7 Unique Day Trips From Columbus, Ohio

Columbus is a great city to enjoy the nightlife, restaurants, and some exciting shopping adventures. Still, when you need to take a break from this city, there are numerous things you can do outside the city that are fun and within driving distance. Taking a day trip from Columbus, families, groups, and individuals can take a day trip and enjoy some outdoor fun in nature, get up close and personal with history and culture and explore some unique entertainments that will be as memorable as they are fun.

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 1

What are some cool day trips you can take near Columbus?

If you’re looking to get out of Columbus for a quick, fun day trip, there are a lot of great options just a short drive away. Some unique day trip destinations you may not have thought of are:

  • Kings Island
  • Loveland Castle
  • Mansfield, Ohio
  • Holden Arboretum, Forest, and Gardens
  • Ohio Bird Sanctuary
  • Lake Erie
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

I personally find that the best day trip adventures I have had include a bit of everything, some outdoor fun, some indoor amusements, and a bit of the unexpected to make it unforgettable.

Planning is a huge part of enjoying your adventure, which can include ensuring that the vehicle being used is reliable and safe. You will want to ensure that you plan for delays when on your adventure and be prepared for the unexpected and possibly a change of plans if issues arise.

Kings Island

6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, Ohio 45040

(513) 754-5700

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 1 1

For the family or groups that want to return to the carefree energy of their youth, this amusement park makes for a great day trip experience. There are traditional coasters and plenty of other authentic rides and some new ones for excitement. It’s also a great place for a kid’s birthday party near Columbus.

The park is under a hundred miles away from Columbus and has just one hour’s driving time. This park was the site of many movies and is over three hundred and fifty acres in size. Aside from the amusement park rides, they offer live musical entertainment throughout the summer season and a water park for some good old-fashioned water fun.

Loveland Castle

12025 Shore Road, Loveland, Ohio 45140

(513) 683-4686

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 2

A bit of history can be on the day trip itinerary at just over an hour’s drive and under a hundred miles. You can explore a bit of history while taking a step back in time and going for a walk inside a breathtaking castle and its lovely gardens and outdoor areas.

You can also learn about “Harry,” the man who built it all, explore games and puzzles and admire the architecture. The castle is rumored to have ghosts, and visitors can listen to ghost stories and learn about the lore of this castle. There are also swords and weapons on display for those who desire to check those out.

Mansfield, Ohio

Mansfield, Ohio

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 3

Movie buffs will enjoy a short trip from Columbus to this intriguing town.  Home to the Ohio State Reformatory, visitors can walk the spooky but interesting halls and explore all the unusual during a self-guided tour.  Enthusiasts who enjoy old buildings, history, and exploring on their own, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon.

There is a bird sanctuary as well as numerous museums, the beautiful Kingwood Gardens, and a beautiful nature center.  It’s a well-rounded town that has a lot to do at just an hour outside of Columbus.

Holden Arboretum, Forest, and Gardens

9550 Sperry Road, Kirtland, Ohio 44094

(440) 946-4400

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 4

The largest arboretum in the United States has over thirty-six hundred acres of natural areas, unique habitats, gardens, and collections of plants that inspire and educate. This is a perfect place to take a unique day trip for those who enjoy learning about wildlife, botany, and native and regional plants.

Over twenty miles of hiking and walking trails for visitors to enjoy and explore. Numerous other attractions pop up during different seasons and times of the year, and those visitors who are incapable of enjoying the arboretum on foot can take a comfortable tram tour.

They have a grab-and-go eatery, a woodland playground for your group’s little people, and a canopy walk that allows visitors to explore the area on a walkway over fifty feet above the forest.

Ohio Bird Sanctuary

3774 Orweiler Road, Mansfield, Ohio 44903

(419) 884-4295

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 5

For a day trip adventure that includes those feathered creatures we all love so much, heading for this bird sanctuary is a perfect choice. This sanctuary (not a zoo) is a natural habitat for native birds to rehabilitate and recover from injuries, illness, and other bird-related struggles.

The sanctuary actively educates the public, including school-age children, about the birds of this area and offers opportunities for visitors to see birds in their natural habitat. There are educational and other events throughout the summer and peak season that focus on nature, the outdoors, and our planet.

Lake Erie

Erie, Pennsylvania

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 6

Visiting Lake Erie can be a wonderful day trip experience with all the outdoor adventures offered. The trip takes just under two hundred miles and a few hours to reach your destination. Adventures include kayaking, swimming, boating, and other water sports.

Biking, hiking, and other outdoor fun can be had if water isn’t your cup of tea. It can all be happily finished with some great shopping and dinner afterward. The possibilities for a unique outdoor day trip adventure are vast, depending on your group’s likes and preferences.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

1110 Rock and Roll Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio 44114

(216) 781-7625

Unique Day Trips from Columbus Ohio 7

Music enthusiasts will enjoy an afternoon day trip to another city in Ohio where they can explore this music museum before taking in the city sites and enjoying a lovely dinner and an easy drive home.

A one-way drive to and from the rock and roll hall of fame is about two hours and close to one hundred and fifty miles. Visitors can see live musical acts at certain times, enjoy the exhibits, and enjoy some great food and a wonderful gift shop with rock-geared merchandise.

This is a remarkable museum experience that everyone in the group will connect with and enjoy. Various packages for visitors include admission to the museum and other Cleveland attractions for a well-rounded, unique day trip.

Final Points

Columbus has culture, interesting sights, and many diverse adventures that make it possible to never leave the city and still have a great day trip adventure.

When the need to break free from the city and head out of town for a little fun hits, these and other exciting places provide a nice diversion from every day. With a little planning and some creative thought, your day trip adventure can be as memorable as the city of Columbus!