Coined The Quieter Island, Kelleys Island is a nature sanctuary not far from the coast. To get around the island, bring your bike or car on the ferry, or you can rent bikes and golf carts when you get there. Nature nuts have over 800 acres of State Park and protected areas to explore; like the famous Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve, a National Natural Landmark and the world’s largest example of its kind. Get up close with nature’s beauty in the new Monarch Butterfly Box and Caterpillar Cafe. Lake lovers can soak up swimming, fishing, boating, and kayak experiences. Head downtown to visit restaurants, galleries, shops and shacks.
Vacation like a Rockefeller in this getaway town that has been a favorite for 150 years. The charm of what local’s call the Strip is the reason that some don’t let a year go by without their annual visit to Geneva-on-the-Lake. Take the Summer Fun Heritage trail of 30 markers along the Strip that tell the story of the last century and a half. Charter a boat at the Geneva Marina for the best walleye fishing in the world. Take a zipline canopy tour, play a round of mini golf, race go carts or simply relax on the beach.
Known as “The Little Switzerland of Ohio” for its namesake architecture and murals, Charm is in Holmes County, home to the second largest Amish community in the world. The Centerpiece of Charm is Keim, family-owned business founded as a lumber mill and now a 50-acre complex offering kitchen cabinets, an assortment of toys and board games, patio furniture, playground equipment, housewares and seasonal décor. Stock up on delicious chesses at Guggisberg Cheese, home of the Original Baby Swiss! For a very authentic experience, Troyer’s Amish Tours hosts meals with Amish family members in their homes. Whether your vision of relaxation is taking in the sights while sipping a glass of wine or galloping through the vista, both are possible at the Guggisberg Swiss Inn which has its own on-site Doughty Glenn Winery and Amish Country Riding Stables.
Escape to this historic town notable as Ohio’s first and third state capital and home to Adena Mansion and Gardens, the estate of Thomas Worthington, Ohio’s sixth governor. The home includes many original furnishings and beautiful formal gardens. The downtown has been restored to its architectural beauty and is bursting with delightful shops and restaurants worth a visit including Pump House Center for the Arts, Nellie Dog Pottery & Paints, Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop and Highland’s Ice Creamery. For littler travelers, check out Mighty Children’s Museum while the earthen mounds at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park will capture everyone’s attention.
Stroll the streets of this tree-lined New England-style village, shop the boutiques on Broadway and dine at local restaurants. Stay the night at the historic Buxton or Granville Inns. Walk the beautiful campus of Denison University and explore its museum housed in Burke Hall comprising nearly 8,000 objects from Asia, Africa, Europe, and North and Central America. On summer Sundays, take in a game of polo on the great lawn of Bryn Du Mansion, and for outdoors lovers, opportunities abound including the TJ Evans Bike Trail, Robbins Hunter Gardens and Dawes Arboretum with is vast 1,800 acres including eight miles of hiking trails, a four-mile car tour and impressive views atop the observation tower.
If any town can take you back to the 60’s, it’s Yellow Springs. Find murals, sculptures, and tiny pieces of groovy art everywhere you go. This picturesque town is completely walkable, and your feet can take you from your hotel to a nature preserve and lunch all in one afternoon! Visit the serene Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, then head to one of the many shops for local art. If you’re a pet owner, your fido will love it here as most businesses are dog friendly and many eateries offer outdoor seating. If you’re with the kiddos, Young’s Jersey Dairy, famous for their ice cream is a great a stop. Be sure to visit local favorite, Yellow Springs Brewery for a refreshing pint.
Quietly nestled in Appalachia, you’ll only see Athens once you’ve crested the hills that surround it. Built around the historic campus of Ohio University, Athens is most known for its brick-lined streets, international food offerings, and its artistic flair. Perfect for weekend trips or extended stays to unplug, the best way to see Athens is with a pair of walking shoes and an empty stomach! Stroll through its many boutique shopping experiences and grab lunch on the go! Take a tour of campus, which dates back to 1804, or pack a picnic for a hike in Wayne National Forest or Strouds Run State Park. Make sure to check out Stroud’s Boat House, for kayaks, canoes, paddling. Hop on your bike and get on the Hocking Adena Bikeway to visit Athens' neighbor, Nelsonville, where you can pick up handmade ceramics and catch a show at Stuart's Opera House!
History buffs will find this wonderful town located at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers a true gem! Marietta is the first permanent organized settlement in the Northwest Territory and features beautiful parks, 19th-century architecture, brick streets, historic landmarks, and museums. Take in the sights and sounds of the Ohio River with a cruise on the Valley Gem Sternwheeler and explore the history of the Northwest Territory at the Campus Martius Museum and the Ohio River Museum, whose exhibits bring to life the history of the Ohio River and its importance relating to the expansion of our country. Spend your evening with a restful stay at the historic Lafayette Hotel situated on the banks of the Ohio River, as the early settlers did in 1788.