The state capital of Ohio, Columbus is a fascinating city named after one of the most famous explorers of all time – Christopher Columbus. While it is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, the city has plenty of art and culture to offer to its visitors. From Columbus Zoo and Aquarium to Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens to the North Market, there is no shortage of things to do and see here.
If you are planning to visit the city and would like to spend a few weekends exploring the places around Columbus, here are our top 5 weekend destination recommendations from Columbus:
The Hocking Hills, also known as the Hocking Hills State Park or Hocking Hills State Forest is an outdoor lover’s dream. With its many caves, waterfalls, and hiking trails, it is a perfect setting for a relaxing weekend getaway. Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, and Rock Bridge are some of the most popular hiking trails here. You could also enjoy zip lining with Hocking Hills Canopy Tours. Last but not the least, don’t miss out on a trip to Hocking Hills Winery to taste some fine wine.
Best Time to Visit: The most recommended time to visit the Hocking Hills is in the winter. Not only are the state parks a winter wonderland, but they are also less crowded.
How to Reach: To get to Hocking hills, you could either rent a taxi, drive or take a bus. All of them take roughly the same time. However, a drive would take only $6 to $8 in fuel whereas a bus ticket would cost $33 o $42 and a rental taxi would cost between $120 to $150.
Just under an hour from Columbus, Yellow Springs is a great place for a weekend and even a day trip. Infamous as a ‘hippie town’, the town offers much more than just that. A town full of nature and plenty of hidden natural sights, Yellow Springs is home to Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, a perfect hiking spot with stunning limestone and dolomite gorges. Some other popular places to visit here include Glen Helen Nature Preserve, John Bryan State Park, and Village Artisans Gallery.
Best Time to Visit: Yellow Springs can be visited any time of the year.
How to Reach: The most convenient and cost-effective way of traveling between the two locations is by a self-driven car. It will take around an hour and cost $6 to $8 in fuel.
The second-largest city in Ohio, Cleveland portrays modernization with a rustic hint. Flats East Bank, the convergence of Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie, is where all the action takes place. History buff would enjoy a stroll through the city’s famous Historical Warehouse District, Gateway District, and the spectacular museums that Cleveland has to offer. Don’t miss out on Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Great Lakes Science Center during your visit.
Best Time to Visit: The preferred months to visit the city are between September and October or April and May as the temperatures aren’t freezing like in the winter months or hot and humid like in the summer.
How to Reach: There are direct buses and flights to Cleveland from Columbus. A bus ride would take under 3 hours and cost between $21 to $30 whereas getting a flight would cost up to $310 for the same duration.
Nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan. Chicago is one of the most popular getaways from Columbus as well as other parts of the United States. Lovingly known as “the Windy City”, Chicago is known for its vibrant cultural scene, enriching arts scene, brilliant shopping avenues, and intriguing architecture. When here, you absolutely cannot miss a visit to Millennium Park and take a photo with the iconic 110-ton Cloud Gate sculpture. The Navy Pier, the Water Show at Buckingham Fountain, and 360 Chicago are a few other important places. List of top weekend getaways from Chicago.
Best Time to Visit: To avoid the extreme summers and winters in the city, visit in late Spring, early summer, or early fall; more particularly the months of May, June, September, and October.
How to Reach: You could take a flight to Chicago O’Hare or Chicago Midway. Both will take under an hour and a half but the former would cost between $60 o $160 while the latter would take between $250 to $700. If you are on a budget, you can also get on a direct bus that will take 7 to 8 hours and cost $30 to $95.
Located in the southeast of Lake Michigan on White River, Indianapolis is a typical Midwest city that is most famous for “Indianapolis 500” – an annual car race held on the Sunday just before Memorial Day and is the largest single-day sporting event in the world. But, there’s a lot more to the city than just this. Take your kids for a morning out at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis or enjoy legendary artworks by Picasso and Rembrandt at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. If you are interested in wildlife, you can also pay a visit to the Indianapolis Zoo.
Best Time to Visit: If you are planning your trip around Indianapolis 500, then you should probably visit end of May. If not, then Fall is your best bet.
How to Reach: The easiest way to get to Indianapolis from Columbus is to take a Greyhound bus that will take three hours and cost within $35.