Exploring Southwestern Ohio

Ohio is the Buckeye State, filled with beautiful, natural places to see and visit. One of its most popular regions is southwestern Ohio, which includes cities such as Cincinnati, Dayton, Covington, and more. The region has a lot for RV travelers to enjoy, from back roads through small towns to big city attractions, including many family friendly activities that you can enjoy on a budget. Check out these five great destinations and Harvest Hosts locations for your next RV travel adventure in southwestern Ohio.

Photo credit: 365 Cincinnati

1. Cincinnati

Located north across the Ohio River from Kentucky, Cincinnati was first inhabited when three travelers landed on the bank in 1788. The name officially became “Cincinnati” in 1790. The town’s proximity to the river made it perfect for goods to be shipped and traded via steamboats. The area continued to flourish with the addition of canals and railroads. 

Things to Do

Cincinnati features so many awesome things to see and do, with some of the most popular highlighted below.

Coney Island

Coney Island is a beloved water park that is filled with many unique attractions. Here, visitors can enjoy a floating obstacle course, water slides, a dive pool, and more. They offer swimming lessons on-site and have a café to round out the day. 

Photo credit: Cincinnati USA

Krohn Conservatory

First opened in 1933, this conservatory is home to rare and exotic plants from all around the world. Each area caters to a specific biome and allows the plants to authentically grow and thrive. They also occasionally feature beautiful butterfly shows. 

Photo credit: 365 Cincinnati

Cincinnati Museum Center

This unique center is actually a multi-museum complex. Within one building, visitors can tour the Cincinnati History Museum, the Cincinnati History Library and Archives, The Children’s Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science and the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater. 

Harvest Hosts

Humble Monk Brewing Co. – Cincinnati, OH

While Humble Monk Brewing Co. opened in 2019, Master Brewer, Mike, is no stranger to brewing beers. He’s had over thirty years of experience with homebrewing and opened his brewery to allow himself to branch out on a professional scale. Mike primarily creates craft brews with a Belgian influence but dapples in other styles, offering something for everyone. The taproom is pet-friendly, and the location offers two pet-friendly spaces for RVs under forty-four feet in length. 

Wiedemann’s Fine Beer, Brewery & Pub – 

German immigrant George Wiedemann began brewing beer at the original Wiedemann brewery in Newport, Kentucky in 1870. Today, 150 years later, this brewery continues the tradition. Wiedemann’s brews a variety of beers to suit almost any palette, and they also have an on-site restaurant with a generous selection of food options. This Harvest Hosts location offers one pet-friendly space for an RV under forty-four feet in length. 

Photo credit: Cincinnati Enquirer

2. Dayton

Almost from the start, Dayton, also known as the “The Gem City”, was an innovative area. Some of these innovations include the first overland connection between Dayton and Cincinnati in 1797, the Dayton-Cincinnati canal, numerous famous patents and inventions, the birthplace of aviation, and more. Growth never stops in Dayton, which is one of the most popular places to visit in southwestern Ohio. The downtown area began a serious expansion in the 2000s and the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan in 2010. 

Photo credit: Dayton CVB

Things to Do

Dayton features so many awesome things to see and do, with some of the most popular highlighted below.

National Museum of the Air Force

As one of Dayton’s top favorite attractions, the National Museum of the USAF has numerous galleries presenting military aviation history. They feature over 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles, with thousands of historical items as well. 

Photo credit: Viator

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Visitors of all ages can enjoy this fun, yet educational stop. Run by the Dayton Society of Natural History, they offer a variety of exhibits specializing in zoology, archaeology, space, water, science, and more. 

Photo credit: Ohio.org

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park

As stated above, Dayton is the birthplace of aviation. This National Historic Park focuses on the lives, history, and legacy of the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar. Within the park, there are five National Historic Landmarks and a National Register Historic District.  

Photo credit: National Park Service

Harvest Hosts

Star City Brewing Company – Miamisburg, OH

Founded in 2013, Star City Brewing Company is located in a historic nineteenth century inn. This fun brewery regularly offers fun events such as trivia, food nights, game nights, and more. They typically have over a dozen beers on tap, including hard cider. This Harvest Hosts location offers three pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size. 

Photo credit: Dayton Convention and Visitors Bureau

Wertz Tree Farm – Franklin, OH

There may not be a more incredible life-on-the-road experience than cutting your own Christmas tree for inside your RV (or to take back home). Wertz Tree Farm has saws and even helps with bailing and tying your tree. Unfortunately, the farm will not be offering Christmas trees for the 2021 season but is still open for visitation and will have Christmas trees available again in 2022. They offer one pet-friendly space for an RV of any size. 

Photo credit: Journal-News

3. Chillicothe

Originally inhabited by the Shawnee tribe, the region around the southwestern Ohio town of Chillicothe centers on ancient tradition. In 1795, the Treaty of Greenville allowed settlers to colonize the area, and Chillicothe became the capital of Ohio from 1803-1810, and later again from 1812-1816. 

Things to Do

Chillicothe features so many awesome things to see and do, with some of the most popular highlighted below.

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

The Hopewell Culture National Historical Park dives deep into the Hopewell peoples that thrived in the area for over five centuries. 

Photo credit: Ohio.org

Mighty Children’s Museum

The Mighty Children’s Museum is the brainchild of three moms who wanted to enrich the lives of their children and the lives of other local children in their community. The museum has since blossomed into a community resource that inspires children from birth to seven to learn while they play. They are open to visitors and have numerous exhibits of hands-on fun. 

Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama

Organized and performed by The Scioto Society, Tecumseh! has attracted millions of visitors to Chillicothe. The performance that focuses on the life of a legendary Shawnee leader is ranked as one of the top 100 attractions in North America by the American Bus Association. 

Photo credit: Ohio.org

Harvest Hosts

Na zdravie Vineyard and Winery – Kingston, OH

“Na zdravie” is Slovakian for “cheers”, which is certainly an appropriate name for this winery. The property was originally run as an alpaca farm, but was later transformed into a vineyard by Jack and Cindy Mergo. Here, they regularly host live events and produce a fantastic variety of wines. This Harvest Hosts location offers three pet-friendly spaces for RVs under thirty feet in length. 

Photo credit: WeddingWire

4. Mason

The town of Mason was established when Revolutionary War Veteran William Mason purchased 640 acres. He then platted sixteen lots on his land, and another forty were platted after his death, per his will. The sheer size of the area qualified it as a village, which was named Palmyra. However, since there was already another town named Palmyra, Ohio, the name was later changed to Mason in 1835. The village remained a small farming community until 1971 when it became incorporated to become a city. 

Photo credit: CityBeat

Things to Do

The town of Mason features many awesome things to see and do, with the two most popular highlighted below.

Kings Island

Known for its fun family atmosphere, and impressive roller coasters, Kings Island is an Ohio staple. They have a large variety of rides to please both thrill seekers and those looking for a more relaxing ride. In addition to their rides, they offer a water park and numerous dining opportunities. 

Photo credit: Portsmouth Daily Times

The Beach Waterpark

Situated on thirty-five acres, The Beach is a tropical-themed adventure that the whole family can enjoy. They have a great assortment of water rides, slides, zip lines, pools, arcades, and more. Visitors can also rent a cabana that includes a table and chairs, lounge chairs, and wait service. There are three dining restaurants on-site, as well. 

Photo credit: CityBeat

Harvest Hosts

Liberty Farm Market

Liberty Farm Market offers a wide range of locally-produced products from meats, wine, snacks, supplements, and more, taking many visitors back to the way that local grocery stores used to feel. Because the farm market is set on a farm, this shop can be considered a true farm-to-table experience. They offer one pet-friendly site for RVs under forty-four feet in length. 

Valley Vineyards, Winery and Brewery

Valley Vineyards, Winery, and Brewery is an awesome location featuring a variety of drinks which include grape wines, mead, champagnes, and micro-brewery beers. In addition, they offer fantastic food options such as cheese trays and pizzas, as well as weekend cookouts, live music on Thursdays, and other events throughout the year. They offer four pet-friendly spaces for RVs of any size.

Photo credit: Ohio’s Largest Playground

5. West Liberty

The village of West Liberty, Ohio, is often considered one of the best-kept secret travel destinations of southwestern Ohio. Rich in both historic and natural attractions, the town is filled with so many things to do, allowing something for everyone. For outdoor recreation, visitors can find horseback riding, skiing, tubing, canoeing, fishing, camping, and more, while indoors lovers will enjoy the opportunity to tour a castle, visit the downtown area. Downtown, you can find antique shops, farm markets, delis, a candy shop, fantastic restaurants, shopping opportunities, and so much more. One of the town’s main attractions, Ohio Caverns, also happens to be a Harvest Hosts location, with additional details listed below.

Harvest Hosts

Ohio Caverns

As a popular tourist destination and member of the National Caving Association, Ohio Caverns is the largest of all the cave systems in Ohio and contains many stunning crystal formations. They are open daily for tours, which depart at frequent intervals throughout the day. In addition, they offer snacks, drinks, souvenirs, and other items in their visitors center and gift shop. They have two pet-friendly spaces available for RVs of any size.

“Why Ohio?” is a question with many answers, the most important one may be that it’s home to some of the best people in America, and they’re waiting for you! Be sure to check out any of these fantastic southwestern Ohio locations on your next visit to the region.

Photo credit: NAMI Southwest Ohio

Have you ever visited southwestern Ohio? Which place was your favorite? Feel free to share about it in the comments below!

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