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Perfect Day Trips

By the Editors

Sometimes you just need to get away. Fortunately,
Cincinnati’s location makes it so that you’re never far from your next adventure or escape. No matter the direction—north, south, east or west—there’s something to help your family leave their worries behind.

What’s your favorite one-day trip? Let us know by tweeting at us with the hashtag #CincyOneDayTrips.

 

National Museum of the United States Air Force

North

National Aviation Heritage Area

Here’s a one-day trip that will seem to fly by.

That’s because most of the sites and attractions available to visitors in the National Aviation Heritage Area, an eight-county area in the Dayton region, are aviation related.

Dayton, of course, is where Orville and Wilbur Wright lived and also where they invented and perfected the airplane. Visitors can tour two renovated buildings that were used by the Wright brothers for their printing and bicycle shops at the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center and Aviation Trail Visitor Center, 16 S. Williams St., Dayton.

Aviation Trail Visitor Center

Next, visitors can tour the field where between 1904 and 1905 the Wrights developed the first dependable, fully controllable airplane at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field on Pylon Road at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

To see the original first dependable, fully controllable airplane—the 1905 Wright Flyer III—head over to the John W. Berry Sr. Wright Brothers Aviation Center at Carillon Historical Park.

Of course any trip to the National Aviation Heritage Area wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The museum, located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is the world’s largest and oldest military aviation museum with more than 360 aerospace vehicles on display.

– Eric Spangler

 

South

Kentucky Bourbon Trail Tour

If you’re interested in sampling the history, the industry and the culture of Kentucky, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour is your roadmap.

Woodford Reserve distillery

The Kentucky Distillers’ Association formed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail® tour in 1999 to offer a firsthand look at the art and science of crafting bourbon, its more than 200-year-old history and the tradition of the commonwealth’s signature spirit.

Bourbon tourism has been growing in popularity. More than 2.5 million visitors have made stops on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour over the last five years, the distillers’ association says.

The 10 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour are scattered from Lexington to Louisville. Visitors can start and stop their distillery tour wherever they like, but figure on at least three days to visit all 10 distilleries.

All the distilleries charge a fee for their tours that can last an hour or more and offer samples at the end for those 21 or older. Most offer non-alcoholic beverages as well.

Those who do visit all 10 and get their official Kentucky Bourbon Trail passport stamped at each stop can collect a free T-shirt.

If that doesn’t quench your thirst, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft tour, also through the Distillers’ Association, offers a look at another 13 small, up-and-coming distilleries from Newport to Bowling Green.

– Mike Boyer

 

East

Hocking Hills

When you hear the call of the wild, head east for Hocking Hills. Hocking Hills State Park has five separate sections that feature everything from cliffs and waterfalls to gorges.

Ash Cave

One of the park’s most popular sites is Old Man’s Cave. Named after a settler that lived in the caves after the Revolutionary War, the site is home to many waterfalls, the Devil’s Bathtub (a churning tub of water that spills into the creek below) and the Sphinx Head (a rock formation that looks like a Sphinx). The hiking trail is approximately a mile long and takes an hour to hike.

Other sections to explore include Cedar Falls (with waterfalls that plunge 50 feet), Ash Cave (the largest recess cave east of the Mississippi), Cantwell Cliffs (a remote area ideal for hiking) and Rock House (the only true cave in the park).

For those looking for some guidance, you can take tours by horseback, by air or even by Segway. Zip-lining and canopy tours are also offered.

– Corinne Minard

 

West

Nashville, Indiana

Nashville, Indiana, features art and fantastic views in a small-town setting.

There’s a reason the village of Nashville, Indiana, is referred to the as the Arts Village. A number of artists, including painter T.C. Steele, settled in the area in the early 19th century and formed the Brown County Art Colony. Today, the county has more than 250 specialty shops and in 2012, Indiana designated the county an Indiana Cultural District.

Art lovers of all ages will find something to enjoy in the village. From sculptures (like the wooden Abe Martin on Franklin Street) to the Hamilton Fine Art Gallery and Studio (where visitors can watch artist Stan Hamilton paint in the shop), the town is packed with opportunities to view or buy art.

Don’t know where to start? The Brown County Craft Gallery, where local artisans bring their pottery, jewelry and baskets to sell, and the Nashville House, the town’s original general store, are ideal places to start your shopping adventure.

– Corinne Minard