Exploring the Best Things to Do Between Cincinnati and Columbus

Traveling between Cincinnati and Columbus offers more than just a straightforward road trip. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or foodie, the journey between these two vibrant cities is packed with exciting stops and hidden gems. Here’s a guide to the best things to do between Cincinnati and Columbus that ensures an enjoyable and enriching experience.

1. Discover the Charm of Waynesville

Waynesville, Ohio: A Step Back in Time

Located just off I-71, Waynesville is a charming small town known for its antique shops and historic ambiance. Wander through Main Street, lined with quaint boutiques, cafes, and antique stores. Don’t miss the Museum at the Friends Home, where you can learn about the town’s Quaker heritage and local history.

Key Attractions:

  • Waynesville Antique Mall: A treasure trove for antique lovers.
  • Caesar Creek State Park: Ideal for hiking, picnicking, and bird watching.
  • Der Dutchman Restaurant: Enjoy hearty Amish-style meals.

2. Explore the Serene Beauty of Yellow Springs

Yellow Springs: A Hub for Art and Nature

Yellow Springs is a vibrant village known for its artistic community and natural beauty. Glen Helen Nature Preserve offers miles of trails through picturesque landscapes, including a scenic waterfall and a limestone gorge. The village has numerous art galleries, quirky shops, and unique dining experiences.

Key Attractions:

  • Glen Helen Nature Preserve: Perfect for hiking and wildlife observation.
  • Yellow Springs Brewery: Enjoy craft beers in a relaxed setting.
  • Young’s Jersey Dairy: Fun for the whole family with ice cream, farm animals, and mini-golf.

3. Experience the Thrill of Kings Island

Kings Island: A Premier Amusement Park

Just a short drive from Cincinnati, Kings Island is a must-visit for thrill-seekers. This amusement park boasts world-class roller coasters, family-friendly rides, and a water park. Kings Island also hosts various events and shows, ensuring entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Key Attractions:

  • Orion: One of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the world.
  • Planet Snoopy: An award-winning kids’ area.
  • Soak City: A 33-acre water park with slides and wave pools.

4. Immerse in History at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force

Dayton, Ohio: A Tribute to Aviation

Located near Dayton, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is the world’s oldest and largest military aviation museum. With over 360 aircraft and missiles on display, this museum offers an extensive look at the history of aviation, from the Wright brothers to modern space exploration.

Key Attractions:

  • Presidential Gallery: See aircraft used by U.S. Presidents.
  • Space Gallery: Featuring missiles, satellites, and space suits.
  • Early Years Gallery: Explore the beginnings of flight and World War I aviation.

5. Enjoy the Scenic Beauty of Hocking Hills

Hocking Hills: Nature’s Masterpiece

While slightly off the direct route, Hocking Hills is worth the detour for nature enthusiasts. This region is famous for its stunning state parks, deep gorges, waterfalls, and lush forests. Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave, and Cedar Falls are popular spots, offering breathtaking views and excellent hiking trails.

Key Attractions:

  • Old Man’s Cave: A scenic hike through caves and waterfalls.
  • Ash Cave: A large recess cave with a beautiful waterfall.
  • Rock House: The only actual cave in Hocking Hills, accessible via a picturesque trail.

6. Visit the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Powell, Ohio: Family Fun and Wildlife Adventures

Before reaching Columbus, make a stop at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Renowned for its extensive animal exhibits and conservation efforts, the zoo offers a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages. Don’t miss the Heart of Africa exhibit, where you can feed giraffes and observe other African wildlife up close.

Key Attractions:

  • Heart of Africa: Featuring lions, cheetahs, and giraffes.
  • Polar Frontier: Home to polar bears and arctic foxes.
  • Zoombezi Bay: A water park adjacent to the zoo for cooling off on hot days.


Traveling between Cincinnati and Columbus is more than just a journey; it’s an opportunity to explore a range of exciting destinations. From historic towns and natural wonders to thrilling amusement parks and world-class museums, there’s something for everyone along the way. Plan your trip with these highlights in mind to ensure a memorable and enjoyable adventure.

By incorporating these diverse attractions and activities, you’ll make the most of your trip and create lasting memories.