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40 Incredible Weekend Trips From Cincinnati, Ohio

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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
Ash Cave: 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
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
Middle Bass Island

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
West Baden Springs Hotel

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
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

Travel Time From Cincinnati: Roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes

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
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!

Budget Tip

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
Columbus Zoo and Zoombezi Bay

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!

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 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
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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 Hours

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 Bourbon Trail

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
Spend the weekend exploring Little Nashville

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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 Hours

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
Red River Gorge in West Virginia

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
Big Bone Lick State Park

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
Portsmouth Floodwall Murals

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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 hours

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
Great Smoky Mountains

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
Indiana Dunes

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
Castaway Bay

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
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
Science Central in 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.


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
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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 1 hour and 30 minutes

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
Public Art Trail in Dublin, Ohio

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!

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 Hours

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
Cake Bake Shop

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!

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 2 Hours

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
Overnight in a treehouse

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
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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 Hours

Cabin Getaways in Ohio
Salt Fork Lodge Cabins

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 Ridges in Athens, Ohio

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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 Hours

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
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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 4 Hours and 30 minutes

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
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
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
Discover Ohio Wines

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
Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari

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.

Travel Time From Cincinnati: 3 Hours

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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40 Incredible Weekend Trips From Cincinnati, Ohio

40 weekend trips from Cincinnati