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16 Best Day Trips in Ohio if You're on a Budget

day trips in ohio

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Visit Quarry Park to Hike, Swim, Camp, and...Scuba?

day trips in ohio
Credit: Todd Petrie

Quarry Park is a wonderland for anything you could want to do outside. Hang out at the beach, have a picnic by the playground or the great picnic areas, swim in the quarry, or even scuba in the quarry!

While it’s not the Great Barrier Reef, the Quarry is 30ft deep and has a lot of awesome rock structures, fish, and plants to explore. If scuba diving isn’t your thing, the beach is beautiful and makes for a fun day in the sun.

If you really want to explore what Quarry Park has to offer, grab a camp spot and stay the whole weekend.

Park entry will cost you $10-$12 depending on when you go. Camping is $15-$20 and RV parking will run you up to $75. Not bad given everything that Quarry Park has to offer.

Spend a Day at Lake Erie

day trips in ohio
Credit: Rona Proudfoot

Of the 5 Great Lakes, Lake Erie is the 4th largest. It’s so large, in fact, that the Northern Shore is in Canada. Like Quarry Park, Lake Erie offers all the fun of the beach and waterfront activities. Ironically, it’s also another great diving spot!

Divers at Lake Erie can find a number of shipwrecks to explore. If diving isn’t your thing, grab a kayak, canoe or sailboat and enjoy the view above the water. It can be dangerous to swim in Lake Erie due to the currents so, it’s best to have a boat of some sort.

There are a couple of islands in Lake Erie (Kelleys, Pelee, and South Bass), so feel free to venture out to a new beach. The towns along Lake Erie are great too, leaving you with no reason to be bored.

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

day trips in ohio
Credit Lucas Liu

Cuyahoga Valley National Park is between Cleveland and Akron and boasts a lot of beautiful nature to take in. I mean, it’s a National Park for Pete’s sake.

Go camping, hiking, horse back riding, golfing, biking, and any other shenanigan you can think of in the great outdoors.

There’s no entrance fee, so if you’re really on a budget, this is a great Ohio day trip.

Check Out Amish Country

There’s A LOT to do in Amish Country. Stay in a cabin, take a number of tours, check out the museums, visit a number of wineries and breweries, roam around the shops, and eat some great food.

Amish Country is in Millersburg, Ohio and has a number of great small towns within it for you to explore.

Visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

day trips in ohio
Credit: Zach Chisholm

You’re either really excited about this one, or you’re already glazing over. Obviously, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is an amusement park for music lovers.

Admission is pricey but, if you love music, you won’t even notice the dent in your bank account.

Tour Anthony-Thomas Chocolates

If you want a Willy Wonka moment, the Anthony-Thomas Chocolates in Columbus is the place for you. This place is big enough and the chocolates are delicious enough that the factory tour lasts a full hour. Be sure to to check ahead for availability.

Visit the World's Largest Basket

Credit: hculligan

If you love the quirky and the whimsical, head over to Newark to see the world’s largest basket! This deliciously shaped building is the corporate offices of Longaberger.

You won’t need too much time here, but it’s definitely worth a stop.

The address of this great building is 1500 E Main St, Newark, Ohio.

Go to an Ohio State Football Game

Credit: marada

Go root for the Buckeyes and see a great game of football at Ohio State University! The campus is gorgeous, so feel free to get their early for a tour.

Crawl Through Seneca Caverns

Credit: Sonja

Take a break from the sun and spend the afternoon weaving through a maze of rocks in Senseca Caves. The caves are 54 degrees every day of the year, so it can be a great place to cool off and enjoy some amazing rock formations.

Enjoy a Relaxing Day at Clifton Mill

day trips in ohio

Spend the day at the Clifton Mill learning about how the Mill works, dining in the restaurant, and simply sitting on the porch and enjoying the view.

Start the day by taking a tour of the Mill. Once you have the insider’s knowledge of the workings and history of the Mill, enjoy a meal at their beautiful restaurant.

Even if the idea of a Mill doesn’t thrill you, this place is gorgeous and makes for a relaxing day.

Stop by the German Village

day trips in ohio

If you’re near Columbus, stroll through the German Village. Check out the rows of charming brick houses, wander through art galleries and shops, and buy unique gifts from the handful of shops.

The other great thing about German Village is the food! Enjoy any number of coffee shops, pubs, and bistros.

If you happen to visit in the summer, look out for Shakespeare performances in the park.

Feel Fancy at Loveland Castle

day trips in ohio
Credit: Richard Cawood

Swing by Symmes Township and see Loveland Castle. A castle is fun for obvious reasons. Even if you just drove by without getting out of the car, you’d be impressed by the castleiness of this castle.

On a nice day, you can have a picnic and enjoy the castle’s gardens.

Drive Down the Hocking Hills Scenic Byway

Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls

For the price of a tank of gas, drive through some of the most beautiful scenery in Ohio. Driving down State Route 374, you’ll find charming restaurants, cute shops, and even great hiking trails.Feel free to spend the whole day inching through the highway and taking in everything it has to offer.

Walk Through Covered Bridges in Lancaster

Credit: Kevin Burkett

Lancaster, Ohio is known for its covered bridges, most of which were built in the 1800s. Drive around Lancaster and try to find them all!

  • George Hutchins Covered Bridge
  • Hanaway Covered Bridge
  • Mink Hollow Covered Bridge
  • Rock Mill Covered Bridge
  • Hartman Number 2 Covered Bridge

Relive Your Childhood at the Smucker's Factory

day trips in Ohio
Credit: Erin

Let your nostalgia run wild! The Smucker’s Factory and Store is right there is Orville, Ohio. The Smucker’s Store is much more than you ever imagined. Not only are their rows and rows of fruit spreads, the Smucker’s Store has sections for everything including Folgers, Hungry Jack, and Pillsbury.

day trips in ohio
Credit: Joanna Poe

Appreciate Art at the Cleveland or Toledo Art Museum

day trips in ohio

Both Cleveland and Toledo can brag about their art museums. Choose whichever city is closest and spend an afternoon with the arts.

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