While there are a lot of activities to do and places to visit in Cincinnati, there are also several interesting destinations to visit outside of the city that can be reached in less than a day.
The Queen City is accessible to various sites in northern Kentucky, Indiana, and other parts of Ohio, thanks to its convenient placement along the southern Ohio border.
We have compiled a list of the top 20-day trips from Cincinnati in this article.
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 50 minutes (112 miles)
One of the most apparent day trip destinations from Cincinnati is Indianapolis, our western neighbor. Indianapolis, the state’s largest city, offers a wide range of activities and attractions, including a zoo, the world’s largest auto racetrack, White River State Park, the world’s largest Children’s Museum, a city market, a canal walk, and much more.
Hoosier National Forest
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 2 hours 5 minutes (138 miles)
Hoosier National Forest is situated in south-central Indiana and is home to almost 200,000 acres of forests, rolling hills, back-country trails, and animals. This national forest, which is only a two-hour drive from Cincinnati, is one of the best places to get away from the city and reconnect with nature.
Throughout the year, the national forest provides various events, activities, and outdoor programs that are great for families. Keep up to speed on all activities and programs at the national forest by visiting the Hoosier National Forest website.
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 10 minutes (68 miles)
Yellow Springs is located just over an hour north of Cincinnati and is undoubtedly one of Ohio’s most unusual cities. Yellow Springs has something for everyone, with over 75 local stores, galleries, restaurants, and pubs. There are so many interesting locations to visit in the city that you could easily spend an entire day doing so.
Throughout the year, Yellow Springs organizes several street fairs and festivals. Keep an eye on the website of the city for the most up-to-date information about upcoming events in the area.
Young’s Jersey Dairy
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 15 minutes (72 miles)
Young’s Jersey Dairy is considered one of the most popular sites in southwest Ohio, located just over an hour north of Cincinnati. This dairy farm features real animals that you may handle (and feed), as well as a putt-putt golf course, batting cages, and some of the greatest ice cream in the state. Walking about the city and then stopping at Young’s for some ice cream is a popular day trip activity just outside of Yellow Springs.
Young’s also holds several events throughout the year, so keep an eye on their website for the most up-to-date information on all of their upcoming events and activities.
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 17 minutes (73 miles)
Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve (73 miles) is a 268-acre preserve that includes one of Ohio’s most magnificent limestone gorges as well as a 2-mile length of the Little Miami State River. This is an excellent spot for hiking, bird watching, and trail running, and it’s only three miles outside of Yellow Springs. The area is especially beautiful and worth seeing in the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom.
Glen Helen Nature Preserve
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 13 minutes (70 miles)
Glen Helen Nature Preserve is home to about 1,000 acres and over 25 miles of hiking trails and pathways. It was founded in 1929 when Hugh Taylor Birch donated the area to Antioch College to remember his daughter Helen.
Just outside of Yellow Springs, the preserve is home to a diverse array of wildflowers, 400-year-old trees, limestone cliffs, and waterfalls. This is a great area to enjoy hiking, have bird viewing, or just relax in the great outdoors.
John Bryan State Park
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 15 minutes (72 miles)
John Bryan State Park is a 750-acre natural preserve located just one mile outside of Yellow Springs. Hiking paths, rock climbing, and rappelling areas, and canoeing and fishing opportunities along the Little Miami Scenic River are all available at the park. The park also features several picnic spaces and shelters ideal for hosting a family gathering or a party.
Hocking Hills State Park
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 2 hours 22 minutes (136 miles)
Hocking Hills State Park is situated in southeastern Ohio and is one of Ohio’s best sites to visit. This state park has something unique to offer to visitors with woods, hiking trails, camping spots, waterfalls, gorges, and wildlife.
Hueston Woods State Park
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 57 minutes (46 miles)
Hueston Woods State Park, located just one hour north of Cincinnati, is an excellent place to visit if you enjoy hiking, birding, trail running, fishing, canoeing, or fossil hunting. The park’s 625-acre Acton Lake is surrounded by campsites, cottages, and a resort lodge, all of which can be rented.
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 48 minutes (105 miles)
Ohio Caverns is the best destination in Ohio to explore underground caverns and is known as “America’s most colorful caverns.” The National Wonder Tour, which takes guests on a 1-mile trek through areas of the caverns found after 1925, is one of the most popular tours. The Crystal King, Ohio’s tallest stalactite, is included in this trip, as are several other spectacular formations and brilliant crystals.
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
The approximate Driving time from Cincinnati is 33 minutes (29 miles)
Pyramid Hill is among the few sculpture parks in the United States. The park, which first opened in 1996, now has over 60 giant contemporary sculptures. The park, which spans 335 acres, hosts concerts, special events, and children’s programs throughout the year. This is an excellent destination for a day trip with the family, which is only a short drive outside the city.
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 42 minutes (107 miles)
COSI Columbus is a science center in Columbus, Ohio, that offers a unique interactive experience for people of all ages. COSI Columbus. COSI is a science center in Columbus, Ohio, that provides a truly unique interactive experience for people of all ages. The center is well-known for its hands-on approach to science education.
COSI is a fantastic destination to take friends, family, and kids for a day of fun and learning, with over 300 interactive experiences, nine galleries, and a constantly shifting list of live programs. Check out their website for the most recent list of activities and events held at the center throughout the year.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 2 hours 6 minutes (125 miles)
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is fantastic wildlife and outdoor experience for both adults and children. It’s well worth the visit, with a wide variety of exhibits and an even wider variety of animals and aquatic species to see, and it’s very simple to spend an entire day visiting the exhibitions. Check out their website to get the current list of events and initiatives going place throughout the year.
Dayton National Air Force Museum
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 58 minutes (60 miles)
Dayton National Air Force Museum is the world’s oldest and most significant military aviation museum, situated at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton.
The museum houses a vast collection of aircraft and artifacts from the history of the Air Force. This is a worth visiting museum for those who are interested in aviation or military history. Check out their website to organize your visit ahead of time so you can get the most out of your time there.
Dayton Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 57 minutes (56 miles)
Dayton Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a children’s museum, science, and technology center, and zoo in Dayton, Ohio. Along with an extensive natural history collection, the museum offers a wide range of interactive exhibits, displays, and live presentations. This museum is one of the finest places to take young children to learn about nature, history, and wildlife. It’s simple to make a full day out of a visit, and it’s one of the best places to take young children to learn about nature, history, and wildlife.
Big Bone Lick State Park
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 32 minutes (25 miles)
Big Bone Lick State Park is situated at Big Bone in Boone County, Kentucky, and is named after large megafauna fossils discovered in the area. This state park, approximately 25 miles west of Cincinnati, offers hiking, camping, fishing, birdwatching, putt-putt golfing, and other activities. Check out their website to get a complete list of events and things to do in and around the park.
Red River Gorge
Approximate Driving Time From Cincinnati: 2 hours 19 minutes (146 miles)
Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is a National Natural Landmark with approximately 29,000 acres of wildlife and nature. It is also included in the National Register of Historic Places. Near Cincinnati, the gorge offers some of the best hiking, trail running, birding, rock climbing, and other outdoor activities.
This location is one of the most gorgeous in the Midwest, with several rock shelters, sandstone cliffs, natural bridges, and waterfalls. ahead of time to help you plan your vacation so you can extract maximum enjoyment out of it.
Kentucky Horse Park
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 11 minutes (74 miles)
The Kentucky Horse Park, located about an hour south of Cincinnati, is a working horse farm and educational theme park that has been open since 1978 in Lexington, Kentucky. Anyone who enjoys horses or is interested in horse racing history in Kentucky should pay a visit to the park. Check out their website for a detailed list of activities and things to see while visiting the park.
Louisville Mega Cavern
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 37 minutes (102 miles)
The Louisville Mega Cavern is a vast underground man-made cavern located in Louisville, Kentucky that encompasses more than 17 miles of underground corridors. Zip lining, walking tours, tram rides, and e-bike trips are all available at the cavern. Within a 2-hour drive of Cincinnati, this is by far one of the most exciting attractions.
Elk Creek Winery
Approximate Driving Time from Cincinnati: 1 hour 2 minutes (55 miles)
Elk Creek Winery, located in Owenton, Kentucky, is a must-see for wine enthusiasts. The winery produces and bottles a wide range of award-winning wines on the premises. They also have an art gallery, cooking lessons, bed and breakfast housing, live entertainment, and outdoor entertainment at their amphitheater during the spring and summer season.
20 Best Day Trips from Cincinnati
The map below illustrates where the 20 places discussed in this post are located: