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Fall Getaways: Time to plan a weekend trip as summer winds down and fall leaves show their beauty

Fall Getaways: Time to plan a weekend trip as summer winds down and fall leaves show their beauty

Melinda Green

August—the crossover month between summer and fall and, lucky for us, everything is starting to open back up! That means it’s time to plan a fall getaway—and we’ve got you covered! Whether it’s an off-the-beaten-path hideaway here in Ohio or a short drive to somewhere regionally, there’s something here that’s sure to make you pack your bags and say, “Let’s go!” 

Make sure to call in advance and check hours and availability before you travel! Have fun, Columbus!

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Living History

Step back into the 1830s for a fun-filled day at Roscoe Village, complete with shopping, dining, gardens, a museum, and a horse-drawn canal boat ride. Not ready to go home? Visit nearby Clary Gardens the next day, then stop by the Wooly Pig Farm Brewery to sample Bavarian-style craft beers and greet their namesake curly-coated pigs. 

Cut the Cord

Blue Rock State Park, south of Zanesville, is a great place to disconnect from your devices and get back in touch with the natural world. Fish, boat, or swim on Cutler Lake, or bring your own archery equipment to practice on the range. Or hike the moderate-to-difficult trails, looking for rare orchids, Ohio wildlife, and the blue-colored shale that gives the park its name. 

Autumn in the Islands

Yes, Kelley’s Island is best known as a summer destination. But for a chill fall getaway, it’s actually still an option. Most of the tourists have gone home; some of the restaurants remain open, and the water is warm through mid-fall. Now is a perfect time to bring a jacket and take a walk, visit the Harvest Festival, or even camp at the state park.

Great Lakes Lessons

The National Museum of the Great Lakes, in Toledo, chronicles the geological, commercial, social, and political history of North America’s most important natural resource, with interactive exhibits and hundreds of artifacts. After your visit, put that learning into action with a visit to Maumee Bay State Park or the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge on Lake Erie.

Whitewater Wonderland

Craving adventure? Get out of Ohio for some great kayaking, rafting, or open boating on West Virginia’s Gauley River. The Lower section is reasonable for beginning rafters, with plenty of outfitters, while the Upper section poses Class V challenges for experienced visitors. Rent a cabin with a hot tub, stay at a lodge, or camp nearby, and raise a toast to an exciting weekend.

Photo courtesy of New and Gauley River Adventures

Great Gallipolis

The “City of the Gauls” has a lot to offer. Enjoy all-day breakfast at Bladen Landing or a footlong hot dog at the Shake Shoppe. Check out local museums, tours, or the French Art Colony. Or plan your trip around The Bob Evans Farm Festival nearby in Rio Grande. And don’t forget to hop across the river to Point Pleasant, WV to visit the Mothman statue and museum!

Keep it Local

Can’t get out of Columbus? How about an orchard-hopping weekend? There are plenty of places to choose from. Clear your schedule and pick apples at CherryHawk Farm in Marysville, Lynd’s Fruit Farm in Pataskala, and Legend Hills Orchard in Utica. And while you’re at it, stop by Schacht Family Farm for U-pick fall greens, peas, and beans.

Chillicothe Chill-Out

Ross County is home to some of the state’s most beautiful autumn views. Shop local or see live theater in downtown Chillicothe, then marvel at the vertical stone cliffs at Buzzards Roost, watch for wildlife at Metahqua, or bike the 32-mile Paint Creek Recreational Trail, a 32-mile rails-to-trails paved path connecting Chillicothe and Washington Court House.

Head Out to Leaf Country

Ready for some fall color? Head to Bainbridge, also known as “Leaf Country, U.S.A.”, in October for the Fall Festival of Leaves. With entertainment, parades, midway attractions, an antique tractor pull, self-guided scenic tours, and more, there’s fun for the whole family. Add on the Dr. John Harris Dental Museum or Seip Earthworks for some additional adventure.

Fall into Findlay

Findlay is surprisingly classy for a small town. Visit the Hancock Historical museum, then check in at the elegant Hancock Hotel, and dine on sushi or steak nearby. Wash it down with wine or bourbon, or check off a couple of stops on the 419 Ale Trail. Or, if that’s not your style, bring the kids for the one-day Oktoberfest and a visit to the Children’s Museum of Findlay.

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