Weekend Getaways in Ohio

An introduction to weekend getaways in Ohio

The Buckeye State has got it. Fun weekend getaways in Ohio are much easier to find than the state’s reputation would suggest. Let us take you on a tour through some of the best getaways available. Maybe you are looking to surprise your better half on one of the romantic getaways in Ohio, or rather take along the kids for one of the many fun-packed family getaways in Ohio.

Whichever of the above applies to your plans, the diverse landscapes of the state are a treat in itself. Ohio can be categorized in five distinct regions:

  • Northwest Ohio: you will mostly find farmers here, as well as the city of Toledo
  • Northeast Ohio: dominated by the city of Cleveland and its surroundings, bordering Lake Erie. To the south you can head into the hills towards the Allegheny Mountains.
  • Mid-Ohio: you will come across Columbus, the state capital, surrounded by more farm lands
  • Southwest Ohio: less flat and much more beautiful hills continuing into Kentucky. You will not want to miss Cincinnati, the Queen City.
  • Southeast Ohio: as you get closer to the Appalachian mountains, you will find typical coal-mining towns and the amazing Wayne National Forest.
Rural landscape in Ohio

Rural landscape in Ohio

As you can see, weekend trips in Ohio can easily be customized. More of an outdoors person?

The hilly and mountainous South has you sorted out, or head to the amazing Cuyahoga Valley National Park, just 20 miles outside of Cleveland. City dwellers can go wine and dine in the great cities of Cincinnati and aforementioned Cleveland.

You can visit an Amish farm, head to one of the most exciting amusement parks in the Midwest, or take a cruise to one of the small islands in Lake Erie. There really is something for everybody!

Relaxing romantic getaways in Ohio

Choices for romantic weekend getaways in Ohio are plenty: the beautiful foothills to the South of the state, as well as coal-mining country towards the Appalachian Mountains are only two of the options. These are especially good for romantic cabin getaways in Ohio, which provide a classy and comfortable way to surprise your loved one.

Ohioans themselves also have quite a few good ideas for weekend getaways for couples in Ohio, as collected by Ohio Magazine back in 2011. When asked where they liked to stay the most, these were some of the answers:

  • the beautiful two-storey suites at the HideAway Country Inn, Bucyrus
  • the Hocking Hills Cabins near Wayne National Forest
  • for the especially adventurous: staying in a Mongolian Yurt (tent) at Nomad Ridge in Cumberland
B&B for a relaxing romantic getaway in Ohio

B&B for a relaxing romantic getaway in Ohio

Of course, you should include some fine dining in your weekend getaway. It is not only for current love birds, but also for those looking to rekindle their relationships during anniversary getaways in Ohio. Here is a non-exhaustive list of romantic restaurants in the Buckeye State:

  • Pier W in Cleveland, a lakefront landmark with stunning architecture. Be sure to try the bouillabaisse, a French fish soup. The wine list is fantastic.
  • The Celestial Steakhouse in Cincinnati has one of the most breathtaking views of the city. All the meat mainstays are available, but do not pass on the fish and crustacean options either.
  • M at Miranova in Columbus. Be sure to find a table on the patio, overlooking the Scioto river and the capital’s skyline. Especially extensive is the scotch list, with more than 20 single malts to choose from.

There is more to romantic getaways in Ohio than just the sleeping and the food. Some of the other most romantic places to spend an hour or a day include:

  • the privacy and mind-blowing views of Eden Park in Cincinnati
  • Findley State Park, where you can hike the day away
  • Huntington Beach, especially when the sun sets, in Bay Village

Fun family getaways in Ohio

Family weekend getaways in Ohio can be as fun and action-packed as you like. You and your kids can scream your lungs out at one of the world’s fastest roller coasters at great amusement parks, or discover many different animals at the zoo in Toledo, Cincinnati or Columbus. Water sports are widely available, so take your family kayaking or just spend the day at the beach. Some of the best fun is tucked away in-state, here are some off the beaten track tips:

  • Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center and The Butterfly House at Put-in-Bay. A beautiful Ohio Natural Landmark, this cave is situated on South Bass Island in Lake Erie. Take the Tour Train to the Family Fun Center, and discover more than 500 different butterflies from across the globe.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, very close to the center of Columbus, has extensive indoor and outdoor green spaces, and cool exhibitions to keep your young ones entertained for the day.
  • EnterTRAINment Junction provides the world’s largest indoor train exhibition. Basically a huge kid’s playground, if you are considering heading to Southwestern Ohio with your family, you will not want to miss this. It was voted Ohio’s Best Family Entertainment Center. Find it in West Chester.
  • For a real taste of Africa, head out to the African Safari Wildlife Park in Clinton, the only place in the Midwest where you can experience a drive-through safari. Over 400 different animals roam the place, and it also offers animal shows on a daily basis. Your kids can even get out of the car and enjoy a camel ride! Note that the park is open seasonally, from March 1 through December 1.
Alaska Bears in the Columbus Zoo

Alaska Bears in the Columbus Zoo

There are hundreds of entertaining and educational activities for you and your kids in the Buckeye State. Remember that some of the attractions are seasonal, so always check opening hours before planning your family getaway.

Other ideas for weekend getaways in Ohio

Some of the above mentioned activities can put a hole in your wallet a bit too quickly. Rest assured there are also many cheap getaways in Ohio. You could consider visiting a baseball game at one of the minor-league clubs, like the Akron Rubberducks or the Dayton Dragons. Tickets can be found for under $10. Another way to save is spend the night in one of the State Parks, which have extremely economic sleepover options, like yurts and camper cabins. And do not forget the cheap thrills of hiking in some of the most beautiful forests of the state, like Wayne National Forest.

When planning with friends, a great option is one of the cabin getaways in Ohio. Most of the State Parks offer different types at various price levels, and entertainment is right at your doorstep with the many hiking, biking and zip lining activities available. Do not forget about shopping either: the state is littered with outlet malls that will quench any shopping thirst.

Last but not least we can recommend any of the spa getaways in Ohio. There are some truly spectacular spas to be pampered, reload and refresh. Some of the better options:

  • The Spa at Cedar Falls, in Hocking Hills. Surround yourself with luxury for either half a day, a day or the entire weekend! Fine dining is also available.
  • The Spa at Glenmoor caters to avid golf fans as well, with a full 18-hole course on the premises. It has many different packages to choose from, with our favorite being the “Ultimate Spa Experience”, with a Swedish massage and exfoliation, among others.

These are just some of the ideas for end of the week getaways in Ohio, a state that truly provides fun, relaxation and romance for any type of tourist. Looking for more getaways? How about the Lone Star State?​

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Steve