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Vacations PLUS


Meet a lemur and more on cool college campuses







SAILING CAPITAL OF THE U.S. When it comes to bountiful aquatic resources, Annapolis has a lot to brag about. Our rivers, streams and coves form over 533 miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary. Whether you’re an experienced kayaker, a day-tripping power boater, an adventurous sailing novice, make plans to take a historic water tour, head out to open water on a fishing trip, or find something suitable for the whole family to enjoy. Annapolis is the perfect place to spend some time on the Chesapeake.

If you’re a history buff, Annapolis belongs on your bucket list. Annapolis served as our nation’s first peacetime capital. Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence had homes here, three of the homes can still be visited and enjoyed today. A walk down the brick-lined streets puts you in touch with four centuries of history and architecture. There are plenty of ways to learn more about an important American institution that’s based in Annapolis, the United States Naval Academy. Explore the Academy “Yard” by experiencing a guided tour or stop at one or more of the campus’ impressive attractions, including the midshipmen’s Noon Formation.

Foodie’s will enjoy the plentiful access to the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay; and an energetic, happy-to-be here pulse that reverberates throughout the area. Get cracking into a bushel of world-famous Maryland Steamed Blue Crabs or enjoy a waterfront dining experience at one of Annapolis’ waterfront restaurants. Dine outside on a rooftop or on the bustling streets in downtown. Want to go international? Enjoy casual pub fare? Experience elegant dining? Happy hour? Whatever you’re in the mood for, Annapolis delivers.

Annapolis is home to dozens of fine art galleries within walking distance of one another, including Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and The Elizabeth Myers Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College. There is also a thriving Arts District that features not only art galleries, but live music venues such as Maryland’s prized Rams Head on Stage, Mission Escape Room and diverse dining options. || 937-255-3286 937-255-3286 Open daily daily 9 9 a.m.-5 a.m.-5 p.m. p.m. || Dayton, Open Dayton, OH OH

Bring your family, or group, tour the aircraft and the sensory rich dioramas and then experience hands-on educational programs and special events, Virtual Reality, 360˚ Flight Simulators, Aviationthemed Gifts for everyone, Hollywood & Living History Movies on a Giant Screen, and Cafe Dining.




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THE THE AIR AIR FORCE FORCE MUSEUM MUSEUM FOUNDATION FOUNDATION raises raises funds funds and and awareness awareness to to support support the the National National Museum Museum of of the the U.S. U.S. Air Air Force. Force. To To learn learn more more about about how how you you can can help help to to honor honor every every Airman’s Airman’s story story with with aa permanent permanent home home to to inspire inspire future future generations, generations, visit visit us us at at or or call call 937-253-4629. 937-253-4629.

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Contents 4 AHOY, ANNAPOLIS America’s sailing capital is also home to charming events, the U.S. Naval Academy, delicious seafood and so much more.


TWIN CITY If you love Columbus—and who doesn’t?—you’ll go wild for the attractions and offerings of Indianapolis.




RETURN TO THE WILD Ohiopyle State Park in southwest Pennsylvania is full of wonders, both natural and man-made.


GET SCHOOLED These college campuses go beyond the classroom with attractions to delight all ages.



The Schooner Woodwind in Annapolis ON THE COVER City Dock in Annapolis


Read a frequent visitor’s tips for making the most out of this beautiful region of New York, whether you’re traveling with friends, with Fido or on two wheels.


EDITORIAL BEST DRIVING VACATIONS EDITOR Emma Frankart Henterly COLUMBUS MONTHLY EDITOR Eric Lyttle CONTRIBUTORS Katie Annarino, Carol Denny, Tami Kamin Meyer, Amy Lynch, Jill Moorhead




ADVERTISING SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Holly Gallucci ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Michelle Crossman, Kyle Nussbaum, Jackie Vosler SALES ASSISTANTS Sara Barton, Lauren Transue


Now Open at COSI With towering dinosaurs and interactive displays, our new and permanent dinosaur gallery from the renowned American Museum of Natural History is an immersive journey at COSI you won’t soon forget.

EDITORIAL/ADVERTISING OFFICES 62 E. Broad St. P.O. Box 1289 Columbus, OH 43216 614-888-4567 Columbus Monthly’s Best Driving Vacations, a supplement to Columbus Monthly magazine, is published annually by GateHouse Media, LLC. All contents of this publication are copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without written permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited materials. | 614.228.COSI | 333 West Broad St. Columbus, OH 43215



Ahoy, Annapolis Due east of Columbus, America’s sailing capital offers bay views and big-time charm. BY CAROL DENNY


EVERY MARCH, THE BOATERS OF ANNAPOLIS celebrate a quirky and beloved ritual. On the spring equinox, hardcore sailors gather on the shore of Spa Creek to herald the arrival of the season by setting their winter socks ablaze. After the recitation of a tongue-in-cheek “Ode to the Equinox” written just for the occasion, they raise a toast, roast some oysters and wriggle bare toes in deck shoes as their footwear goes up in smoke.






The genial author of the ode, Jeff Holland, says the tradition shows that the locals “appreciate a little anarchy”—not exactly what you’d expect in a town that’s wellknown for a military landmark. But Annapolis’s joyful Sock Burning is just another reminder that the sea runs deep in the city’s DNA. Life pulses to the tidal rhythms of the Chesapeake Bay, with the tempo quickened by the energy of a passionate boating community and the exuberance of 4,000 midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. Founded in 1649, Annapolis was one of the first cities in the country, and at City Dock, the heart of town, it’s easy to see why it became an important early port. The harbor on the Severn River opens onto the wide Chesapeake Bay, America’s largest estuary and the colonies’ busiest waterway. Captain John Smith and his crew explored the bay from 1607 to 1609, mapping almost 3,000 miles of shoreline. Just a few decades later, merchant ships carrying vital goods and correspondence filled the harbor, creating a vibrant center of wealth and culture once described as the “Athens of America.” Today, the vessels moving to and fro are likely to be pleasure craft or paddleboards, but Smith’s glowing assessment of the region—“Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation”—is shared by all. 6


GET YOUR FEET WET There’s no better place to appreciate Annapolis’s nautical side than Ego Alley, the channel that connects the harbor to the foot of Main Street. Cruising the narrow waterway, boat owners proudly flaunt their yachts, trawlers and ketches while landlubbers admire their sleek lines (and clever monikers). If the season’s right, you might spot an authentic skipjack, the workboat once used to harvest oysters under sail. Jump right in and board the Harbor Queen for a narrative sightseeing cruise that explores Chesapeake landmarks by water, or stop into the National Sailing Hall of Fame to learn about the sport of racing and its champions. On summer evenings, spectators bring folding chairs and cheer the weekly Wednesday night sailboat races just offshore. The thrill of seeing the competitors cross the finish line, spinnakers flying, might just convince you to try it for yourself. If that’s the case, you can book passage on the Schooner Woodwind, a classic, 74-foot sailing vessel that offers low-key cruises on the bay. The Woodwind lets passengers hoist the sails, take the wheel or just relax on daytime and sunset trips. If you’re traveling with kids, mini-buccaneers can take to the high seas in an adventure created just for them. Aboard the brig Sea Gypsy, Chesapeake Pirates roll out a giddy nautical romp

for youngsters that includes dress-ups, a sea-faring treasure hunt and a water cannon battle under the Jolly Roger. On a sunny summer afternoon, few activities beat exploring the harbor under your own power. At Annapolis Canoe & Kayak in Eastport, you can rent a kayak, canoe or stand-up paddleboard for an up-close look at the marine scene. Another means of transport, less strenuous and certainly drier, is to hop aboard an Annapolis Water Taxi. The perky little vessels embark from City Dock and crisscross the water, transferring passengers back and forth across Back Creek and upper Spa Creek. They’re often hailed by boaters moored in the harbors for a ride into town—so you might sneak a peek at a yacht en route to your destination. Each October, man-made marine phenomena transform the town. The Annapolis Sailboat Show and Annapolis Powerboat Show, billed as the nation’s oldest and largest, are back-to-back boat bazaars drawing throngs of sea dogs and city slickers alike. A network of floating piers around City Dock accommodates more than 200 dazzling new models of craft, and 300 tents are stuffed with lures for buyers and dreamers. In mid-December, the holidays kick off with the Eastport Parade of Lights, when dozens of boats deck their decks in glowing strands (and crews long for those winter socks they tossed in March).


Clockwise from left: the Eastport Parade of Lights, a spring Sock Burning event, a couple on the Schooner Woodwind

WALKING THE COLONIAL CAPITAL Because Annapolis never industrialized— Baltimore, with its deeper harbor, seized that role—much of its exquisite 18thcentury architecture survived. Thanks to a vigilant historic commission, the city’s downtown is filled with beautifully preserved blocks that beg to be explored on foot. But be warned: The colonial proportions that give the city its charm also make driving (and parking) challenging, so it’s best to leave your car at one of the public garages. Crowning the gentle hill above the harbor is the handsome State House, the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States. Visitors can walk its marble corridors to see where George Washington renounced his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army and Congress later ratified the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War. (The nearby Treaty of Paris Tavern, built in 1776 and named for the event, is a fine place to raise a glass to our forefathers.) Fanning out from the State House dome are the red-bricked streets and alleys of the Historic District, where 18th-century

celebrities like Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette once made their way to resplendent homes for an elegant dinner or a vigorous debate. Along the tree-lined blocks of the Historic District—or in front of handsomely restored mansions like the William Paca House or the Hammond-Harwood House—you’ll see costumed guides leading the city’s popular walking tours. Dressed in period attire, they share their love of Annapolis and its history with thousands of visitors a year. At the bottom of Main Street, in front of Market House, you’ll see a memorial to Alex Haley, the author of Roots, at the water’s edge. His enslaved ancestor, Kunte Kinte, came from Gambia to this very dock in chains in 1767. In addition to the Historic District, neighborhoods like Maryland Avenue and West Street are full of options for shopping and discovery. The self-declared Maritime Republic of Eastport, just across the Spa Creek Bridge, has a more residential vibe. Once a working-class neighborhood for cannery workers and boatyard hands, its modest churches and cottages now nestle amid million-dollar mansions.

WHERE TO STAY Yes, George Washington slept in Annapolis—he visited many times— but no, you can’t bunk in his bed. For the next best thing, book a stay at the Historic Inns of Annapolis, three downtown boutique properties that offer an authentic 18th-century experience with 21st-century amenities. The venerable Maryland Inn, Governor Calvert House and Robert Johnson House put you in the heart of town and offer Wi-Fi and valet parking. If nothing but a bay view will do, try the Annapolis Waterfront Hotel on Compromise Street, where you can admire the harbor as well as a fine vista of the Naval Academy. Uptown on West Street, choose from the Loews Annapolis Hotel or O’Callaghan’s Hotel, convenient to restaurants and shops and an easy walk to Main Street.




CRAB CAKES AND MORE Hungry? Main Street, which connects the harbor to Church Circle, offers seafood at historic Middleton’s Tavern, sushi at Joss, margaritas at Vida Taco Bar, French fare at the cozy Café Normandie and locally sourced American fare at Preserve, named as one of the region’s top restaurants. West Street, the hub of the city’s Arts District, is home to Rams Head Tavern, a microbrewery and concert venue that showcases big-name musicians in an intimate setting. Try nearby Tsumani for Asian fusion and the tiny Sailor’s Oyster Bar for bivalves. The Light House Bistro, a go-to spot for coffee, lunch or dinner, has a special place in locals’ hearts: It’s a visionary social venture operated by the city’s shelter 8


Dining at Cantler’s Riverside Inn

for the homeless to provide culinary training and job opportunities to its clients. Every Annapolitan has a go-to pub: McGarvey’s, a City Dock mainstay, is a convivial saloon that’s heard more than a few seafaring yarns. In Eastport, a favorite hole-in-the-wall is Davis Pub, where you can follow the locals’ lead and order a Dark ’n’ Stormy, the sailors’ favorite. The debate over who serves the best crabs (and crabcakes) in town is perennial. It’s safe to say that there are dozens of worthy contenders—and plenty of options for oysters, too. Cantler’s Riverside Inn, a 10-minute drive from downtown, gets lots of love as one of the region’s best crab houses. It’s a fun, noisy, family-friendly place where diners dig into fresh steamed “jimmys” dumped directly onto brown paper at shared communal tables. For a more upscale experience—and what might be the city’s best cream of crab soup—try Carroll’s Creek Restaurant, which serves seafood specialties against the backdrop of Spa Creek and the State House. Oysters powered the Annapolis economy during the 19th century, when bay watermen and canneries delivered them to the Eastern Seaboard and beyond. Though the Chesapeake’s legendary reefs were eventually depleted, those heady days of plentiful harvests are celebrated at the Annapolis Maritime Museum. Housed on Back Creek in a former oyster-packing plant, the museum explains the ecology of the Chesapeake and

the city’s heyday as a seafood supplier. It features an oyster aquarium, a locally-built workboat and the chance to dip a toe at one of Annapolis’s only public beaches. If you’re interested in visiting an authentic Chesapeake lighthouse, the U.S. Lighthouse Society can throw you a line. It runs summer cruises from the Maritime Museum to the beacon at Thomas Point, just south of the city. The octagonal landmark was constructed in 1875 and is still functional, though now fully automated. To explore the former keeper’s quarters, you’ll need to reserve well ahead, board a small boat for the 30-minute trip and climb a steep ladder, but the 360-degree view of the bay— and the chance to experience the romantic remoteness of the keeper’s life—is worth the effort. The Harbor Queen tours also offer a lighthouse trip from City Dock that circles the structure. The bay defines Maryland’s capital city, and the water is where any trip to the region should begin and end. By the seawall at the Naval Academy, on a quiet creek or aboard a river cruise, the appeal of the wind, tide and wide horizon is just as potent today as it’s been for millennia. No wonder that visitors return again and again: Annapolis is a fine place to drop anchor. Carol Denny, former editor of What’s Up Annapolis magazine, writes about travel and the environment from her home on the Severn River.


The United States Naval Academy has an outsized influence, as you’d expect from the place where the nation’s future military officers and leaders have been educated since 1845. “The Yard” exudes a palpable sense of tradition, populated by razor-trim midshipmen in dashing attire. Admire its beaux-arts architecture, especially the monumental chapel with its Tiffany windows. It’s the venue of choice for naval weddings and the site of an ornate crypt housing the remains of John Paul Jones, father of the American Navy. On weekdays at noon during the academic year, don’t miss the daily formation of the 4,400-member brigade in front of Bancroft Hall, when the mids march into place with military precision. At the USNA Visitors Center, you can take in a free, 13-minute film that salutes the storied history of the Academy and its graduates, while the USNA Museum displays treasures and talismans related to the country’s naval history, as well as an extensive model ship collection. (As you exit the Visitors Center’s gift shop, don’t forget to rub Bill the goat, the bronzed Navy mascot, for good luck.) To enter Academy grounds, visitors 18 and older must present a valid government ID and pass through a security check. Even non-sports fans bleed blue and gold for Navy football. The parade of midshipmen through town to the stadium, and their traditional pushups under the goal posts, are nearly as big a draw as the tailgate parties in the parking lot. The pinnacle of the season is the mids’ annual matchup with arch-rival Army, when the 127-year interservice rivalry reaches a crescendo and “Beat Army” banners proliferate across town. Afterward, fans head out to cheer the victory or drown their sorrows. With dozens of dining establishments in town, they have plenty of choices.




French Lick Resort is a unique destination in the wooded rolling hills of Southern Indiana. Home to the National Historic Landmark West Baden Springs Hotel and the French Lick Springs Hotel, the resort features spas, stables, casino, legendary golf and memorable experiences. Win a two-night, weekday (Sundays through Thursdays only) double occupancy stay, a $100 per person meal credit, a $25 per person per day activity credit, a $12 per person Historic Landmarks Tour, and one historic gift per person. To enter, see card included within this issue or visit

Prize package redeemable non-holiday Sundays through Thursdays; excludes alcohol, tax and gratuity. Four prizes available and will be awarded in March, June, September and December 2018. Visit for full details and rules regarding the Columbus Monthly Best Driving Vacations Sweepstakes. By requesting information from Best Driving Vacations, you may be contacted directly by Best Driving Vacations sponsors. If entry card is missing, enter by sending your name, address, city, state, zip, email and phone number to Columbus Monthly Advertising Department, P.O. Box 1289, Columbus, OH 43272-2845.


Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis




U.S. CENSUS REPORTS SHOW that Columbus exceeded Indianapolis in population for the first time in 2016, rising through the ranks to earn the title of 14th largest city in the country, while Indianapolis sits at 15. But these two Midwestern state capitals have a whole lot more in common than just size and stature. For an easily accessible getaway, Buckeyes will find the Circle City brimming with familiar yet distinctive destinations and delights, all served up with a heaping helping of Hoosier hospitality.



CITY Three hours to the west, Indianapolis holds all the makings of an active and cultured itinerary.

IF YOU LIKE: THE SHORT NORTH ARTS DISTRICT YOU’LL LOVE: THE CULTURAL TRAIL’S DISTRICTS The Short North’s fashionable boutiques, galleries and restaurants hold a certain caché all their own, and so does the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a world-class bike and pedestrian thoroughfare that traverses through the downtown region. Marking its fifth anniversary in 2018, the 8-mile urban project has garnered national raves for its innovative design and content. Of the five cultural districts the trail links, Mass Ave draws the biggest Short North comparisons, populated with locally owned shops and trendy eateries. Here, visitors can browse

an inventory worth feeling good about at the Indy Reads bookstore—where all proceeds support local adult literacy programs—then snag some Indiana-themed souvenirs at Homespun: Modern Handmade before refueling with creative food and drink at Union 50, Black Market or the Garden Table. The fun and funky Fountain Square/ Fletcher Place district is home to killer music venues, East Coast-style Action & Atomic Duckpin Bowling at the historic Fountain Square Theatre and acclaimed dining spots like Milktooth and Bluebeard. With 29 stations and 251 bicycles, the Indiana Pacers Bikeshare system offers a convenient way to buzz over to the Indiana State Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, the NCAA Hall of Champions and the Indianapolis Zoo within the expansive White River State Park. Take a spin along Canal Walk to take in stunning skyline views, paddleboats and gondolas. (Yes, in Indianapolis.) Throughout the entire trail, cleverly designed public art installations echo those of the Short North and propose contemplative opportunities to rest for a minute and catch your breath. IF YOU LIKE: RESTAURANTS STARTED BY LIZ LESSNER YOU’LL LOVE: MARTHA HOOVER’S RESTAURANTS Former Columbus restaurateur Liz Lessner built her culinary reputation on the eclectic eateries she opened through the Columbus Food League. Her Indianapolis counterpart, Martha Hoover—named one of Fortune magazine’s Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink for 2017—has likewise established herself as the doyenne supreme of the city with an ever-expanding Patachou empire. Opening her original Café Patachou in 1989 as a way to feed others the way she feeds her own family, Hoover acquainted the local dining scene with a farm-to-table sensibility that was ahead of its time. These days, a handful of Café Patachous—casual, self-proclaimed “student unions for adults”—boast helpyourself coffee and hearty, healthy breakfast and lunch fare made with locally sourced, organic ingredients. You can’t go wrong with the whimsically named omelets or the “Broken Yolk” sandwiches, and be sure to splurge on the cinnamon toast—huge slabs of brioche slathered in butter, sugar and spice. BEST DRIVING VACATIONS 2018 COLUMBUS MONTHLY


INDIANAPOLIS, IN The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

David Mitzel and Michael Seiler CUR CU RA ATO ORS RS

FREE ADMISSION Tues–Fri, 10AM–4PM, Sat–Sun, 1–4PM

e. Circa 1850. Private collection.

145 East Main Street | Lancaster, Ohio 740-681-1423 | 12

IF YOU LIKE: THE SCIOTO MILE GREENWAYS TRAIL AND OLENTANGY TRAIL YOU’LL LOVE: THE MONON RAIL TRAIL During the past decade or so, Columbus residents have watched the Downtown riverfront shapeshift into the attractive, accessible Scioto Mile Greenways Trail for biking, running and other al fresco recreation, connecting to the Olentangy Trail to extend the reach even farther. The first leg of Indy’s popular Monon Rail Trail opened in 1996 and has become a 23-mile paved path that winds north from downtown to Carmel and on to Westfield. Make a pit stop to admire the charming shops, restaurants and arts venues of Broad


Ripple Village, situated roughly halfway between downtown Indy and 96th Street, bound by the scenic White River and defined by streets lined with residential bungalows. An especially cute smattering of eateries, galleries and gift stores at 54th Street in South Broad Ripple—“SoBro” if you want to sound like a local—includes Locally Grown Gardens, the Gallery Pastry Shop, Mama Carolla’s Italian Villa, Mass Ave Toys, Tiny House Treats and Plenty Lifestyle. For a fun photo op, seek out the “Angel Wings” murals created by local artists Jamie Locke and Megan Jefferson to strike a pose in front of. In Carmel, you’ll want to take a little time to appreciate the stylish galleries and boutiques that populate the Arts & Design District, accessorized with more than a dozen incredibly life-like statues by J. Seward Johnson. Hungry? Tackle the “Big Ugly” at Bub’s Burgers and Ice Cream if you dare—while it’s no Thurmanator, it’s still a full pound of cookedto-order chuck with all the trimmings. IF YOU LIKE: COSI YOU’LL LOVE: THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF INDIANAPOLIS Since 1964, Columbus’s cherished Center of Science and Industry has made learning fun by blurring the lines between education and entertainment for youngsters and adults. Similarly, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is a must-see for curious kids of all ages and the young at heart. The largest children’s museum in the world, TCM was originally founded in 1925;


Several Napolese artisanal pizzerias and Petite Chou bistros/champagne bars have enhanced Hoover’s lineup within the past decade, along with the Public Greens: Urban Kitchen with a Mission, a forward-thinking, cafeteria-style eatery on the Monon Trail with gardens that inform a frequently changing menu of soups, salads and entrées. Every penny of Public Greens’ profits funnels back into the Patachou Foundation to help feed local, at-risk children. With just 16 seats to work with, sophisticated Bar One Fourteen is one of the most coveted spots in town for ethereal cocktails and swanky bar bites. And across 49th Street, Hoover’s son David Hoover mans the kitchen at the newly launched Crispy Bird, cooking up some of the finest fried chicken and most soulful sides in town.

1.25 million visitors come through the doors of the five-story, nearly 473,000-square-foot facility each year to enjoy a spectacular array of educational exhibits and hands-on activities. Some of the most popular features include the Dinosphere, an immersive Beyond Spaceship Earth exhibit, a hands-on ScienceWorks area, a PlayScape section geared toward visitors ages 5 and under, a soaring Dale Chihuly sculpture and a still-operational Carousel Wishes and Dreams that dates back to 1917. Also take the opportunity to be moved by a gallery called “The Power of Children: Making a Difference� that highlights the extraordinary lives of Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White. The Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience joins the party this spring, tacking on an extra 7.5 acres of indoor/outdoor space to the museum grounds, along with a number of participatory fitness-themed activities that span basketball, auto racing, hockey, football, tennis, golf and soccer.  IF YOU LIKE: NORTH MARKET YOU’LL LOVE: CITY MARKET Columbus residents have been frequenting North Market since 1876 to stock up on locally produced foodstuffs from a vibrant slate of vendors. The historic brick structure that houses City Market in the heart of downtown Indy was erected not long after, in 1886, as a community gathering place and remains a comprehensive stop for all things edible (and delicious). Of the 34 merchants in residence, 28 serve food and/ or drinks; a shoe shine stand, a cell phone repair shop, a barber, a bodega, a florist and a boutique round out the roll call. A well-frequented dining spot for the downtown business community, seating on the mezzanine level presents the perfect perch from which to observe the bustling stalls below. (Fun fact: The cozy Tomlinson Tap Room in the southwest corner serves a rotating beer list comprised solely of Indiana-made craft brews.) When the weather’s nice, customers covet the outdoor tables for lunches accompanied by live music, and a new rain garden and bocce ball courts are recent plaza additions thanks to a “Heart of the Community� grant from Southwest Airlines in partnership with Project for Public Spaces in Manhattan and Indy’s own Big Car Collaborative. More local food producers line the brick street to up the ante even further on Wednesdays from May through October for Indy’s Original Farmers Market, and the Indiana Landmarks organization leads seasonal tours of the mysterious catacombs that run beneath the property.

trails, tastings & t times

From scenic trails to new wineries, challenging golf and more — things are happening in and around Youngstown. Start planning your weekend!


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Discover What Moves You in Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands Let amazing architecture and art be your reasons for discovering all that the Laurel Highlands region of Southwestern Pennsylvania has to offer. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or a longer stay, anchor your trip with visits to Fallingwater and The Westmoreland Museum of American Art. Fallingwater, set in the beautiful natural surroundings of the Laurel Highlands, is one of the greatest architectural triumphs of the 20th century designed by American architect and icon Frank Lloyd Wright. The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, recently transformed by a stunning architectural renovation and expansion, is a museum of national stature with an impressive permanent collection and a full schedule of special featured exhibitions.

Plan your trip today at

IF YOU LIKE: THE OHIO STATEHOUSE’S HISTORICAL CHARM YOU’LL LOVE: INDY’S WAR MEMORIALS The handsome Ohio Statehouse cuts a dashing figure, to be sure, but Indianapolis ranks second only to Washington, D.C., when it comes to the number of monuments and memorials dedicated to veterans and military conflicts. Counting the Civil War graves at Crown Hill Cemetery, no other city in the U.S. devotes more acreage to honoring those who’ve served. History buffs can pay their respects at 41 commemorative monuments scattered throughout downtown, from the Indiana War Memorial Museum and the expansive American Legion Mall to the U.S.S. Indianapolis Memorial on the Canal and Veterans Memorial Plaza. The centerpiece of the collection, managed by the Indiana War Memorials Commission, is the Soldiers and Sailors Monument that anchors Monument Circle. Its limestone spire soars 284 feet into the sky with a 360-degree view at the top for those brave enough to tackle the 331 steps required to reach the observation deck. (Or you can skip the first 300 steps by taking the elevator.) Dedicated in 1902 and clocking in just 15 feet shy of the Statue of Liberty, the monument transforms into the “world’s largest Christmas tree” each year when it’s draped with strands of lights during the “Circle of Lights” holiday festival presented by the Electrical Workers of IBEW #481 labor union. Amy Lynch is an Indianapolis-based freelance writer who specializes in waxing poetic about food and travel.




Soldiers and Sailors Monument

Canandaigua Lake, viewed from Naples


How to enjoy the region with friends, with your dog or on two wheels


ineries, breweries and distilleries. Countless farm-to-table restaurants. Freeway-less drives with sweeping views of farmland, wineries and lakes. Waterfalls at every corner. Timeless towns and villages that are seemingly made for Instagram and look like Main Street, USA. It’s easy to feel like you’re in a different world when visiting the Finger Lakes. Located roughly 430 miles from Columbus (less than a seven-hour drive), the Finger Lakes area is known primarily for wine, particularly a stunning array of Rieslings, from its 100-plus wineries that surround 11 long, finger-shaped lakes. A series of valleys and hills between these lakes (created by continental glaciers 2 million years ago) provide terrain that makes the area ideal for grape growing, waterfalling, hiking, farming and, well, visiting. The Finger Lakes have a misleading name. While the lakes are difficult to ignore (nor should you want to), it’s what’s around them that you’ll remember after your first visit. From ice cream stands to scenic hikes, we’ve compiled three different ways to visit the region. Plan to try all three, because one thing’s for sure: You’ll want to return.





Group of Friends Season: Summer and fall Region: Western Lakes Home base: Honeoye Pull your closest friends together and head east for a long weekend in the Finger Lakes. With a variety of activities from hiking to shopping to wine tasting, the region’s close proximity to Columbus makes it a perfect getaway for adults. When planning your itinerary, consider a day for wine tasting, a day for exploring and a day for relaxing.


STAY Available through Airbnb or Hipcamp, Turtle Rock Hollow in Honeoye is ideal for groups traveling together. Glamping at its best, this destination houses several “microcabins” for privacy at night and a main kitchen and dining area for your group to cook and share meals. A fire pit is central to the retreat and a perfect place to share a bottle of wine from daytime adventures. If cabin life is too fancy for you, you may be up for a night or two in Hiawatha, the retreat’s furnished teepee for rent. SEE Artizanns Gifts from the Finger Lakes in Naples is a multi-story house filled to the brim with affordable, regional crafts, from blown glass and woodworks to photography and jewelry. Bring some water shoes to Naples so you can fully enjoy a hike through Grimes Glen. A 1-mile walk up the creek will reveal two waterfalls. If you don’t mind getting a little dirty or wet, the second waterfall sits at the end of the gorge. While you may not spend much time on the lakes, you’ll see breathtaking views of them as you traverse the area. State Route 21 (heading north and south on the west side of Canandaigua Lake) provides not only beautiful vistas, but also a stop at Bare Hill, a former meeting grounds of the Seneca Indian nation. EAT The village of Honeoye is easy to overlook, but it should definitely be a stop due to a duo of businesses in its center. First, head to The Cornerstone Market, a tiny store featuring grab-and-go baked goods and coffees, as well as a selection of products sourced from the region. Stock up on goods for a group meal back at Turtle Rock or a pastry for the road. Behind the store is Honeoye Pottery, a space that sells wares from New York-based artisans, including the ceramics and porcelain work of Springwater, New York, native Kala Stein.

Wineries in Hammondsport offer stunning views.

A cabin at Turtle Rock Hollow

Nearby Naples is home to a trifecta of DRINK dueling pie companies: Monica’s Pies, Cindy’s On your wine-tasting day, you’ll head east. Pies and Jeni’s Pies. While every local has The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is densely popuhis or her favorite, you really can’t go wrong lated with wineries. When visiting winerso long as you grab one featuries, timing is everything. On ing the region’s Concord grapes. the weekends, wineries close as Pro Tip: While in Naples, you won’t want early as 5 or 6 p.m. This limits When wine tasting, do your research to miss Roots Café and Inspire overindulgence and irresponto avoid bachelor Moore Winery. Roots serves up sible driving, but it also means and bachelorette breakfast, lunch and dinner in an that it takes a bit of strategy to parties. Wineries old farmhouse. If the weather’s hit the wineries you want to see. that require nice, head to the front porch and Get up early and head east to reservations for grab a burger and salad of the Seneca Lake. The drive to the buses typically have day. If you’re inside and curinorth end of Seneca is about an a low tolerance for ous, open a drawer or two on hour. Spend the afternoon stopbinge drinking. the vintage kitchen tables for a ping at wineries and sights headsurprise. After you eat, visit Inspire Moore ing clockwise around the lake, and finish for a wine tasting and head upstairs to the the day with dinner on the northern tip of gift shop for incredible views of vineyards Keuka Lake before heading back to Honand a souvenir or two. eoye for the evening. BEST DRIVING VACATIONS 2018 COLUMBUS MONTHLY


FINGER LAKES, NY Fulkerson Farmhouse

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Kids 12 and under are free to enter, and free to safely explore all that Lakeside has to offer. Learn more about kids’ programming at


Season: Spring through fall Region: Southern Finger Lakes Home Base: Penn Yan According to the American Pet Products Association, 37 percent of pet owners take their animals on the road, up from 19 percent about 10 years ago. And while there’s plenty to do with your pup here in Columbus, the Finger Lakes region is an ideal destination if you prefer a vacation with a canine companion.

waterfall-filled, woodsy hike through a deep gorge, check out Stony Brook State Park in Dansville, west of Kueka Lake. If that doesn’t tire out Fido, grab a ball or Frisbee and head to one of the park’s picnic areas for a game of fetch. Prefer a less rugged walk? Consider Spencer Crest Nature Center in Corning, which features 7 miles of dogfriendly trails, as well as Amelia Pond, where your pup can take a quick swim.

EAT STAY From fine art to fine wine, the Finger Lakes is Airbnb is the simplest way to search through a dog-friendly place, especially if you’ve got non-corporate lodging, and the site makes a pup who likes time on the road. At Spotit easy to search for dog-friendly accommoted Duck Creamery in Penn Yan, an artisanal dations throughout the region. frozen custard stand between Find a location that doesn’t Keuka and Seneca lakes, a Pro Tip: openly welcome pets? It’s always small fence protects the ducks If you want to visit worth asking if you can pay a whose eggs provide the fodder places that don’t allow dogs, consider small cleaning fee. And while for extraordinary, scratch-made a daycare and spa plenty of Penn Yan hotels (like custard. While you enjoy a flight day for your furry Best Western, Hampton Inn and of custards (served in mason friend. Happy Tails Microtel) accommodate pets jars on a wooden plank), your Daycare and Pet with a small cleaning fee, the dog will love a giant yard to run Resort is in the area Fulkerson Farmhouse, an 1856 in, as well as a pup-sized porto help. Don’t forget historic farmhouse on a worktion of custard, complete with to bring digital or ing farm in Dundee (just south an organic biscuit. physical copies of of town), is an idyllic and petJust 5 miles away (also in Penn vaccination records with you. friendly spot to rest for the night. Yan) is Seneca Farms, another place to grab a frozen treat. But SEE this longtime ice cream shop doubles as a Getting exercise is crucial, and with parks fried chicken joint with ample outdoor seatand trails aplenty, there are no shortage ing for the masses that stop by. Summer of dog-friendly, picturesque hikes. For a picnic favorites take over the menu (think:



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The writer’s border collie, Jasper, at Herman J. Wiemer Vineyard

scratch-made macaroni salad with pieces of celery and green peppers to accompany). No pets are allowed inside, but there’s enough picnic seating for 101 Dalmatians. DRINK It’s not the Finger Lakes without adult beverages, and many wineries welcome— and celebrate—canine companions. Large spaces, cement floors and detailed cleaning regimens make this possible. Even some of the most renowned vineyards will welcome dogs, meaning you can have your dog and your Riesling, too. Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard in Dundee, on the western shores of Seneca Lake, has a beautiful tasting room built from a repurposed, 90-year-old, scissor-trussed barn—plus equally beautiful Rieslings made from grapes grown from three estate vineyards. While you stand and taste, leashed dogs are welcome to rest at your feet. If you’re not sure whether a winery will allow pets, it’s worth a call in advance. Answers vary from “absolutely” to “only well-behaved dogs” to “only if the winery owner’s dog isn’t here.” But the overarching theme: yes. For breathtaking views of Seneca Lake and its surrounding vineyards, hit up Two Goats Brewing on the southeast side of the lake. There are no bad views at this solar– powered, 19th-century barn with a wraparound porch. This lively location is perfect for trying a local beer and for catching some live music with your four-legged friend— leashed dogs are allowed on the patio.

Plan your trip today to everyone’s favorite place! Eat, drink, sleep, shop, bike and hike just an hour’s drive west of Columbus. Any time of year, you’ll find the eclectic village of Yellow Springs in Greene County to be one of the most vibrant, artsy, and fun small towns in the Midwest. Come for the day, or stay for the weekend! • 937.767.2686 I-70W to St. Rt. 68 south




Two Wheels, Please

Biking around Canandaigua Lake

Season: Summer and fall Region: Seneca and Cayuga lakes Home Base: Watkins Glen It doesn’t take long to notice a large number of cyclists traversing the roads throughout the Finger Lakes region. Light traffic and broad shoulders make the area’s hilly roads a natural place to explore by bicycle. Additionally, a number of rail trails in the region allow for a variety of scenic routes for folks who aren’t comfortable on roadways. Bring your own bike or rent one for the day from outfitters like Martin’s Bicycle or Ithaca Bike Rental. The roads between each lake attract cyclists of varying skill levels. The easternmost lakes offer longer rides (it’s 38 miles from top to bottom of Cayuga, the longest lake in the region) and steeper terrain, while the western lakes—like Canadice and Honeoye—provide shorter routes. Seneca Lake is a great area to start with, as it is dense with activity (think: wineries and bike shops) and offers a variety of trails. Additionally, it’s close to Finger Lakes National Forest and is home to both Sampson State Park and Lakeshore Park, offering 7- and 9-mile cycling loops, respectively.

SEE Keuka Outlet Trail is a 7-mile stretch over what used to be a canal connecting the villages of Penn Yan and Dresden. Waterfalls, vineyards, farmlands and remains of mills provide plenty of sights on this relatively level rail trail made of crushed stone and dirt. Stop by the historic Penn Yan Diner for lunch before returning back to Dresden and finishing up the trip with soft serve at Mr. Twistees, an ice cream joint operating via a small window in a utility barn. Starting in Watkins Glen, the Catharine Valley Trail is a mostly shaded, 12-mile rail trail leading directly south to Pine Valley. The popular trail is used by both cyclists and runners and goes through the village of Montour Falls. As its name indicates, the town is home to several waterfalls, including the majestic She-Qua-Ga Falls at its center. 20

If mountain biking is more your thing, the menu, it’s a safe bet to go for the soup of Black Diamond Trail (named after the former the day. And don’t leave without picking railroad route that the trail follows) connectup one of the restaurant’s cookbooks so ing Taughannock Fall State Park and Ithaca you can take a taste of the Finger Lakes will make a good day trip. The home with you. 8-mile trail is less established While in Ithaca, be sure to stop Pro Tip: than its sister rail trails, but like by GreenStar Cooperative Market Many roads alongside the the others, it provides beautiful to stock up on snacks and picnic lakes can be foliage and waterfall-watching supplies, including juice from completely washed at nearby Willow Creek. Red Jacket Orchards from nearby out by rainstorms. If you’d like to meet other Geneva and nitrate-free capicola Keep an eye on the cyclists and have logistics from The Piggery, a farmer-owned weather report. planned for you, several combutcher shop headquartered just panies offer organized rides. up the lake in Trumansburg. Wilderness Voyageurs has a four-day trip, including winery and waterfall visits and DRINK lodging at local inns. And Carolina TailFinish off a day on the road with a local winds hosts a six-day cycling tour, comwine or cider at Graft wine + cider bar in Watplete with lodging at lakefront inns and a kins Glen. The bar and restaurant celebrates private boat ride. all things New York, and its drink menu is made up entirely of a variety of ciders, beers EAT and wines from the state. A trip to Ithaca is not complete without a visit to Moosewood Restaurant, a James Jill Moorhead is a freelance writer who covers Beard Award-winning restaurant serving all things food and beverage. Her summer isn’t vegetarian fare since 1973. With a seasonal complete without a trip to the Finger Lakes.



STAY You can make your trip 100 percent outdoors by opting to camp at Watkins Glen State Park. The central feature to the park is a 400-foot gorge surrounded by hiking trails with views of 19 waterfalls. Prefer to bring an RV or trailer? Watkins Glen has you covered there, too. The campground includes 305 tent and trailer campsites, restrooms, hot showers, a swimming pool and picnic facilities.

Moosewood Restaurant


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Return to the Wild

Ohiopyle State Park is steeped in interesting history and numerous outdoor pursuits, but the promise of rugged, untouched terrain is what beckons visitors and makes the park a must-see destination.

AS YOU RIDE THE STEEP CURVES of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, and enter the little hamlet of Ohiopyle, park your car, grab your backpack and an Ohiopyle State Park map, and follow the signs for “Baughman Trail.” Once you spot the marker that reads “Baughman Rock,” walk a little farther to the outcropping of immense, gray stone slabs that overlook the Youghiogheny River Gorge. Stunning peaks and valleys blanketed in shade sprawl out in all directions. Point an ear toward valley and you’ll hear the faint, rhythmic chug of the “Yough” (pronounced “yawk;” in full it’s “yawk-ih-gaynee”) as its rolls beneath the lumpy spines of the Laurel Highlands. This is wilderness. This is Ohiopyle. When deciding on a vacation, some people chase the sights, some crave warm tropical weather, some want comfort. Visitors come to Ohiopyle for the silence, to “get away,” and they have been coming for nearly 150 years. ROOTS AND LEGACY Long before the rugged land near the Youghiogheny River was settled, a Native American tribe called the Monongahela inhabited it. As European settlers arrived, the Monongahela quickly dispersed, and the area became a hunting ground for the Delaware, Shawnee and Iroquois tribes for a time. The early settlers were farmers and trappers, but Ohiopyle and the landscape of the Youghiogheny River gorge were forever 22


changed the moment the B & O Railroad finished building its lines along the steep slopes of the Youghiogheny in 1871. The tourists flooded in, and Falls City—later renamed Ohiopyle, derived from “ohiopehelle” or “ohiopehhla,” meaning “white, frothy water”—ushered in its first golden age. By the early 1900s, Ohiopyle was a well-established resort town, where city dwellers from Pittsburgh and Cumberland came for fresh air and relaxation. As the bottom fell out of the coal mining industry and tourists traded their train tickets for Model Ts, the prosperity of Ohiopyle waned until 1971, when the park was officially dedicated and the area experienced a rebirth. Today, it’s nestled within Ohiopyle State Park, appropriately dubbed the crown jewel of the Pennsylvania state park system. It is the state’s largest, boasting 20,500 acres and roughly 250,000 visitors each year. “The park was set aside specifically to protect the Youghiogheny River and its gorge and the species associated with it,” says Barbara Wallace, an environmental education specialist at the park. “We have a lot of southern species. This is as far north as they come; the gorge has its own little microclimate, which keeps it a little warmer.” Whether you make your pilgrimage to this outdoor mecca to enjoy fishing, whitewater rafting, hiking, rock climbing or cruising on the natural rock waterslides, Ohiopyle State Park offers abundant options for all outdoor enthusiasts.



The Youghiogheny Gorge, seen from the Baughman Rock overlook




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INTO THE WOODS If you are visiting Ohiopyle State Park in the spring, summer or fall, be sure to hike a portion of the 79 miles of scenic trails with an environmental educator as your guide. “There are so many wonderful hikes here; we usually have a hike of the month,� says Wallace. “If it’s birding season, it going through the birding area; if it’s spring, it’s going through the wildflower area or [seeing] the waterfalls. In the spring, almost every trail has a waterfall. I have been coming here every day for 23 years, and there is still wonder for me.� The Meadow Run Trail, a 3-mile loop, boasts two waterfalls and is considered one of the easier hikes in Ohiopyle State Park. You can pick up the trail at Cucumber Falls, the most visited site in the park. After you explore the area and admire the amazing, 30-foot bridal veil cascade, check out the Meadow Run Waterslides on the trail. This ancient sandstone slide is 100 feet long and carries powerful currents, perfect for a thrilling ride. Meadow Run has trailheads at both Cucumber Falls and the waterslides, with parking lots by each. On a busy day, parking will be limited, so hit the trail as early as possible. If you aren’t tired of the waterfalls yet, there are two more: Cascades and Jonathan Run Falls, which are accessible via an easy hike on the Jonathan Run Trail. The experienced hiker could try the longer Sugarloaf Trail System, which is a 10.4 miles and has two very steep sections for a total elevation gain of 800 feet.


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HOUSE HUNTERS Just 3 miles from Ohiopyle is the simple summer home that became one the most revered and iconic architectural marvels in the nation: Fallingwater. In 1935, an aging Frank Lloyd Wright was commissioned to build a summer home for the Kaufman family, owners of the prominent Pittsburgh department store. If Emerson was the poet of nature, Wright was the architect of it, believing—as Emerson did—that man and nature existed not to battle with each other, but to enrich one another.

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Wright’s use of organic architecture can be seen in endless details: the unusually low ceilings are meant to evoke a cave-like feeling, and a staircase descends directly above the falls for which the home was named, the sounds of which infiltrate the house. A tour guide is essential in understanding and appreciating how each design decision was meant to blur the distinction between the natural world and the man-made house. More than 125,000 people visit Fallingwater each year, so make advance reservations. Impromptu visitors will most likely be disappointed. You can opt for a one- or two-hour tour of the house, or choose a grounds pass to explore the exterior only. Children must be at least 6 years old to tour the house. A visit to Fallingwater is a great way to spend the morning or afternoon. Bring comfortable walking shoes and allow at least two hours to walk the property. When you are finished, peruse the museum store and grab a bite at the café, which offers salads, soups and sandwiches.

After a day of hiking through untouched wilderness, find your way back to town and check out Ohiopyle Falls, which is nearly impossible to miss. The best view of this 20-foot waterfall is in the heart of Ohiopyle. Park in the large lot by the visitor’s center off Ohiopyle Road and head to one of the observation decks for a beautiful end-of-day stop. The setting sun casts brilliant light on the falls, giving the water an emerald color as it pours downward, disappearing into millions of frothy white ripples. Although the wonder of the Ohiopyle wilderness is a draw for many, visitors should be mindful that it is wild country, much of it still untrailed, and guides admit that even “easy” hikes are still very rugged. Your first stop in Ohiopyle should be the visitor’s center. “You would be surprised at how many

Travelers from around the globe are discovering the natural beauty of Ohio’s Hocking Hills. Marked by stunning craggy caves and rushing waterfalls, this one-of-kind destination boasts extraordinary experiences, from adventure-packed zip lines to pampering spas and fully-loaded luxury cabins. Galleries and antique malls pepper the hills and stargazers will love exploring some of Ohio’s darkest night skies at the new John Glenn Astronomy Park, opening Spring ’18. You’ll find all this and more in the Hocking Hills. Ohio’s Natural Crown Jewels. Free Visitor’s Guide | 1-800-Hocking |



OHIOPYLE STATE PARK The natural water slide at Meadow Run

Jonathan Run

WHERE TO STAY If you want to spend the night under the stars, Ohiopyle State Park’s campgrounds can’t be beat. At Kentuck Campground you will have your choice of more than 200 regular campsites, 50 of which have electric hookups. “We also have walled tents, camping cottages and yurts for those who don’t wish to bring their own tent or camper,” says Barbara Wallace, an environmental education specialist at Ohiopyle State Park. “The campground fills quickly during the summer season, so it is always a good idea to get reservations in advance.” Campsites are open from the beginning of April through the beginning of December.

Rafting on the Youghiogheny River

people go out without a map and get lost. You need to be self-sufficient when you come out here,” says Wallace. You cannot rely on GPS due the heavy tree cover, and internet connection is limited as well. Get a map and familiarize yourself with the trails you want to hike before actually walking them. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and never be without sufficient water—plan for at least one liter per person per hour of activity. RIDING THE RAPIDS If you are visiting Ohiopyle in warm weather, the whitewater rafting on the Youghiogheny is some of the best in the country. Beginners can take guided trips, while experienced rafters and kayakers can rent equipment and go out on their own. The park has four 26

licensed commercial outfitters: Laurel Highlands River Tours, Ohiopyle Trading Post, White Water Adventures and Wilderness Voyageurs. Regardless of which you choose, always make reservations. The Yough offers class I, II, III and IV rapids. The exciting level III and IV rapids of the Lower Yough make it the busiest section of whitewater in the eastern United States; however, beginners should only attempt this area with experienced whitewater boaters. The Middle Yough contains class I and II rapids, which are ideal for families. Some outfitters offer tours of the Lower Yough with a “deli-style lunch” option. Don’t underestimate the amount of energy you will expend on the Yough; you will be famished.


On the day of your river trip, leave plenty of time to find parking and get situated. At your selected outfitter, you’ll get brief instruction from your guides before you take off. Bring a water bottle in the raft and dress in light, water-resistant clothing. Take it easy that night; you will be sore in places you didn’t know you had. Before packing your bags and leaving this sprawling landscape, take one final stroll across the Ohiopyle Low Bridge. As you peer through the bowstring trusses, savor the choppy white waters—the ohiopehelle—and appreciate the wonderful wilderness a final time. Katie Annarino is a freelance writer based in Columbus who loves traveling and being outdoors.


If you are looking to rest your weary bones on a comfortable bed and enjoy delicious fare, The Stone House Country Inn and Summit Inn Resort are great options, though the Summit Inn Resort is open seasonally, April through November. Both are within 10 miles of the park and have full-service restaurants. If you want a lowkey, casual spot, the Stone House tavern is an informal dining option that boasts a selection of 21 craft beers and a 12-ounce, dry-aged New York strip, courtesy of the Stone House Butcher and Provisions market right next door.

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COLLEGE CAMPUSES The Childhood's Gate Children's Garden at Penn State University

Get Schooled College campuses offer unique activities for visitors of all ages. BY TAMI KAMIN MEYER

WHEN YOU THINK OF COLLEGE, images of fraternity parties, football games, exams and books probably come to mind. Even if you’ve moved past your undergraduate days, many universities offer unique and captivating attractions that beckon non-students to their campuses. Read on for suggestions of college campuses within a day’s drive of Columbus that offer unique, engaging and family-friendly amenities to enjoy.





The Arboretum at Penn State The Arboretum at Penn State is more than an impressive floral display. It is an oasis of greenery composed of 17,000 plants representing 800 species and cultivars. According to Kate Reeder, the facility’s event and marketing coordinator, the arboretum was envisioned as a place for teaching, research, relaxation and enjoyment. It has been carefully designed and cultivated to be a center of beauty and renewal, a venue for the arts and a pathway to discovery and enrichment, she explains. The arboretum is being built with philanthropic support. The first phase of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens, which serves The Arboretum at as the proverbial Penn State front door to the rest Corner of Park of the grounds, fea- Avenue and Bigler Road, University tures a riot of plants, shrubs and small trees Park, Pennsylvania; 814-865-9118; resplendent in color, size and appearance. They are arranged in a series of outdoor rooms and specialty gardens, including a display garden that showcases spring bulbs, annuals, perennials and tropical plants in an ever-changing tapestry of color and texture. The H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens currently sits just under 7 acres, but will comprise nearly 30 acres when complete. In total, 370 acres of greenery is under construction at the arboretum, with projects completed as donations allow. The portions of the arboretum open to the public feature not only various gardens and natural areas, but also a rail trail, an air quality learning and demonstration center and numerous trails through a historic valley-floor woodlot. The Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden, a 1-acre area specifically for young children, is a unique and engaging learning environment designed to educate visitors about the plants, animals, geology and history of central Pennsylvania. The grounds also offer havens such as the Overlook Pavilion, where visitors can sit and take in sweeping views across the gardens and out toward Bald Eagle Ridge in the distance, Reeder says. Hiking and naturalist activities, such as bird-watching, also are popular. Another spot not to miss is the Joel N. Myers Sundial. The landscape-scale granite sundial was a gift from Myers, a Penn State alumnus and founder of AccuWeather, says Reeder.

The Austrian Nationality Room


Nationality Rooms

Pittsburgh is home to more than just the Each room is filled with décor, furPenguins and the Steelers; it also boasts niture and historical items unique to the Nationality Rooms in the University that nation. The Syria/Lebanon Room, of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning, for example, is an original room from “the only attraction in the world like this Damascus dating back to 1781 that was with such a complete coverage of compainstakingly transported to the facility munities of immigrants,” says director E. and reconstructed there. Maxine Bruhns. Classes and other events “Everybody comes from Nationality Rooms inside often are held in the varisomewhere,” says Bruhns, who the Cathedral of Learning ous rooms during the week, 4200 Fifth Ave., is in her 52nd year at the helm although they are open to of the institution. The Nation- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; tours and guests when not in 412-624-6000; ality Rooms aim to honor as use. Because of that, Bruhns many of those origins as possays the best times to visit are sible. In order to qualify for a weekends or in the summer. room in the facility, a nation has to be recDuring the holidays, rooms are adorned ognized by the United States, although the with festive, native décor. In a tradition rule was relaxed in 1967 to allow a room begun by Bruhns, a Holiday Open House is dedicated to African heritage. held annually at the Cathedral of Learning Currently, 30 nations have a dedicated on the first Sunday in December. The 2017 space in the Nationality Rooms, with event saw 4,000 attendees. Volunteers in three additional rooms on the horizon. each of the rooms sell food and artifacts According to Bruhns, it has taken 25 during the event, which helps raise funds years to fund the Finnish room, which for various projects. One such program will soon be added. Construction on the involves sending qualifying University Filipino Room will begin this year, and an of Pittsburgh students abroad during the architect was recently hired to design an summer to assist a nation of their choice Iranian Room, she says. with a social service project. BEST DRIVING VACATIONS 2018 COLUMBUS MONTHLY



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Cascadilla Gorge


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It seems fitting that an Ivy League univerThe various gardens at Cornell are sity would be home to an impressive arbodesigned to evolve as weather changes. retum, which Cornell University has been For example, in late May, the gardens are since 1909. According to Shannon Dortch, beautified by an enormous array of colorful spokesperson for the arboretum, an average rhododendrons. As the season progresses, of 70,000 people visit the facility every year. “don’t miss the herb garden, which is orga“Children love it here because there is so nized by uses,” suggests Dortch. much to explore,” she says. Another unusual offering is the Climate The gardens’ expansive offerings include Change Demonstration Garden, featuring the Nevin Welcome Center, both an indoor and outdoor a LEED-certified structure Cornell Botanic Gardens area. The environment in the housing a gift shop, exhibits 124 Comstock Knoll Drive, indoor section is designed to Ithaca, New York; and rentable areas. And the emulate what scientists predict 607-255-2400; 100-acre F.R. Newman Arbotemperatures and growing retum is “a museum of trees ditions will be 22 years in the and woody plants,” Dortch future, based on current climate says. It features walking and driving paths, change models. The same plants are grown although driving paths often are closed in outdoors under real-time conditions. This the winter. It is accented by beautiful vistas comparative growing experiment allows and is popular for jogging and other recrevisitors to see firsthand which of today’s ational pursuits. plants might thrive in the warmer condiThe property also features two iconic tions predicted to be the norm in the next gorges not to be missed. According to two decades. Dortch, the Cascadilla Gorge is within Visitors to the gardens should not miss the walking distance of the Cornell University facility’s overlook, located on the grounds’ campus, although its paths are closed during highest elevation. “The views are amazing,” Ithaca’s harsh winters. The Fall Creek Gorge says Dortch. It also features a large bell guests offers 44 miles of trails and 15 waterfalls; it can ring. “It’s great to be in the arboretum is not handicapped accessible. and hear people ringing the bell,” she adds.



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Spend the day in Amish Country and the evening at the opera. Taste Wayne County’s homegrown wine and see lasers cut inspirational messages. Drive through a beautiful arboretum, and peruse more than 350 varieties of jams and jellies.

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Painting with lemurs at Duke University The Monet Bridge at Michigan State University


4-H Children’s Garden It might be located in the State Up North, Other vignettes and themes include the but the Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden is a Cereal Garden, which boasts wheats and delightful, unique and educational garden to grains commonly found in that morning visit on Michigan State’s campus. While only staple. Not surprisingly, the Pizza Garden is 2 acres in diameter, this little horticultural gem round and features tomato plants, oregano, is chock-full of whimsical décor, thyme and other ’za ingredients. 4-H Children’s Garden Of course, says Bulkowski, “a various plants and hidden gems. 1066 Bogue St., Take, for example, the Dance slice of pizza is missing.” East Lansing, Michigan; Chimes, says Dan Bulkowski, an; The 4-H Children’s Garden MSU horticulturist who describes was the first of its kind when the garden as featuring “vignettes it was dedicated in 1993. our_gardens/4_h_ of multiple themes” and serenAlthough not protected by childrens_garden dipitous surprises. The Dance locked gates, the prime time to Chimes are two cast-iron frogs playfully sitvisit is between April 1 and Oct. 30, before ting on sculpted waterlilies in the garden’s plants are cut back for winter. small pond. They’re a cute feature in their Don’t forget to see the maze, the Monet own right, but if a guest spins a small metal Bridge and the foot piano—à la the movie gate on a post near the frogs, the amphibians “Big”—just waiting for kids to tap out a gleefully spit water into the pond. festive tune. 32


Who would have thought a university famed for its men’s basketball team would also be home to an educational center devoted to an endangered animal from Madagascar? “Lemurs are the most endangered vertebrates in the world,” says Sara Clark, director of communications for the Duke Lemur Center. “We offer a conservation and public education program [featuring them].” The facility houses 240 lemurs, which comprise 16 species, and the opportunities for viewing these adorable creatures are seemingly just as Duke Lemur Center numerous. They 3705 Erwin Road, range from the Durham, North Carolina; Little Lemurs 919-401-7240; tour (ideal for families with children 8 and under) to the more exotic experience of Painting with Lemurs. While guests do not create art alongside the playful primates, there is a level of interaction. Lemurs enjoy finger painting, so they are the artists in this experience. “You can watch them and choose the paint colors, and then get to take home” the painting created by your lemur/painter, says Clark. The Duke Lemur Center is located on 70 acres of the Duke Forest. General tours involve walking on a designated path through the trees. A fence prevents guests from touching the animals, but there are no limitations on watching them climb, play and eat. On the Walking with Lemurs premium tour, guides escort guests into the forest, where there are no barriers between visitors and the animals. “Be sure to bring your camera, as this experience offers views of the animals unlike any other,” Clark says. The most immersive tour, however, is the Lemur Keeper for the Day, which allows guests to accompany one of the center’s keepers as they care for and interact with the lemurs. “You can even feed them,” she says. Because all tours are supervised, reservations are required. No matter which experience you select, be sure to ask your guide about the nocturnal aye-aye lemurs. “They’re among the most unique primates in the world, so [they’re] definitely worth seeing,” Clark says. Tami Kamin Meyer is a Columbus writer whose vacations with her now-grown sons inspired this story.


Duke Lemur Center

Frank Lloyd Wright's FallingwaterÂŽ


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CM - Best Driving Vacations - February 2018  
CM - Best Driving Vacations - February 2018