Big-city vacations often require big-city prices, but sometimes you just want to get away with someone you love but without spending a fortune. Luckily, there are some top destinations in Ohio that are easy on the wallet, from charming small towns and countryside areas to nature parks. These are some of the best cheap weekend getaways in Ohio for couples.
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Hocking Hills State Park
One of our all-time favorite spots in Ohio to visit is Hocking Hills State Park, which is an ideal place if you enjoy scenic waterfalls. This romantic park is very photogenic in every season, but especially in the fall when the leaves change color. Here in southeastern Ohio, you can also see cliffs, gorges, and wildflowers. At the park, you and your partner can shoot arrows at the archery range, go kayaking on the 17-acre Rose Lake, play nine holes of disc golf, and hike and mountain bike on the many miles of trails. Rock climbers love heading to the nearby Hocking State Forest to do some climbing.
Hocking Hills State Park is near the town of Logan, but the town itself is worth a visit too on your romantic weekend getaway. The Logan area is known for its epic caves, such as Ash Cave and Old Man’s Cave. It’s also fun to visit Hocking Hills Winery, Hocking Hills Moonshine, and the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum here. The museum is a quirky roadside attraction that has more than 3,400 pencil sharpeners in its collection! It’s also fun to browse for deals at the Logan Antique Mall and for handmade goods at Ruby’s Country Cupboard.
Head to the Eastern Ohio town of Warren to celebrate your love of ‘90s music. This is where Nirvana and Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl was born, and a visit to Dave Grohl Alley is a must-see here. This cheap getaway is near Cleveland and also home to the National Packard Museum where you can learn about history and automobiles. The Dave Grohl Alley is home to the world’s largest drumsticks, works of art, and tributes to the musician. Other local sights to see on your weekend getaway here include the Riverwalk-Amphitheatre Campus, Ernie Hall Aviation Museum, and the Trumbull Art Gallery. The Chophouse, Sunrise Inn, and the Hot Dog Shoppe are recommended places to eat here.
Cambridge is a small town in Ohio that’s near Columbus and has lots of fun things to do for couples. These include foodie-approved restaurants, local craft breweries, vineyards with wine tastings, and fun food trucks. Cambridge is a special place to visit as a couple around Christmas because the downtown area really goes all out with Victorian-era decorations. Visit the John & Annie Glenn Museum in Concord nearby to learn about the famous astronaut and also nearby Salt Fork State Park for land and water recreation.
Maumee Bay State Park
Spanning 1,336 acres, Maumee Bay State Park is a great destination for a couple’s getaway. Book a room in the lodge, a cabin, a yurt, or camp at one of the 252 electrical sites here to really save on accommodation costs. Couples can go boating on the 57-acre inland lake here, visit the archery range, go fishing for walleye on Lake Erie, and play 18 holes of golf. There are a few easy trails to hike, and the multipurpose trail is available for cross-country skiing in the winter. Other natural attractions nearby for your outdoorsy weekend include Magee Marsh State Wildlife Area and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge.
Marietta is a waterfront town in the southeastern part of Ohio and a very historic and beautiful place to visit on a budget. You and your sweetheart can hike, bike, and paddle to your heart’s content here and enjoy a wide variety of local restaurants that will make any foodie satisfied. There’s a lovely castle to see in Marietta, as well as the Campus Martius Museum, Mound Cemetery, and the Ohio River Museum. During your weekend getaway here, you can get nostalgic at the Children’s Toy & Doll Museum, take a ghost tour to learn more about the town’s haunted past, and get even more spooked out at the town’s unique Mortuary Museum.
For a quirky and fun weekend with someone special, take a little trip to Yellow Springs, Ohio. This small town is packed with locally owned boutique shops that sell all sorts of unique things, and it is also a wellness hub that has many natural health practitioners in town. There are restaurants in town that serve healthy and locally sourced food, as well as a weekly farmer’s market. This is an ideal place to visit for artists and art-loving couples too, as you can even catch a local concert or live theater performance while you’re in town. Cycling enthusiasts will enjoy the local trail that’s part of a 360-mile trail system for long and short rides. Other top local attractions include Young Jersey’s Dairy Farm, Glen Helen Nature Preserve, and Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve.
Like some other Midwestern states, Ohio has its very own Amish country, which is a fun place to visit to learn about this fascinating culture, eat delicious food, shop for authentic and handmade items, and maybe even go for a buggy ride. Popular Amish country attractions in the Berlin and Holmes County area are the Berlin Main Street Merchants, Holmes County Flea Market, Ohio Star Theater, and German Culture Museum.
Cuyahoga Valley National Park
Cuyahoga Valley National Park is near Cleveland and Akron and makes an excellent weekend getaway for couples. This Brecksville-area national park offers canoeing, kayaking, fishing, golfing, hiking, horse trails, and biking. Couples can pitch a tent here or stay at Stanford House or the Inn at Brandywine Falls in the park.
The last cheap weekend getaway for couples we’ll mention here is Athens, Ohio. This is an artsy town where you can experience local art at the Dairy Barn Arts Center. It’s also a great place for foodies and craft beverage enthusiasts, so stop by Pleasant Hill Vineyards and/or Little Fish Brewing. The Athens Farmers’ Market is popular here, as well as the unique O’Betty’s Hot Dog Museum.