Welcome to summertime on campus, Buckeyes. If it feels like no one is here, it’s because no one is here. And we’re kinda thinking you should be doing the same too.
Getting a break from class for three bliss-filled months is not something you should throw away by working a shitty job and ending each day with Netflix and whatever bottle of liquor you still have floating around from last weekend. Of course, you’re gonna have to work a shitty job to pay those bills, but use that money to treat yo self! Get out and explore the world around you, whether it be in the state or out of the state.
Don’t know where to go? Well my friend, you’ve came to the right place. We have all kinds of insider tips to getting the most out of your getaway. From right here in Ohio at Hocking Hills to all the way west in Seattle, Washington, our writers are dishing out the best experiences and times they had while in the city. And with making the most of your getaways comes making sure you don’t end up in a place we call a “stayaway.” We rounded up a few of them just to keep them off your radar.
Check your bank account, sell some shit, or take out another loan, you’re going on vacation this summer.
When it comes to state parks, Hocking Hills knows how it’s done! With most of our time spent glued to our various screens, getting completely swallowed by nature is great way to remember the simple, yet beautiful things in life. The first summer that I spent in Columbus, a group of friends and I planned a day trip there. A good day trip to Hocking needs a picnic so we had all the fixins: hot dogs, hamburgers, fruits, and Capri Suns. Pro tip: make sure you bring charcoals and lighter fluid because if you don’t, you’ll be eating cold hot dogs. Old Man’s Cave Visitors Center has parking and grills so it’s a good central location to start your day. The great thing about Hocking Hills is the fact that they have clearly marked out hiking trails linking together all of the different attractions. You can map it all out by grabbing a free map from the Visitors Center, or just wing it and be prepared to be tired by the end of the day. Our first move aftering chowing down was to Ash Cave. Most people start their day at Hocking Hills by going to Old Man’s Cave, and that’s exactly why we went to Ash Cave first. It was less crowded and it’s not like Old Man’s Cave was going anywhere anytime soon. Ash Cave’s horseshoe shape makes it feel as though you are being enclosed by the land and taken completely out of society; and maybe I’m biased towards horseshoe shapes. Another must stop is at Cedar Falls where you can find the biggest waterfall Hocking has to offer. Most people take selfies here, we just skipped rocks and listened to the waterfall. It’s supposed to be a trip to get off the grid for a little, right? There’s tons more hiking trails in Hocking like Cantwell Cliffs or the Rock House to check out while you explore and with only an hour drive from Columbus, you can still make it back on campus to go out that night. Either way, a day in Hocking still beats an afternoon stuck in class.
This tiny Ohio hippy town is known for its eclectic art scene and year-round good vibes. Whether you’re looking for a new hiking trail to conquer or for an artsy, small town backdrop to compliment your impromptu photoshoot aesthetic, Yellow Springs has something to offer everyone. The town’s quirky, creative aura offers the perfect setting for its variety of local art shows and music festivals throughout the warmer months, and its independent eateries and shops make it a hipster haven. If I’ve convinced you to start planning a summer day trip, however, prepare yourself for the ridiculous amounts of bees—they’re literally everywhere. And if you’re anything like me, this will make for a day full of running out of your chair while you thought you could enjoy a sandwich outside or screaming and annoying everyone around you.
Yellow Springs is made to be the perfect getaway from Columbus, so if you’re thinking to take my advice, make sure you hit up these places:
Current Cuisine: A quick stop for sandwiches, salads and snacks in a shop straight out of an indie movie. There’s outdoor seating right on the street, so you can people watch all you want.
Yellow Springs Brewery: Dedicated to creating unique craft beers since it opened in 2013, the brewery is a must-do for visiting beer lovers.
Glen Helen Nature Reserve: The reserve is home to the yellow spring after which the town was named. For the explorers, the park offers 25 miles of trails full of wildflowers, trees, limestone cliffs, overhangs and waterfalls.
If there’s one thing for certain about Put-In-Bay in northern Ohio, it’s that it is 100% a drinking town. From swim up bars at places like The Blue Marlin Tiki Bar to traditional bar settings like The Roundhouse Bar, the only problem you’ll face is walking from bar to bar and trying to decide where to go next. Things can get a little wild at Put-In-Bay so if you are looking to take it a little easier on your drinkin’ days, the Put -in-Bay Brewery & Distillery is the place to check out if you’re looking to test some new craft brews while the Put-in-Bay Winery makes for a great boozy day date with a significant other. Put-In-Bay might seem like a little island, but it’s actually pretty big once you start treading through it (well, that and you are probably drunk too) so I recommend looking into some ways to get around the island. Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Depot or Delaware Carts can hook you up with a gas golf cart that will help you cruise to any spot on the island in less than 10 minutes—just make sure you have a DGCD (designated golf cart driver). Grubbin’ here is pretty easy when you spend most of the day drunk, but don’t let that stop you from treating yourself to a bite to eat at The Forge. The place offers a variety of food, both vegetarian and vegan friendly, and keeps things in the Put-In-Bay vibe with a lengthy beer and cocktail menu. The best part about Put-In-Bay, though? You’re on island time, baby. Kick ‘em back and live it up, it’s not like you got anywhere else to be.
Want more getaway destinations? Check out our second tier of getaways for places that are definitely worth the drive: The Great Escape: Worth The Trip.
Looking to really get the hell out of Ohio? Check out our third tier of getaways that are absolutely worth every penny: The Great Escape: Worth The Flight.