Ohio Romantic Fall Getaway Hocking Hills

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This is a post from the past that I felt was worth republishing. With fall here we can’t say enough about visiting Hocking Hills this time of year. It’s a beautiful destination and the perfect place to get away from it all.

You may have seen my tweets last week expressing my excitement for a trip we took to Hocking Hills.

Hocking Hills Review

If you haven’t heard of Hocking Hills, it is an enormous state park just south of Columbus, Ohio. It’s an area full of trees (lots and lots of trees!), caves, waterfalls, streams, lakes, deer, fox, rabbits, and birds. If you are looking to get away from it all, Hocking Hills is definitely the perfect place to unplug. Lodging choices do include a few hotels and motels scattered here and there, but the primary accommodations are cabins, cottages, lodges, and campgrounds.

We left on Friday afternoon and it took just over 3 hours to drive in from Cleveland. Our first stop was dinner at The Lodge at Hide-A-way Hills.

The restaurant and brew pub has a log cabin atmosphere with an absolutely fantastic deck overlooking acres and acres of trees, hills, and land. Dinner was incredible and I’m still thinking about dessert days later! (Look for more details about The Lodge at Hide A Way Hills in the upcoming post Staying and Dining in Hocking Hills.)

After dinner we navigated our way through the dark, up hills, around twists and turns to find the Cabins by the Caves, where we would be staying for the night. We found the McKinley Cabin and were quite proud of ourselves for only missing a turn or two.

Once we pulled up to our cabin a massage therapist from Blue Valley Massage greeted us. She was there for Tired Dad Dave’s in cabin massage appointment at 7 pm. Before we even got our bags into our cabin, Shelly told us to take a few steps back up the driveway to a clearing and check out the stars.

There were hundreds of stars and the moon was shining so brightly. It was such a amazing difference looking at the night sky unobstructed by city lights. It was absolutely gorgeous.

Walking down the path to the McKinley Cabin we noticed a fire pit out front and an adorable swing on the porch. Once we were through the doors of the McKinley cabin we were immediately amazed at striking spiral staircase leading to a large loft with double-bed and lots of extra room.

The cabin had such a homey log cabin feel. Not only were the walls wooden, but the woodsy décor was charming and the detail was outstanding. With everything from metal bundles of stick on the drawer pulls to the comfy quilts and country-like curtains, we felt right at home in the woods. We were also impressed to be welcomed with a beautiful bouquet of flowers, chilled sparkling grape juice, and delicious apple bread.

The cabin also offers one first-floor bedroom with double bed and as well as the one up in the loft. The bathroom is a nice size with a wonderful adjustable shower head. There is a full-kitchen complete with fridge, stove, microwave, and dishwasher and dining room table for four. The living room has an incredibly comfortable leather sofa and a cute rocking chair as well as a fireplace and tv with satellite offering many channels – there is also a dual vhs and dvd player.

McKinley Cabin Interior:

Hocking Hills Review

Outside you’ll find a large deck/wrap around porch with hot tub and picnic table to the side and a porch swing in the front. There is also an outdoor grill and firepit as well. Neighbors are few and far between and getting to the cabin is a bit of an adventure in itself. The road is narrow with many twists, turns, and steep hills but I would expect nothing less of a cabin located in Hocking Hills.

McKinley Cabin Exterior:

Hocking Hills Reviews

After Tired Dad Dave’s massage (which he will review in the upcoming post: Relaxation and Adventure in Hocking Hills) we went outside and sat on the deck to do some stargazing. The air was a bit cool, but the sky was clear and the stars were amazing. We were also amazed at how incredibly bright the moon was. It was wonderful to sit out on the deck just the two of us and we enjoyed being able to finish a sentence without interruption.

On Saturday, we had the chance to stop at the Wind Chime Shop, Christmas Treasures Gift Shop & Candle Shop which are 3 different stores located next to each other. The Wind Chime shop has hundreds of wind chimes and some that I’ve never seen before including a neat fountain chime that tinged every time the floating chimes bumped into one another.

Hocking Hills Wind Chime Shop

There were chimes in the shape of chili peppers, chimes made of kitchen utensils, chimes made out of seashells, chimes that were so large they sounded like grandfather clocks and many more. We also learned about solar powered chimes which were as they sound powered by the sunlight. I had never heard of these kind of chimes before and now I want one!

The Christmas Shop was packed full of a wide and unique selection of Christmas decorations. There were adorable snowmen, beautiful glass ornaments, a chorus of Santa Clauses and much more. The Candle Shop was fully of handmade candles, both taper and jar candles, as well as some sweet smelling lotions. If you’re in the area I definitely recommend a visit to each of these three shops for unique décor and gift ideas.

Hocking Hills Christmas Shop

After shopping, we had worked up an appetite and were excited to have lunch at The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls.

While enjoying our delicious lunch, we had the chance to speak with Innkeeper, Ellen Grinsfelder, about the Inn. We learned about the fascinating history of the Inn, the Bed & Breakfast options, the cabins, and spa as well. While there, we got a glimpse of the bed & breakfast rooms, a tour of the property, and a look inside one of the cabins. (Look for all of these details and more about lunch in the upcoming post titled Dining & Staying in Hocking Hills).

Hocking Hills Review

We made a stop at Old Man’s Cave which is the most popular area in Hocking Hills. I couldn’t believe how packed the parking lot was and thanks to the gorgeous 70 degree weather there were lots of people picnicking too. We found a parking lot, crossed the street and headed down the path and stairway to check out the cave. It was amazing how much cooler it was down by the cave. We looked around for a bit and had the chance to snap a few incredible photos.

Hocking Hills

After the cave we were pretty tired, so we headed back to the McKinley Cabin at Cabins by the Caves, where we enjoyed the hot tub while watching the leaves fall and then took a much needed nap.

Our evening plans included a Sunset Scenic Air Tour and a trip to Ravenwood Castle. The Air Tour was fantastic, fun, and so beautiful.

Harry Sowers, the owner of the 4-seat Cessna that we took on tour, was so relaxed, laid back, and funny that we had no worries at all. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening for a scenic air tour. The sky was mostly clear with just enough clouds at the horizon to showcase a gorgeous sunset. (Look for the upcoming post titled Adventure & Romance in Hocking Hills).

After the Sunset Scenic Air Tour we drove to nearby Ravenwood Castle for dinner.

We met with one of the co-owners, Pat Wadsworth, who showed us the property and spoke proudly of the castle and it’s guest rooms, cottages, cabins, and gypsy wagons. After an informative and wonderfully detailed tour of the property, we also had dinner at Ravenwood that night. We found the service to be impeccable and the food to be fabulous. I could have eaten a mixing bowl full of the Butternut Squash Soup! (Look for more details about the property and dinner in the upcoming post titled Dining and Staying in Hocking Hills).

Once we decided we could eat no more, we went back to our cabin for the night navigating the twists, turns, and hills of Hocking Hills in the dark fairly well. We only had a 20 minute detour which actually impressed us considering the street signs were a little hard to see.

Hocking Hills

One recommendation if you are traveling to the area is to be sure to bring a paper map with you. To say that cell phone & GPS service is spotty is definitely an understatement and there stores and gas stations are too few and far between to stop and ask for directions. So unless you like the challenge of navigating unfamiliar woodsy areas or knocking on a farmer’s door to ask for directions – keep that map on hand! It was a real lifesaver for us. We also have to thank Thera Wright from the Hocking Hills CVB, for not only putting together this amazing trip ,but also for providing us with impeccable directions as well.

After a quiet night’s sleep, we packed up in the morning and drove over to Ash Cave which is the largest recess cave in Ohio. It is a really large cave that is open on one side. There is also a small waterfall that streams down from the top of the cave.

Once our relaxing morning of hiking and cave viewing came to an end, we were ready for some adventure so we headed to Hocking Hills Canopy Tours for zip lining.

Photo credit – Hocking Hills Canopy Tours

Truthfully, I was pretty nervous to zip line because of the problems I’ve been having with my hip, but the zip lining itself didn’t bother me at all, it bothered me more to walk than it did to fly through the air – so that was a welcome surprise! We had a fabulous time zip lining and our guides were funny and fun and put us at ease. (Look for the upcoming post titled Adventure & Romance in Hocking Hills to read more about our zip lining adventure).

After zip lining we turned the car north and headed back home. We had a wonderful time in Hocking Hills, we’ll be back again, and we recommend it to anyone looking for a relaxing trip. It’s such a wonderful area – just a 3 hour drive from Cleveland, and you feel so away from it all that it’s the perfect location for a Romantic Fall getaway.

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Thank you to the Hocking Hills CVB for providing the trip for review. No compensation was received. The opinions are mine and that of my family.

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  1. Maralea says:

    What a relaxing get away! Would be wonderful to visit Hocking Hills one day.

  2. saminder gumer says:

    i love the log cabin feel. this is a place i would love to go to get away from it all and just relax.

  3. One of the most underrated places in Ohio

  4. We don’t live to far from here and I’ve always wanted to go…Now I want to go even more!

  5. Julie Wood says:

    This place is really amazing and I would love to stay at the Hocking Hills resort. I like the cabin out in the woods and the fun of getting to be alone and cozy sounds so wonderful. What a great adventure to go here.

  6. ellen beck says:

    Thia place looks beautiful What I found the most interesting is the scenic plane ride that would be fun!

  7. Κeeρ on working, great job!

  8. Mary Gardner says:

    That is a beautiful place and looks like a nice, peaceful getaway!

  9. Looks like such a great place to visit! The cabin looks so comfy cozy!

  10. Now this is somewhere I need to check out. Thanks.

  11. Betsy Barnes says:

    I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, this place looks like many of the places we have, tourists love coming, didn’t realize Ohio had such cool places too :)

  12. this looks so nice, peaceful and remote. A great vacation away from the hectic traffic & hustle and bustle of the city, and a great place to relax and unwind.

  13. Amanda Sakovitz says:

    I love the inside! I’ve never stayed in a cabin so this looks wonderful!

  14. I’ve never been here before but it looks beautiful! What a relaxing space and a great place to clear your mind!

  15. Hi, I too have been to Hocking Hills. It is as beautiful as you have described it. Getting down to “Old Man’s Cave” is quite the adventure! Whew, had to stop and rest a few times lol. Thanks. Vicki.

  16. Raven Gilbert says:

    What beautiful pictures and views! I would love to go!

  17. Beth Klocinski says:

    Hocking hills is beautiful to visit any time of the year. You can get great rates on cabins in the winter and spend a romantic weekend by the fire and enjoying a hot tub.

  18. Gina Blomgren says:

    I would love to get away to a place like that! We all live such crazy and hectic lifestyles, we could all probably benefit from it!

  19. Richard Hicks says:

    What a great place to get away from this hectic world. Cabin is just darling.

  20. Absolutely beautiful! Being a military family, we have moved and traveled a lot! We somehow always seem to station in the mid-west and I can’t say I’ve ever been to Ohio. We stayed in a beautiful log cabin before in Galena, Illinois for New Years. I have to show this one to my husband! I think the kids would love it!

  21. This place looks so serene and peaceful! We have never been to a cabin for vacation – we tend to always go to the beach and stay in a condo. Will definitely look into something like this – looks like you guys had a great time!

  22. Suzanne DeVaux says:

    This place looks absolutely amazing! I want to go.

  23. Brittany Thomas says:

    What a nice little getaway place. I could definitely use a place like that to take a mini vacation!

  24. Karen Propes says:

    Oh, so beautiful. I love all the unique places you guys find to visit. I love the cabin and I’m a true Christmas Store lover!!! The picture with the reflection of the trees in the water is beautiful. Most of all the zip lining looks great, Dave looks like he enjoyed it. I want to do it so bad, my medical conditions won’t let me now, but maybe some day at least I know a place to go… Thanks for the review and all the pictures.

  25. I bet this is absolutely gorgeous this time of year!

  26. This place looks so awesome! You are so lucky to live at a place so close by! We are heading to the mountains for vacation this year, but it’s a LONG 12 hours drive! Great post!

  27. This looks really cool and gives me ideas for a getaway next year. My wife dreams of living in the woods or staying in a cabin.

  28. michelle hill says:

    Nice getaway

  29. Whoa this looks like so much fun and what a beautiful place. We love hiking and getting out in the woods. We also like to Geocache which this looks like a really fun place to grab a few geocaches as well. Thank you for sharing.

  30. tina reynolds says:

    Wow that looks so romantic what a perfect place for a getaway. It looks beautiful. Love being surrounded by nature

  31. Linda Meyers-Gabbard says:

    I’ve lived in Ohio all my life and have never been to Hocking Hills. My hubby has long ago before we ever met. The log cabins look so homey and roomy. Fall seems to be the perfect time to go so you can light up the fireplace.

  32. jessica z says:

    I’ve always wanted to check out Hocking Hills! I am going to have to reference your page for whenever I finally do :)

  33. Wow! What a beautiful and romantic vacation spot. I always think first of the beach for a romantic trip, but you’ve definitely convinced me that a forest trip would be awesome too.

  34. Wow, this looks like a perfect getaway, right down my alley. Heck, I could live there year round! :)

  35. I felt struck by cupid’s arrow when I saw the picture of that cabin – I would love to do something like this – except for the zip line – what a blast, and so perfect and pretty fall.

  36. Looks like such a relaxing place!

  37. I would love to spend a romantic weekend away with my husband. I think we’re really over due.

  38. Rosemary Green says:

    very nice

  39. Stephanie says:

    This looks like lots of fun. We took a trip to a state park here in Louisiana with my whole extended family and it was great. State parks are really perfect for romantic giveaways or huge family gatherings.

  40. Deborah Curran says:

    I have a friend who lives in Columbus – can’t wait to send her this

  41. Austin Baroudi says:

    This place is beautiful! I would love to take my girlfriend here! We haven’t really had too many romatic getwways and it’s definitely long overdue that we have one!

  42. MD Kennedy says:

    What a gorgeous place! Another reason to visit Ohio!

  43. I have stayed in this same exact cabin. <3 Hocking Hills!

  44. terri tillman says:

    this would be my ‘dream’ vacation. i much prefer the rustic sort of accommodations to the ‘fancy hotel’ type. i really enjoyed your lovely pictures and description of things. it sounds/looks very awesome. thank you for sharing it.

  45. saminder gumer says:

    this place and the scenery looks amazing. we go to a place like this once in a while and were just there this past december. it was a great experience. can’t wait to go back.

  46. This looks like a great place for a little getaway.

  47. Jean Fisher says:

    Looks like a terrific spot. I’d love to steal the hubby away here!

  48. Maria Malaveci says:

    We are not too far from Ohio… This is absolutely beautiful. Would love to get away with my husband here!

  49. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    I Bet Hocking Hills Looks Amazing Right Now With All The Ohio Snow !:)

  50. What a beautiful lodge!! The inside design is lovely!

  51. Holly Trudeau says:

    I love it! I adore cabins, this looks so pretty and romantic! Love that it’s not too far from me (IL), may have to take a couples retreat soon ;)

  52. Nice place!

  53. Thomas Murphy says:

    wow looks like the perfect place to go to get away from the world, I would love to take my GF there.

  54. It is really beautiful there. We considered going here for vacation, now I am sorry we didn’t.

  55. Zip linning is on my bucket list, combine this with Hocking Hills and it looks like it would be well worth the time and money.

  56. That is so pretty! I love the fall and the fall setting. Would love to have my home set off just like that one, I would have to have some huge towers for internet signal though. I have never been one for the fast pace of the city life. Love my country setting!

  57. Trasina McGahey says:

    How beautiful! That looks like somewhere I would love to go!

  58. Jennifer Marie says:

    Wow that looks beautiful there!

  59. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    What a wonderful place. I’d love to stay in one of the cabins. Just beautiful!

  60. This is a wonderful review and i just love love love that cabin and the setting. It’s my kind of place!

  61. michelle w says:

    looks beautiful. great way to relax and enjoy pretty scenery

  62. Stephanie says:

    i would love to go there and visit!!

  63. This place looks beautiful! I would love to spend a vacation there with my husband.

  64. I would love to vacation here!

  65. Edward P. says:

    Very romantic and nice, would love to be there.

  66. Looks so nice! I would like to stay there

  67. very cool!

  68. Sarah Madrigal says:

    This was a GORGEOUS place!!! I would love to spend time with my husband or family in a cabin like that..It looked so romantic and peaceful.

  69. Stacey Cockrell says:

    This is so beautiful! Hubby and I take a vacation every fall and get away without the kids. This looks like the perfect place.

  70. Betty Baez says:

    Very nice looks like a ton of fun! Hubby wants to rent a cabin for me and him this year sanz the kids maybe we’ll consider taking a drive there

  71. Just got an information packet from them yesterday, very nice review, on our short list of places to visit here in Ohio…

  72. Oh my goodness!! I so wantto go there now!! Thank you for this post! :)

  73. looks fabulous!

  74. stunning! The spiral staircase is just stunning! Makes me want to go there

  75. So nice! Air tour sounds incredible

  76. Devona Fryer says:

    It really does look like a place to get away from it all! The cabin is so charming!

  77. Nice! That staircase has caught my eye lol

  78. Thanks for sharing this review! This definitely looks like a place we would love!

  79. Thomas Murphy says:

    Looks very nice!

  80. I have wanted to go on a Fall weekend trip with my husband to Hocking Hills forever! This will be the year we actually leave our brood of 4 w/family & go!

  81. Stephanie says:

    so pretty

  82. HEATHER PANJON says:

    hocking hills is a great weekend getaway :)

  83. Jennifer V says:

    I love Hocking Hills! We’re renting a cabin in October and are planning on ziplining, too! I can’t wait!

  84. Oh, this is beautiful! A cabin in the woods in autumn…love it!

  85. Jennifer Marie says:

    I have heard about this place, looks beautiful!

  86. WOW!! Looks like a wonderful place. We have family in Gahanna OH… & my husband is from Ohio..so excited to show my husband & check it out, this looks like some place he wouldn’t mind staying at & then we could visit family too! :) Thanks for sharing!

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