Going to a university located in a city is undeniably great and comes with a plethora of perks. That being said, it's always nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Cincinnati, the stress of homework and exams. So, take a short weekend trip away from Clifton to relax and reset. Here are five nearby destinations that are great for a weekend getaway or the upcoming fall reading days.
Hocking Hills, a favorite of many in the Ohio Valley, is the ideal place to get away for a few days in the autumn. This state park has a number of campgrounds and cabins for overnight travelers. Located in the Hocking State Forest, visitors are surrounded by an explosion of colors when the leaves change in October.
Visitors can take in the autumnal beauty by hiking one of the many trails through the state park. Those who aren't into hiking can see the leaves by gliding over the treetops through one of Hocking Hill's three zipline companies. The region is also home to the Bob Evans' Farm Festival [Oct. 8 – 10], a craft fair celebrating its 45th anniversary this year and the Circleville Pumpkin Show [Oct. 18 – 21] - a festival dedicated to all things pumpkin.
In Lexington, Kentucky, Keeneland allows visitors to experience one of Kentucky's most famous traditions: thoroughbred racing. Every fall, Keeneland's Fall Meet, Oct. 8 – 31 this year, draws thousands of people of all ages to the park for horse races from Wednesday to Sunday. Tours are also available through the property, designated as a National Historic Landmark and known for its beautifully landscaped grounds.
Located just an hour's drive from campus, Springfield offers a mix of art, history and outdoor recreation. The Westcott House, designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, is open for home tours designed in Wright's signature style. The property also is the site of the Solar Decathlon House. This home combines sustainability and aesthetic appeal to "gain a better understanding of the opportunities for community improvement presented by creative and innovative design," according to their website.
Also in Springfield is Hartman Rock Garden, a sculpture garden that was created entirely out of stones. Visitors can go on a self-guided tour through a maze of stone recreations of famous locations such as the Betsy Ross House and the White House. Springfield's other highlights include Buck Creek State Park, equipped with trails and campgrounds, and the Springfield Art Museum, which highlights American art from the 18th century up to today.
Ohio Caverns, the largest cave system in the state of Ohio, is just under two hours away from campus and open year-round for visitors to explore. Guests can take an hour-long tour through the system that stays at a constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the entire year. The winter tour [Oct 1 – Apr 30] gives visitors a historical background on the cave before taking them to see some of the cave's highlights, including the "Big Room," the largest room of the cave and "Fantasy Land," named after the large number of soda straws and helictites in the room.
Red River Gorge
The most popular part of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky, Red River Gorge, features campsites, mountain climbing and zip lines. Those looking for a unique experience can check out Thrillsville Adventure Park, which offers kayaking and boat rides through an underground cavern. Also popular at Red River Gorge is Natural Bridge State Resort Park. Here, visitors can hike or ride a lift to see this 65-foot-tall natural sandstone arch. Located just down the road from Natural Bridge, Kentucky Reptile Zoo offers the chance to see over 75 species of reptiles, including one of the largest collections of venomous snakes in the world.