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Things that sound perfect right about now: Ice cream. A warm breeze. And a weekend away with the girls.
Sometimes, you just have to hit the road with your besties. Especially now that more and more of your friends are fully vaccinated. Whether you’re all just taking a much-needed break from the world or you’re celebrating something exciting like a new promotion or engagement, there’s never a bad reason to go on a trip with your girlfriends.
Columbus is a great jumping off point. We’re within an 6-hour drive of a lot of cool stuff. I’m talking natural wonders, beautiful beaches, stunning countryside, and lively cities. Seriously, we’re centrally located in the most wonderful way.
Located just one hour away from Columbus, Hocking Hills State Park is the most beautiful region in Ohio. If you all are looking to relax, hike, or reconnect with mother nature, then this is the getaway for you. There are plenty of cabins to rent if you’re interested in a more private vacay, but there are also great little inns and B&Bs as well.
The Inn at Cedar Falls is just begging to be your getaway destination. There is a delicious restaurant, an amazing spa with all kinds of services, and a variety of accommodations. Traditional rooms and cabins are available, but let’s be real, there is nothing traditional about you and your friends. Which is why you should definitely rent a Yurt for the weekend.
Distance from Columbus: 1 hour and 15 minutes, 57 miles
Put-in-Bay is one of the most iconic tourist traps in all of Ohio. Located on South Bass Island, this is the perfect spring or summer getaway. Put-in-Bay has plenty to do, from shopping and water sports to fancy dining and wine tastings.
Once the season gets in swing (April-October), there are events on the island each weekend. There are pub crawls, bike weeks, and even a dedicated bachelorette weekend. You can also grab a ferry back to the mainland to hit up Cedar Point and other fun things along the coast.
Distance from Columbus: 3 hours and 30 minutes, 135 miles
Chicago is one of my favorite places to visit. You get all the perks of visiting a massive city, but you still get that midwestern charm that we as Ohioans have grown accustomed to. When it comes to glamorous girls weekends, no one does it better than the windy city.
You can shop the Magnificent Mile, see a show, hit up a few art galleries, or just spend your weekend eating and drinking at world class restaurants and bars. Getting to Chicago may take you a few more hours than other destinations on this list, but the trip will totally be worth it. Plus, if you’re feeling fancy, you can do something totally crazy like rent this Yacht on Lake Michigan. #yasssqueen
Distance from Columbus: 5 hours and 45 minutes, 355 miles
Rock and Roll and plenty of fun. That’s what awaits you and your gals if you head to Cleveland for the weekend. I know that there is this sort of weird, unspoken rivalry between Cleveland and Columbus, but I think the capital city and Cleveland both have a lot to offer Ohio, and we’re lucky to be sister cities.
Cleveland offers world-class restaurants, arts, entertainment, and of course, LeBron James. Girls looking to spend a night on the town should definitely check out the Westside Shuffle. This shuttle bus offers cheap and easy transportation to some of Cleveland’s hottest bars on Fridays and Saturdays, and occasionally on special events.
Distance from Columbus: 2 hours and 26 minutes, 143 miles
Looking for a weekend of adventure with the gals? A little over 5 hours north of Columbus is one of the most beautiful natural wonders: Niagara Falls. The falls straddle the border between the U.S. and Canada, so if you want to experience both sides, you’ll need to make sure everyone in your group has a passport or passport card.
While visiting Niagara, you can take a helicopter ride, visit one of the many wineries, take a boat ride around the falls, and so much more. Niagara Falls is probably not a destination for pub-crawling, white-girl-wasted- level party animals. However, if nature and the great outdoors are right up your alley, then get your butts to New York!
Distance from Columbus: 5 hours and 35 minutes, 350 miles
I love Louisville. I didn’t know much about this cool Kentucky town until my sister-in-law moved there, but she quickly showed me what I was missing. Louisville has everything. There’s great food, tons of bars, weird and funky art, and most importantly, amazing people.
I cannot stress the warm welcome you’ll receive enough. If you want to go somewhere that feels like home away from home, this is the place for you. Hit up some local bars on Bardstown Road, eat like a king at one of the many world-class restaurants, and just be weird. Afterall, that’s kind of Louisville’s thing. If you want to have a weekend you won’t forget, head down during the Kentucky Derby. There will be big hats, strong drinks, and so much freakin’ fun.
Distance from Columbus: 3 hours and 24 minutes, 206 miles
I know what you’re thinking. East Nashville seems oddly specific. It’s not that Nashville, on the whole, isn’t a marvelous place. It totally is. But East Nashville has something very cool and hip going on at the moment.
If your friends are ladies who brunch, you’ll be so excited to eat in East Nashville. There’s also live music literally everywhere. And it’s not all honkytonk and country. One of the coolest bands around, All Them Witches, which happens to feature Ohio-native Robby Staebler, calls East Nashville home. So get the girls together, put on your best concert attire, hang out, grab brunch, and experience southern hospitality at it’s finest.
Distance from Columbus: 5 hours and 56 minutes, 380 miles
The Queen City is one of the most beautiful places in Ohio. Cincinnati is gorgeous. It’s got mountains… well technically they’re foothills, but when you’re from somewhere as flat as Columbus, it feels pretty exotic. Cincinnati is an old town with a young spirit. It’s not as big as C-bus, but it’s got a certain “joie de vivre”.
Whenever I head to Cincinnati, I love to go straight to Over-The-Rhine. This neighborhood is simultaneously old and new, and it’s got everything you need for an awesome weekend. Cinci was recently named #8 on the New York Times list of places to travel in 2018, so I’m clearly not alone in suggesting it as an awesome weekend getaway.
Distance from Columbus: 2 hours, 107 miles
Want to relax? Like genuinely slow down, spend quality time with your BFFs, and escape the hustle and bustle? The next four words are going to change the way you think about girls weekends: Geneva on the Lake.
Geneva on the Lake, or GOTL for short, is idyllic, stunning, and just a quick 3-hour drive away. The beaches are beautiful, the people are kind, and the town is quaint. If renting a house, playing games, laying out at the beach, and just chilling sounds good, then you’ll want to get started planning this trip. It is totally a chance to reconnect with your friends, away from noisy bars and distractions.
Distance from Columbus: 3 hours, 190 miles
Remember to check local COVID-19 guidelines for your chosen destination, wear your mask, and practice social distancing. Now, go have some fun!
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