Need a Getaway from Cincinnati? Here Are Five Filled with Romance
Whether you're leaving the kids behind or bringing them with you, Cincinnati residents have plenty of options for a romantic weekend out of town. And if you can’t get away? Don’t worry, there's an in-town romantic break for you too.
1. Hocking Hills, Ohio
Known as the most romantic getaway in Ohio, Hocking Hills is less than three hours from Cincinnati. Take a romantic picnic aboard the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway (33 West Canal St., Nelsonville, OH) and enjoy the gorgeous views; trains run all year, though less frequently in the winter. You can have a picnic enjoying the same views without the need to buy a ticket anywhere in Hocking Hills State Park. Rent a cabin or a budget campsite at Smoke Rise Ranch Resort (6751 Hunterdon Road, Glouster, OH), and go horseback riding, help the cowboys or relax and watch the wildlife. A Georgian Manner Bed and Breakfast (29055 Evans Road, Logan, OH) provides romantic waterfront stays in an 1840s farmhouse.
2. Amish Country, Ohio
The perfect excuse to leave the kids at home is to stay at an adults-only hotel, like the Inn at Honey Run (6920 Co Road 203, Millersburg, OH), a boutique hotel in the center of Amish Country. A three-hour drive from Cincinnati, this tranquil 39-room hotel sits amid 56 acres of forest. You might not even miss the kids as you curl up next to your cottage fireplace after dinner at the inn’s award-winning Tarragon restaurant. You can buy the inn’s honey in the gift shop to prove you didn’t forget about your darlings. In nearby Berlin, take a ride in an Amish buggy, shop for crafts and antiques (there's lots of seasonal gift shopping) or visit wineries and museums.
3. Louisville, Kentucky
An hour and a half away in Louisville, splurge on a romantic balloon ride over the Ohio River and the city’s museums and sports fields. If you’d prefer to stay closer to the ground, try a horse-drawn carriage. For something in between, and at no cost, hike up Iroquois Park Hill, and you’ll have worked up an appetite for an elegant dinner for two. Book the Ultimate Romance Package at the 21C Museum Hotel (700 West Main St., Louisville, KY), which includes breakfast and dinner, champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries and an in-room couples massage. Not to worry if the weather is best suited to an indoor day, because you're staying on the four-block-long Museum Row. Several museums have free entrance, or buy a Main Ticket for 50 percent off regular admission prices. It's okay if you don't have time for each of the six attractions; the ticket is good for a whole year.
4. Marblehead Peninsula, Ohio
Driving all the way up to the Marblehead Peninsula on Lake Erie brings you to quaint villages perfect for a break from busy, big-city life. Buy a pass to get into the lovely town of Lakeside in the summer (there's no charge off-season). Tour the lighthouse at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park (110 Lighthouse Drive, Marblehead, OH), visit the roadside stands for local produce and take a ferry ride to one of the nearby islands. The area is perfect for just relaxing too. Cedar Point Amusement Park (1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH) is nearby if you’d like a little adrenaline to kick-start your weekend. There's a bed-and-breakfast for every budget; a mid-range choice that gets rave reviews is Red Fern Inn at Rocky Point Winery (111 West Main St., Marblehead, OH).
5. Eden Park, Cincinnati
If you don't have the time or budget to leave the city, why not head over to Eden Park (950 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH) for a romantic afternoon? You can stroll through garden pathways to Mirror Lake, make a wish in the Bettman Fountain, watch riverboats cruise below in the Ohio River or just gaze into each other's eyes at the pavilion. If it's too cold outside, check out the exhibits inside the Cincinnati Art Museum (953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH). General admission is free, and special exhibit tickets are only $10. Share a dessert at the Terrace Cafe before you return home.
Johanna Read is a Canadian freelance writer and photographer specializing in travel, food, and responsible tourism. Writing for a variety of Canadian and international publications, she likes to encourage travel that is culturally, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Links to all her travel stories are at www.TravelEater.net. Follow her on Twitter @TravelEater and on Instagram @TravelEaterJohanna.