As we watch the cost of gasoline skyrocket, the lure of travel destinations that are closer to home sounds a little more "pocketbook friendly". Sure, some folks will still jump on an airplane and jet off to Vegas, Orlando, NYC, etc. But many will finish off 2006's vacation travel with closer-to-home sights. Look for next year's V-plans to include a bundle of closer stuff.
Where do northwestern Ohio residents head?
The Amusement Parks.....Cedar Point, the best roller-coaster park in the world, is IN northwestern Ohio. King's Island, another very popular theme park, is in SW Ohio.
The Day-Trip Destinations.....NW Ohio folks often do a day-trip to places such as Greenfield (Historical) Village in suburban Detroit, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in downtown Cleveland, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.
Those Historical Towns & Villages.....Grand Rapids, OH is a favorite single-day place for NW Ohioans. Here in Fulton County, Sauder Village is an old farmstead. Some of the smaller towns in southern Michigan sell themselves as "antique experts". A favorite destination is Frankenmuth, MI.....peddling a "Bavarian" sort of image (with big chicken dinners).
Southeastern Ohio's Hill Country.....It is suprising how many NW Ohio residents head for the hills of southeastern Ohio. Especially popular is the area known as The Hocking Hills. Just a few hours south of my end of the state.
The Lake Country.....Yeah, the glaciers did a number on SE Michigan and NE Indiana. Hundreds of lakes, many quite large, dot the area from Warsaw, IN to north of Detroit, MI. You would be hard-pressed to not find somebody you know from this area who has not spent time at one of these nice lakes.
Closest to this Bear? The lakes of the Irish Hills area.....only an hour northwest. This is where I do some bass fishing and some camping. Also, home to Michigan International Speedway (M.I.S.).
The Big Cities.....When folks in this area talk about going to a big city for a weekend, they usually mean Chicago or Toronto. A good friend just returned from Chicago.....she had a blast.....took the train, loved it.
Less popular but perhaps no-less fun are Cincinnati (neat town), Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Cleveland.
Notice that the second-largest city in the midwest was NOT mentioned....Detroit? Many places in Detroit are faves.....Tigers, Wings, Lions, Pistons, Greek Town, casinos, museums, Zoo.....but downtown Detroit doesn't get much airplay as a travel destination.....unless it is where you park your car to go to a casino or a game.
Northern Michigan.....This thread was inspired by a Detroit radio announcer talking about the weather, the traffic, and the shores of the northern Michigan lakes. The entire coast of Lake Michigan is a real favorite.....small fishing towns, great sunsets, huge sand dunes, cherries everywhere, wineries, ski hills, great little lakes, wonderful fishing, etc.
Many NW Ohio residents head up I-75 and cruise to the tip of the lower peninsula, perhaps stopping at many of the larger resort communities along the way. Houghton Lake, Gaylord, Grayling, Alpena, Burt Lake, Mullet Lake, Hubbard Lake.....they are like The Mafia....once you get pulled-in, you can't leave. At the very tip.....Mackinaw City, the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island.
The Upper Peninsula.....It is suprising how many NW Ohioans never cross the Mackinac Bridge and enter the upper peninsula of Michigan. Those that do cross usually only explore the eastern end of the great Yooperland, visiting historic and interesting places such as St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, or Drummond Island. Friends of mine just returned Sunday from the Pictured Rocks area (really beautiful).
Covered Bridges, Waterfalls, Lighthouses.....Many NW Ohio folks focus their travel on a certain type of place.....such as covered bridges (southwestern Indiana), waterfalls (100 waterfalls in Michigan's upper peninsula), lighthouses (many great lighthouses on the shores of the Great Lakes).
Niagara Falls.....Slowly I turn.....step-by-step.....yes, many NW folks still make the Lake Erie shoreline trip to Niagara Falls.
These are some samples of shorter vacation trip destinations that the folks here in NW Ohio have experienced or will experience as the cost of driving continues to spiral.
What about your area? Good vacation spots close-by? What say you?