Cincinnati Day Trips: 2 Hour Drive

If you are looking for a fun couples getaway, staycation, or long weekend away… see my ideas for Cincinnati day trips! All of these places are within a 2 hour or less drive from Cincinnati, Ohio. 

For more Cincinnati day trips, see places under a one hour drive!

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  • Augusta, Kentucky

If small riverside towns with friendly people and historic buildings sounds ideal to you, then you really need to make a visit to this charming town! Its claim to fame is being “the most picturesque town in the US”, and is also the hometown of the Hollywood Clooney family.
can visit Rosemary Clooney‘s (of “White Christmas” fame) childhood home, which is now a small museum. However, there is much more to see and appreciate of this town’s history along the Ohio river.
Easy to walk around and spend a leisurely day exploring, fans of antiques and old houses will also love it here!

More Information on Augusta

Driving time from Cincinnati: 49 minutes (44 miles)

  • Maysville, Kentucky

Also along the Ohio river, Maysville has a lot of “small town America” charm. The main street and historic district has an intriguing old theatre (Russell Theatre), several locally-owned restaurants and shops, and in the summer is full of events and fairs.
A very walkable town, there’s plenty to check out (and some may or may not be haunted!) Nearby, visit the Old Pogue Distillery if you’re a fan of bourbon! There’s also the Dover Covered Bridge– Kentucky’s oldest. Cincinnati day trips
Maysville, Kentucky, Cincinnati day trips, under 2 hour drive
Image via

More Information on Maysville

Driving time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 10 minutes (63 miles)

  • Lexington, Kentucky

The “horse capital of America”, Lexington has a big personality and plenty of southern charm. I might be biased given that I lived here during college, but I will recommend Lexington any day!
I have a blog post with all my best Lexington tips here. It’s probably my favorite of the Cincinnati day trips ideas!
lexington horse park country old frankfort pike
Old Frankfort Pike- such a scenic drive!

More Information on Lexington

Driving time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 30 minutes (83 miles)


  • Frankfort, Kentucky

As Kentucky’s capital city, this small picturesque town is worth a visit! After seeing its iconic capital building, check out the Governor’s Mansion and the beautiful “Liberty Hall” historic site. There are also a few museums and plenty of small shops and restaurants too.
If you’d like to get out on the water, “The Bourbon Boat” offers tours on the river. There is also the nearby Cove Springs area if you want to get in some hiking!
cincinnati day trips, frankfort kentucky
Bourbon River Cruise (Image via
The Capitol Building, Frankfort Kentucky, Cincinnati Day Trips,
Capitol Building (Image via

More Information on Frankfort 

Driving time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 35 minutes (79 miles)

  • Columbus, Ohio

As Ohio’s capital city, there is plenty to see and do. There is the row of parks along the river called “Scioto Mile”, with unique trails and fountains.
You can also make a visit to COSI- a very interactive science museum with loads of “hands on” activities. There’s also the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (one of the best in the country) to explore.
Kayaking past the skyline (Image by A.Spessard)
River walk (Image by A.Spessard)

More Information on Columbus

Driving time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 40 minutes  (107 miles)


  • Louisville, Kentucky

Kentucky’s largest city, Louisville is on the Ohio River along the Indiana border. Famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby and being home to the Louisville Slugger baseball brand, its also called “the gateway to the south”.  If you’re a foodie or a bourbon lover, this city is the place for you!Cincinnati Day Trips, Louisville
Check out horse races at Churchill Downs, visit its many museums, or take a trip out into bourbon country for plenty of tasty samples! There are also many charming parts of town filled with historical buildings and parks, and of course loads of restaurants!
churchill downs things to do louisville
The famed race track
Louisville Slugger Museum

More Information on Louisville

Driving time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 40 minutes (100 miles)


  • Indianapolis, Indiana

As Indiana’s capital city, there is a large variety of fun and affordable things to do here. Start with a stroll through the scenic Canal and White River State Park downtown.
Then, check out some of its many museums, or the scenic Lockerbie Square Historic District. There is also the Motor Speedway and Hall of Fame Museum for the car aficionados, or even the “Indy Racing Experience”!
cincinnati day trips, indianapolis canal
Indianapolis Canal

Cincinnati Day Trips, Day Trips within a 2 hour drive, Indianapolis

More Information on Indianapolis

Driving time from Cincinnati: 2 hours (112 miles)


  • Red River Gorge (Slade, Kentucky)

The “Red River Gorge Geological Area” is a canyon system within the Daniel Boone National Forest. It is one of the top destinations in the country for rappelling and climbing, and has stunning views of unique sandstone arches.
There are many hiking trails to choose from, swimming holes to jump in, places to kayak, and caves to explore. I recommend visiting Natural Bridge, hiking Auxier Ridge, and grabbing food from local favorite “Miguel’s Pizza”.

More Information on Red River Gorge

Driving time from Cincinnati: 2 hours (132 miles)

If you’re willing to drive further, here are some Cincinnati day trips within a 2.5 – 3 hour drive from downtown:
  • French Lick, Indiana = 173 miles / 2 hours 48 minutes
  • Santa Claus, Indiana = 171 miles / 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Hoosier National Forest: Indiana = 149 miles / 2 hrs 40 minutes
  • Hocking Hills: Logan, Ohio = 136 miles / 2 hours 20 minutes
cincinnati day trips, hocking hills, adult day trips
Hocking Hills

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  • Reply Nina January 4, 2022 at 7:55 am

    Red River Gorge is perhaps one of my favorite getaways from Cincinnati. I also find Louisville to be an underrated city.

    • Reply Michelle W. January 7, 2022 at 10:37 pm

      Yes when we went to the gorge this winter it was my first time in 5 years and I forgot how much I loved it! I’m going back now this month again! Louisville is a lot of fun too, especially in the summertime.

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