Once in awhile the urge hits to just jump in the car and drive. Who knows where you’ll end up, but getting there is half the fun! Taking a day trip, just an hour or two drive from home, can be a great escape when you are in need of some down time, but taking a vacation is not in the cards.

Gas up the car, pack some road trip snacks and head out for an adventure with our list of top day trip date ideas within an easy drive from Cincinnati.

If you are in the Greater Cincinnati area then you are in luck – there are so many fun destinations within easy reach!  Gas up the car, pack some road trip snacks and head out for an adventure that will still have you safe at home by bedtime! Here is our list of top day trip date ideas within an easy drive from Cincinnati:

  • Lexington, KY – Depending on where you are in the Greater Cincinnati area, Lexington, KY is only about an hour to an hour and a half drive away. Home to the University of Kentucky, Kentucky Horse Park, Keeneland Race Course, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, a great deal of excellent shopping and food and of course, Bourbon! Woodford Reserve Distillery, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, Town Branch Distillery and Wild Turkey are all within reach. Not a bourbon fan? How about West Sixth Brewery? You can take historic home tours or visit Lexington Cemetery, home to many historic monuments. Before you go, check out Visit Lexington for itineraries, dining recommendations and more.
  • Louisville, KY – A little further than your Lexington drive, but still doable in a day, Louisville is a fantastic day trip destination. Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum, Louisville Mega Caverns, Louisville Zoo, Kentucky Derby Museum and so many more. Explore the Waterfront Park by renting bikes or just taking a stroll. Hit the bourbon trail. Honestly – we’re not sure we can list all of the amazing opportunities you’ll have while visiting Louisville, and you might need more than one day trip to fit in everything you’ll want to experience! Check out Go To Louisville for itineraries (such as the Bourbon Trail, Haunted Louisville, Derby Week) to help you focus on the best Louisville has to offer.
  • Indianapolis, IN – Indianapolis is about a two hour drive from the Cincinnati area, and it is gaining the reputation of being the “hot spot” for art lovers and adventurous diners. Visit the Mass Ave Arts District for theaters, restaurants, art galleries and eclectic, independent boutiques. Or head to White River State Park for a day of exploration, including the Indianapolis Zoo, which is located within the park. Simply explore Downtown Indy and all that it has to offer in the way of shopping, entertainment and dining. Rent a paddle boat and hit the Canal, or just take a walk waterside and enjoy the sights. Visit Indy has all the info you need on dining, attractions, entertainment and more.
  • Columbus, OH – No more than a 2 hour drive from Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky you will find Columbus, OH – home to COSI, OSU, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and so much more. COSI (Center of Science and Industry) isn’t just for the kids – adults can have just as much fun exploring and experimenting as the kids in this fun, hands-on venue. Are you a craft beer aficionado?  Hit the Columbus Ale Trail! Columbus’ craft beer scene is great, and with more than 20 breweries to sample, you’ll definitely find a brew for you! Experience Columbus has a full craft brew itinerary and many more fun trip ideas.  Hocking Hills is nearby as well – another opportunity to plan multiple trips!
  • Dayton, OH – Dayton offers a wide variety of fun activities, most notable perhaps being the Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the National Museum of the United States Air Force. If you are an aviation enthusiast, then Dayton is a must-do day trip. Other noteworthy spots include the SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, the Dayton Art Institute and more. For details on all of the fun Dayton has to offer, visit the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Exploring near home is a fantastic way to get out and experience everything your area has to offer, but with the added benefit of sleeping in your own bed at the end of the day, and road tripping with your special someone gives you the chance to explore and experience new, amazing sights together, which create memories to last a lifetime.

Tell us – do you have a great day trip idea? We’d love to hear it! Share in the comments.

Date Night Cincinnati

Author: Date Night Cincinnati

Date Night Cincinnati is your one-stop resource to plan date night -- from tips on great destinations and budget friendly dates, to deals and specials.

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