What do you like to do on perfect weather days?
For our family, it’s a no-brainer: we love to go for a drive out in the country. Ohio has so many beautiful scenic byways and charming small towns to explore.
Actually, let’s be honest – going out in the car with us is not always Z’s favorite thing anymore. She’d rather stay home or hang out with friends.
But for my hubby and I, there’s almost no greater pleasure than heading out in a sparkling clean hotrod on a gorgeous sunny day that’s not too hot and has zero chance of rain.
We’ve had some great weather weekends lately, and we’ve had some super fun driving date days together while a cool family friend hangs out with Z to make some extra cash. It’s a win for everyone!
Here are some of our favorite drives and things to do on gorgeous weather weekends:
- The downtown version. Sometimes we cruise over to 23 and take the slow route south to downtown Columbus, or sometimes we take the highway down to Morse, then Morse to High and head south from there. There’s something so fun about cruising urban Columbus: the people-watching, spotting new shops and restaurants in the Short North… and oh yes, all the great places to stop and catch a bite. Did I mention there’s usually fab food involved in our date day drives? Naturally.
- Hocking Hills cruise. Ask any car or motorcycle enthusiast – there’s no better place to cruise than down to and around the Hocking Hills area. The Hocking Hills scenic byway winds itself through some of our state’s most gorgeous terrain, with curvy and hilly sections that are just so much fun to drive. Stopping to go for a hike is the perfect antidote to sitting too long on a bike or in a car!
- The Amish country version. If we have a sitter for the full day, we’ll cruise on up to Amish country along one of Ohio’s scenic byways. There, we enjoy driving on rolling country roads with perfect, pastoral views – plus it’s always fun to see the horses and sheep out in the fields. There are a few places we love to stop in Ohio’s Amish country. This is actually one of our favorite routes for a family drive, but it’s also fun as a date day with just us two.
- The Mohican state park route. In addition to Hocking Hills, we can also drive in the opposite direction and enjoy the natural wonders of Mohican state park. It’s beautiful and full of great places to stop and enjoy a hike or just take in some great views. The roads are curvy and there are adorable towns to explore. It’s got all the ingredients for a fabulous date day!
- Enjoying Ohio’s small towns. Sometimes, we just point the car toward a cute little town we’ve heard about. Most recently, we drove up to Wooster, Ohio for lunch and a chance to explore another charming Ohio town. You really cannot go wrong visiting almost any of Ohio’s small towns – they all have something to offer, whether quaint architecture, great eats or unique shops. Some of our favorites include Granville, Wooster and Loudonville.
- Head West to Yellow Springs/Springfield. There are so many reasons to head about 45 minutes west of Columbus and cruise through the towns of Springfield and Yellow Springs. Springfield is home to gems like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Westcott House and the Hartman Rock Garden. Yellow Springs is a total vibe and just so much fun for a date day, family hike or girls day out. Plus, the antique malls just off I-70 are right there too, and a blast to walk through if you want to stretch your legs!
- Drive North for even more gorgeous scenery. Let’s talk about Cuyahoga Valley National Park and all the other dazzling parks just north of us in the Cleveland area. There’s a waterfall near Akron I’ve been dying to visit but we haven’t made it there yet – maybe this fall after a good week of rain to make it truly worth the drive.
Hopefully, I’ve convinced you to go for a drive. Honestly, it’s one of the only things that kept us sane during the pandemic. We couldn’t really go anywhere, but we could still get out in the car and see this beautiful state of ours!
And yes, Ohio is beautiful. If you don’t think so, then you haven’t been taking enough road trips.
What’s your favorite Ohio day trip or longer road trip? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below or over on Instagram or Facebook!