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An Ohio Less Ordinary

As the colors of the leaves morph into a singed orange and yellowish hue, the days begin to quicken in pace, brimming with the seemingly inescapable monotony of the daily hustle. This isn’t seasonal depression folks, this is autumn existentialism—a period for deep contemplation, relaxation, and most importantly, a grand pilgrimage away from home. Well, [...]
Danny Hamen

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As the colors of the leaves morph into a singed orange and yellowish hue, the days begin to quicken in pace, brimming with the seemingly inescapable monotony of the daily hustle. This isn’t seasonal depression folks, this is autumn existentialism—a period for deep contemplation, relaxation, and most importantly, a grand pilgrimage away from home.

Well, at least for the weekend.

That’s why we compiled a list of the most scenic, relaxing, and reasonably priced Ohio getaways that you can escape to when you get a case of those fall blues. Bring a couple friends, your significant other, and a bottle of whiskey: it’s time to get therapeutic.

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21C Museum Hotel (Cincinnati)

21cmuseumhotels.com/cincinnati

We wouldn’t send you to just any hotel. What we would do is send you to a hotel that doubles as a contemporary art museum. Relax in a modern and lavish hotel room and explore one of the many creative exhibits around the hotel, including the cutting edge Healing Tiles—a custom algorithm that creates a glowing pool of organic patterns in the lobby hallway—or the Lightmail—a shimmering spectrum of color that emanates from the nine-story interior solarium.

Landolls Mohican Castle (Loudonville)

landollsmohicancastle.com

Castle in Ohio? Yeah, it’s real. And it was recently visited and given a shine by everyone’s favorite Scottish bad boy, Gordon Ramsay. Landoll’s Mohican Castle is giant hotel nestled in Amish Country where you can enjoy massages, spas, giant pools, and even late-night ghost hunts. Give yourself that royal treatment—peasant life will be waiting for you when you get back home.

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The Inn at Honey Run (Millersburg)

innathoneyrun.com

Panoramic countryside views, private cottages, contemporary styles, wood burning fireplaces, and a taste of Amish Country: all great reasons to visit The Inn at Honey Run. If you want a place to cozy up and forget about the tedium of city life—or perhaps get an extra taste of Columbus culture with the Inn’s Open Air art gallery—we recommend a week-long stay.

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Gervasi Vinyard (Canton)

Gervasivineyard.com

You don’t have to be in Cali to get your hands on some top-notch Cab anymore. Gervasi Vineyards boasts a variety of award-winning wines, making them a destination for wine connoisseurs from around the country. More than 30 types of artisan wines are produced exclusively from Gervasi’s six acres. Take a winery tour, prance around the vineyard, and stay in one of their upscale boutiques. Remember, you don’t have to spit out the wine if you don’t want to.

Punderson Manor (Newbury Township)

pundersonmanorstateparklodge.com

If you ever secretly wanted to live the lavish life of Mr. Burns, we recommend Punderson Manor (pictured, top)—a cozy English Tudor-style mansion burrowed in the rolling hills of Newbury Township. If you are unable to get a sitter for your screaming offspring, they are offering a seasonal special where kids stay for free. With an 18-Hole Championship Golf Course, indoor heated pools, archery, and much more, this is a getaway suited for the whole family.

Pine Lakes Lodge (Salesville)

pinelakeslodge.com

Pine Lakes is a place for romance. Their 11,000-square-foot lodge hidden in the forest of Southeastern Ohio makes for a textbook getaway for you and your starry-eyed lover. Whether you stay in the lodge for a unique bed and breakfast or in a rustic secluded cabin, this is an experience that creates memories that last a lifetime—or at least memories you can fantasize about when you are back at the office.

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Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls (Logan)

innatcedarfalls.com

Nothing is more Ohio than the iconic Hocking Hills. And nothing is more atmospheric than a cabin in Hocking Hills. Complete with cabins, cottages, spas, and outdoor Jacuzzi tubs, this hour-and-a-half drive takes you far away from the frustrations of city life. Take a hike, as they say. Well, now is your chance.

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The Mohicans Treehouses (Glenmont)

themohicans.net/treehouses

Yeah, they are houses in trees. No joke, you can live like an Ewok for a weekend. Designed by Pete Nelson, treehouse designer and star of Discovery Channel’s hit series, Treehouse Masters, these comfortable and cozy accommodations break from the standard norm of autumn getaways. Just don’t get too sloshed—it’s long way down from this top bunk.

Inn Walden (Aurora)

yourwalden.com

“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” This motto by Henry David Thoreau embodies the mission of the Inn Walden—that simplicity is key to a happy life. Sometimes that is found on the back of a horse, beside a fireplace in a cozy lovers suite, or playing a round of golf on a luxurious course. Simple pleasures create the best memories. Cheers Thoreau, you were a king among men.

The Yurts at Nomad Ridge at TheWilds (Cumberland)

thewilds.columbuszoo.org

If you didn’t already know, rhinoceros live in Ohio—Cumberland, Ohio to be exact. Now, not only are you able to go on a safari adventure, The Wilds offers luxury yurts for guests 21 and up—a nomadic style structure made of canvas stretched over a wooden frame. Built over bamboo floors and equipped with a private bathroom, these modernized accommodations offer a unique and luxurious way to spend a weekend away.

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Getaways

Worth the Drive: Charming Tuscan wine getaway just 2 hours from Columbus

Regina Fox

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What if I told you Tuscany was only two hours away? Okay, okay, so it's not actually Tuscany, but it certainly is a taste! I'm talking about Gervasi Vineyard near Canton, Ohio. This scenic wine resort will transport you out of the mundane scenes of Ohio into a 55-acre European destination with its delicious wine, delectable food, and delightful accommodations.

The Wine

Ohio will never be Italy or even Napa Valley, but Gervasi's operation could give them a run for their money. All wines are made from hand-selected from Gervasi's five-acre vineyard, and the three grape varieties allow more than 20 delicious wines to be made for your drinking pleasure.

The Food

Gervasi Vineyard has four—count 'em FOUR—dining options throughout its beautiful campus to suit every social need. The Bistro serves rustic, upscale Italian cuisine in a beautifully-restored, historic barn. The Crush House is a more laid-back, contemporary dining option with soups, salads, sandwiches, and, of course, lots of wine. If you visit Gervasi in the warmer months, you'll want to check out The Piazza—an outdoor dining area with views of Gervasi’s spring-fed lake, yard games, and live music. And finally, The Still House is an intimate, chapel-inspired attraction offering signature Gervasi Café coffee and pastries by day and distilled spirits by night.

The Stay

After a long day of sipping merlot, you ought not get behind the wheel. Instead, lay your little lush head down in any one of Gervasi's three overnight options: a boutique hotel, a rustic farmhouse, or, my personal favorite, The Villas.

Entering these Tuscan-inspired suites is like stepping foot onto Italian soil. Cozy fireplaces, heated travertine floors, and European décor provide an environment so rich and cultural you'll forget you're actually in northeast Ohio. And when you wake up in the morning, all snug in your big comfy bed, a complimentary breakfast will be waiting for you in the lobby.

Things To Do

In addition to the obvious—vineyard tours, distillery tours, eating, drinking, being merry—Gervasi has a robust events calendar during every season. For the warm months, you can twist alongside the grapevines with yoga classes, and dance around the fire pits to outdoor concerts. When the temperature dips down, Gervasi moves inside with holiday events, culinary classes, and live music.

Gervasi Vineyard is 1700 55th St. NE Canton, just about two hours from Columbus. To make reservations and learn more, visit gervasivineyard.com.

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Getaways

4 cozy cabins in Ohio that’ll make winter your favorite season

Colleen Quinn

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Yes, winter is cold, but with cold comes cozy! 

Picture this: You’ve got your fuzzy socks on, a cup of hot coco in one hand, and a good book in the other. The sound of a crackling fireplace lingers in the background as you glance out to the snow-coated country side and realize…you are in your own little snow globe paradise!

Sounds lovely doesn’t it?

Oh, and let us not forget the best part…hot tubs! There is something so satisfactory about soaking in steaming hot water as the chill of winter wonderland beauty surrounds you, am I right?

No need for winter blues when you can create your own winter oasis at one of the many cozy cabins located right here in Ohio!  

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

A perfect place for a relaxing cabin getaway. The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is tucked away on 75 acres of woodland forest, conveniently surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Park. Enjoy a secluded and relaxing weekend soaking in the whirlpool hot tub, snuggling up by the gas log fire, and enjoying the peaceful serenity provided by the wintery nature around you. 

Freshly-baked cookies always await your arrival here and all accommodations include a hearty breakfast, too.

Oakwood Cabins

Also located in the winter wonderland of Hocking Hills are the cozy log cabins of Oakwood. Each charming yet modern cabin is set in a secluded location, giving you the privacy required for a rejuvenating getaway. Feel the cold breeze on your face as you sink into the screened-in outdoor hot tub and relax away each day by watching old DVD’s. If adventure is calling your name, strap on some winter hiking boots to explore the nearby Ash or Old Man’s Cave!

Murphin Ridge Inn

Escape to the Amish country of southern Ohio this winter by visiting the quaint cabins at Murphin Inn. Marvel at the snow-coated views of the Appalachian foothills, spanning across 140 acres of rolling woodland and farm. Spend the day exploring the Amish-owned boutiques, antique shops, and bakeries in the neighborhoods nearby. Upon return, cozy up by the indoor or outdoor fire pits with a good book and great company. Come morning time, enjoy a bountiful country breakfast with freshly squeezed orange juice. 

Mohican Pines Cabin Rentals

Peacefully located on quiet country roads far from traffic or noise you will find the luxury cabins of Mohican Pines near Mohican State Park. The cabins are far from any town, allowing the stars to shine brighter than ever. Admire the snow covered pine forest and valley from the patio or steamy hot tub and enjoy your winter bliss. 

Grab your loved ones and make this winter extra cozy. Beware, you may find yourself so cozy that winter becomes your new favorite season!

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Getaways

Cabin Fever: Bask in a bird’s-eye view at Mohican Treehouses

Olivia Balcerzak

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In 2011, Kevin Mooney created Mohican Treehouses, a small village of upscale treehouses in the middle of the woods in Glenmont, Ohio. Since then, Mooney has created a large barn and hired staff to make the nine houses (and one soon-to-be tent) both a getaway spot for families and a barn-wedding venue for couples and space for their families to stay. (614) had the chance to chat with Mooney to see what’s going on in his treehouse cabins, and what you can expect when you visit.

Photos by Brian Kaiser

(614): How did Mohican Tree Houses get its start and where have you seen it go from there?

KM: I studied Hocking Hills’ business plan and their lodging and determined that this area here is going to have a lot of lodging down the road, so I started off building these rental cabins. And then a friend of mine talked to me about treehouses and then I bumped into someone that took a class on how to build a treehouse. When I first built treehouses, I couldn’t give it away to friends and family. When [my friend] called me the second time and said, ‘I want to build a treehouse with you on a TV show (Animal Planet, Treehouse Masters) and it will be the second treehouse,’ I jumped at the chance. We built the treehouse not knowing if the show was going to work. And then once the show worked, it just took off.

(614): When people arrive at the Tree Houses and the venue itself what should they expect to see?

You can expect, if it’s a treehouse, to be left alone. You’re on 77 acres; you do a self check-in. You’re going to hear a lot of Mother Nature. You’re going to feel really out in the middle of nowhere. This one I’m looking at right now I have a 25-foot spiral staircase that is 4 feet wide and goes up 25 feet to a suspension bridge. The suspension bridge is 100 feet long and when you go into this treehouse, you step in and on the other side of it is a glass garage door. You open up the glass garage door and it feels like you’re out in Mother Nature.

(614): What would be the appeal of staying here as opposed to other winter or summer getaway places?

The tree is the experience because you’re 25 feet off the ground and you can feel that general movement of the tree. I remember someone wrote in one of my books. The mom said, ‘You know, when my kids got here, they weren’t happy. Their cell phones didn’t work, their internet didn’t work,” and she said thank you. “It’s the first time we’ve reconnected with nature in years.” She said by the end of the trip, the kids were loving it. They put their IPads away, they put their cell phones away and reconnected with the family.

(614): One of the biggest pieces of business for the Mohican Treehouses you said was weddings, can you tell me a little more about the process of booking your wedding there?

Most people just find us by the internet and they arrange a tour and we’ll give them a tour and if they book us, we’ll give them a tasting. And we’ve hired an executive chef. Our chef here was invited to be on Chopped and is rated one of the top chefs in Ohio. Out of the last 50 tastings, we’ve only had one couple not book us. The game has changed where the millennials are demanding better quality food, a better experience, and that’s where I think we really shine because we go above and beyond any other place. My people realize if you’re getting married and we’re a part of your wedding, we’re really lucky to be a part of your wedding.

(614): How is the setup of the wedding? Is the venue decorated already?

I have this room where they can take all of these decorations out like lanterns—you see a lot of lanterns at barn weddings, things like that. A lot of high-end decorations, I bought them and for less than $200 the couples can take whatever they want and decorate it themselves. And if they don’t want to do that—we’re full service. We’ll do the photography, the photobooth, the flowers, and we’ll do the DJ.

(614): How many people this year would you say are coming?

We’ll do 90-some weddings this year. And if you want to stay at a treehouse, you better be getting married here or you better be invited to a wedding, because a lot of my Friday brides and grooms will come in on Wednesday and a lot of my Sunday weddings will stay until Tuesday—so really if you want to rent a treehouse, it’s really hard.

(614): What else would you like to say to prospective customers?

My son said it best one time. He said, ‘When we do this, we’re going to get people to feel the dirt, we’re going to get them out of the city and they are going to feel what Mother Nature is like. They’re going to get their hands dirty and make a fire, sit around the treehouse and just relax. Enjoy not having a cell phone service and internet.”

To plan your next adventure to the Mohican Treehouses, visit themohicans.net/treehouses.html.

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