Day trips and weekend getaways with the best views
Sometimes, all it takes is a nice drive around the block to clear your mind and restart your mood. Other times, it takes a little more than that. Luckily for Ohioans, our state has so much to offer when it comes to road trips. From coastal views to cliffs and rolling hillsides, our landscape delivers when it comes to beauty. Throw in fun stops along the way that are both culturally and historically enriching, and you’ve got yourself a full package deal! Here are some of the best scenic Ohio drives, for when you’re ready to hit the road.
Hocking Hills Scenic Byway
Spanning from Rockbridge to Logan, Ohio, this roughly 30-mile scenic Ohio drive is certainly a beautiful one. You’ll travel through the rolling hills and exposed cliffs of Hocking Hills State Forest, with plenty of stops along the way. Parks like Cantwell Cliffs, Conkle’s Hollow and Ash Cave make for great places to hike or just snap a few pictures. You can see a bit of history at Rock Cave, where Native Americans once sheltered. And if you’re looking to stay for a night (or several) there are plenty of campsites, cabins, and cottages. Those looking for a slightly less “wild” stay can find comfort at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls.
Ohio River Scenic Drives
This route is about 289 miles and travels from Cincinnati to Wheeling, Ohio. It moves along the winding Ohio River, so you’re sure to see plenty of beautiful water views. You’ll travel through lovely towns and have an opportunity to visit some historical sites as well. Stop at the Historic Fort Steuben or the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to learn about some of our state’s exciting past. Or stroll through some of the 60,000-acre forest and former hunting grounds of the Shawnee Indians at Shawnee State Park. Plenty more parks, museums and resting points can be found along the way.
Covered Bridge Scenic Byway
This scenic drive spans 66 miles from Marietta to Woodsfield, Ohio, and runs along the Muskingum River. Several covered bridges can be found along the way, creating plenty of great photo opportunities for drivers. Convenient tour markers lead drivers through multiple different stops, where they can see much more than just bridges. Historic sites like old oil wells and the Ring Mill House can also be found along the way. There is even a convenient brochure for drivers to read and learn about the stops on the drive. This scenic Ohio drive is a must for beautiful countryside views and great historical stops.
Ohio Amish Country Byway
From about Killbuck to Walnut Creek, Ohio, this scenic drive follows roughly 160 miles of curving roads and rolling hills. Drivers will travel back in time and see the “unplugged” living of the Amish community while traveling through beautiful countryside. The Amish & Mennonite Heritage Center is the perfect place for some history. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and taste Amish cuisine or do some shopping at Amish stores along the way. You can enjoy truly homegrown and handmade items from places like Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen. Cabins, cottages and inns, along with wineries and breweries along the way mean this scenic drive could very easily turn into a weekend getaway.
Lake Erie Scenic Ohio Drive
The Lake Erie Scenic Byway spans over 290 miles from Conneaut to Toledo, Ohio, and closely follows the Lake Erie coastline. You’ll have plenty of waterside views for photo ops, along with great stops along the way. Leave your car (or take it with you) as you take a ferry to Kelleys Island. You can boat, fish, or visit the local shops, eateries and wineries. Stop at one of the maritime museums along the route, like the National Museum of the Great Lakes. Or drive by the Marblehead Lighthouse for some truly breathtaking views. Spend a day or a whole weekend enjoying all the best that Lake Erie has to offer.
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