2021 Summer Guide: Get Away from It All While Staying Close to Cincinnati

Recharge your batteries with a nearby staycation.

May 14, 2021 at 10:59 am
Hocking Hills - Photo: Always Shooting, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
Photo: Always Shooting, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.jpg
Hocking Hills

If you’re looking for the chance to escape the bustle of the city this summer, there are plenty of peaceful getaways within a three-hour drive of Cincinnati.

Recharge your batteries by exploring the backwoods of Ohio and Kentucky, basking in the sun and listening to the birds. Don’t forget to grab a board game, dig out the bug spray and throw some Rhinegeist brews into a cooler to complete your summer journey!


Flemingsburg, Kentucky; 1.5-hour drive

The Concord, a renovated tiny home available on Airbnb, lets guests experience luxurious cozy living while relaxing among the rolling hills -- all under the clear blue sky and without trading in modern amenities. This one-bedroom stay has an upstairs loft perfect for extra friends or any little ones along for the ride. The tiny home is a short walk away from the vineyard and restaurant owned by the hosts, which means the view is fantastic and the wine is even better. Searchable on airbnb.com.


Hocking Hills, Ohio; 2-hour drive

For the outdoorsy folks with a passion for sustainability, the Box Hop is a treehouse built from three ship-ping containers. High up among the branches, up to eight guests can savor morning coffee or mimosas on the deck and later enjoy the twinkling lights once the sun goes down and the stars come out. The modern, sleek interior doesn’t let you forget you’re on vacation, and neither does the six-person hot tub. The rooftop patio is perfect for sunbathing with a refreshing cocktail after a hike through Hocking Hills. Searchable on airbnb.com.


Logan, Ohio; 2-hour drive

Experience one of Hilltop Resort and Campground’s newest additions while immersing yourself in Ameri- can history. The Conestoga Wagon is an 18-foot covered wagon converted into a quirky four-person getaway. Covered wagons were a large part of early American transportation, both for goods and for people, but Laura Ingalls Wilder definitely didn’t have amenities like a king-size bed, twin bunks beds, air conditioning or Wi-Fi. Bathrooms, showers and laundry can be found throughout the campground. Searchable on campspot.com.


Ripley, Ohio; 1-hour drive

Nestled between Eagle Creek and the Ohio River, this waterfront cabin gives guests the chance to dip their toes in the water, glide along the river on a pedal boat or relax in a lawn chair around the firepit. There’s no wifi here, but within a 20-minute drive, guests can find “award-winning wineries, antique shopping, many excellent restaurants, and four golf courses,” according to the Airbnb listing. Catfish and bass reside in the river, making this cabin one of the best spots for deepwater fishing in southwestern Ohio. Searchable on airbnb.com.


Red River Gorge, Kentucky; 2-hour drive

Named the Theodore Overlook after President Theodore Roosevelt, the creator of the U.S. Forest Service, this tiny house is burrowed within the Daniel Boone National Forest. It’s perfect for vacationers who want to spend their days hiking the hills of Kentucky before returning to a quaint, but modern abode. This tiny house has two queen beds, multiple deck areas and a hot tub to rest those sore muscles. Be prepared to climb a ladder to one sleeping area! Searchable on airbnb.com.


Yellow Springs, Ohio; 1-hour drive

If you prefer a town getaway, The Lavender House is within walking distance of downtown Yellow Springs. Stocked with coffee and tea, and equipped with a private back deck, this quaint, pale-purple dwelling is the perfect spot for a weekend getaway with your favorite person. Enjoy all that a small town has to offer before returning to your colorful abode. According to CityBeat readers, Yellow Springs is the third-best place to visit within a 150-mile radius. Searchable on airbnb.com.


Logan, Ohio; 2-hour drive

This giant yurt is part of Hillside Retreats’ campground, which is perfect for those who want “a get-away of both relaxation and recreation,” according to the listing. Your friends surely will be jealous when you tell them you lived in a unique, rounded structure over the weekend. Within the 20-foot Hummingbird Yurt, there is a queen bed, kitchenette, bathroom and shower. End your night sitting by the campfire, chilling in the hot tub, or partaking in giant Jenga and shuffleboard games. Searchable on airbnb.com.


McDermott, Ohio; 2-hour drive

This circular cabin is perfect for fans of open-concept homes. Immerse yourself among the trees at this rustic lodge that has walls of windows that fully connect you with nature. The centerpiece of the home is the towering, stone fireplace where guests can snuggle up. There’s also an outdoor firepit that gives a stellar view of the stars. Just ten minutes away is downtown Portsmouth, where vacationers can find restaurants if they don’t want to use the in-cabin kitchen. Searchable on airbnb.com.


Pine Ridge, Kentucky; 2-hour drive

Situated among sandstone bluffs sits a cabin just minutes from Natural Bridge State Park, Red River Gorge and the Daniel Boone National Forest. Grill out on the porch or gather around the firepit in the shadows of a rock shelter. With three beds, up to eight people can accompany you on your journey to nature, and at 1,800 square feet, there’s plenty of room to spread out. Searchable on vrbo.com.


Hocking Hills, Ohio; 2-hour drive

If you’re looking to bring along more than just a few friends — or maybe celebrate a post-COVID family reunion — this 17-person cabin in Hocking Hills can accommodate. Complete with a game room, three-tier theatre and a heated pool, this is where nature meets luxury. Hike around Hocking Hills and take in all it has to offer, before retiring to the firepit to play bocce ball and cornhole. With seven bedrooms and five bathrooms, you can trust that everyone will be comfortable. Find it at laurelrunfarm.com.

All listings are subject to change and have their own rules. Read individual listings for full information.

Still craving more? Read our full 2021 Summer Guide issue or check out these activities: