1 HR DRIVE: DAY TRIP IDEAS FROM CINCINNATI, OHIO, USA

Do you live happily in the Greater Cincinnati area, but sometimes just want to break free?

Are you a Northern Kentuckian who wants something to do on the weekends besides playing corn-hole, or seeing people you went to grade-school with?

Are you tired of people telling you that the only things to do for fun in the area involve chili, sports, ice-cream, or visiting a park?

If any of the above statements apply, then this is the blog post for you! Check out my list below of 5 great day trip ideas all within a 1 hour drive of downtown Cincinnati!



  • Elk Creek Winery in Owenton

If you’re looking for a place to drink some delicious wine, all while enjoying beautiful Kentucky countryside, then you really need to pay this place a visit! Elk Creek produces their own brand of wines, with many of the grapes grown on site. They also offer tours, wine tastings, and have a tasty on-site cafe. It’s a fun place to visit on a nice day, and is also great for groups or parties. The second floor of this gorgeous building also serves as an art gallery, and in the summer they host concerts and wedding receptions in their outdoor theater. The surrounding town of Owenton is very picturesque as well, as it forms part of the “Owen County Quilt Trail”, displaying beautiful quilt art pieces on various barns.

More Information HERE

Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour (52 miles)



  • The Old Town of Rabbit Hash

This tiny Kentucky town first gained fame when it announced its mayor as being none other than a dog named Goofy. Over the years, the torch has been passed on to various other animals, and currently Brynn the pit bull is the residing Mayor. Besides its legal fame, the town is a true historic gem for Kentucky, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The General Store, which was the centerpiece for the town, first opened in 1831. It had continuously operated since then until February 2016, when a devastating fire burned it to the ground. The town is still worth a visit though, while efforts and fundraisers allowed the historic store to be rebuilt and back to business as usual!
While this town is essentially one small street next to the Ohio River, it squeezes a lot of character into its tiny borders. If you drive in, you can visit the wine shop and tasting room of Verona Vineyards, grab a pulled pork lunch at the Scalded Hog, check out local music on the outdoor stage, shop for antiques, and just soak in the vibes of a good old southern town.

 

More Information HERE

Driving Time from Cincinnati:  53 minutes (29.2 miles)



  • The Dinsmore Homestead

Do you love history, antebellum houses, or a peaceful country afternoon? If so, you should consider visiting this grand, historic estate located in Burlington, Kentucky. Completed in 1842, this old home offers a glimpse into what rural life looked like in a bygone era. There are various hiking trails, an old cemetery, and places for artists to come and sketch. Guided tours inside the home are offered as well, during which you learn the history of the Dinsmore family, and see its historic interiors and plenty of antiques. The Homestead also hosts a variety of craft-making events and festivals throughout the summer and early fall. A visit here could also easily be combined with one to Rabbit Hash, or Big Bone Lick State Park.Dinsmore House, Burlington, Kentucky
Dinsmore House Cemetery
The old family cemetery- hike through the wooded trail behind the house to find yourself in this calm yet creepy locale

More Information HERE

Driving Time from Cincinnati: 34 minutes (22.2 miles)





  • Big Bone Lick State Park (Florence, Kentucky)

If the fact that this park used to be a giant tar pit where dinosaurs and woolly mammoths got stuck isn’t cool enough, then the pioneer era stories might do the trick for you.  Named for the “big bones” of prehistoric beasts found in the area, this park is now home to a population of domestic bison, and offers camping and hiking trails. There is also a museum on site, where you can learn about the area’s Native American history, as well as its role in the exploration of America.
In 1803, two explorers by the names of Lewis and Clark came here. They were under commission by some guy named Thomas Jefferson, and spent 3 weeks digging up massive bones. In addition, a local pioneer-era legend named Mary Ingles also spent several weeks here in 1755 as a captive. Captured by Native Americans while living in West Virginia, Mary spent time here (against her will) in  homes made out of mastodon and mammoth rib-cages. While the big bones are no longer out on the grounds, the museum has a few of the pieces that have remained in Kentucky.

More Information HERE

Driving time from Cincinnati: 31 mins (25 miles)



  • Dayton, Ohio

Dayton is a place that combines big city experiences and attractions with the charm and pace of a small town.  One on end, the city offers a variety of cultural venues such as opera, ballet, theater, or art museums. On the other end, you can visit one of many parks, bike trails, or river activities. The restaurant and bar scene are definitely hopping too, given the close proximity of the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!).
Dayton Ohio Skyline
Image via Dayton.com
Along with the modern attractions, the city also has a rich aviation history.  Follow the steps of the Wright brothers, and visit Carillon Historical Park, the United States Air Force Museum, or the Dayton Aviation Historical Park. If you visit the Air Force Museum (Wright Patt Air Force Base), not only will you see amazing military planes- you can form your own opinion on the conspiracy theory that there are aliens being kept underground there!
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

More Information HERE

Driving time from Cincinnati: 56 mins (54 miles)



  • Metamora, Indiana

This charming, small town was once a stop on the old Whitewater Canal . Today, it is a great place to visit for a relaxing day of arts and crafts shopping or dining. This historic town has plenty of shops and restaurants lining the main walkway, and offers a variety of activities. You can take a tour of its old grist mill, experience a horse-drawn canal boat, or dig in a gem mine. It also offers plenty of hiking and biking trails, and horseback riding. I recommend that you go in the spring and summer since many places are closed in winter.
Image Via EOFP.net
Metamora Indiana
Image Via larbes.com

More Information HERE

Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour (50.8 miles)



Click here for my post on the top things to do in nearby Kentucky!


Pin it for Later!

Day Trip Ideas from Cincinnati: Places within a 1 hour drive or less from Downtown Cincinnati Ohio

Booking.com


All reviews and opinions are my own, however this post contains affiliate links. If you choose to book any of the tours or hotels listed above I will make a small commission. This helps support the costs to run this blog.

8 Comments

  • Reply Vicki Louise November 5, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I love it when people explore the area around their home towns! Travel adventures are everywhere and your post shows we should all explore our own neighborhoods more. The winery would be my top pick – as wine is one of my fave things – and who wouldn’t want to visit a town called Rabbit Hash? Awesome!

  • Reply Lewi November 5, 2016 at 10:21 am

    big bone lick state park looks beautiful. Will have to visit it when i come to cincinnati!

  • Reply Trevor Thorpe November 5, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Your photo of the Rabbit Hash General Store totally took me back to several of my bike tours. Places like that are to be found all over the northeast along the country roads and there are also some real gems in Central Oregon. So much character!

  • Reply mark wyld November 6, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Looks like there is some amazing day trips to be had in this, your part of the United States. We are always up for a visit to a winery and the air force museum would certainly keep our kids interested. I for one also like visiting small towns and you have some rippers listed here.

  • Reply Vyjay November 6, 2016 at 8:55 pm

    Great places to cover on a Day trip. I particularly would be interested in the vineyards of Elk Creek and the Big Bone Lick State park. Hope to get there someday. In the meantime enjoyed the places virtually through your pictures and words.

  • Reply Franklin Lehman June 7, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    If you are going to Dayton, you need to stop at Mendelsons (http://meci.com/).

  • Reply Bill November 1, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    If you think that Lewis and Clark visited Big Bone in the mid 18th Century, you are totally clueless. Please check their ages.

    • Reply Michelle W. November 1, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Hi Bill- Thank you for pointing out my mistake. I think when I typed this I confused it with the mid 18th century visit of Mary Ingles, but obviously that is incorrect. I have corrected my error (which you ever so politely pointed out).

    Leave a Reply