Four family-friendly Ohio road trip destinations

If you are planning a road trip for your family, chances are you will not be alone on the highway. One survey released by a major travel company revealed that 35 percent of families take at least one vacation together annually, with some taking two or three trips per year. When it comes to popular destinations in America, Ohio often tops the list because of its family-friendly offerings, and there are several that stand out if you are ready to explore this fun and fascinating state.

Ohio road trip

1.      The Wilds: Cumberland

The animal lovers in your family will thrill to The Wilds, a sanctuary that stretches over 9,000 acres of land and where over two dozen different species of mammals, insects, and reptiles roam free. Take safari-style bus tours during the day and then retire to The Lodge for comfort and convenience during an overnight stay. The Wilds also offers family-friendly activities as well, including horseback riding and zip line adventures.

2.      Lake Erie Shore

Lake Erie is the fourth smallest of the Great Lakes, but when it comes to adventure, it’s one of the largest in the state. Enjoy wildlife parks and the beauty of Maumee Bay State Park, where you can relax on two sandy beaches, enjoy a two-mile boardwalk stroll, or simply enjoy the view of the lakeshore. If you have any thrill seekers in the family, then you can head to Cedar Point Amusement Park, which features a breathless collection of roller coasters and other thrill rides, all with panoramic lake views.

3.      The Valley Gem Sternwheeler

If you and your family are looking for a nautical adventure after your road trip to Ohio, then you might be able to find it on the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers when you board the Valley Gem. This pleasure cruiser, which can accommodate over 900 passengers, offers river tours between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati from early spring through late November. The boat features its own restaurant, a shaded upper deck, and a temperature-controlled lower deck for comfort. All ages are welcome on a 90-minute cruise that is sure to please.

If you plan to drive to Pittsburgh and take both river tours, you may want to ask your auto insurance company if you are covered in both states. Because coverage may vary depending on location, it is wise to meet with your agent before your trip to ensure you are covered if you plan to venture into nearby Pennsylvania.

4.      The Christmas Story House

For those who love Christmas all year round, a road trip to Ohio would not be complete without a visit to the house from the iconic holiday movie, “A Christmas Story.” The house where the movie was filmed has been lovingly preserved, and after you walk through, you can cross the street and visit the movie museum, where some of the props are on display. If you are a die-hard fan, you and the family can stay overnight in the home, which would make a visit to this Ohio landmark complete.

Taking a road trip to Ohio with your family can make for a wonderful vacation, whether you travel overnight or choose to explore the entire state during an extended holiday. No matter where you roam, spending time with family can be the greatest adventure of all.

About the author

Pit Stops for Kids AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly at a number of travel publications, and contributes to OutdoorsNW magazine as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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