Fall is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to take advantage of these last few weeks of the camping season. However, those who have traveled most of the areas surrounding their home may be feeling tired of the same old camping destinations. After all, camping is about adventure, and it’s hardly an adventure if you’ve done it half a dozen times already this year.
If you’re feeling antsy and want something new to see, I encourage you to look a little further from home. This is the perfect time of year to take a road trip, and with the weather cooling down, you may even get to enjoy some pretty colorful scenery along the way.
So where should you go? My suggestion—if you haven’t visited already—is Northeast Ohio. This may seem a bit odd. After all, how often do you hear people talk about this little corner of the world? However, my family and I recently had the pleasure of seeing the area, and we were actually quite impressed.
Here are the things we suggest seeing while there.
1. Lake Erie
If you’ve never seen the Great Lakes, this is a must-do. Seriously, the vastness of this lake is incredible, and the water is so clear you’ll forget you’re in a lake. When the wind blows, the water often becomes wavy and very reminiscent of the ocean, but with none of the salt and much less blinding sunlight.
Besides all of that, it’s great fun to watch boats out on the water. We went into the small town of Ashtabula and got to see a full-on harbor complete with a drawbridge. This may not seem like much to many people, but my six-year-old thought it was the coolest thing ever, and being from Oklahoma where large bodies of water are practically non-existent, I have to say I totally agreed.
2. Adorable towns
In almost any part of the country, once you get past the big metropolitan areas you’ll be surrounded by nothing but farmlands dotted with tiny towns. Sometimes these towns are a bit sad and run-down, but other times they’re vibrant, well kept, and adorable. The towns in this part of Ohio are definitely the latter.
From cute coffee shops and delicious local eateries to lovely parks and beautiful beaches, every single small town we visited was full of wonderful things to see and do. For this reason, I definitely recommend going on adventures to see what you can see in the little towns surrounding your campground. You never know what you may find!
3. Covered bridges
For some reason in this area of the country, covered bridges are a huge thing. My best guess is that the bridges need to be covered to keep as much snow as possible from accumulating on them, but I could be wrong. In any case, covered bridges are everywhere. In fact, Ashtabula County is apparently the Covered Bridge Capital.
Small covered bridges, super long covered bridges, and bridges of all colors can be found in this county, and all of them are super cool to see. If you want to see as many as possible and learn a bit about their stories, consider downloading the tour map and bridge facts pages from this site and going on a self-guided driving tour of the area’s bridges.
Want even more covered bridge fun? I highly recommend eating dinner at Covered Bridge Pizza. Both the Ashtabula and Kingsville locations are pieces of actual covered bridges that have been converted to restaurants, meaning you can eat in true Northeast Ohio style.
4. Super fun festivals
With small towns come awesome festivals. Wine festivals, medieval fairs, and yes, even an annual Covered Bridge Festival fill the warmer months with tons of fun for Ohio residents and visitors alike.
If you enjoy a good festival, you might take a quick peek at this list to see when an event that interests you is taking place, and be sure to visit during that time frame. With a combination of small-town charm and precise organization, these celebrations are not likely to disappoint.
5. Cleveland-area museums
Of course, there’s always something to be said for the bigger cities as well. Cities are usually where the best attractions are found, and in this particular case, the nearby city is Cleveland.
Honestly, Cleveland was not the most impressive city in my humble opinion. That said, we did have a fabulous day there at the attractions near the university. The Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Natural History Museum, Cleveland History Center, and the Cleveland Art Museum are all located very near one another.
This means you can park and hop from one place to the other, making a day of it—which is exactly what we did. We saved a lot of money doing this by using our reciprocal memberships.
Other things that are worth seeing in Cleveland include:
- The Christmas Story House (the actual house in the film, A Christmas Story)
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
- The Great Lakes Museum
As you can tell, my family and I quite enjoyed northeastern Ohio and all it had to offer. Does this sound like a place you’d enjoy visiting in your RV? Why not give it a try and see for yourself? I think you’ll be glad you did!