Don’t let the winter blues get you down. Now that much of the snow has melted and it will likely be a couple weeks until we get another round of snow, take advantage of the break in harsh winter weather and hit the road this weekend. The following 11 attractions make excellent road trip destinations that won’t break the bank, require more than one tank of gas or need more than a day or two’s time.
1. COSI (Columbus)
Indulge your inner mad scientist with this one of a kind, hands-on science museum in Columbus. In 2008, Parents Magazine named COSI the #1 science museum for families in America. With constantly updated exhibits, it's tons of fun for both kids and adults alike. COSI is located at 333 W Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215.
2. The Chateau Laroche (Loveland)
April Dray/Only In Your State
Also known as the Loveland Castle, this lovely little medieval structure was built by hand—brick by brick—by one man, Sir Harry Andrews. Today, it is open for the public to view for $6 a person, and is operated by modern day knights. You can visit in October - March on Saturdays and Sundays from
11 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Loveland Castle Museum is located at 12025 Shore Rd., Loveland, OH 45140.
3. The Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Tour
Drive through America’s shortest and longest covered bridge along this scenic route, which features a total of 18 covered bridges in Ashtabula County, with 16 of them drivable. Begin your drive at the Windsor Mills Covered Bridge near Orwell and end your journey at Creek Road Covered Bridge near Kingsville. To view a map of the complete route (including four separate tour options,) click
4. National Museum of the United States Air Force (Dayton)
Learn about the history of our nation's development in aviation at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, where admission is FREE. It is located at 1100 Spaatz St., Dayton, OH 45431.
If you’ve ever heard of a tiny town called Peninsula, Ohio, you should know it’s a must-visit that belongs on your bucket list. Blending natural beauty with modern amenities, this town beautifully preserves a rural setting in an urban environment. It's a charming village that sits in the middle of the stunningly beautiful Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
6. Velvet Ice Cream Factory (Utica)
There’s no place quite like the Ye Olde Mill in Utica—where you can see how Velvet Ice Cream is made, take a free tour of the mill and try delicious flavors of ice cream you won’t find anywhere else. It is located at 11324 Mt Vernon Rd., Utica, OH 43080.
7. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum (Hamilton)
Within this outdoor museum, you'll find a wide variety of sculptures standing in meadows, forests and gardens. The park also features an indoor Ancient Sculpture Museum, which displays Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Etruscan sculptures that are thousands of years old. Admission is $8 per person. Children ages 6 - 12 are $3 and children 5 and under are free. (Prices for special events vary.) Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park is located at 1763 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton, OH 45013.
8. The Amish Country Scenic Byway
The Ohio Amish Country Byway includes more than 160 miles of beautiful countryside, weaving through several Amish towns and counties. It's such a heartwarming drive to take, no matter the season. For specific routes and other information, click
9. Marblehead Lighthouse State Park (Marblehead)
Explore the gorgeous grounds of Marblehead Lighthouse, which is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the U.S. side of the Great Lakes, and visit the lighthouse’s museum in the Keeper’s House. Tour the actual lighthouse for just $3. You'll find it at 110 Lighthouse Dr., Marblehead, OH 43440.
The small town of Zoar, Ohio is a historic German village most people in the state (surprisingly) don’t know about. Beautifully preserved and full of fun places to explore, you’ll fall in love with this little-known town. The village of Zoar has more than 50 of the original historic structures and buildings still standing today. Consequently, the town has preserved much of its old world charm.
11. Oak Openings (Swanton)
Close to Toledo you'll find what's considered to be Ohio's rarest ecosystem (and one of the world's rarest ecosystems) where rare plants and animals, oak forests, sand dunes, savannas, tall-grass prairies and swamp forests all thrive in harmony. The Oak Openings Preserve Metropark is located at 4139 Girdham Rd., Swanton, OH 43558.