The top 11 long weekend trips from Cleveland

Due to the pandemic, we had to reschedule our upcoming trip to Hawaii. Although we were really sad to postpone our trip, we felt it was the best choice given the current state of the pandemic. Since we are very much overdo for a vacation, we decided to plan a smaller, shorter adventure. That way, we still get a bit of a break, but can save some of our planned time off for our rescheduled trip in May. We have researched several great options and visited many of the locations listed below. Check out our list of the top 11 long weekend trips from Cleveland.

*Please be sure to check local mandates and requirements as they relate to the pandemic before making any travel plans.

1. The Wilds

The Wilds is a non-profit safari park and conservation center that is an extension of the Columbus Zoo. You can visit for the day or stay overnight. We are excited to stay in one of the yurts, but they also have cabins and a lodge for visitors to stay in. There are a number of fun adventures including a safari, ziplining, horseback riding, fishing, and a behind-the-scenes tour. Located in Cumberland, OH, The Wilds is just a two and a half hour drive from Cleveland.

The waterfall at Ash Cave in Hocking Hills State Park

2. Hocking Hills State Park

We have visited Hocking Hills State Park in the past. You can read about our previous trip here. This state park is full of hiking trails and water adventures, but you can also go zip lining, rock climbing, horseback riding, and visit antique stores and flea markets. You will also find bike rentals, miniature golf, go carts, ATVs, and even a museum of pencil sharpeners. The are numerous lodging options including the Inn at Cedar Creek, cabins, yurts, and vacation rentals. Hocking Hills State Park is just over three hours from Cleveland.

3. Saugatuck/Holland, Michigan

A colleague at work recommended that we consider visiting Saugatuck, Michigan. It is just over five hours from Cleveland. Saugatuck has several fun attractions including a chain ferry, beach, ATVs dune tours, hiking, finishing, antiquing, and more. There are also numerous wineries and distilleries to visit if that’s your thing. You can also visit the nearby Holland, Michigan which is home to the Nelis’ Dutch Village amusement park and Windmill Islands Gardens.

The Michigan Coast

4. Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Certainly more of a splurge than many of the other locations on the list, this four-star resort is meant to be a luxury vacation. There are seemingly endless activities offered on the grounds including ziplining, golf, a ropes course, pools, art galleries, a full-service spa, skeet shooting, etc. It is so picturesque that a recent season of the Bachelor was filmed here. It is also located near Falling Water- a Frank Lloyd Wright home that hangs over the edge of a waterfall and offers tours. Nemacolin is about three hours and 30 minutes southeast of Cleveland.

5. Ohio Amish Country

Made up of several small towns in Holmes, Tuscarawas, and Wayne Counties, Amish country is a great option for someone looking for a low-key trip. There are numerous options for shopping including antiques, cheese, and furniture. Some areas have become a bit commercialized, but there are still many great options for food and activities. There are numerous lodging options including cabin rentals and quaint Bed & Breakfasts. Ohio Amish country is located about one and half hours south of Cleveland. 

6. Cincinnati, Ohio

Located approximately four hours southwest of Cleveland, Cincinnati is a great place to spend a long weekend. There are numerous museums, zoos, parks, and other attractions in Cincinnati. They have several professional sports teams and an active arts and theatre community. They boast having Ohio’s oldest public market, a number of recognized craft breweries, and great antique shopping. 

7. Oglebay Resort

Growing up in southwestern Pennsylvania, I visited Oglebay Resort many times for the Festival of Lights in the winter, but I have never stayed on property. The resort offers numerous activities including horseback riding, golf, a zoo, museums, a spa, and an aerial challenge course. The grounds are massive with stunning views and there are many activities for children including swimming, mini golf, tennis, peddle boats, a playground, arcade, and environmental center. Oglebay Resort is about two hours and 45 minutes from Cleveland.

Camel rides at the Columbus Zoo

8. Columbus, Ohio

I previously created a blog post on my favorite things to do in Columbus (which you can see here). There is much more to do in Columbus than you might think. Some of my favorite things include visiting the nationally-renowned zoo, the science center, or the conservatory. You can also attend an Ohio State Football game or Columbus Crew soccer match. Columbus also has great shopping at the Easton Town Center, Polaris Mall, and Tanger Outlets. Columbus is about two hours and fifteen minutes south of Columbus.

9. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

I grew up about 45 minutes outside of Pittsburgh and it will always hold a special place in my heart. This city has tons of history and character and reminds me a lot of Cleveland. The city boasts several professional sports teams, universities, and museums (including the iconic Andy Warhol Museum). Probably most recognized by the seemingly endless number of bridges, this town is full of life and culture. It has outstanding restaurants and the arts scene is thriving. For a truly instagramable moment, I suggest taking a ride on the incline. Its about a two hour and 15 minute drive from Cleveland to Pittsburgh.

10. Niagara Falls, New York

Visiting Niagara Falls is truly breath-taking. A trip there isn’t complete without a cruise on the Maid of the Mist or a visit to the Cave of the Winds (although these are very touristy). But Niagara Falls is more than just the falls themselves. The area is known for hiking trails, history, and wineries. There are a number of interesting museums and historical sites including the Old Fort Niagara. The city also boasts a large aquarium and numerous other activities for children. Niagara Falls is a three hour and 20 minute drive from Cleveland.

11. Indianapolis, Indiana

Seeing as my best friend lives in Indy, I couldn’t leave it off of this list. Indianapolis also boasts several professional and amateur sports teams, museums, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They also have a lovely zoo and are the home of the NCAA. You can take walk along the central canal downtown or even rent kayaks and paddleboats. Indianapolis is approximately a five-hour drive from Cleveland.

Summary

There are so many great options for long weekend trips from Cleveland. If nothing on the list above seems quite right, you might also consider Fort Wayne, Indiana or Toledo, Ohio. If you are up for a longer trip, I recommend Lexington, Kentucky. It is a beautiful city, but you can also just choose to participate in the Bourbon Trail (which I wrote about in a previous post you can see here).

Ultimately, we decided that for our upcoming ‘consolation vacation’ we will visit the Wilds and re-visit Hocking Hills. I will share reviews of those trips in a future post. As for the locations mentioned above that we have not yet visited, I hope to check them out on weekend trips in the near future. 

What are your favorite places to visit from Cleveland? Have you visited any of the places above?

If you are looking for more travel inspiration, check out my posts on visiting Nashville, Tennessee or New York City during the holidays.

I am so glad you visited us at Jack and Bax. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter (sign up available either on the right sidebar or at the bottom of the page). And please follow me on Instagram and Facebook so that you don’t miss any of my upcoming projects!

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