When the weekend arrives, what do you usually do? It’s always nice to get away for a little while and explore someplace new—but that doesn’t mean you have to leave the state to do so. Here in Ohio, there’s truly something for everyone when you’re looking for a weekend adventure. From incredible places in nature and historic towns to beachfront attractions and amazing museums, here are 16 undeniably fun weekend road trip destinations in Ohio.
1. Hocking Hills
Book a stay at a cabin, explore Old Man's Cave and try something new. With several state park activities and nature preserves in this beautiful region of Ohio, you can go horseback riding, rappelling, kayaking and so much more.
2. Marblehead Lighthouse State Park
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.
3. The Three C's
Visit your favorite Ohio city for a weekend and indulge in some of the state's best food, bars, shopping and more. Shake things up and become a tourist for a day with a walking, boat or Segway tour.
April Dray/Only In Your State
Ohio history buffs will especially appreciate this getaway. This gorgeous Warren County city is home to a beautiful downtown, several antique and gift shops, a scenic railway and more. Be sure to grab a meal (or stay overnight) at The Golden Lamb, which is Ohio's oldest continually operating hotel and restaurant. Established in 1803, it's hosted several famous guests such as Charles Dickens, Mark Twain and several U.S. Presidents.
5. Yellow Springs
Yellow Springs, Ohio is arguably one of Ohio’s most special towns—because it’s full of one-of-a-kind character you just won’t find anywhere else. As a quaint college town full of color, plenty of things to do in nature and even a mobile "tiny home" or two, there’s truly nowhere else in Ohio quite like Yellow Springs. Be sure to visit Young's Jersey Dairy, Glen Helen Nature Preserve and Clifton Mill while you're in town.
6. 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
The historic riverboat town of Marietta is known as the first permanent settlement of the Northwest Territory. The town borders West Virginia and is nestled along the banks of both the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers. It's also known for its Victorian-style houses, European ambience, brick streets and sternwheelers.
8. The Wilds
Although Ohio is full of several impressive zoos, The Wilds in Cumberland offer a unique way to observe exotic animals. Depending on the tour option you choose, you can get an up-close encounter with the animals or board a Safari Transport so you can observe them (from a safe distance) roam freely while learning all about the rare and endangered species the facility conserves. The Wilds is located at 14000 International Rd., Cumberland, OH 43732.
9. Ohio Amish Country
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
10. Cuyahoga Valley
Explore our state's very own national park, brush up on your history and board the scenic railroad in the gorgeous northeast region of Ohio. (Pictured is the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.) Don't forget to stop by Brandywine Falls!
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.
The Lake Erie Islands are truly incredible. One of our favorites in particular is South Bass Island, often called the "Secret Midwest Playground" and home to the small town of Put-In-Bay—which has plenty to do and see. Boating, shopping and camping are just a few of the things you can do here. (We recommend renting a golf cart so you can easily explore the whole island.)
13. Oak Openings
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.
14. Roscoe Village
Roscoe Village in Coshocton, Ohio is a charming canal town Ohio history buffs will absolutely love. Complete with horse-drawn canal boat rides, living history tours and old-fashioned shops, this is one town everyone in Ohio needs to explore at least once. (Even if you don’t consider yourself a history buff, you’ll fall in love with the old world charm and beautiful surroundings.)
15. National Museum of the United States Air Force
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.
16. Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park and Museum
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.
Have you explored any of these places before? What other destinations would you add to this list? Share your photos, experiences and recommendations with us!