Ohio isn’t just a giant cornfield. If you’re in state, there’s actually a lot of great stuff perfect for a day trip just a few hours away (especially if you’re in Columbus). If you’re curious about the buckeye state, these hidden gems are worth the drive.

Besides relaxing (and maybe disconnecting) the whole point of a little weekend getaway is to be outside. From golfing to kayaking, and even old school horseshoes or shuffleboard, there’s enough to keep you busy all weekend at one of these five Ohio State parks. Don’t forget your swimsuit, hiking boots, and s’mores supplies, either.

Besides the whole get outta town part, the best thing about going to the state park is it can be a great getaway for anybody – romantic weekend for two, boys in the woods, or bring the whole family.

Now Get Ready

The point of the drive no longer has to be let’s just get there. Apps like Roadtrippers round out your vacation by finding cool stuff to do along the way. Keep it weird by choosing the offbeat attractions filter, or just find some really good local cookin’ with the food & drink finder. The app is a bevvy of resources for just about anything you can think of.

Get Set!

The gas stations will get a little few and far between out in the middle of nowhere. Running out of gas should not be part of your adventure. The GasBuddy app not only helps you find stations but identified the least expensive in the area. Bonus points: use the trip cost calculator to estimate how much money you’ll spend on gas.


Alright, now that your tank is full and you know where to stop along the way, get in the car and head to one of these next five secluded parks.

Deer Creek

deer creek - ohio summer weekend getaways

Where is it?

Where to stay:
Lodge guest rooms (for 2-8) people can make it a romantic weekend getaway, or perfect for a few days of outdoor shenanigans for family and friends. Private, spacious cabins offer more of a do-your-own-thing option with a fully-equipped kitchen and screened in porch to enjoy a cold one at the end of the night. Added bonus, Deer Creek is home to the Historic Harding Cabin (yes, that’s President Harding) perched right on the lake.

Go here if you want to go:

  • Boating & Fishing: 1,300 acres of lake with paddle boats, paddle boards, two-person kayaks, and a whole lot of fish to catch.
  • Golfing: Swing a quick 9 or an all-day 18 on the 350 acre course.
  • Hiking: Woodlands, meadows, and shoreline are all on the agenda for these 1 to 2.5 miles trails.

Maumee Bay

maumee bay - ohio summer weekend getaway


Where is it?

Where to stay:

Maumee Bay Lodge has room options ranging from suites overlooking Lake Erie to loft rooms overlooking the golf course with a private balcony. Good for a group, Maumee Bay’s cottages can sleep up to 11.


Go Here If You want to go:

  • Golfing: Play 9 or 18 holes on 1,850 acres of protected wetlands
  • Boating: BYOB (boat, not beer…although you might want that too, but not while operating any vehicles) to the Maumee Bay Marina
  • Hiking or biking: Lots of trails with lots to see, including views of Lake Erie


Mohican - ohio summer weekend getaways

Where is it?

Where to stay:

It’s nothing but relaxing forest views to take in from the balcony of your room at Mohican State Park Lodge. It’s lodge-only options at this location, with double to king rooms, good for a couple or even small groups.

Go here if you want to:

  • Hiking: 13 miles of trails wind through the park, with another 32 nearby at the Mohican Memorial State Forest.
  • Biking: 25 miles of winding terrain make for a trek not suited for the novice biker.
  • Horseback riding: Trot along 22 miles of trails (this time it’s BYOH, bring your own horse).

Punderson Manor

Punderson Manor - ohio weekend summer getaways

Where is it?

Where to stay:

Purderson Manor is not the place you would expect to find in the middle of the woods. The English-Tudor style manor has flair and character with antique reproductions outfitting each room. Or, opt for the true outdoor experience with hillside or creekside cabins back in the woods.

Go here if you want to:

  • Golf: Choose either a 9 or 18 hole adventure.
  • Experience the Country Club without the Club: The lodge offers a pool, tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts on-site.

Salt Fork

salt fork - ohio summer weekend getaways

Where is it?

Where to stay:

Options are the name of the game. There’s the rustic lodge where each room has it’s own patio or balcony, and a variety of back-in-the-woods cabins. Chalet Cabins rock some pretty great amenities with a gas fireplace, hot tub, and enclosed porch. Or if a view of the water is more your style, head to the Lakeside Cabins. If you’re seeking seclusion head to the Hillside Cabins.

Go here if you want to:

  • Golf: Rugged terrain and forested hills keep this 9 or 18 hole course interesting.
  • Horseback Riding: Local stables will help you saddle up for 20 miles of trails.
  • Boating: Boasting two marinas, rent a boat at Sugartree Marina, or dock up at Salt Fork Marina