Museums and Interesting Places to Visit within a Two-Hour Drive

Trying to think of something fun to do while still being socially distanced? Consider a short drive to a museum or place of interest. Here is our list of places located within a two-hour drive of Cincinnati; Northern Kentucky; Dayton and Springfield, Ohio; and Southeastern Indiana. Before heading out, be sure to check with the venue’s hours and if a reservation is necessary.

Alexandria, Kentucky
Campbell County Log Cabin Museum – reconstructed log cabins on display

Aurora, Indiana
Hillforest Victorian House Museum – 1955 residence to tour

Cincinnati, Ohio
American Sign Museum –  see over 100 years of all kinds of signs
CIncinnati Art Museum – 60,000+ pieces of art from 6,000 years
Cincinnati Fire Museum – learn about Cincinnati’s firefighting history
Cincinnati Observatory – gaze at the sky and stars
Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame Museum – interactive exhibits, memorabilia and artifacts
Cincinnati Skirball Museum – Jewish artifacts at Hebrew Union College
Contemporary Arts Center – view all kinds of contemporary art
Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal – 3 museums and an Omnimax theater
Duke Energy Children’s Museum at the Union Terminal – hands-on education through exhibits and interaction
German Heritage Museum – learn about Cincinnati’s German history
Harriet Beecher Stowe House – learn about the life of HBS and her book: Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Museum of Natural History & Science at Union Terminal – interactive exhibits and artifacts
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center – exhibits and interactive experiences about the struggles for freedom
Taft Museum of Art – visit this historic home and view European and American masterworks
William Howard Taft National Historic Site – learn about President William Howard Taft at his Greek Revival home

Batavia, Ohio
Tri-State Warbird Museum – historic aviation museum

Burlington, Kentucky
Dinsmore Homestead – view the main house, outbuildings and graveyard of the Dinsmore family

Cleves, Ohio
Harrison-Symmes Memorial Foundation Museum – visit the tomb of President William Henry Harrison; the museum features historical artifacts

Clifton, Ohio
Clifton Mill – historic grist mill in a beautiful setting

Columbus, Ohio
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum – largest world collection of comicsCenter of  Science and Industry (COSI) – science in a very fun way!
Central Ohio Fire Museum – learn about firefighting
Columbus Museum of Art – free admission on Sundays
Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens – 400 plant species
Jack Nicklaus Museum – “fore” golf enthusiasts
National Veterans Memorial and Museum – learn about combat from the perspective of a war veteran
Ohio Craft Museum – all kinds of arts showcased
Ohio History Center/Ohio Village – learn about Ohio
Orton Geological Museum – see dinosaur relics
Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum – all kinds of cars

Covington, Kentucky
The Carnegie – art gallery exhibits 
Behringer-Crawford Museum – learn about regional Northern Kentucky history

Dayton, Kentucky
Dayton Heritage Museum – learn about the history of Dayton, Kentucky

Dayton, Ohio
America’s Packard Museum – dedicated to the Packard Motor Car Company
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery – science learning experiences
British Transport Museum – look at British cars
Carillon Historical Park – learn all about Dayton’s history
Dayton Art Institute – an impressive art collection
Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park – learn all about the Wright Brothers from their bicycle shop
Dayton International Peace Museum – learn about strategies Dayton has used to achieve peace
The Contemporary Dayton – view contemporary art
Paul Laurence Dunbar House – a restored home of the poet and writer
International Peace Museum – learn about local, national and international peace
Miami Valley Military History Museum – learn about our Armed Forces’ veterans
National Museum of the US Air Force – world’s largest military aviation museum
Patterson Homestead –  John Patterson founded National Cash Register – learn about the family
SunWatch Indian Village – 13th century American Indian village along the Great Miami River

Florence, Kentucky
Big Bone Lick State Park Museum – learn about ice-age mammals and Native American history

Fort Thomas, Kentucky
Ft. Thomas Military and Community Museum – learn about the Civil War Battery Hooper defensive position

Fort Wright, Kentucky
James A. Ramage Civil War Museum – learn about the war and the defense of the North

Georgetown, Ohio
Ulysses S. Grant Home and Schoolhouse – learn about General and President Grant’s life

Germantown, Ohio
Veterans Memorial Museum – learn about the U.S. Military

Greenville, Ohio
Garst Museum – 300,000 American artifacts on display + Annie Oakley Center

Hamilton, Ohio
Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park  – indoor and outdoor exhibits (300 acres and 60 sculptures)  

Indianapolis, Indiana
Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site – collections and exhibits to the U.S. President and General in the Civil War
Children’s Museum  – largest children’s museum in the world to explore science, history and arts 
Conner Prairie – interactive history museum (Fishers, Indiana – north of Indianapolis) 
Eiteljorg Museum – American Indian and Western art museum
Indiana Historical Society – learn about Indiana’s history with exhibits and collections
Indiana World War Memorial & Museum – 5-block memorial site – learn about U.S. military history
Indiana State Museum – learn all about the state’s past and future                
Indianapolis Zoo – visit the outdoor and indoor animal exhibits
Madame Walker Theatre – building tour about the Black experience in Indianapolis and CJ Walker’s legacy as the first self-made female millionaire
Newfields – museum of nature and the arts

Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Dearborn County Historical Society & Museum – learn local history, tour an 1819 log cabin

Lebanon, Ohio
Glendower Historic Mansion and Harmon Museum – step back into time in these homes

Lexington, Kentucky
Ashland – The Henry Clay Estate – National Historic Landmark with 18-room mansion and gardens
The Aviation Museum of Kentucky –  earn about aviation
Bluegrass Distillers – tour and tasting of Kentucky bourbon
Explorium of Lexington – children’s museum to learn and explore
Headley-Whitney Museum – museum filled with fine and decorative arts
James E. Pepper Distillery – learn about the distillery that includes a tasting
Kentucky Horse Park – tour several barns and museums
Lexington History Museum – learn all about Lexington at the pocket museums
Mary Todd Lincoln House – learn about the wife of Abraham Lincoln
University of Kentucky Art Museum – view 4,800+ pieces of art
Waveland State Historic Site – Antebellum house with original outbuildings

Louisville, Kentucky
Conrad-Caldwell House Museum – learn about the Gilded Age at this Victorian mansion 
Kentucky Derby Museum – interactive exhibits and walking tour at the racetrack
Louisville Mega Cavern – zip lines, tram tours and walking tours – all in a large cavern
Muhammad Ali Center Museum – interactive exhibits, images and artifacts 
Slugger Museum/Factory – guided factory tours and a museum dedicated to baseball
The Speed Art Museum – worldwide collections of art 
The Waverly Hills Sanatorium – tours and paranormal investigations
The Zoo Louisville – inside and outside animal exhibits

Madison, Indiana
Lanier Mansion State Historic Site – view the historic home located along the Ohio River
Madison Railroad Station Museum – local history museum
Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum – learn about how saddles were made; by appointment only

Maysville, Kentucky
Rosemary Clooney House Museum – find costumes, photos and other memorabilia at her former home
National Underground Railroad Museum – Bierbower Home was a safe house for the underground railroad
Kentucky Gateway Museum Center – exhibits and collections all about Maysville and Kentucky

Metamora, Indiana
Metamora Horse-Drawn Canal Boat – visit the grist mill and Whitewater canal

Miamisburg, Ohio
Mound Science & Energy Museum – learn about energy and nuclear power

Moores Hill, Indiana
Carnegie Hall – museum is open by appointment

Newport, Kentucky
Newport Aquarium – discover the underwater world with all kinds of creatures
World Peace Bell Center – world’s largest free-swinging bell

Oregonia, Ohio
Fort Ancient – learn about Ohio’s prehistoric past at N. America’s largest ancient hilltop enclosure

Oxford, Ohio
Miami University Art Museum – 10,000 objects of art 

Petersburg, Kentucky
Creation Museum – Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden

Ripley, Ohio
John Rankin House – learn about the Underground Railroad stations in Ohio

Rising Sun, Indiana
Ohio County Historical Museum – 1800–1900s historical collection of Ohio County items

Springfield, Ohio
Daniel Hertzler House – pre-Civil War home showcasing 19th century living
The Gammon House – Underground Railroad site
Hartman Rock Garden – admire Ben Hartman’s outdoor rock garden with 250,000+ stones
Heritage Center of Clark County – home to the Historical Society museum; learn about early settlements and growth of the area
Pennsylvania House Museum – former 19th century inn features furniture and artifacts from the 1800s and admire a 100,000 button collection
Springfield Museum of Art – enjoy many art collections
The Westcott House – prairie-style home built in 1908 by Frank Lloyd Wright

Trotwood, Ohio
Iams Homestead Museum – learn about the history of Trotwood (open April – August)

Troy, Ohio
Miami Valley Military History Museum – learn about U.S. Armed Forces veterans
WACO Air Museum – learn the history of WACO Aircraft Company during the Golden Age of Flight

Wapakoneta, Ohio
Armstrong Air & Space Museum – learn about Neil Armstrong and space history 

Waynesville, OhioCaesar’s Creek Pioneer Village – log cabins and buildings from the local area on display
Museum at the Friends Home – learn about the Quakers from 22 rooms of historic exhibits

West Liberty, Ohio
The Ohio Caverns – largest in the state with over 2 miles of paths below ground

Williamstown, Kentucky
Ark Encounter –  ark-shaped museum with three decks of Biblical exhibits

Wilmington, Ohio
Clinton County History Center – learn about the history and genealogy of Clinton County

Did we miss a museum or interesting place to visit? Let us know! sknabe@sibcycline.com





Parks and other Outdoor Spaces to Enjoy within a One- to Three-Hour Drive

Family On Hiking Adventure Through Woods By LakeIf a staycation is on the books for this summer, consider day trips to interesting places where you can enjoy being outdoors. To enjoy your outdoor adventure, we have lists of locations within a 3.5-hour drive (of Cincinnati, Ohio; Dayton and Springfield, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana) that will be fun and still mindful of being social distanced.

Be sure to check with your destination first before heading out. Many places have COVID-19 rules in place.

 


OHIO OUTDOOR SPACES

Cincinnati Art Museum Art Climb 
953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio (local)
Walk the steps up to the Cincinnati Art Museum. The “Art Climb” has 164 steps. At the top, enjoy a view of the city. (Steps are not ADA accessible.)

Downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine
Self-Guided ArtsWorks Mural Tour (local)
Take a walk through downtown Cincinnati and Over-the-Rhine via a self-guided tour. Here is a pdf of map. (If you prefer a guided tour, go here for information.)

Fairview Park
501 West McMillan Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45219 (local)
Incredible panoramic view of the Cincinnati skyline, Union Terminal and the Ohio River. Playground and picnic tables are available. Walk a 1.2 mile loop from Ravine Street to West McMillan.

Hocking Hills State Park
19852 OH-664, Logan, Ohio 43138 (2.5-hour drive)
9,000 acres with hiking and rock climbing.

John Bryan State Park
3790 OH-270, Yellow Springs, Ohio (local)
752-acre park with a limestone gorge.

Mt. Airy Forest
5083 Colerain Avenue, Cincinnati , Ohio 45223 (local)
Cincinnati’s largest park with almost 1,500 acres. Enjoy hiking and biking trails, bridle paths and picnic areas. There’s even a treehouse!

Ohio Caverns
2210 OH-245, West Liberty, Ohio (2-hour drive)
Largest cave system in Ohio. Follow on Facebook.

Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park
763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, Ohio (local)
Outdoor (and indoor) exhibits with 60 sculptures on 300 acres.

Scioto Audubon Park
400 W. Whittier Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215 (1.5-hour drive)
120 acres of wildlife and green spaces along the Scioto River. Find  wetlands, an outdoor climbing wall and the Grange Insurance Audubon Center. Follow on Facebook.


KENTUCKY OUTDOOR SPACES

Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
2075 Clermont Road, Clermont, Kentucky 40110 (2.5–3 hour drive)
This 16,000-acre area has lots of “forest giants”. These sculptures  combine art with nature and are large-than-life productions! There are also hiking trails and fields of flowers to enjoy. Follow on Facebook.

Big Bone Lick State Park
3380 Beaver Rd, Union, Kentucky 41091 (local)
Visit the bison, go hiking along 4.5 miles of trails and enjoy the museum. Picnic grounds and play areas available.

Castle & Key Distillery
4445 McCracken Pike, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601 (1.75-hour drive)
There are 114 acres on the property. Tour the distillery and grounds including the springhouse and gardens. Follow on Facebook.

Cove Spring Park
100 Cove Spring Road, Frankfort, Kentucky (2-hour drive)
Scenic trails, waterfalls and flowers are found at this 240-acre nature preserve. It’s a very scenic area to visit.

Daniel Boone National Forest
1700 Bypass Road, London, Kentucky 40744 (2.75-hour drive)
Hike, picnic, boat, fish and more!

Devou Park 
1201 Park Drive, Covington, Kentucky (local)
Devou Park has many scenic overlooks of Cincinnati and the Ohio River. This park has over 700 acres and features trails, fishing lake, a history museum as well as a golf course. Be sure to bring your best camera to capture images of the Big Mac and other iconic bridges, Great American building, stadiums as well as Covington and river overlooks.

Dinosaur World
711 Mammoth Cave Road, Cave City, Kentucky 42127 (3.5-hour drive)
150 dinosaurs roam the park! Dig for fossils and minerals. Follow on Facebook.

Kart Kountry
315 Joe B. Hall Ave, Shepherdsville, KY 40165 (3-hour drive)
This is the home to the world’s largest go-kart track with 1.5 miles. There’s also miniature golf, bumper boats, batting cages and an arcade.

Kentucky Horse Park
4089 Iron Works Parkway, Lexington, Kentucky 40511 (1.5-hour drive)
(Trolley tours, barns and playground are currently closed.) Follow on Facebook

Louisville Mega Cavern
1841 Taylor Ave, Louisville, Kentucky 40213 (2.5-hour drive)
Underground zip lines and adventure tour; Indoor bike park

Mammoth Cave National Park
1 Mammoth Cave Parkway, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky 42259 (3.5-hour drive)
Largest cave system in the world! Descend and explore! The national Park has hiking, horseback riding and water activities.

Red River Gorge 
3451 Sky Bridge Road, Stanton, Kentucky 40380 (2.5-hour drive)
Waterfalls, trails and bridges to explore.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens
6220 Old Lagrange Rd, Crestwood, Kentucky 40014 (1.5 hour drive)
There is a magical castle surround by a garden full of plants and paths.  Enjoy the English estate garden and wildflower field. Follow on Facebook.


INDIANA OUTDOOR SPACES

Columbus People Trails 
506 Fifth Street, Columbus Indiana 47201 (1.75-hour drive)
See wildflower gardens, creeks, parks and more

Dearborn Trails
Aurora, Lawrenceburg and Greendale, Indiana (local)
Trails along the Ohio River through Aurora, Lawrenceburg and Greendale, Indiana

Hoosier National Forest
811 Constitution Avenue, Bedford, Indiana (2-hour drive)
A 203,000-acre forest! Hike, camp, fish and bike!

Indianapolis Cultural Trail
132 W Walnut St, Indianapolis, IN 46204 (2-hour drive)
Trail links significant sites.

Monon Trail
9100 Westfield Blvd, Indianapolis, Indiana 45240 (2-hour drive)
This trail stretches across Indiana. (In Indianapolis, you can follow the trail by the Indiana State Fairgrounds before it intersects with the Indianapolis Cultural Trail on the east end of Massachusetts Avenue). There are several major access points with free parking: 91st St., 86th St., 75th St., 67th St., 65th St., 62nd St., 56th St., 54th St., 49th St., Westfield Blvd., Broad Ripple Ave., State Fairgrounds.)
Walk or bike along the trail!

White River State Park
801 W Washington St, Indianapolis, Indianapolis 46204 (3-hour drive)
Enjoy the trails, and canal. This park is also home to the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana State Museum, Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art and more.