I have always loved spontaneous road trips. I travelled quite a bit with my parents growing up and I have continued that tradition with my children. I have been to 41 states in the U.S., but most of my trips are much closer to home, Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati is a fantastic and interesting city in and of itself.
Fun Facts About Cincinnati:
Cincinnati is known for it’s unique chili (Skyline Chili)
It is known for Flying Pigs which comes from the meat packing industry of the early 1900’s and the Flying Pig Marathon takes place the first Sunday of every May
Greater’s Ice Cream is a favorite. You can find chocolate chips the size of a half dollar, maybe bigger.
The airport is 15 minutes from downtown and even though it is named The Cincinnati Northern Ky International Airport it is in fact located in Northern Kentucky
Cincinnati is booming with local breweries including my favorite 50 West
Cincinnati is ultra conservative, but is starting to change a bit in the last five years
Vine Street (OTR) and The Banks are drawing suburbanites downtown for great food, drinks and people watching.
Anywhere you need to go is basically a 20 minute drive or less
The first question you will be asked is where you went to HS. Yes, I agree we have far more important and interesting things to discuss, but from what I understand it is a common question in St. Louis as well.
The best part is “Cincinnati is an hour flight or a day’s drive from 60% of the US population.” According to CincinnatiUSA.com
So, It is very drivable from a few of my favorite spots. My boyfriend recently pointed out that we should explore things that our own city is famous for as well as enjoy short getaways. He has opened my eyes up and I have never enjoyed life more. I have literally lived my entire life here with the exception of a couple years of college in Michigan. We have finally been to the top of Carew Tower, Cincinnati’s tallest building with an observation deck, and we have also experienced several epic getaway adventures that I would love to share with you.
Our most recent trip was to Dayton this past weekend. It all began with instagram posts from Old Scratch Pizza that made me drool every time. Their food looked simply amazing and those of you who know me know that there is little that I enjoy more than delicious vegetarian food. So, Saturday morning, while Chris was driving Uber we texted about ideas for the night. I suggested we take my son and road trip to Dayton ( 45 minutes north) overnight to enjoy Old Scratch Pizza and then go to Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. He loved the idea and we left around 2:00 P.M..
Dayton is an easy drive up 75N. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard University location at UD. It was the perfect location for us, but there are other Marriott hotels closer to Downtown if you are not up for decent walks. This courtyard offered both an indoor pool and hot tub.
We arrived, checked in, and then soon after we began our 2 mile walk to Old Scratch Pizza. There were sidewalks and it was a peaceful walk along the river. We did pass several homeless people, but we never felt unsafe. Old Scratch pizza did NOT disappoint. There was a short line as we arrived but at 4:30 it was too early for us to order dinner. We grabbed a beer, an orange soda for Corwin, played a few video games and intermittently watched the college football games. When we were ready to order the line was out the door. Boy was it worth it though. It was refreshing to see so many vegetarian and vegan items on the menu. Corwin had a Caesar salad which was honestly not his favorite, but Chris and I split the Mushroom Pizza that was absolutely amazing. I would return in an instant. I now understand the long line, but do not let it keep you from experiencing this gem! After walking back to the hotel we enjoyed the pool. Well, we enjoyed watching Corwin and how fast he could swim strokes back and fourth while we were too full to do much but enjoy each others laughter and company.
Sunday we woke up and hit the local Panera. After we got our order we sat in the car and googled directions to our next location. Of course Aullwood Center and Farm was not open and did not open until 1 PM. So…. We did what any adventurous family would do, yes an alternate plan. The Art Institute also did not open until later in the day so as crazy flexible fun people we visited the Dayton Air-force Museum. What an absolutely amazing place. And, the best part is, it is absolutely free! We wondered around and refreshed our history lessons and knowledge. I was amazed at how much I had forgotten and also pleasantly surprised with how much my son knew.
There is much more to do in Dayton and we look forward to returning to visit the Art Institute and also some of the breweries and other fun attractions.
My Top Five Short Road Trips from Cincinnati:
Yellow Springs is roughly an hour from Cincinnati, just east of Dayton. It is an eclectic town with fun shops, restaurants, and hiking trails. Air B&B is the best bet for lodging.
Lexington, Ky is 1.5 hours south of Cincinnati and has incredible restaurants including Carson’s, Keeneland runs four weeks in the fall and four weeks in the spring, and there is hiking near by.
Red River Gorge is about 3 hours south. Although a little further drive it is definitely worth it. There are several small motels, but we have always camped. Miguels pizza is a great stop after an awesome hike.
Columbus, Ohio is 1.5 hours north on I 71. It is one of my all time favorite cities. The Short North district offers tasty bars and restaurants, German Village is fun to stroll around and look at beautiful old homes, Easton mall is about 15 from downtown and also has great places to eat and shop, but most are chains.
Clifty Falls, Indiana was about 2 hours from Cincinnati. Beautiful hiking and quaint town. We chose to camp and hike.
Do you live near Cincinnati? If so I would love to hear about fun new ideas for places to visit so please comment below! If you make it to town let us know and maybe it would be fun to connect in person! Wherever you are try to fully enjoy your home town and do not be afraid to branch out and explore neighboring towns. Our next goal for what to explore in Cincinnati is Taft Museum, one more place Chris and I have never been.
Thanks for taking the time to read this long blog. If you found it helpful or interesting please scroll down under the hashtags and hit the little heart to give this some love. Meanwhile we wish you an inspiring start to your new week!
P. S. Stay tuned for next week’s blog about Unconditional Love. Fairy tale endings and lasting happiness truly do exist.