-Bay Ohio

Put-In-Bay is one of our favorite Ohio day trips from Cleveland. There are so many unique things to do in this Ohio city nestled on a Lake Erie island.

One of the top destinations is Crystal Cave , where you can explore the inside of the world’s largest celestite geode. Yes, you can actually stand and walk inside it—the 12,000-15,000-year-old geode is 35 feet in diameter. Adults can also visit the accompanying historic Heineman Winery , which has been in operation since the 1800s.

Other Put-In-Bay attractions include Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, the Butterfly House, South Bass Island State Park, Stonehenge Estate, the Chocolate Museum, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, and the adult-friendly The Sand Bar. 

Put-in-Bay - Put-in-Bay, Ohio

The Olander Park System in Sylvania Ohio

The Olander Park System is one of the top family-friendly Ohio day trips from Cleveland. Their parks are spread throughout Sylvania and include Fossil Park, Sylvan Prairie Park, Whetstone Park, Olander Park, and Southview Oak Savanna. 

Some of their parks include unique features. Sylvan Prairie Park is a lovely area that’s being rehabilitated to restore the vitality of the natural prairie and wetland environments; visitors can bike, walk, skate, jog, fish, and sled at the park during wintertime. 

Their Fossil Park is one of two great Devonian Era sites in the world. Visitors of all ages can dig for (and take home!) fossilized remains of over 200 different species of prehistoric life, including coral and brachiopods. 

The Wilds in Cumberland Ohio

2-hour and 30-minute drive from Cleveland

The Wilds isn’t just any old Ohio zoo . Visit the nonprofit park and conservation center to experience a safari adventure and see wild animals up close. Even though it’s a short drive from Cleveland Ohio , it’ll feel like you’re on the Savannah thousands of miles away.

This popular destination also offers other outdoor activities, including fishing, horseback riding, and for thrill-seekers, zip-lining. If you want to extend your day trip , you can stay at one of their cabins or check out WildNights at the Outpost (a camping experience outdoors near exotic animals, like giraffes and rhinos).

The Wilds - Cumberland, Ohio - Summer in Ohio

Ohio Caverns in West Liberty Ohio

2-hour and 45-minute drive from Cleveland

Did you know that the largest caves in Ohio are only a couple of hours from Cleveland? 

The Ohio Caverns feature over 2 miles of passageways and a variety of rock formations and colors, including stalactites and stalagmites. Crystal King’s Cave features one of the biggest stalactites in the world—it’s about 400 pounds and five feet long. 

The caverns are open year-round and are explorable by guided tour. There are several types of tours including the Natural Wonder Tour, Historic Tour, Winter Tour (Oct 1-April 30), and the Limestone Tour.

The caves stay about 54 degrees year-round, so make sure to wear a light jacket and sneakers when you visit, even in July!

Clifton Mill in Clifton Ohio

3-hour drive from Cleveland

The historic Clifton Mill is one of the largest, still-standing, water-powered grist mills. Originally built in 1802, the site has since expanded to include an idyllic covered bridge, an American restaurant, Country Store, and vintage gas station with Americana charm. 

The nostalgic 1940s Gas Station Museum is still stocked with original products and authentic relics from the era. Walk across the covered bridge for fantastic views of the Clifton Mill, Clifton Gorge, and the Little Miami River waterfalls.

You’re in for a treat if you visit during the winter, as the property goes all out with Christmas decorations. The whole family will enjoy their display of over 4 million twinkling, festive lights!

Clifton Mill, Clifton OH

Idle-Hour Ranch in Troy Ohio

3-hour and 15-minute drive from Cleveland

Idle-Hour Ranch is a family-owned farm in Ohio with a diverse array of activities. Aside from the farm, their zoo features animals of all shapes and sizes from camels to kangaroos and even anteaters. Plus, you can feed the kangaroos and take a ride on a horse or camel!

The Ranch also offers gem and fossil mining and a gift shop. If you want to extend your stay, you can camp overnight in genuine tipis. 

It’s a great Ohio day trip from Cleveland especially during the fall months when they host bonfires, hayrides, and a fun, six-acre corn maze. 

Hocking Hills State Park in Logan Ohio

Hocking Hills is a treasured Ohio state park with beautiful scenery and diverse flora and fauna. It’s received international acclaim for its waterfalls, caves, idyllic cliffs, gorges, and native wildflowers.

Visitors can hike and explore some of Hocking Hills’ various caves including Ash Cave, Old Man’s Cave, and Whispering Cave. Other famous trails showcase Cantwell Cliffs and Cedar Falls, the latter of which features grottos, waterfalls, blankets of hemlock, and tall rock walls.

Other things to do at the park include disc golf, camping, hunting, and fishing. You can also tag along on one of the park’s regularly scheduled group outings that feature activities like archery, kayaking, and family-friendly educational classes. 

Hocking Hills State Park, Logan - Places to Visit in Winter

Day Trips from Cleveland Outside of Ohio

Explore pittsburgh pennsylvania.

Wander across the state line into Pennsylvania and experience Pittsburgh. 

There are so many great things to do in Pittsburgh, but here are a few to get your day trip from Cleveland Ohio started. 

Explore the beautiful Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens . This Pittsburgh staple is one of the oldest-operating conservatories in the US, featuring seasonal flower displays and rotating exhibits, a nationally-recognized orchid collection, and plenty of butterflies. 

Art enthusiasts—don’t miss The Andy Warhol Museum, The Frick Art and Historical Center, or Randyland, the latter of which features an eclectic collection of Randy Gilson’s artwork. 

Niagara Falls in New York

3-hour and 30-minute drive from Cleveland

Niagara Falls is less than 4 hours from Cleveland, making it the perfect Ohio day trip. The world-renowned destination is nestled between the borders of Ontario, Canada and New York state. 

With waterfalls that drop more than 160 feet, it’s no wonder that it’s a revered, natural landmark and stunningly beautiful. One of the falls, Horseshoe Falls, is the most powerful in all of North America. 

Make sure you wear a raincoat or poncho if you get up-close-and-personal with the Falls, unless you want to get soaked!

Niagara Falls NY

More Tips for Taking Day Trips from Cleveland Ohio

When you embark on your next Ohio day trip from Cleveland, you shouldn’t need much. Pack a day bag and travel to one of the many fantastic, next-door Ohio destinations we’ve provided, or discover some on your own!

If you find an interesting city while you’re exploring, be sure to check their community events calendars to see what’s happening while you’re passing through. You never know what you might stumble upon, from art festivals to fairs to concerts and more. 

views of downtown Cleveland Ohio

Frequently Asked Questions about Day Trips From Cleveland Ohio

What is there to do less than an hour away from cleveland ohio.

Take a short drive and explore all of Akron, get lost in nature at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, and wander along the beautiful botanical gardens of the Holden Arboretum. 

What are the most popular Ohio day trips from Cleveland?

Cedar Point in Sandusky , Hocking Hills State Park in Logan, Amish Country in Holmes County, Mohican State Park in Loudonville , and even outside of Ohio, Niagara Falls in New York state are some of the most popular Ohio day trips from Cleveland. 

But there are so many other amazing Ohio destinations for you to explore! Whether it’s one on our list, or one you discover on your own, the Buckeye state will not disappoint.

What about things to do in Cleveland?

Cleveland itself will keep you occupied with plenty of things to do. Check out the renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the family-friendly Greater Cleveland Aquarium , the food-lover’s paradise (Cleveland’s Little Italy), the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, or beautiful Lake Erie lighthouses .

Check out our guide on spring things to do in Cleveland, Canton, and more ! 

Explore Amazing Things to Do on Day Trips From Cleveland Ohio

These perfect day trips in Ohio from Cleveland are just some of the many wonderful things to do in Ohio . Hopefully you’re inspired to drive and take a fun day trip away from Cleveland to discover some of these best places to visit in Ohio .

Looking for more Ohio day trip ideas?

  • Best Day Trips from Columbus
  • Best Day Trips from Cincinnati

Adventure awaits in the Buckeye State!

Born and raised in Ohio, Matt Heffner loves to share his knowledge of the state at the heart of it all. Founder and chief explorer of Rooted in Ohio, his articles provide local insight to some of the best hidden gems in Ohio.

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What’s Ohio Known For? Here are 50+ Fun Facts About Ohio

What’s Ohio Known For? Here are 50+ Fun Facts About Ohio

Nestled in the heartland of the United States, Ohio is a state known for its diverse landscapes, rich history, and industrious spirit. Bounded by the waters of Lake Erie to the north and the mighty Ohio River to the south, Ohio is a state that is as scenic as it is dynamic. Ohio is a…

10 Weekend Getaways in Ohio: From Amish Ambiance to Hippy Haunts

Ohio’s Amish country. At every turn, I’m finding picturesque rural scenery punctuated by horse and buggies clip-clopping past barns and fields of hay.

I head into a home-based Amish shop near Berlin, Ohio to browse a selection of candles. A sliver of sunlight streams through the window, running against the side of a young girl’s face as she takes a whiff. She’s the shopkeeper’s daughter. When I ask her mother if I could publish the photo, say says, “I think so, but you’ll have to talk to the Bishop.”

These special moments, unique to Ohio travel, are everywhere across the state whether it’s chatting with the master brewer about his new batch of IPA in Cleveland, having a scoop of ice cream with a young entrepreneur in Columbus, or screaming your head off as you plummet down Cedar Point’s Millenium Force .

Any of the following weekend getaways in Ohio will be worth your while to better understand this incredibly diverse state.

Berlin: Experience Another Way of Life

Few places in the United States can instantly transport you back to the 19th century like Amish Country where horse and buggy remain the preferred mode of travel. Holmes County, in particular, is home to the world’s largest settlement of Amish, a group of traditionalist Christians, who are known for eschewing the conveniences of modern technology and choosing simple living, plain dress and careers in farming or skilled trades, such as furniture making, construction and more.

Berlin Grande Hotel

Cleveland: blend into the melting pot.

During the industrial revolution of the late 19th century, Cleveland was considered one of the richest cities in the world. The great city on a Great Lake produced a president and made guys like Rockefeller absurdly wealthy.

Enticed by the city’s prosperity, immigrants came from all over the world looking for jobs in manufacturing and construction, bringing their artistic sensibilities, customs and family recipes that are reflected in the many world-class cultural institutions, architectural treasures, and ethnic restaurants.

The Westin Cleveland Downtown

Cincinnati: good times in the queen city.

Whatever your idea of fun might be, there’s a good chance Cincinnati has you covered. Family-friendly staples like the Cincinnati Zoo , Cincinnati Museum Center and Kings Island certainly help the Queen City earn a soft spot in the hearts of traveling kids, but its nightlife options and affordability make it a special place for grown-ups, too.

Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

Columbus: an incubator for the entrepreneurial spirit.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “as Ohio goes, so goes the nation” in reference to U.S politics. But when it comes to food and retail fashion, the state’s capital city of Columbus has historically set trends. As a test market for large companies like Wendy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and the parent company of Victoria Secret, and Bath and Body Works, shopping and dining is an ongoing experiment, especially at Easton Town Center , a shopping, and entertainment complex designed as a self-contained small town.

The Plaza Hotel Columbus at Capitol Square

Dayton: where history takes flight.

Before North Carolina was declared first in flight, inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright were busy working on their heavier-than-air flying machine in the back room of their Dayton bicycle shop. It’s also where they perfected, tested and manufactured subsequent designs, including the Model B, the first ever mass-produced aircraft. To this day, the legacy of the two brothers is alive throughout the town where there are many other sites that will thrill aviation enthusiasts and history buffs.

Marriott at the University of Dayton

Logan: gateway to the great outdoors.

The Hocking Hills region has enchanted visitors with its natural beauty since the first inhabitants came to the area about 7,000 years ago. The area is known for stunning waterfalls that cascade into deep gorges and acoustically resonant recess caves carved into sandstone cliffs. Adventure awaits those ready to lace up their hiking boots and explore the deep corners of the park’s rugged wilderness.

Holiday Inn Express Hocking Hills-Logan, an IHG Hotel

Marietta: a tale of two rivers.

Located at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, Marietta was founded in 1788 by the first Euro-American pioneers coming to the Northwest Territory. The town also had significant importance for ancient indigenous cultures that built mysterious ceremonial and burial mounds thousands of years earlier. While those first settlers sought to preserve Marietta’s ancient earthworks, many were dismantled a century later for construction projects in the quickly growing river town and trading center.

Three segments of the Marietta earthworks are maintained as public parks today: Mound Cemetery, Quadranaou Park, and Sacra Via Park. To find out more about both Native American history and that of America’s initial westward expansion, visit the  Campus Martius Museum .

Quality Inn Marietta

Oregon: swamps, bogs, and marshes.

Until the 1850s, the Great Black Swamp — an oozing mass of mud, water, trees, plant life and disease-carrying mosquitoes — blanketed Northwest Ohio and Indiana. Illnesses like malaria, cholera, and typhoid ran rampant among those who tried to settle in the region. As soon as they could, immigrant farmers fell trees and drained the wetlands, which created fertile farmland in its place. Now, only about five percent of the swamp remains in places like Metzger Marsh , Magee March , and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge near Toledo.

Maumee Bay Resort & Conference Center

Sandusky: capital city of kid-friendly fun.

Like other towns on the Great Lakes, Sandusky boomed as a fishing port and commercial transportation hub but then had to reinvent itself after the advent of automobiles and trucks at the beginning of the 20th century. At the time, tourism was already on the rise with city dwellers, and the mile-long Cedar Point Beach was the place to be.

Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky

Yellow springs: where good vibes bubble up.

Yellow Springs has a colorful history and not just because it got its name from a natural spring that’s so rich in iron ore that it paints the surrounding rock a yellowish-orange hue. After it was discovered sometime around 1800, people began flocking to the area to seek out its curative properties, including the town’s founders, a communal group seeking a utopian society. It failed to materialize, but the ultra-liberal Antioch College planted roots in town and Yellow Springs has quickly earned a reputation for being progressive and inclusive.

Yellow Springs is now a mecca for artists and creative thinkers who contribute to the vibrancy of this quirky and quaint community where nothing is cookie cutter. Independent-owned shops, galleries and restaurants reign supreme along Xenia Avenue, the main artery through the small village. Visitors can dine on locally-sourced seasonal specialties at The Winds Café  and find one-of-a-kind gifts from Bonadies Glass Studio and Yellow Springs Pottery .

Mills Park Hotel

Feature image courtesy of Laura Blake

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18 Best Weekend Getaways from Columbus, Ohio

Last Updated By VI on May 27, 2024

The Lakehouse Inn

A georgian manner bed and breakfast, trumbull and porter hotel.

  • Complete List & Map

The Lakehouse Inn

5653 Lake Road E, Geneva, OH 44041, Phone: 440-466-8668 , Map

A Georgian Manner Bed and Breakfast

29055 Evans Rd., Logan, OH 43138, Phone: 800-606-1840 , Map

Trumbull and Porter Hotel

Trumbull and Porter Hotel , 1331 Trumbull Ave, Detroit, MI 48216, USA, Phone: 313-496-1400

HideAway Country Inn

HideAway Country Inn

1601 State Route 4, Bucyrus, OH 44820, Phone: 800-570-8233 , Map --->

Garden Gate Getaway

Garden Gate Getaway

Garden Gate Getaway , 6041 Township Road 310, Millersburg, OH 44654, Phone: 330-674-7608

South Beach Resort Hotel, Marblehead, OH

South Beach Resort Hotel, Marblehead, OH

South Beach Resort Hotel , 8620 E. Bayshore Road, Lakeside Marblehead, OH 43440, 419 798 4900

Garver House Bed and Breakfast

Garver House Bed and Breakfast

Garver House Bed and Breakfast , 410 North Wooster Ave., Strasburg, OH 44680, Phone: 330-878-4113

Great Wolf Lodge, Sandusky, OH

Great Wolf Lodge, Sandusky, OH

To sweeten the deal for families, the resort offers special Wolf Den Suites, which include a Queen bed for parents, a cave-themed bunk bed and a sleeper couch for the kids. The indoor water park has thrilling slides and pools for all ages as well as a game arcade, Magi-Quest Adventure and a bowling alley. There are various restaurants and concessions to satisfy hungry tummies. Great Wolf Lodge, 4600 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, 800 641 9653, Map

Angel Welcome Bed & Breakfast

Angel Welcome Bed & Breakfast

Angel Welcome Bed & Breakfast , 2 E Front St., Milan OH 44846, Phone: 419-499-0094

Ohio University Inn and Conference Center, Athens, OH

Ohio University Inn and Conference Center, Athens, OH

All the rooms and suites offer an elegant ambiance and little home-from-home luxuries like a fridge and microwave. The hotel has two restaurants where you can dine if you don’t feel like going out on the town. There is an outdoor pool and the Inn is surrounded by pretty gardens. They also offer a variety of special deals including a Romance Package and a Dog friendly package. Ohio University Inn and Conference Center , 331 Richland Avenue, Athens, OH 45701, 866 593 0661

The White Oak Inn

The White Oak Inn

The White Oak Inn , 29683 Walhonding Road, Danville, OH 43014, Phone: 877-908-9523

Sebring Mansion Inn and Spa

Sebring Mansion Inn and Spa

Sebring Mansion Inn and Spa , 385 West Ohio Ave, Sebring, OH 44672, Phone: 330-938-9050

The Inn at Brandywine Falls

The Inn at Brandywine Falls

The Inn at Brandywine Falls , 8230 Brandywine Rd., Sagamore Hills, OH 44067, Phone: 888-306-3381

Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack, West Virginia

Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack, West Virginia

If you love flirting with Lady Luck, the Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack is probably an ideal choice for your next weekend getaway. The Slot Machine floor is home to more than 1100 of the most popular modern slot machines and if you do get tired of the slots you can move on to play table games like Craps, Roulette, Poker and Blackjack. And then there is the racetrack, where you can bet on your favorite greyhound and watch live greyhound racing. If you can tear yourself away from the casino you will find comfortable and modern guestrooms and suites as well as several dining options. Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack , 1 South Stone St, Wheeling, WV 26003, 304 232 5050

The Welsh Hills Inn

The Welsh Hills Inn

The Welsh Hills Inn , 2133 Cambria Mill Road, Granville, OH 43023, Phone: 740-321-1493

Orchard House Bed and Breakfast

Orchard House Bed and Breakfast

Orchard House Bed and Breakfast , 4058 Columbus rd, Granville, OH, 43023, Phone: 740-651-1850

The Inn of Chagrin Falls

The Inn of Chagrin Falls

The Inn of Chagrin Falls , 87 West St., Chagrin Falls, OH, 44022, Phone: 440-247-1200

The Barn Inn

The Barn Inn

The Barn Inn , 6838 County Road 203, Millersburg, OH 44654, Phone: 330-674-7600

The Barn Inn

  • 1. The Lakehouse Inn
  • 2. A Georgian Manner Bed and Breakfast
  • 3. Trumbull and Porter Hotel
  • 4. HideAway Country Inn
  • 5. Garden Gate Getaway
  • 6. South Beach Resort Hotel, Marblehead, OH
  • 7. Garver House Bed and Breakfast
  • 8. Great Wolf Lodge, Sandusky, OH
  • 9. Angel Welcome Bed & Breakfast
  • 10. Ohio University Inn and Conference Center, Athens, OH
  • 11. The White Oak Inn
  • 12. Sebring Mansion Inn and Spa
  • 13. The Inn at Brandywine Falls
  • 14. Wheeling Island Hotel, Casino and Racetrack, West Virginia
  • 15. The Welsh Hills Inn
  • 16. Orchard House Bed and Breakfast
  • 17. The Inn of Chagrin Falls
  • 18. The Barn Inn

More Ohio Getaways:

Resources: Ohio.org , Ohio.gov , Destination Cleveland , Facebook , Cuyahoga Valley

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The Inn at Honey Run

Explore Ohio’s Amish Country While Staying at The Inn at Honey Run

Murphin Ridge Inn

Murphin Ridge Inn, Ohio

Glenlaurel Inn

Glenlaurel Inn, a Scottish-style Romantic Getaway in Ohio

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14 Unique Day Trips In Ohio That You Can't Take Anywhere Else In The World

quick weekend trips from ohio

April is the Ohio staff writer for Only in Your State. She is an Ohio native with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. With more than 10 years of writing experience and a background in news reporting for Ohio newspapers, she's published pieces in multiple print and online publications. When she's not on deadline or chasing after her toddler, she's hunting for hidden gems in Ohio or getting lost in a good book.

More by this Author

Need to escape your daily routine? Here in Ohio, you can do just that – and remind yourself that life can, in fact, be straight-up fun when we let it be. While a full-fledged vacation may not be in your budget (or schedule), the following are what we consider to be the best day trips in Ohio . These should help to refresh you, combat the weekday blues, and spice up your normal Netflix-and-chill-on-the-couch weekend routine.

quick weekend trips from ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

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Take A Stroll Down Ohio's Oldest Paved Road For A Picture Perfect Day

Take A Stroll Down Ohio's Oldest Paved Road For A Picture Perfect Day

Dine On The Water Before Boarding A Riverboat On This Delightful Ohio Day Trip On The Water

Dine On The Water Before Boarding A Riverboat On This Delightful Ohio Day Trip On The Water

quick weekend trips from ohio

quick weekend trips from ohio

With a little pre-planned budgeting and scheduling, you’d be amazed at what a liberal dose of “Carpe Diem” and a day away from your normal life can do for you. You can try it without leaving the state! Whether you are looking to explore Ohio with the fam, or you are more in the mood for fun day trips near you for adults, there is plenty to see and do in the great state of Ohio. Head out for one of the best day trips in Ohio and truly experience our fun-filled state.

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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Best day trips in ohio.

What is there to do in Ohio?

Some interesting things to do in Ohio include:

  • Jungle Jim’s International Market
  • Landoll's Mohican Castle
  • Holden Arboretum Canopy Walk

When you’re trying to think of something truly unique to do in Ohio, think beyond amusement parks, restaurants, and the usual Ohio day trip destinations. Take some take to explore some of our under-appreciated state parks, take a factory tour, and explore a castle or two. Some of the best Ohio attractions are unexpected attractions. Check out this list of hidden gems for some of Ohio’s best-kept secrets.  

What are some of the most unique places you can visit in Ohio?

Some of the most unique places to visit in Ohio include:

  • Hartman’s Rock Garden
  • World’s Largest Stamp
  • The Wall of Gum

Along with plenty of Ohio day trip ideas, there are also plenty of unique stops to take along the way. From Hartman’s Rock Garden in Springfield to the World’s Largest Stamp in Cleveland, there’s something quirky around every turn in the Buckeye State. For a list of unique day trips in Ohio and quirky stops to take in Ohio, check out our previous article about some interesting and weird places to visit in Ohio .

What are the best family-friendly day trips in Ohio?

Some of the best family-friend day trips in Ohio involve water parks, zoos, and hands-on museums. For some inspiration, check out our previous article with 13 places to take your kids so they instantly fall in love with Ohio.

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Learn how to easily plan your dream trip to the Midwest!

White and black lighthouse at end of stone wall with water splashing over it

15 Best Weekend Getaways In Ohio

August 20, 2022 by //  by  Midwest Explored 2 Comments

Are you looking for weekend getaways in Ohio? You have definitely come to the right place.

There are so many incredible things to do in Ohio .

Ohio is located in the midwest and stretches from the Ohio River and the Appalachian Mountains in the south/southeast to the shores of Lake Erie in the North.

Pennsylvania and West Virginia make up its eastern border. Indiana makes up its western border.

I am a Midwestern girl through and through. I was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio.

I love my home state and  I am going to share a wide variety of weekend getaways in Ohio with you. Some will be well known, and others will be off the beaten path.

Red wooden bridge covered with green roof, spanning river with small waterfalls in foreground. Weekend getaways in Ohio.

15 Weekend Getaways In Ohio

Spend your weekend getaway in ohio in cleveland for the big city vibe.

Located right on the shores of Lake Erie, is Cleveland, Ohio.  This cosmopolitan city has about 350,000 inhabitants, and an eclectic array of amenities to offer you.

If you are flying into Ohio, read how to avoid getting sick on your plane .

Most notable is the internationally known Rock and Roll Hall of Fame And Museum . Come and be amazed at the memories and memorabilia from all of your favorite rock and roll artists.

The Great Lakes Science Center is a great way to enrich an afternoon, located right on the water in downtown Cleveland. Take a tour of the Steamship William G Mather located adjacently for a fun history lesson.

For those art aficionados, visit the Cleveland Museum of Art . It is located on Cleveland’s east side and holds extensive collections of Asian and European art.

It is free to the public and is one of the most popular art museums in the world for its extensive collections.

How about some swimming? You can access Lake Erie’s shores at Edgewater Park.

Look here: Cleveland: Private City Tour

West Side Market is a very popular historical food market that sells fresh fruits and vegetables, all sorts of freshly baked goods. This market is a great place to have breakfast and lunch.

The Flats is one of my personal favorite places to visit when having weekend getaways in Cleveland. It is edgy and hip.

Located on the shores of the Cuyahoga River there are bars, clubs, and restaurants galore. It is a trendy place to be, with a lively nightlife.

Look here: Cleveland: Brewery Tour with Tastings

Look here: Cleveland History Center Museum

Attending a game at one of Cleveland’s professional sports teams, the Browns, the Cavaliers or the Indians makes Cleveland one of the best weekend getaways in Ohio!

And plan to explore some of the best restaurants in Cleveland!

City skyscrapers and arched bridge illuminated with pink sunset sky in background.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park 

Located along the Cuyahoga River in Brecksville,  between Cleveland and Akron, is the historical Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

There is lots to experience in this national park. There are 125 miles of hiking and biking trails, most notable is the Ohio and Eire Canal Towpath.

Riding the Cuyahoga Valley  Scenic Railroad through the park is an enjoyable and scenic way to learn the history of the area. A round-trip ride takes about three hours.

And then there are the spectacular waterfalls the park is known for. There are over 100 waterfalls in this national park, however, these are most popular with tourists: Brandwine Falls, Blue Hen Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls.

No matter the season you are planning your visit, Cuyahoga Falls National Park is one of the coolest national parks in the Midwest, and will make one of the most scenic weekend getaways in Ohio.

Large cascading waterfalls flowing over rock formations to river below. Green trees and rocks on left.

Charming Put-In-Bay

Located on South Bass Island on the shores of Lake Erie is Put-in_bay, Ohio.  

Commonly referred to as the “Key West of the North, this charming hamlet has something for everyone. Amusement park, mini-golf, museums, wineries, and even a butterfly garden!  

You can rent watercrafts, charter a boat, or visit historic sites. This town comes alive especially during the summer season when tourists descend to it to take advantage of its numerous amenities.

  There are panoramic Lake Erie water views to be had and a very hip entertainment scene with bars and restaurants galore.  Rent a golf cart or walk around to visit the numerous shops.  

Take a stroll to visit Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial where you will learn about the turning point during the War of 1812, and Perry’s immortal words, “Don’t give up the ship!”  

Visiting  South Bass Island and Put-in-Bay is one of the relaxing getaways in Ohio!   Read about the 12 best Airbnbs in Ohio here for inspiration on accommodation options!  

Aerial view of tall white monument with trees and land on either side, with water in background and foreground. Weekend getaways in Ohio.

Geneva-On-The-Lake

This tiny village of only 1200 locals has been drawing tourists since the early 1900s. And why not? Located on the shores of Lake Erie this idyllic hamlet has everything you want to have relaxing weekend getaways in Ohio.

Hiking and swimming in Geneva State Park is a great option as is walking or driving down “the Strip,” where you will feel like you have stepped back into the 1950s. The retro vibe is felt in the bars, restaurants, and arcades all along the way.

The Strip has a lively nightlife with something to please everyone young and old. Eddie’s Grill is a landmark of Geneva-On-The-Lake.

Here are more incredible things to do in Ohio to read about.

Brilliant orange and yellow sunset with pavilion on right and people on beach in background.

Cedar Point For The Thrills

One of the most fun weekend getaways in Ohio must surely be visiting Cedar Point. Who is not aware that Cedar Point is the “roller coaster capital of the world.” There is just so much to do and see!

You do not have to be a roller coaster aficionado (like me!) to enjoy one of America’s premier attractions. There are plenty of rides and attractions to keep you happy.

However, it is the vast variety of roller coasters that lure a lot of visitors to the theme park. From pint-sized coasters for the kids to the adrenalin-pumping Steel Vengeance, there is a coaster for everyone!

When it is time to switch gears, head on over to Cedar Point Shores , the accompanying 18-acre water attraction.

Here you will find rides and activities to please all ages. From kids, playing with Lemmy, the mythical Lake Erie monster, to heart-pounding water thrill rides, Cedar Point Shores has lots to offer.

Lastly, the beach at Cedar Point is calling your name.

A mile-long right on the shores of Lake Erie, Cedar Point’s beach has its own list of opportunities: rent a wave runner, go parasailing, or simply relax and enjoy the sandy beach breezes.

A weekend experiencing the thrills, chills, and amenities that Cedar Point offers would make an amazing Midwest weekend getaway!

quick weekend trips from ohio

Kelleys Island

Located 12 miles west of Sandusky, on the western shores of Lake Erie is the tiny Kelleys Island.

Named after the family from Cleveland that purchased it, Kelleys Island has been called  “an island for all seasons.”

It is one of the most popular Islands in Ohio to escape to.

Only four miles by two miles in size, you get to Kelleys Island by ferry. No cars are permitted by visitors on the island. 150 residents live here all year long, and that number swells to 1500 in the summer.

Because of the close proximity, there is ferry service to the nearby Cedar Point and Put-in-Bay.

Kelleys Island State Park has camping available with lots of amenities. There are 9 restaurants on the island. And many hiking trails. Visiting here would be the perfect Ohio day trip!

It is the glacial grooves that the tourists flock to see. Made by the movement of the glacier that formed the Great Lakes, this natural phenomenon was saved for all generations to see and learn.

Stone grooves in earth gray in color with green trees and walkways in background. Ohio weekend getaways.

Marblehead For That Vacation Vibe

Marblehead is all about easy living. And enjoying the Lake. Erie that is. Located in an area affectionately referred to as the Shore Next Door, this is a year-round vacation destination.

This is one of the top weekend getaways in Ohio because of its relaxed vibe.

The iconic Marblehead Lighthouse is still in operation guiding those on the water home to safety.

You can catch the ferry for a quick trip to Kelley’s Island, or visit Johnson’s Island Confederate Cemetery.

I have family that still vacation at Marblehead every summer. Charming restaurants, a cool shopping vibe, and quaint streets. All with that iconic Lake Erie feel. What’s not to love?

Visiting Marblehead and all it has to offer would make a great Midwest road trip .

White lighthouse with red trim and light at top with trees surrounding it and water in background.

Ashtabula For Its History And Covered Bridges

Ashtabula has an interesting and robust history.  A very quaint and charming hamlet, situated where the Ashtabula River joins Lake Erie, Ashtabula deserves a spot on your weekend getaways in Ohio list.

A visit to Ashtabula’s harbor district reveals one aspect of its past: it’s iron ore past. Once one of the largest iron ore ports in the world, these days the warehouses and bars have all been renovated into shops, restaurants, and clubs.

Overlooking Ashtabula Harbor is the Ashtabula Maritime Museum. Here you will find rooms full of exhibits and photographs showcasing Lake Erie and her shipping history. Most good, some sad.

Hubbard House explains through its exhibits just how important Ashtabula was to the Abolitionist Movement. Ashtabula was the end of the Underground Railroad where escaped slaves could catch a boat to Canada which held their freedom.

Walnut Beach is Ashtabula’s jewel with a white sand swimming beach and other amenities.

Ashtabula County is considered the Covered Bridge Capital of Ohio , with 19 equally charming covered bridges within driving distance of the city.

Ashtabula,  located on the shores of Lake Erie, with its historical stories to share, and unique covered bridges is one of the most interesting weekend getaways in Ohio!

Large iron  bridge lifted up for ships in river below to cross under. Boats in water and blue sky in background. Weekend getaways in Ohio.

Conneaut. Visit Where I spent My Summers!

Like stepping back in time, Conneaut Ohio is where I spent all of my childhood summers.

Located directly on Lake Erie on the northeastern tip of Ohio, this hidden gem in Ohio has a lot to offer.

Start out your weekend soaking in the spectacular views of Lake Erie at Lakeview Park . The iconic Conneaut Lighthouse, now a historical landmark, was a working lighthouse and used to aid in maritime navigation when I was a child.

Conneaut is renowned for its World War II D-Day Reenactment every August. There is a year-round dedicated museum as well.

You will also find an interesting railroad museum and not far out of town is Raceway 7 , with stock car racing and entertainment.

And of course, plan to spend one of your weekend getaways in Ohio days at  Conneaut Township Park. With a beautiful boardwalk and over 60 acres of amenities to offer, this is surely Conneaut’s “Diamond on the Lake.”

Water sports, picnics, family reunions, the coolest beach, and the best view of the Conneaut Lighthouse, do not miss a visit to Township Park!

After spending one of the most relaxing weekend getaways in Ohio in Conneaut, you will understand why my family chose this hidden gem in Ohio as our summer getaway!

White and black lighthouse at end of stone break wall with water splashing over. Surrounded by blue water.

Visit Columbus, The State Capital

The capital of the State of Ohio and one of the fastest-growing cities in the Midwest . Columbus may just top your list of weekend getaways in Ohio. With good reason!

There is something to please just about every interest. Start out visiting the Ohio Statehouse. 

Plan on spending time exploring the city’s Scioto Mile. Here you will find acres of green space on both sides of the Scioto River.

The trails are great for a quick run, or you can rent bicycles for a great family adventure. The interactive fountain is fun too. There are so many things to do in Columbus Ohio!

The COSI Science Center has hands-on exciting exhibits, and a visit to the Columbus Museum of Art reveals a sculpture garden and exhibits by both American and European artists.

Columbus’ German Village is a wonderful neighborhood to explore. You will see restorations of brick houses like ones built in the 1800s.

Ohio State University is also located in Columbus and a destination in and of itself.

Add shopping, dining, and dazzling nightlife options to please every taste and budget, and you will quickly realize that Columbus is one of the most exciting weekend getaways in Ohio.

quick weekend trips from ohio

Youngstown. Where I Grew Up.

I was born and raised in the suburbs of Youngstown. So I may be a bit jaded. Small towns often have a charming vibe to them, and Youngstown is no different.

About 65,000 people live in Youngstown these days.  Remembered for its steel mill history, Youngstown has reinvented itself, and there is a lot to discover.

Start by visiting captivating Mill Creek Park, definitely one of Youngstown’s hidden gems., and part of Ohio’s Metroparks System. Its Fellows Riverside Gardens, and Lanterman’s Mill, along with waterfalls and scores of trails has something for everyone.

The Beecher Planetarium on the campus of Youngstown State University offers a wealth of astronomy programs and it is free to the public. Donations are greatly appreciated though.

The Butler Museum of American Art , located nearby, houses all forms of art, all by American artists. It is also free to the public with donations optional.

If you happen to be visiting in late-August, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Canfield Fair. One of the largest county fairs in the United States, it is almost 400 acres of fair food, rides, exhibits, and concerts!

Read about 10 things to do in Youngstown Ohio for other things to do in the area. Read 15 of the best things to do in Mill Creek Park , a must-visit destination in Youngstown.

Weekend getaways in Ohio should include Lanterman's Mill in Youngstown

Chagrin Falls Has A Waterfall In Its Main Square

Chagrin Falls is a small quaint village about forty miles south of Cleveland.

It is charming and quaint and perfect for weekend getaways in Ohio.

The village has a wide variety of events, and historic architecture to admire. Known for its artistic community Chagrin Falls has ample antique shopping to leisurely pass the day away.

Trendy pubs and restaurants dot the city square, making Chagrin Falls a great weekend getaway destination!

Two cascading waterfalls rushing over rocks into pool of water below. Trees in background.

Visit Ohio’s Amish Country For Amazing Weekend Getaways In Ohio

Growing up in Ohio’s farm country, it was always an exciting day when my father took my siblings and me to visit an Amish farm. Their craftsmanship and their food were unforgettable!

These days Holmes County is home to the largest concentration of Amish in Ohio . And a visit to experience the Amish is one of the most unique weekend getaways in Ohio.

Take a drive down the county’s back lanes, but be careful of the Amish horse-drawn carriages.  You will want to keep a keen eye out for signs signaling country and antique shops. Hand-made Amish furniture and handmade Amish cheese.

Seek out the Amish quilts and oh my! especially the Amish bakeries. You can thank me later!! Take a tour of a real Amish farm.

To work off some calories, you can walk, run, or bike a part of the twenty-three-mile Holmes County Trail , which is shared with the Amish buggies.

To widen your adventures, the surrounding areas offer breweries, wineries, and lots more options for outdoor adventures!

Amish black buggies pulled by horses on long stretch of road with red barn in background. Ohio weekend getaway.

Exploring Cincinnati In Southern Ohio Is A Fantastic Ohio Weekend Getaway

Located on the north side of the Ohio River, the natural border between Ohio and Kentucky is Cincinnati. Over two million people live in the metro area and Cinci is making itself heard in the financial and economic world.

Look here: Dinner Cruise on the Ohio River

Museums, historic neighborhoods, and architecture are abundant in Cincinnati

You might want to check out the American Sign Museum , the largest public museum to signs (think neon!) in the United States.

The Cincinnati Art Museum has free admission and boasts pieces by renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh. and other pieces spanning over 6,000 years.

Look here: Cincinnati: One hour guided walking ghost tour

Take the unusual abandoned subway tour for a piece of Cinci history.  Or visit the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. Once a German neighborhood to the working-class, today it is trendy with its breweries, gastropubs, and upscale grocers.

The Cincinnati Observatory offers day tours and on clear days visitors can peek through the telescope.

Head out to the 300-acre Sculpture Park to see 60 sculptures on display. You will be able to see pieces dating back to 1500BC.

Ohio city at night illuminated with beautiful lights with water in foreground.

Visit Canton, Home To More Than The Pro Football Hall Of Fame

Making Canton one of your weekend getaways in Ohio is surely a great idea!

Everyone knows the iconic Professional Football Hall of Fame is at home in Canton, Ohio, paying tribute to America’s sport. Visitors flock here from all over the world. And that is probably where you just might head to first.

Interpretive exhibits, tours, and Super Bowl Theatre where short videos are shown, all make up one exceptional experience. Plan on spending several hours here at least.

After that Canton has lots to discover.

The Canton Arts District is a great part of the city to explore. Visit the Canton Museum of Art and the Classic Car Museum.

President William McKinley, our 25th President, is buried in Canton. You can not miss the large circular dome where his tomb is located. Close by is the McKinley Museum and Library (think dinosaurs and bees!) and Planetarium.

Circular building with stonework with bronze football figures above doorway. Steps in foreground. Weekend getaway in Ohio

Packing List for Your Weekend Getaways In Ohio

A  concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along on any of your weekend getaways in Ohio. It is always important to protect our personal information.

Read my tips on how to pack lightly here.

This  unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is  lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.

If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do,  these  RFID  sleeves are  the perfect solution.

This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.

If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an  external charging battery . This  Anker high-speed phone charging battery  is  the exact one  I carry with me on all of my trips.

It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!

I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.

My daughter gifted me with this  FugeTek selfie stick and tripod   setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and so easy to use. It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for group shots or that perfect selfie!

I was not a fan of packing cubes until I started to use them! This is the  exact set  of packing organizers I use  whenever I travel.

I cannot believe how much they really do help with the organization. If you have not considered packing cubes, I would recommend giving them a try.

Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.  You will want to bring your own  refillable water bottle  with you.

I never leave home on a trip without my  Bobble filtration bottle .  The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse.

The replaceable carbon filter ensures fresh drinking water when you want it.

Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car. Then this  collapsible silicone foldable water bottle would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.

You will want a  backpack or daypack  with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This   foldable water-resistant backpack   would be great.

It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.

Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your travel. This  antitheft backpack   has a charging port, is water-resistant, and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.

You will be walking more than usual during your weekend getaways in Ohio. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes  are a must-have. These   waterproof all-season shoes   are extremely affordable and yet fashionable.

Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these  Air Run high fashion sneakers  come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.

If you are visiting Ohio in warmer weather, maybe you want a pair of sandals  to wear to dinner or to the local cafe, I highly recommend these  Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals.

I have several pairs of Vionics that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable and have orthotic footbeds that cradle and support your feet.

We all need to  protect our eyes  from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These  unisex polarized sunglasses   come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.

If you are fond of the  aviator-style of sunglasses  these polarized aviators may interest you.

If you are in need of new luggage, this  expandable soft side spinner luggage  is affordable and comes in lots of colors.

If you like hard-sided better, then you may favor this  hard-sided luggage set  better. Both sets come with TSA locks and 8 wheels per piece.

Here I have listed 15 weekend getaways in Ohio for you to enjoy. Some big cities, some small villages. Some popular, some not so popular. I hope you enjoy visiting my home state of Ohio .

Looking down a row in a museum that looks like a city street where you find tons of old signs and neon signs. In the middle is a sign that is a large globe that sits on the ground and has a neon yellow car on the middle of the globe. One of the best hidden gems in Ohio.

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quick weekend trips from ohio

Get out and do something this weekend in central Ohio, June 6-9

C OLUMBUS, Ohio ( WCMH ) — From the Columbus Arts Festival along Downtown’s riverfront to the Summer Wine Festival at McFerson Commons Park, here are things to see and do this weekend in central Ohio.

Chappell Roan | The Midwest Princess Tour

Kemba Live at 7 p.m. on Friday

  • The pop princess, who opened for Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts World Tour” at Nationwide Arena in March, is returning to Columbus for her solo tour.

Columbus Arts Festival

Downtown riverfront on Friday through Sunday

  • The 62nd festival features more than 225 visual artists, three stages of performances and dozens of food vendors. 

Characters come to life at Storybook Village

Ohio Village from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday

  • Bring your little ones to meet celebrated characters from popular fairy tales as they roam Ohio Village and interact with visitors. 

Cap City Festival

Driving Park from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday

  • The Cap City Festival brings free entertainment, activities, resources and food into community parks throughout the city.

Columbus Summer Wine Festival

McFerson Commons Park from 1 to 7 p.m. on Saturday

  • Wine enthusiasts can expect to taste some of the very best established and up-and-coming wine brands. 

Blooms and Butterflies

Franklin Park Conservatory through July 7

  • Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Blooms and Butterflies has returned featuring various butterflies from around the world inside the largest indoor biome at the conservatory.

Short North Stage through Sunday

  • “Hair” is the iconic original Broadway rock musical featuring chart-topping hits such as “Aquarius,” “Let the Sunshine In,” and “Good Morning, Starshine.”

Top spring central Ohio events

  • This spring in central Ohio is packed with highly anticipated festivals and shows, from the reimagined Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey at the Schottenstein Center and Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Ohio Theatre to the Columbus Arts Festival.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to NBC4 WCMH-TV.

(Courtesy Photo/Joe Maiorana)

Protect Your Trip »

The most romantic weekend getaways in the u.s..

You don't have to travel far for a romantic escape.

Top Romantic Weekend Getaways

Cheers with wine glasses in a beautiful sunset beach setting.

Getty Images

Plan the perfect adventure with your significant other.

Whether you're in search of a city escape or country retreat, a spa resort or a cabin in the woods , these romantic places are the perfect place to relax and reconnect with your partner. Even if you don't yet know what you'd like to do or how far you're willing to travel, let these romantic getaway ideas – organized by state – inspire and guide your next couples vacation .

Note: Check back periodically as the U.S. News Travel team continues to add new romantic getaway ideas to this page.

The Top Romantic Getaways in California

Vineyard in Napa Valley, California.

You can find romance in Malibu or Napa Valley, but don't overlook small towns such as Carmel-by-the-Sea, a fairytale-like village with a lovely beach, or Ojai (just outside of Los Angeles), where hiking trails and boutique lodging options abound. You might also consider one of California's national parks for your romantic escape. Click here to discover the most romantic getaways in California.

The Top Romantic Getaways in Colorado

A look down Main Street in Telluride during Peak Autumn Color from the Aspens with a mountain backdrop

In Colorado, you can soak in natural hot springs, ride the world's highest cog railroad to Pikes Peak, spend the week at a dude ranch or explore the beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park (as well as the famously haunted Stanley Hotel in nearby Estes Park). Of course, there are endless opportunities for outdoor sports such as skiing, with Telluride among the most beautiful ski towns in the country. Click here to find the best romantic getaway in Colorado for you and your partner.

The Top Romantic Getaways in Florida

Florida weekend getaways

Whether you want to escape the crowds at a lesser-known beach destination like Amelia Island or spend a few days with the Mouse at a Disney resort, there are plenty of places to enjoy a couples getaway in Florida. Romantic hotels, laid-back island atmospheres and ample amenities await you in the Sunshine State. Browse the best options here .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Georgia

Most beautiful places in the world

If you're looking for an upscale destination resort with sandy beaches, romantic dinners, couples massages and the like, there are plenty of highly rated options in Georgia – from The Cloister at Sea Island to the Jekyll Island Club Resort. Couples can also find unique options such as lodging on a vineyard or in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Browse the most romantic getaways in Georgia here .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Illinois

Happy black couple having fun together in Chicago. A man and a woman holding hands and running in the city. They are laughing and looking each other. Lifestyle and happiness concepts.

Chicago is a classic choice for a romantic weekend in Illinois. But you and your beau can also escape to "The Middle of Everywhere" (otherwise known as Ottawa) for outdoor adventures in four different state parks; Galena, whose charming downtown area features a historic and elegant bed-and-breakfast ; or Zion, where you can while away your days on the shores of Lake Michigan. These are the most romantic getaways in Illinois .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Maine

Mimosas on an oceanfront balcony at Samoset Resort.

Courtesy of Samoset Resort

Quaint accommodations and scenic landscapes make Maine a fitting choice for couples in search of a complete departure from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Romantic highlights include Cliff House Maine , perched above the ocean; the beaches and small-town charm of Ogunquit; and Bar Harbor near Acadia National Park . Browse the most romantic getaways in Maine .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Michigan

Top things to do in Michigan

If you're searching for a beach vacation with your beau, Michigan should be on your short list. You can stay at the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island – only reachable by boat – or climb the dunes (and then slide back down) at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. Explore small beach towns, get out into nature, sample Traverse City's wineries and breweries, or find an urban oasis in a romantic Detroit hotel. Choose a romantic getaway in Michigan here .

The Top Romantic Getaways in New Hampshire

A couple at the Grand Tower Experience at the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa.

Courtesy of Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa

New Hampshire's top things to do span a wide variety of family-friendly activities, with some of the nation's most popular amusement parks , lake destinations and ski resorts on offer. But did you know this part of New England can also be quite romantic? Lovebirds can escape to luxury resorts including the Omni Mount Washington Resort and Marriott-owned Wentworth by the Sea , explore charming seaside towns like Portsmouth, and more on one of these romantic getaways in New Hampshire .

The Top Romantic Getaways in New Jersey

A couple watch the sun go down in Cape May, New Jersey.

It's true that Cape May is for lovers, and that New Jersey is known for its sandy beaches. But you may be surprised to discover that the Garden State is aptly named for its farms (national suppliers of blueberries, tomatoes, peaches and more) with B&Bs as well as its charming river towns, where boutique shops, cafes and lodging await couples in search of romance. These are the top romantic getaways in New Jersey .

The Top Romantic Getaways in New York

Beach Club Cabanas at Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa.

Courtesy of Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Nothing says romance like lakeside luxury and historic hotels in the Empire State. Relive movie magic in Manhattan, go glamping in the Catskills, enjoy the royal treatment at a Finger Lakes castle and more. The options for a romantic weekend (or longer) in New York state are endless, but this list narrows down the best of the best.

The Top Romantic Getaways in North Carolina

Asheville, North Carolina, USA at twilight.

There are many reasons to visit North Carolina for your next couples vacation, most notably Asheville – for its ample hikes and growing restaurant scene – and the Outer Banks, which boasts beautiful beaches and oceanfront accommodations. If you're looking for something perhaps a bit more under the radar, head to Winston-Salem for wineries or spend a few days on Bald Head Island, a remote escape just off the coast. These are the most romantic getaways in North Carolina .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Ohio

Romantic weekend getaway at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio

Courtesy of Gervasi Vineyard

Did you know Ohio has more than a dozen castles – some of which offer overnight accommodations – or that you can spend the night at a winery? Ohio also offers a wealth of outdoor adventures, from hiking in Hocking Hills State Park (where you'll want to overnight at the romantic Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls) to boating on Lake Erie, surrounded by waterfront towns such as Geneva-on-the-Lake. Of course, there are also plenty of city escapes. Click here to see some of the best romantic getaways in Ohio.

The Top Romantic Getaways in Pennsylvania

quick weekend trips from ohio

Courtesy of Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts

In Pennsylvania, you can spot shooting stars at an International Dark Sky Park ; indulge in chocolate-infused spa treatments; and stroll hand in hand along the Delaware River in New Hope, known as an especially LGBTQ-friendly destination. Lovebirds will also find couples-only and all-inclusive resorts in Pennsylvania (sometimes a combo of both) – including the Poconos' iconic Cove Haven Resorts, with heart- and Champagne glass-shaped hot tubs. Discover the most romantic getaways in Pennsylvania here .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Texas

Dawn breaks over a field of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes near Fredericksburg, Texas.

If you like wine, plan a romantic retreat in Texas Hill Country, where you can sample the region's signature reds on a wine tasting tour. Music lovers, meanwhile, should head to nearby Austin, the "Live Music Capital of the World." For history and delicious Mexican food, San Antonio is not to be missed; check out Guadalupe Mountains National Park for tent camping and other outdoor activities. There are so many places to enjoy a couples getaway in Texas; these are some of the best .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Vermont

Farm with an old wooden barn and cows grazing in a field in a colourful autumnal rolling landscape at sunset. Woodstock, VT, USA.

When it comes to romance, there's nothing quite like an escape to Vermont. You and your partner can go off the grid in quaint mountain and/or lakeside towns replete with outdoor activities – from bicycling to skiing – and a seemingly endless supply of craft beer, authentic maple syrup and cheese. Find your perfect romantic getaway in Vermont here .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Virginia

Romantic getaways in Virginia

There's nothing like watching the wild horses roam on Chincoteague Island (where you can also camp on the beach) or traversing the scenic Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park – two iconic experiences in Virginia. If an upscale destination resort sounds more appealing, book a stay at an estate with a five-star spa or a hotel with natural hot springs. Browse the best romantic getaways in Virginia here .

The Top Romantic Getaways in Wisconsin

Exterior of Canoe Bay.

Steve Niedorf | Courtesy of Escape RV

If you're looking for a romantic weekend getaway in the Midwest, consider a trip to Wisconsin. Here, Door County is especially popular thanks to year-round outdoor activities amid stunning scenery, while Lake Geneva attracts couples (as well as families) to its beaches, boating and historic inns. Visit Eau Claire for eclectic small-town charm, or reserve a suite at a romantic waterfront resort with a spa. These are the most romantic getaways in Wisconsin .

You might also be interested in:

  • Fun Adults-Only Cruises
  • The Top Adults-Only All-Inclusive Resorts
  • The Best Cheap Romantic Getaways
  • Vacation Packing List
  • The Best Vacation Rental Travel Insurance Plans

31 Charming Bed-and-Breakfasts

These are the most charming bed and breakfasts in America

Tags: Travel , Couples Vacations

World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

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Rodeo bull named 'Party Bus' jumps fence and charges spectators, injuring 3

quick weekend trips from ohio

An adrenaline-fueled bull jumped out of a ring at an Oregon arena, video shows, charging rodeo spectators over the weekend, injuring three people and sending two to a hospital.

The bull, named "Party Bus" was captured on video tossing people in its path during the 84th Sisters Rodeo , officials reported.

According to Sisters Rodeo Association , the chaotic scene took place just before 10 p.m. at the rodeo in the small city of Sisters, about 100 miles northeast of Eugene .

The association released a statement Sunday saying three people were hurt “as a direct result of the bull" and two who were taken to a local hospital.

The rodeo, also known as "The Biggest Little Show in the World," began Wednesday and ran through Sunday, according to the association's webpage.

Florida shark attacks: Back-to-back shark attacks injure 2 teens, adult near Florida beach; one victim loses arm

Videos show bull jump fence, charge person in red shirt

Before the melee , footage from the scene shows a large crowd singing along to Lee Greenwood’ s “God Bless the USA” as the bull runs loops around the arena trying to avoid a cowboy's lasso.

Immediately after the line "as I proudly stand up" from the song is sung, the bull jumps the tall fence, into a section of the crowd.

The crowd gasps, and an announcer is heard in footage saying, "There's a bull out!"

Another video posted on X shows the bull in a parking lot charge a person wearing a red shirt near a set of picnic benches. The animal makes contact with the person, flipping them high into the air. The person lands on the ground, video shows, the bull spins them with with its horns.

The bull then slams into a table, footage shows, and flees the area.

After the bull cleared the fence, the association wrote , the rodeo's announcer "immediately activated the rodeo's emergency response plan" and the bull "ran out through the rodeo grounds and back to the livestock holding pens.”

Bull captured 'pretty quick'

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Joshua Spano told local KTVX-TV rodeo officials "caught the bull pretty quick" and ambulances responded to the scene to treat the injured.

“It was secured next to the livestock holding pens by our rodeo pickup men and immediately placed into a pen,” the association posted in its statement on Facebook.

Sisters Rodeo Vice President Brian Witt told the outlet an escaped bull "is a very rare occasion. We've never had it here at our Sisters Rodeo. It does happen. But what we do is, we plan for it."

Sheriff's office Lt. Jayson Janes said a deputy, among one of the three people injured, suffered minor injuries at the scene, the outlet reported, adding the victims taken to the hospital had been released.

“We wish the best to all affected. The safety of our fans is our highest priority and we appreciate their support,” the association continued in its statement, noting Sunday’s final performance of the year would go on as planned.

USA TODAY has reached out to the rodeo association and the sheriff's office.

Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on X @nataliealund.

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  • Last Updated On
  • June 25, 2023

20 Best Weekend Getaways From Buffalo — Quick Trips!

Hazel Evans

Have you ever felt the need to escape the bustling streets of Buffalo for a weekend? 

Well, I’ve got just the solution for you. 

Having experienced these incredible destinations myself, I can confidently say that the best weekend getaways from Buffalo are just a short drive away. 

Don’t get me wrong. 

Buffalo has its own charm with its vibrant atmosphere, remarkable architecture, and sports attractions. 

But sometimes, a change of scenery is exactly what you need.

Imagine standing in awe of world-renowned waterfalls or savoring a glass of cool, refreshing wine in a picturesque vineyard. 

These are just a taste of what awaits you in the nearby cities.

So, if you’re ready to hit the road and explore, let’s dive into our hand-picked list of the most captivating weekend getaways from Buffalo. 

Get ready for an adventure like no other.

Best Weekend Getaways From Buffalo Compared

Need a break from Buffalo? 

We’ve got you covered with these awesome weekend getaways from Niagara Falls to Toronto.

Editor’s Choice

quick weekend trips from ohio

Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Resort

At Great Wolf Lodge, adventure awaits at every turn. With its expansive indoor water park boasting thrilling slides, lazy rivers, and splash zones, you’ll never run out of aquatic fun. 

  • Room Variety: 4/5
  • Comfort and Cleanliness: 4/5
  • Location: 3/5
  • Affordability: 3/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 5/5

#2nd Best Choice

quick weekend trips from ohio

Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection

Located in downtown Cleveland, Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection stands out as one of the family-friendly weekend getaways from Buffalo.

  • Room Variety: 5/5
  • Comfort and Cleanliness: 5/5
  • Location: 4/5
  • Affordability: 2/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 3/5

#3rd Best Choice

quick weekend trips from ohio

Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown

Hampton Inn & Suites is an extraordinary weekend escape tucked away in the heart of Saratoga Springs.

  • Room Variety: 3/5
  • Location: 5/5
  • Affordability: 4/5
  • Family-Friendliness: 4/5

Here are top 20 weekend getaways from Buffalo.

1. Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Resort (Editor’s Choice)

Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Resort

3950 Victoria Ave,  Niagara Falls, ON L2E 7M8, Canada (905) 354-4888 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Ratings Criteria

  • Fun-filled family experience: Children can enjoy thrilling water slides, splash pools, and interactive play areas, providing hours of entertainment and excitement.
  • All-in-one destination: Guests can have a complete resort experience without the need to leave the property, adding convenience to their weekend retreat.
  • Crowded during peak times: As a result, the resort can become crowded, which may lead to longer wait times for attractions and a less peaceful atmosphere.
  • Additional fees: While the base rate covers accommodation, water park access, and some activities, there may be additional charges for certain experiences, dining options, and premium amenities. 

At Great Wolf Lodge, adventure awaits at every turn. 

With its expansive indoor water park boasting thrilling slides, lazy rivers, and splash zones, you’ll never run out of aquatic fun. 

Beyond the water park, the resort offers a plethora of activities, including arcades, mini-golf, and a magical interactive game called MagiQuest.

What sets Great Wolf Lodge apart is its commitment to providing a memorable experience for all ages. 

From the cozy themed suites to the delectable dining options, every aspect is designed with families in mind.

2. Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection

Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection

2017 E 9th St Cleveland, OH 44115 (216) 239-1200 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Stylish and luxurious accommodation: The hotel features sleek rooms, chic common areas, and unique architectural details that create a sophisticated atmosphere.
  • Prime downtown location: Situated in the heart of the city, the hotel provides easy access to various attractions, restaurants, shopping areas, and entertainment venues. 
  • Potentially noisy environment: Light sleepers or those seeking a more tranquil environment may find it challenging to fully relax and unwind.
  • Higher price range: While the price reflects the quality and amenities offered, it may not be suitable for budget-conscious travelers.

Located in downtown Cleveland, Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection stands out as one of the family-friendly weekend getaways from Buffalo. 

This luxurious hotel offers an unbeatable blend of sophistication, convenience, and excitement. 

Its proximity to Buffalo, a mere two-hour drive away, makes it an ideal destination for a quick escape.

The hotel boasts stylish and well-appointed rooms with modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable stay. 

Guests can indulge in exquisite dining experiences at its renowned restaurants and bars, offering a range of cuisines to satisfy every palate. 

The hotel’s prime location provides easy access to Cleveland’s vibrant attractions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, professional sports venues, and vibrant nightlife. 

With its blend of urban charm and world-class amenities, Metropolitan at The 9 guarantees an unforgettable weekend getaway experience.

3. Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown

Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown

25 Lake Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 (518) 584-2100 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

  • Convenient downtown location: The Hampton Inn & Suites Saratoga Springs Downtown is centrally located, allowing guests to easily explore the city’s attractions, restaurants, and shops. 
  • Complimentary amenities: These added perks enhance the overall value of the stay and provide convenience for guests.
  • Limited on-site facilities: Guests looking for extensive recreational options, such as a spa, swimming pool, or restaurant, may need to explore additional options outside the hotel.
  • Potential seasonal crowds: During these peak times, the area can become crowded with visitors, which may affect the availability and pricing of accommodations.

Hampton Inn & Suites is an extraordinary weekend escape tucked away in the heart of Saratoga Springs. 

Despite being approximately four hours away from Buffalo, the drive itself is undeniably worthwhile.

Find solace in the hotel’s chic and cozy accommodations, accompanied by impeccable service that caters to your every whim. 

Or dive into a realm of endless possibilities, from tranquil strolls through historic parks to indulgent spa retreats.

4. Sunset Bay

sunset bay

1028 South Shore Drive Irving, NY 14081 (716) 934-9953 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Sunset Bay is a beachside resort getaway in the south of Buffalo, NY, and is well known for its waterfront attractions.

It is just 45 minutes away from Buffalo, New York.

Beach lovers can leave the bustling city behind for sandy shores and glistening waters in Sunset Bay.

The beach is vast, and you can spend the whole day lounging around or dipping in the calm waters.

You can also catch the sunset while eating in waterfront restaurants or partying all night in nightclubs.

Trust me, Sunset Bay is an excellent addition to Buffalo weekend getaways.

Recommended Hotel: Quality Inn

warren

Warren, PA (814) 723-6300 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Warren is a historic city in Pennsylvania known as the gateway to the Allegheny National Forest.

It is less than 2 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

An excellent choice for inexpensive weekend getaways near Buffalo is a trip to Warren for its fascinating history, with a beautiful historic block composed of over 600 historic buildings.

You’ll absolutely feel immersed in the past here.

Besides that, you could also go hiking around the parks in the area, whose overlooks provide stunning vistas you won’t easily forget.

Recommended Hotel: Days Inn by Wyndham Warren

Related: Hotels in Buffalo

Detroit

Detroit, MI (313) 224-3400 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan and is well known as the automobile capital of the world as well as the birthplace of Motown Records.

It is more or less 5 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

A booming cosmopolitan city, Detroit is a hotspot for different backgrounds and cultures, which makes it an exciting place to visit.

From diverse cuisines to fascinating museums, you can see them all here.

They even have a fantastic museum for the Motown music history of the city and spectacular art deco buildings to check out to see the opulence of the past.

Recommended Hotel: The Detroit Club

7. Saratoga Springs

saratoga springs 2

Saratoga Springs, NY (518) 587-3550 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Saratoga Springs is a city in New York State which has been given the nicknames The Spa City and The Racing City.

It is plus or minus 5 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

If you’re after places to go for a weekend trip near you, Saratoga Springs is perfect for rest and relaxation.

You can spend the day going around its state park, watching a horse race in the Saratoga Race Course, and more.

The city also has tons of fascinating museums to check out, with collections ranging from vintage racing cars to modern art.

Recommended Hotel: Saratoga Casino Hotel

Clayton

Clayton, NY (315) 686-3512 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Clayton is an Upstate New York town in the Thousand Islands which is prominent for its unique museums.

It is less than 4 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

This waterfront city is a popular vacation choice because of its chill, small-town vibes.

You can spend your time here by going to the lighthouse, exploring vineyards, and even checking out antique stores.

You could also grab a bite and pint at the local pub, visit the nearby islands, or even play some mini-golf in your downtime.

Recommended Hotel: 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel

9. Cleveland

Cleveland

Cleveland, OH (216) 664-2000 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Cleveland in Ohio is the largest city on Lake Erie and is notable for its museums, hiking trails, and rock and roll history.

It is about 3 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

Museum lovers are sure to appreciate a trip to Cleveland when it comes to Buffalo vacations.

Besides their incredible architecture outside, museums in the city have terrific collections, like a 1983-film set, artworks spanning 6,000 years, and even iconic rock and roll memorabilia.

That’s not even mentioning the expansive parks in the city that are perfect for spending some bonding time with the whole family, just picnicking on the grounds.

Recommended Hotel: Metropolitan at The 9, Autograph Collection

Related: Best Places to Visit Near Cleveland

10. Corning

Corning

Corning, NY (607) 962-0340 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Corning is known as America’s Crystal City and is the country’s hotbed for everything related to glass.

It is more or less 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Buffalo, New York.

The stunning architecture in Corning makes it a lovely place for photos and short weekend trips away from the busy city.

It has a more laid-back vibe that’s perfect for relaxing.

You could eat out at trendy restaurants, visit novelty museums, or go shopping at art galleries.

You can even try your hand at making glasswork in the local studios.

Recommended Hotel: Staybridge Suites Corning, an IHG Hotel

Related: New York: Weekend Getaways

11. Ellicottville

Ellicottville

Ellicottville, NY (716) 699-5046 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Ellicottville is a village in western New York famed for its world-famous ski resorts and adventure park.

It is just 1 hour away from Buffalo, New York.

You probably know Ellicottville as a premier skiing and snowboarding destination, but it’s actually a lovely area to visit year-round.

A good choice for Buffalo area weekend getaways, this small town is near places you can hike, bike, and swim at.

You can even enjoy fine dining in the restaurants around town or visit breweries for fantastic craft drinks.

Recommended Hotel: Wingate by Wyndham Ellicottville

12. Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA (412) 255-2621 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Pittsburgh is the second most populous city in Pennsylvania and is well known as The Steel City and the City of Bridges.

It is approximately 4 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

Steel City is an awesome place to go for lovers of architecture, with over 400 bridges, many skyscrapers, and inclined railways to check out around the city.

It even has a uniquely designed state park where the three rivers meet.

Of course, you’ll also be able to discover the yummiest food from local eateries, enjoy museums, and watch baseball while you’re here.

Recommended Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott Pittsburgh Downtown

Related: Fun Day Trips From Pittsburgh

13. Finger Lakes Wineries

Finger Lakes Wineries

Penn Yan, NY 14527 (315) 536-7488 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Finger Lakes Wine Country has more than 100 wineries, breweries, and distilleries.

It is roughly 2 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

When it comes to the best romantic getaways from Buffalo, wineries and vineyards are probably on top of the list.

The views of sprawling grounds and the clear waters of the lake really set the ambiance nicely.

Add to that the many wine tastings you can experience or the wine trails you can explore, and you’re in for a fun and exciting romantic weekend.

So, spend some time checking out different wineries while you’re in the area.

That way, you can compare which are the best.

Recommended Hotel: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham – Penn Yan

14. Skaneateles

Skaneateles

Skaneateles, NY (315) 685-3440 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Skaneateles is a lake town snuggled by the shores of Skaneateles Lake, which is a popular getaway for city dwellers and road trippers all over New York State.

It is around 2 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

Getaways in Buffalo and around the city all bring in unique fun, just like Skaneateles’ waterside activities.

You could simply enjoy the relaxed atmosphere or take photos of the beautiful waterfront city while you’re here.

You can also go on relaxing boat cruises, enjoy a soothing day at the spa, or watch the sunset from the waterfront gazebo in the park.

A trip to the vineyards or the lavender farm is also a fun and whimsical activity that doubles as a fantastic photo opportunity during your short vacation.

Recommended Hotel: Skaneateles Suites

15. Syracuse

syracuse 2

Syracuse, NY (315) 448-8005 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Syracuse is a city in New York State and is eminent for its museums, art galleries, cultural festivals, and its university.

It is approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Buffalo, New York.

Cheap vacations from Buffalo are easy to plan, and Syracuse is a good place to start with its many affordable activities.

You can choose to go window shopping in the largest mall in New York or visit your animal friends at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

Syracuse is also home to a few fabulous museums where you can learn about different topics in fun, engaging ways.

You could also check out the state fair if you happen to be in the city while it’s on.

Recommended Hotel: Marriott Syracuse Downtown

16. Watkins Glen

watkins glen 1

Watkins Glen, NY (607) 535-4511 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Watkins Glen is a village in Schuyler County in New York, which is famous for its automobile road racing track.

It is about 2 hours and 30 minutes away from Buffalo, New York.

An excellent choice for last minute weekend getaways from Buffalo is Watsons Glen for its exciting road races and incredible natural attractions.

While it does get busy during the days a race is on, you can enjoy the small town as a relaxing destination any other time.

Hiking through a gorge, walking behind waterfalls, and kayaking in a lake are just some of the more chill but fun activities you can do.

You can also go camping in a park or see a show in the town’s old Glen Theatre.

Recommended Hotel: Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

17. Cooperstown

cooperstown 2

Cooperstown, NY (607) 547-2411 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Cooperstown is a village in central New York State and is recognized as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Baseball fans are sure to appreciate a trip to the hall of fame and museum, but that’s not all you can do here.

Cooperstown is a pretty little village whose architecture is reminiscent of older centuries which is why it’s very picturesque.

You could also learn more about farming and folk arts through galleries, exhibits, and even a living museum showing what it was like to live on an 1840s farm.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cooperstown, an IHG Hotel

Hudson

Hudson, NY (518) 828-1030 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Hudson is a city in Columbia County in New York that offers a satisfying lineup of boutique stores, antique and furniture shops, art galleries, and restaurants.

It is a little over 5 hours away from Buffalo, New York.

If you want to enjoy a getaway, Buffalo has plenty of nearby places to visit, including Hudson.

This hip and cool city has fun and exciting activities to keep you busy, like a museum dedicated to firefighting, a 19th-century historic house, and many more.

You could even visit an idyllic circa-1874 lighthouse or spend a few hours going around the shelves of an old bookstore in town.

Recommended Hotel: Nest Hudson

19. Jamestown

Jamestown

Jamestown, NY (716) 483-7600 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Jamestown is a city in southern Chautauqua County in New York that was once called the “Furniture Capital of the World” and is now known as the National Comedy Center.

It is around 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Buffalo, New York.

Short trips from Buffalo can be spent in Jamestown, as it is near and has cool activities that you can do.

One of those is to spend some time in novelty museums, like the comics museum and Lucille Ball museum.

You can also go bird watching, see a show in the stunning Reg Lenna Center For the Arts, or visit an old Victorian home while you’re here.

If you prefer something more laid-back, a stroll along the Jamestown River Walk is a good choice.

Recommended Hotel: Doubletree By Hilton Jamestown, NY

20. Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck, NY (845) 758-3405 Visit Website Social Media Open in Google Maps

Rhinebeck is a town in Dutchess County in New York, which is notable for its museums, galleries, independent film, performing arts, and historic homes and architecture.

It is roughly 5 hours and 30 minutes away from Buffalo, New York.

The quiet town of Rhinebeck is one of the top choices when it comes to the best weekend getaways from Buffalo because of its relaxed atmosphere and trendy personality.

You can watch independent films from its cinemas, see performing arts shows, or visit galleries while you’re here.

Antique airplanes and historic mansions are some of the things you can see during your trip.

You could even ride a hot air balloon or visit the antique markets during your downtime.

And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also go hiking through Ferncliff Forest to feel closer to nature.

Recommended Hotel: Mirbeau Inn & Spa, Rhinebeck

Getaway Guide 

Comparing destinations: which one is right for you.

Choosing the perfect weekend getaway from Buffalo demands a careful comparison of options. 

Each destination carries its own charm, but the best choice will suit your budget and preferences. 

I recall a weekend at the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Resort in Niagara Falls. 

The kids were thrilled with the indoor water park, and I appreciated the budget-friendly meal options.

For a more adult-oriented escape, consider the Metropolitan at The 9 in Cleveland. 

The eclectic, urban vibe and top-tier dining at this Autograph Collection hotel provided a welcome break from my usual routine without breaking the bank.

Lastly, for a tranquil retreat, I recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites in downtown Saratoga Springs. 

A walk around the quaint city followed by a cozy night in our suite was the exact recharge my family needed. 

Remember, the ideal getaway is not just about the location but the memories you make there.

How I Picked The Destinations 

Picking the perfect getaways involves a meticulous process. 

I extensively researched diverse destinations, considering factors like proximity, uniqueness, and attractions. 

I also explored genuine traveler reviews, seeking hidden gems and local favorites. 

With an eye for detail, I delve into each destination’s accommodation options, dining experiences, and recreational activities. 

Lastly, I consolidated all this information into concise, informative reviews, enabling you to make well-informed decisions for your next adventure. 

Our Property Rating Method 

I rate these properties based on the following criteria:

  • Room Variety: I use this to rate the room options offered by every property. What room types are available? Can it accommodate different budgets, group sizes, and preferences? I ask myself these questions when evaluating the property’s room variety. 
  • Comfort and Cleanliness: This measures the overall cleanliness and comfort of the accommodations. Does it have comfortable beds? Are the rooms spotless and dust-free? These are important factors I consider when rating comfort and cleanliness. 
  • Location: This is used to evaluate how convenient and accessible the property is. How close is it to the attractions? Are there good public transportation options near the location? Is it easily accessible for families? These questions are important when I rate the location of every accommodation. 
  • Affordability: I use this to evaluate the property’s affordability. Are the room rates reasonable? Does the property have any additional fees? Does the property offer discounts or packages? I ask myself this in order to rate affordability. 
  • Family-Friendliness: This evaluates the family-friendliness of each property. Does it offer babysitting services and children’s activities? Does it have connecting rooms for families? I use these questions to rate the family-friendliness of the property. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is the best time to plan a weekend getaway from buffalo.

The best time to plan a weekend getaway from Buffalo depends on the destination and personal preferences. The Finger Lakes region is beautiful during the spring and summer when the wineries are in full swing. Allegheny National Forest is great for outdoor activities during the summer and early fall. Cleveland has a variety of events and activities year-round, so the best time depends on specific interests.

Are There Any Transportation Options Available For Weekend Getaways From Buffalo?

Yes, there are transportation options available for weekend getaways from Buffalo. It can be reached from various locations in the US, including the New York State Thruway (I-90), and Canada via the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW). Additionally, there are rail connections via Amtrak from Chicago and New York City.

What Are The Options For Food And Wine Lovers On A Weekend Getaway From Buffalo?

The Finger Lakes region is renowned for its wineries and vineyards, offering wine tastings, tours, and pairing experiences. Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario, Canada, is known for its wine country and gourmet dining options. Additionally, the city of Rochester, New York, has a vibrant food scene with various culinary festivals, farm-to-table restaurants, and local breweries.

Conclusion 

Having researched numerous best weekend getaways from Buffalo, the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark Resort certainly surpasses all others. 

Set in an idyllic location, this treasure guarantees a memorable family getaway. 

It takes pride in its exciting indoor water park, a delight for all ages with its thrilling slides and tranquil lazy river. 

The lodgings are cozy and suited for families, offering roomy accommodations and top-notch facilities. 

Unlike other nearby attractions, Great Wolf Lodge uniquely provides a variety of family-oriented activities and dining options for everyone.

what is albany famous for travel photo

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    2. Hocking Hills Hocking Hills . The southern Ohio Hocking Hills region is one of the most popular weekend getaways in the state. There are plenty of cabins to rent near Hocking Hills State Park and a stunning lodge that just re-opened with a restaurant, cozy nooks for curling up with a good book, and outdoor fire pits where you can gather with friends and take in some of the best stargazing ...

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    A home-cooked breakfast, afternoon wine and cheese, and an evening snack are all complimentary. Luncheons, fireside dinners, spa services, steam rooms, and use of the full bar in the Murphy Pub are also available. Sebring Mansion Inn and Spa, 385 West Ohio Ave, Sebring, OH 44672, Phone: 330-938-9050.

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