25 Weekend Roadtrip Ideas Within Driving Distance of Cincinnati

After a rather isolating year, (many) folks are all vaxxed up and ready to get out and explore the world again. But you don't have to go far to satisfy that travel bug. There are plenty of destinations within a five hour drive of Cincinnati. From state parks to Bavarian or beach towns, distilleries, theme parks and more, here's some nearby spots for when you're feelin' wanderlust. 
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Ohio Caverns
2210 OH-245, West Liberty, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
The Ohio Caverns is the largest cave system in Ohio and contains a plethora of crystal formations throughout this 35-acre park. The cavern stays at 54 degrees year-round and people from all around the world come to discover different colors and formations including The Crystal King, the largest stalactite in Ohio. Reopens to the public on March 15. 
Photo via Facebook.com/OhioCaverns

Ohio Caverns

2210 OH-245, West Liberty, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
The Ohio Caverns is the largest cave system in Ohio and contains a plethora of crystal formations throughout this 35-acre park. The cavern stays at 54 degrees year-round and people from all around the world come to discover different colors and formations including The Crystal King, the largest stalactite in Ohio. Reopens to the public on March 15.
Photo via Facebook.com/OhioCaverns
Rabbit Hash, Kentucky
Distance: 45 minutes
A scenic, 45-minute drive southwest takes you to Rabbit Hash, known for its historic general store and electing dogs as its mayor. Rabbit Hash General Store was known as “the best known and best preserved country store in Kentucky,” until it was destroyed by a fire in 2016. It was later restored and reopened in April 2017.  
Photo via Facebook.com/RabbitHashKY

Rabbit Hash, Kentucky


Distance: 45 minutes
A scenic, 45-minute drive southwest takes you to Rabbit Hash, known for its historic general store and electing dogs as its mayor. Rabbit Hash General Store was known as “the best known and best preserved country store in Kentucky,” until it was destroyed by a fire in 2016. It was later restored and reopened in April 2017.
Photo via Facebook.com/RabbitHashKY
Frankenmuth, Michigan
Distance: 4 hours and 45 minutes
This little Bavaria, located about an hour an half away from Detroit, is the perfect weekend getaway. With German-inspired architecture, food, and activities, Frankenmuth is sure to sweep you away to a small village in Germany. Although it is best known for Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas store in the world, the fun doesn’t stop there. Shop for authentic grandfather and cuckoo clocks at Frankenmuth Clock Company, enjoy classic chicken dinners at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth and Bavarian Inn Restaurant, and even take a boat tour down the Cass River that runs through town.
Photo via Facebook.com/Frankenmuth

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Distance: 4 hours and 45 minutes
This little Bavaria, located about an hour an half away from Detroit, is the perfect weekend getaway. With German-inspired architecture, food, and activities, Frankenmuth is sure to sweep you away to a small village in Germany. Although it is best known for Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, the largest Christmas store in the world, the fun doesn’t stop there. Shop for authentic grandfather and cuckoo clocks at Frankenmuth Clock Company, enjoy classic chicken dinners at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth and Bavarian Inn Restaurant, and even take a boat tour down the Cass River that runs through town.
Photo via Facebook.com/Frankenmuth
Hocking Hills State Park
19852 OH-664, Logan, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Hocking Hills State Park has five different sections within the 9,000+ acres of land to explore. Millions of guests embrace the forest year-round by hiking, rock climbing, canoeing and camping on one of the 200 campsites in the area. A must-see is Ash Cave, an out-of-this-world rock formation that just so happens to be the biggest recess cave in the state.
Photo via Facebook.com/HockingHillsStatePark

Hocking Hills State Park

19852 OH-664, Logan, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Hocking Hills State Park has five different sections within the 9,000+ acres of land to explore. Millions of guests embrace the forest year-round by hiking, rock climbing, canoeing and camping on one of the 200 campsites in the area. A must-see is Ash Cave, an out-of-this-world rock formation that just so happens to be the biggest recess cave in the state.
Photo via Facebook.com/HockingHillsStatePark
Mammoth Cave National Park
1 Mammoth Cave Parkway Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Distance: 3 hours
Mammoth Cave, the largest cave system known in the world (400+ miles to be exact), is just a 3-hour drive south of Cincinnati. The park offers tours of the caves, hikes, canoeing on the Green River, horseback riding, camping and much more. 
Photo via Facebook.com/MammothCaveNPS

Mammoth Cave National Park

1 Mammoth Cave Parkway Mammoth Cave, Kentucky
Distance: 3 hours
Mammoth Cave, the largest cave system known in the world (400+ miles to be exact), is just a 3-hour drive south of Cincinnati. The park offers tours of the caves, hikes, canoeing on the Green River, horseback riding, camping and much more.
Photo via Facebook.com/MammothCaveNPS
Louisville
Distance: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Louisville is Kentucky’s most populated city with an endless amount of things to do year-round. Visit the historic Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory where they have been making the famous Louisville Slugger bats since 1884. Bask in historic architecture while walking through the Historic Old Louisville neighborhood, which has the nation’s largest group of Victorian mansions. Or, if you’re visiting during the first week of May, you have to experience “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” at the world famous Kentucky Derby. 
Photo via Facebook.com/GoToLouisville

Louisville

Distance: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Louisville is Kentucky’s most populated city with an endless amount of things to do year-round. Visit the historic Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory where they have been making the famous Louisville Slugger bats since 1884. Bask in historic architecture while walking through the Historic Old Louisville neighborhood, which has the nation’s largest group of Victorian mansions. Or, if you’re visiting during the first week of May, you have to experience “The Most Exciting Two Minutes In Sports” at the world famous Kentucky Derby.
Photo via Facebook.com/GoToLouisville
Red River Gorge
Robbie Ridge Road, Stanton, Ky.
Distance: 2 hours and 15 minutes
In east-central Kentucky, you'll find the Red River Gorge, where the land is rich with sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, natural bridges and trails that draw in hundreds of hikers and campers every year. The large amount of sandstone has made “the Red” one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the world. You also can’t forget to stop by Miguel’s Pizza on Natural Bridge Road while you’re there — a Red River Gorge tradition.
Photo: Catie Viox

Red River Gorge

Robbie Ridge Road, Stanton, Ky.
Distance: 2 hours and 15 minutes
In east-central Kentucky, you'll find the Red River Gorge, where the land is rich with sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, natural bridges and trails that draw in hundreds of hikers and campers every year. The large amount of sandstone has made “the Red” one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the world. You also can’t forget to stop by Miguel’s Pizza on Natural Bridge Road while you’re there — a Red River Gorge tradition.
Photo: Catie Viox
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum
1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton
Distance: 45 minutes
This sculpture park sits on over 300 acres and features more than 60 outdoor sculptures, which can be seen throughout the many hiking trails, lakes, trees, hills and meadows. Though the Ancient Sculpture Museum is currently closed for maintenance until further notice, visitors are still welcome to roam around the outside park and view the large monumental sculptures. Educational programming for children is provided in multiple ways, and leashed pets are invited to Pyramid Hill as well.  
Photo via Facebook.com/PyramidHillSculpturePark

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum

1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton
Distance: 45 minutes
This sculpture park sits on over 300 acres and features more than 60 outdoor sculptures, which can be seen throughout the many hiking trails, lakes, trees, hills and meadows. Though the Ancient Sculpture Museum is currently closed for maintenance until further notice, visitors are still welcome to roam around the outside park and view the large monumental sculptures. Educational programming for children is provided in multiple ways, and leashed pets are invited to Pyramid Hill as well.
Photo via Facebook.com/PyramidHillSculpturePark
Bass Islands
Distance: 3 hours and 45 minutes + ferry ride to island
Just north of Sandusky, Ohio, you’ll find North Bass Island, Middle Bass Island, and South Bass Island, surrounded by the beautiful water of Lake Erie. The Bass Islands are small in size, but there’s more than enough to do with state parks, boating, water sports, eating and shopping. North Bass Island, however, is only open for camping. Put-In-Bay, located on South Bass Island, is considered “The Key West of the North” and has a great nightlife scene and many places with live entertainment. To get there, you’ll have to take a ferry, boat or plane, but these little islands are worth the trip.
Photo via Facebook.com/PutInBayOhio

Bass Islands

Distance: 3 hours and 45 minutes + ferry ride to island
Just north of Sandusky, Ohio, you’ll find North Bass Island, Middle Bass Island, and South Bass Island, surrounded by the beautiful water of Lake Erie. The Bass Islands are small in size, but there’s more than enough to do with state parks, boating, water sports, eating and shopping. North Bass Island, however, is only open for camping. Put-In-Bay, located on South Bass Island, is considered “The Key West of the North” and has a great nightlife scene and many places with live entertainment. To get there, you’ll have to take a ferry, boat or plane, but these little islands are worth the trip.
Photo via Facebook.com/PutInBayOhio
Lake Cumberland
Distance: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Lake Cumberland is another tourist favorite in southern Kentucky. This huge reservoir is the place to be on a warm, sunny day for boating, fishing, jet skiing or just cooling off in the water. You can stay in a houseboat, cabin, hotel or camp.  
Photo via Facebook.com/LakeCumberlandKY

Lake Cumberland

Distance: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Lake Cumberland is another tourist favorite in southern Kentucky. This huge reservoir is the place to be on a warm, sunny day for boating, fishing, jet skiing or just cooling off in the water. You can stay in a houseboat, cabin, hotel or camp.
Photo via Facebook.com/LakeCumberlandKY