When you’re seeking the ideal weekend getaway destination, look no further than Ohio. Cozy up to your sweetheart in a charming Ohio vacation rental in a small town where you can shut out the hustle and bustle of the city. Embark on a parasailing adventure, steal a kiss atop a historic lighthouse, or cuddle in the car at a drive-in movie. Check out the eight best romantic weekend getaway spots in Ohio.
The island of Put-in-Bay on Lake Erie is about an hour from Sandusky, which includes a tranquil half-hour ferry crossing from Catawba Island. Put in Bay Parasail invites you to soar in the breeze with your significant other, enjoying breathtaking views of Lake Erie and the islands. You choose your altitude and whether you wish to fly wet or dry. Get your tickets at the Boardwalk restaurants, where you can get anything from seafood to hamburgers under one roof from various vendors. Off the dock, look for Reel Bar that features fishing decor, happy hour drinks, American cuisine, and live entertainment. Kick up your heels at the Beer Barrel Saloon, enjoying drinks at a 400-foot bar, dancing, and getting some late-night food at the adjacent buffet.
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2. Yellow Springs
Colorful buildings, street performers, and lovely tree-lined streets add vibrancy to the picturesque little town of Yellow Springs. A mere 26 minutes east of Dayton, this artsy town brims with creative bohemians, musicians, and free thinkers. Among the funky shops, browse Ohio Silver for hand-crafted jewelry, or pick up some metaphysical stones at House of Ravenswood. Catch a flick at the Little Art Theatre, where the concession stand sells popcorn, gourmet chocolates, beer, wine, tea, coffee, and international soda brands as well as local brands. There’s no better place to spend a romantic afternoon than walking in Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve along the well-marked trails.
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Historic Marblehead gives you breathtaking views of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay. It’s only 30 minutes to Sandusky from the eastern end of the peninsula. When you climb to the top of the lighthouse together, you get breathtaking views of the surrounding islands and a sweet place to steal a kiss. There’s a museum inside the Lighthouse Keeper’s house, a boat house, and a replica of a Coast Guard Life Saving Station. Surprise your heartthrob with a three-hour cruise in Lake Erie with Erie Spirit Sailing, which includes an opportunity to steer the boat. Back on dry land, Ferguson Gallery features lots of interesting art, antiques, collectibles, and jewelry. Get American dishes, seafood, and drinks while enjoying the nautical theme of Marblehead Galley.
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The Little Miami River runs through Loveland, which claims a wee five-square-mile area in the greater Cincinnati area. Loveland Castle tours include sitting areas, board games, and scenic gardens. Explore the gardens and grounds, and enjoy a cozy picnic with your loved one atop the arched tower or down by the river. For delicious brews, stop by Narrow Paths Brewing. Sitting outside, you can see people biking on the Loveland Trail or just relax by the fire pit with your sweetheart. There’s plenty of seating inside, too. Local restaurants include American bar food at Paxton’s Grill and pizzas at The Works.
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Geneva-on-the-Lake makes a great vacation destination for water-sports lovers, just 20 minutes west of Ashtabula. At Best Coast Water Sports, rent a two-seated kayak for a romantic paddle down a little river or out on Lake Erie. Later, cuddle in the car with your sweetie during an old-fashioned drive-in movie at Plum Crazy Adventures, complete with a concession stand for popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Step back in time at Landing Festival Marketplace where you can walk to all the quaint shops, amusement park rides, bars, and eateries. It’s only a 15-minute drive from the lake to Harpersfield Vineyard for tours and tastings to help you pick out the perfect bottle to share back at your Geneva-on-the-Lake vacation rental.
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A mere 20 minutes south of Cleveland, Independence hosts a stop of the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad train at Rockside Station. Take your honey by the hand and hop aboard for the adults-only Ales on Rails beer tasting tour. During the two-hour ride through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the two of you flirt your way through five beer tastings with small appetizers. Forty restaurants in town tempt your palate with everything from good bar food at the Winking Lizard Tavern to fine dining at Delmonico’s Steakhouse. Get some fresh air as you do tees for two at Astorhurst Golf Course, just four miles to the west, in Walton Hills.
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7. German Village
Cross the bridge over Interstate 70 from downtown Columbus to reach German Village, where time stands still, framed in orange brick masonry and cobblestone streets. Many buildings from the 19th century remain in use, preserved and well-maintained. Look for coffee shops, little shops full of unique gift items and handmade candies, and the 32-room bookstore. Plan for an authentic German cuisine dinner at Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. Be sure to steal a kiss by the pond in the beautiful Schiller Park, on the southern end of the district.
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Your Brecksville vacation gives you easy access to arts, dining, and live entertainment in Akron or Cleveland, with no more than a 30-minute drive to either city. Nestled against vistas of the picturesque Cuyahoga Valley National Park, you’re in an ideal location to take your sweetheart on a romantic bike ride along the trails. On the way back, stop by County Line Saloon, a little corner bar where the locals go for classic American bar food and cocktails, beer, or wine. A good workout deserves a couple’s spa day at Antoine’s Le Jour Spa & Salon for pedicures and massages. Then, to top it all off, there’s nothing more romantic than chocolate from Malley’s Chocolates in Valley View, just 15 minutes away.
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