10 Weekend Getaways in Ohio: From Amish Ambiance to Hippy Haunts

Ohio is one of the most diverse states in the country. These weekend getaways in Ohio cover everything from Amish ambiance to hippy haunts.

Ohio’s Amish country. At every turn, I’m finding picturesque rural scenery punctuated by horse and buggies clip-clopping past barns and fields of hay.

I head into a home-based Amish shop near Berlin, Ohio to browse a selection of candles. A sliver of sunlight streams through the window, running against the side of a young girl’s face as she takes a whiff. She’s the shopkeeper’s daughter. When I ask her mother if I could publish the photo, say says, “I think so, but you’ll have to talk to the Bishop.”

These special moments, unique to Ohio travel, are everywhere across the state whether it’s chatting with the master brewer about his new batch of IPA in Cleveland, having a scoop of ice cream with a young entrepreneur in Columbus, or screaming your head off as you plummet down Cedar Point’s Millenium Force.

Any of the following weekend getaways in Ohio will be worth your while to better understand this incredibly diverse state.

Berlin: Experience Another Way of Life

Laura Blake

Few places in the United States can instantly transport you back to the 19th century like Amish Country where horse and buggy remain the preferred mode of travel. Holmes County, in particular, is home to the world’s largest settlement of Amish, a group of traditionalist Christians, who are known for eschewing the conveniences of modern technology and choosing simple living, plain dress and careers in farming or skilled trades, such as furniture making, construction and more.

Berlin Grande Hotel

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (1670 reviews)

Cleveland: Blend Into The Melting Pot

During the industrial revolution of the late 19th century, Cleveland was considered one of the richest cities in the world. The great city on a Great Lake produced a president and made guys like Rockefeller absurdly wealthy.

Enticed by the city’s prosperity, immigrants came from all over the world looking for jobs in manufacturing and construction, bringing their artistic sensibilities, customs and family recipes that are reflected in the many world-class cultural institutions, architectural treasures, and ethnic restaurants.

The Westin Cleveland Downtown

8.4 Very good (1572 reviews)

Cincinnati: Good Times in the Queen City

Laura Blake

Whatever your idea of fun might be, there’s a good chance Cincinnati has you covered. Family-friendly staples like the Cincinnati Zoo, Cincinnati Museum Center and Kings Island certainly help the Queen City earn a soft spot in the hearts of traveling kids, but its nightlife options and affordability make it a special place for grown-ups, too.

Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza

8.1 Very good (1843 reviews)

Columbus: An Incubator for the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Tim Trad, Unsplash

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “as Ohio goes, so goes the nation” in reference to U.S politics. But when it comes to food and retail fashion, the state’s capital city of Columbus has historically set trends. As a test market for large companies like Wendy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch and the parent company of Victoria Secret, and Bath and Body Works, shopping and dining is an ongoing experiment, especially at Easton Town Center, a shopping, and entertainment complex designed as a self-contained small town.

Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square

7.8 Good (1625 reviews)

Dayton: Where History Takes Flight

Laura Blake

Before North Carolina was declared first in flight, inventors Wilbur and Orville Wright were busy working on their heavier-than-air flying machine in the back room of their Dayton bicycle shop. It’s also where they perfected, tested and manufactured subsequent designs, including the Model B, the first ever mass-produced aircraft. To this day, the legacy of the two brothers is alive throughout the town where there are many other sites that will thrill aviation enthusiasts and history buffs.

Marriott at the University of Dayton

Top rated
8.5 Excellent (1400 reviews)

Logan: Gateway to the Great Outdoors

Laura Blake

The Hocking Hills region has enchanted visitors with its natural beauty since the first inhabitants came to the area about 7,000 years ago. The area is known for stunning waterfalls that cascade into deep gorges and acoustically resonant recess caves carved into sandstone cliffs. Adventure awaits those ready to lace up their hiking boots and explore the deep corners of the park’s rugged wilderness.

Holiday Inn Express Hocking Hills-Logan

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (2939 reviews)

Marietta: A Tale of Two Rivers

Visit Marietta Ohio

Located at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers, Marietta was founded in 1788 by the first Euro-American pioneers coming to the Northwest Territory. The town also had significant importance for ancient indigenous cultures that built mysterious ceremonial and burial mounds thousands of years earlier. While those first settlers sought to preserve Marietta’s ancient earthworks, many were dismantled a century later for construction projects in the quickly growing river town and trading center.

Three segments of the Marietta earthworks are maintained as public parks today: Mound Cemetery, Quadranaou Park, and Sacra Via Park. To find out more about both Native American history and that of America’s initial westward expansion, visit the Campus Martius Museum.

Quality Inn Marietta

7.4(1191 reviews)

Oregon: Swamps, Bogs, and Marshes

Until the 1850s, the Great Black Swamp — an oozing mass of mud, water, trees, plant life and disease-carrying mosquitoes — blanketed Northwest Ohio and Indiana. Illnesses like malaria, cholera, and typhoid ran rampant among those who tried to settle in the region. As soon as they could, immigrant farmers fell trees and drained the wetlands, which created fertile farmland in its place. Now, only about five percent of the swamp remains in places like Metzger Marsh, Magee March, and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge near Toledo.

Maumee Bay Resort & Conference Center

8.4 Very good (535 reviews)

Sandusky: Capital City of Kid-Friendly Fun

Like other towns on the Great Lakes, Sandusky boomed as a fishing port and commercial transportation hub but then had to reinvent itself after the advent of automobiles and trucks at the beginning of the 20th century. At the time, tourism was already on the rise with city dwellers, and the mile-long Cedar Point Beach was the place to be.

Great Wolf Lodge - Sandusky OH

8.3 Very good (1803 reviews)

Yellow Springs: Where Good Vibes Bubble Up


Yellow Springs has a colorful history and not just because it got its name from a natural spring that’s so rich in iron ore that it paints the surrounding rock a yellowish-orange hue. After it was discovered sometime around 1800, people began flocking to the area to seek out its curative properties, including the town’s founders, a communal group seeking a utopian society. It failed to materialize, but the ultra-liberal Antioch College planted roots in town and Yellow Springs has quickly earned a reputation for being progressive and inclusive.

Yellow Springs is now a mecca for artists and creative thinkers who contribute to the vibrancy of this quirky and quaint community where nothing is cookie cutter. Independent-owned shops, galleries and restaurants reign supreme along Xenia Avenue, the main artery through the small village. Visitors can dine on locally-sourced seasonal specialties at The Winds Café and find one-of-a-kind gifts from Bonadies Glass Studio and Yellow Springs Pottery.

Mills Park

Yellow Springs
9.6 Excellent (521 reviews)

Feature image courtesy of Laura Blake