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Enemy Territory

My heart bleeds scarlet and gray. I graduated from OSU, and then worked there for several years, inside a building with a perfect view of the ’Shoe. So it made me squirm in my seat with discomfort when we discussed writing a piece for the magazine on Ann Arbor getaways. Imagine my surprise when I [...]
Jeni Ruisch

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My heart bleeds scarlet and gray.

I graduated from OSU, and then worked there for several years, inside a building with a perfect view of the ’Shoe. So it made me squirm in my seat with discomfort when we discussed writing a piece for the magazine on Ann Arbor getaways. Imagine my surprise when I found myself wandering the streets of our rival city on a clandestine mission for photographs, in a sea of maize and blue.

This November, Buckeyes will flood into the streets of Ann Arbor in preparation for the Big Game, where we’ll face off against the Wolverines on their home turf.

Much to my amazement, my trip to the state up north was surprisingly idyllic. Expecting a barren wasteland of sour-faced losers and actual wolverines, I found friendly people, a beautiful campus, and plenty of attractions to keep fans from both sides of the line entertained before and after the main event on November 25 at noon.

So if you’re planning on spending a weekend up in their neck of the north, here are some suggestions that will keep you right around campus, while letting you get away from the pressure of The Big Game, if you so choose.

Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market

a2gov.org/departments/Parks-Recreation

Located close to the city hustle and bustle, the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market is home to over 100 producer-only vendors. This means there is no middle man; you’re buying straight from the planters and makers. Despite the chilly northern winters, the market is open year-round. By the time late November rolls around, it’ll be up and running Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get up early before The Big Game for some local souvenirs and start your day off with more than a beer bong.

The Ark

theark.org

The Ark, Ann Arbor, the Accidentals and Appleseed Collective play

A classic local music venue with a reputation for putting on amazing shows, The Ark is like Ann Arbor’s version of our Newport. No it’s not better. I didn’t say that—you said that. The gigs and players lean folksy here, and the night of The Game, you can escape the street hordes by buying a ticket to see none other than actor Jeff Daniels play the night away onstage. Just don’t be the drunk guy that yells out Dumb and Dumber quotes from the back row.

Zingerman’s Delicatessen

zingermansdeli.com

This staple of the campus sits on a picturesque street corner. There’s a coffee shop right next door called, well… Zingerman’s Next Door. It would be a perfect spot to grab a sandwich and do your homework while you stare out the window and daydream about your future. But you don’t have any homework. And this is your future. Oh, boy… Don’t blame the folks at Zingerman’s, they just work here.

UM Museum of Natural History

lsa.umich.edu/ummnh

This spot will be especially perfect if you’re visiting with kiddos in tow, but there ain’t no age limit on wonder. The museum has a massive collection, including mastodon skeletons, and live demonstrations like “exploring neuroscience” and dinosaur tours. The doors are open Monday through Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 12-5. This seems like a good way to decompress after the wild ride that’s going to be Saturday night.

Frita Batidos

fritabatidos.com

To clarify, Frita is not the head chef here. The menus’ two staple items are the frita: a spicy chorizo burger with shoestring fries on top, and an egg bun. And the batido: A shake made with ice, fruit, and sweetened milk (and sometimes rum). The Cuban-inspired fusion menu at this spot, along with the colorful atmosphere, will be a surefire warm-up after braving the chilly November weather. And those cold northern glares.

Grizzly Peak Brewing Company

grizzlypeak.net

Stop what you’re doing and add this spot to your Ann Arbor itinerary. With eight different craft brews on tap daily, all of their award-winning hand-crafted beers are brewed on-site. Their mouth-watering menu runs the gut gamut from artisan pizza and specialty burgers to ribs, fresh mussels, and truffled mac n’ cheese. They even have a dog menu. Pups are welcome on the patio, and all the proceeds from dog snacks like salmon and rice, or ice cream with peanut butter sauce, go to the Humane Society of Huron Valley. You even get a little dog dish to take home. *ichigan might just be onto something.

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Getaways

Want to get away? Southwest making it cheap

614Now

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Southwest Airlines is hoping that enough of you are close to feeling safe to leave the house for more than a trip to the grocery store. In a bid to jumpstart their flagging business, Southwest has announced some pretty steep ticket discounts - as low as $49 each way to a host of cities departing from Columbus.

Flights must be booked at least 14 days in advance and travel must happen between May 26 and August 31. Most expect Ohio's 14-day travel quarantine rule to expire by August but be sure to take that into account if you decide to hop on a plane.

Some of the cities and deals we have imagined for you include:

A long weekend in Atlanta: $118 per person roundtrip from Friday, Aug 14 - Sunday the 16th. Keep in mind, it's about 100 degrees in ATL this time of year so be sure to have access to a body of water if you go.

A patriotic, weekend protest in Washington DC: $98 per person roundtrip, 4th of July weekend. See the sights (if they're open to the public) and stand somewhere with a sign with whatever outrage you have in mind.

A long 4th of July beach weekend in Ft. Lauderdale: $198 per person roundtrip from July 3-6 and you can stay at this cute Airbnb apartment that's just one block from the beach for $88/night.

Vegas baby! You're going to have to forget the weekends if you want the great flight deal. But we found August 5-7 available for $198 a person. Plus you can get into the Bellagio for $139 /night right now as an added bonus. Two nights of debauchery, a little gambling and some of the best restaurants in America. What could go wrong?

Of course, traveling may be risky business for some people and this all assumes the respective cities and attractions re-open and are relatively safe. But if you just need to get away, it's probably never been cheaper.

See other flight options here.

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Getaways

Weekend Getaway: Take a trip to the birthplace of bourbon

Colleen Quinn

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Itchin’ to get away for the weekend and try something a little different? You are in luck! The birthplace to the warm, fuzzy burn of a perfectly aged bourbon is a mere 3 hours south of us here in Columbus, Ohio!

As America's ONLY native spirit, bourbon comes out of Kentucky, crafting 95% of the world’s supply! Awaken those taste buds with a trout down the Kentucky Bourbon Trail!

Giving bourbon lovers an up-close look into how bourbon is distilled and the history behind generations of bourbon tradition, The Kentucky Bourbon Trail is a collection of bourbon whiskey distilleries located throughout Kentucky.

You could spend over a week exploring all of the world famous distilleries throughout Kentucky… but a weekend is plenty of time to sip and soak it in!

Where to start? Begin at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center located on the first floor of the Frazier Kentucky History Museum in downtown Louisville. Here, you can gather all the information you need to plot out your perfect bourbon tasting bucket list.

Next up…Whiskey Row awaits! Strap on your comfy shoes and hang a left out of the Frazier. Within a one mile stretch you will hit Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery, Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, Old Forester Distilling Co., and Angel’s Envy Distillery. Make sure to pick up your Kentucky Bourbon Trail Passport at your first distillery to collect stamps at each distillery you visit!

Tours and Tastings
There are a total of 18 distilleries on the KBT, grouped into roughly 4 different locations: Louisville, Lexington, Bardstown, and Owensboro.

Each distillery offers a tour lasting approximately one hour, ending with a tasting. Learn the history of each distillery, how to properly taste bourbon, what distinguishes bourbon from whiskey, and the role bourbon has played in our countries history. Each distillery has quirks that make them uniquely their own, however the tours can get some what repetitive as bourbon is made of a specific process.

Pro tip: Skip the tour and head straight to the tasting if you are short on time or find the tours have gotten repetitive. Where to next?

BARDSTOWN
For a newer, more modern bourbon experience check out Bardstown Bourbon Company—the first KBT destination to combine distilling and culinary arts! Grab lunch at the distilleries Bottle & Bond Kitchen and Bar with an awesome view of the distillery through the floor to ceiling glass wall.

Heaven Hill Distillery is another must. This distillery has been family owned and operated since they were founded in 1935. Officially opening their doors at their new location, Lux Row Distillers has 4 brands under one roof! A bit further south you will hit Makers Mark, where you can hand dip your own bottle into the red wax!

LEXINGTON
Spend a day visiting these distilleries near Lexington: Woodford Reserve, Four Roses, and Wild Turkey, which is home to the world’s longest tenured active master distiller, Jimmy Russell!

Buffalo Trace—while technically not on the KBT, this distillery is one of the most famous of them all. As the oldest continuously operating distillery in America, Buffalo Trace was one of only three bourbon distilleries allowed to operate during Prohibition to distill ‘medicinal’ bourbon. Here, if you are lucky you may get the famous Freddie as you tour guide! He has been leading tours for nearly 20 years, was featured on the Hulu bourbon documentary named ‘neat’ and recently induced in to the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame.

Extra tidbits

While in Louisville make sure to stop at Feast BBQ for out of this world BBQ and their deliciously intoxicating bourbon slushies (yum).

For the history buffs, take a trip to the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln in Hodgenville, KY!

There are 18 distilleries that make up the official KBT, yet there are SO many more excellent distilleries located in the state of Kentucky. If you do not want to make your way all the way down to Louisville, check out Boone County Distilling Co, a boutique distillery, or New Riff Distilling (named best new bourbon of 2019) both of which are located near Cincinnati.

Official KBT Distilleries
 Angel's Envy Distillery
 Bardstown Bourbon Company
 Bulleit Distilling Co. 
 Evan Williams Bourbon Experience 
 Four Roses Distillery 
 Heaven Hill 
 Jim Beam American Stillhouse  (2 locations)
 Lux Row Distillers
 Maker's Mark Distillery 
 Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery
 Old Forester Distilling Co. 
 O.Z. Tyler Distillery
 Rabbit Hole Distillery
 Stitzel Weller Distillery
 Town Branch Distillery 
 Wilderness Trail
 Wild Turkey Distillery 
 Woodford Reserve Distillery 

Happy Bourbon tasting, and enjoy your time on the trail!

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Escape Columbus winter with 5 flights under $200 RT

Colleen Quinn

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If you're like us, February has you day dreaming of warmer weather and elaborate escape plans. Well, folks, it is time for a break that won’t break the bank, and we have you covered.

Below are five winter escapes from Columbus for less than $200 round trip and direct (heck yeah). Now let’s turn those day dreams into sunny realities!

PRO TIP: Flight fares fluctuate often based on many different factors. Use Skyscanner or Hopper to search flights and set alerts for inexpensive flights!

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA

Throw your winter blues out the window with a trip to southern Florida’s East Coast. Fort Lauderdale has all that good stuff you are looking for from a sunny holiday: beautiful beaches, crystal blue water, incredible food, tasty cocktails, and fantastic hotels. Plus, ever wanted to zip around on one of those airboats?! Take a trip to the nearby Everglades for a chance to spot a Florida gator!

Airline: Allegiant Air
Route: LCK (Rickenbacker Intl Columbus) > FLL (Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Intl Airport)
Roundtrip Price: $126 ($70 with no baggage)

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA

Florida’s West Coast makes the list, too, with a visit to the sunny Gulf Coast. Bar hop along Fort Myer’s Beach, shop the trendy downtown streets, or get a history fix in at the Thomas Edison & Henry Ford winter estate.

A must-do here is visiting the neighboring islands of Sanibel and Captiva to rent bikes for the day. Explore the beautiful nature reserves, mangroves, beaches and do some bird watching!

Airline: Spirit Airlines
Route: CMH (John Glenn Columbus Intl Airport) > RSW (Southwest Florida Intl Airport)
Roundtrip Price: $187 ($85 with no baggage)

SAVANNAH, GEORGIA

Savannah is seeping with southern charm and elegance. You cannot help but become enchanted by the cobblestone streets, large live oaks, and Spanish moss that line the streets of Savannah.

Bring your walking shoes as that is the only method of transportation you will need to get around. Walk the historic district, city parks, and markets to take in all the southern architecture and flare.

Eat your way around with all the southern style dishes you could dream of, and catch live tunes at the lively music bars. Savannah is a destination you will not be disappointed you took the time to visit!

Airline: Allegiant Air
Route: LCK > SAV (Savannah/Hilton Head Intl Airport)
Roundtrip Price: $198 ($100 with no baggage)

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Sticking with the southern charm, hop on a flight to check out what Charleston has in store. Friendly people, amazing food, trendy coffee shops, endless rooftop bars and bourbon tasting are just a few of the reasons this city attracts so many visitors each year.

You will feel like you are in a post card as you walk the cobblestones streets lined with candy colored pastel houses, and we are here for it!

Airline: Allegiant Air
Route: LCK > CHS (Charleston Intl Airport)
Roundtrip Price: $163 ($98 with no baggage)

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

Via Las Vegas! Does this place really even need an introduction? If you have never been to Vegas, you have to go at least once, so why not this winter? Glitz, glam, gambling, elaborate shows, restaurants, clubs, hotels, shopping, and adventure await you on the Vegas strip.

If Vegas is not your cup of tea… book the flight, rent a car and make the 2.5 hour drive to Zion National Park in Utah for a STUNNING representation of America’s southwestern territory with massive canyons, cliffs, lakes, waterfalls, and hanging gardens.

Airline: Spirit Airlines
Route: CMH > LAS (McCarran Intl Airport)
Roundtrip Price: $189 ($113 with no baggage)

Winter drags, but it doesn’t have to if you give yourself something to look forward to… Get packing!

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