I will be in a car for nine or 10 hours Friday, driving to northern Wisconsin for a wedding. On Sunday, I will turn around and drive back.
About 20 hours of driving for one day of visiting is a bit much, but it does have me thinking of some of the better day or weekend trips that could be taken during this vacation season. Many of my sources for stories have been able to take a week off making my job a bit tougher this summer. But not everyone can afford the time off - or money involved - for a weeklong trip anywhere in or outside the country.
That has me thinking of less expensive, shorter trips in the area for a weekend or day getaway.
Cedar Point is an obvious answer for a day trip. Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati quickly came to mind, too. I've heard a lot of Perrysburg residents talk about going to Ann Arbor for restaurants and shopping - but since I'm from the area, that is not nearly as exciting to me.
My neighbors went to Put-In-Bay this weekend, which I basically had zero knowledge about but it sounds like an entertaining time. Also my fiancee was in my ear about hearing of an African Wildlife Safari in Port Clinton.
So here is my Top 5 Day/Weekend Trip Bucket List. Rules I have put into place include: nothing from southeast Michigan since that is where I am from, and it has to be within a three-hour drive from Perrysburg - making Pittsburgh and Indianapolis sadly just out of range.
- Cedar Point - I know it might be cliche for this area, but me and my fiancee love rides and always try to get to Cedar Point at least one time during the year. This year I think we're eyeing going to their Halloween weekend. Last year we were disappointed with their new ride that was a glorified giant, high version of the swings. This year the Gatekeeper looks to be a nice new coaster. Single-day tickets right now cost $44.99 on the Web site to enjoy the park.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame - If you can't tell, I'm a big sports fan, and Canton doesn't seem like too bad of a drive. I'd love to bore my fiancee by dragging her around the museum. It is $22 for an adult at the Hall of Fame, but it could be great to go during the Hall of Fame annual preseason game the weekend of the 2013 induction ceremony, Aug. 3-4. If I go after that weekend I can see the new shrines for Ohio-native Chris Carter, Warren Sapp, and legendary coach Bill Parcells.
- Columbus - I lived in Columbus for a summer and really enjoyed it. From the restaurants to different events it is an exciting town. When we go I'm sure an Ohio State football or basketball game will be the driving force for the two-hour trip. My fiancee and I love to go to Eddie George's Grill 27. It was close to were I lived and it was a neat place. Sarah, my fiancee, was forever creeped out when I told her about the two-way mirror in the men's room and proved it by telling her how many fingers she was holding up after I got out.
- Progressive Field - It is hard to call where the Cleveland Indians play now Progressive Field instead of Jacobs Field. Either way I love the stadium and it is only about an hour and a half away. It seems like people here aren't excited about going to Cleveland, but I'd love to go see the Detroit Tigers play there. I'd also want to beat the drum owned by that famous fan in left field. And if the Indians start tanking in the standings, ticket prices should go down with it.
- Safari - My fiancee Sarah Martens [soon to be Sarah Thompson in a little over a month] is a full-blown animal lover. I had to talk her into liking zoos by telling her how they've saved some animals from dangers of the wild. The African Wildlife Safari in Port Clinton she would love if she could truly get close up to animals in their natural habitat. But seriously, Sarah, if one of those beasts scratches my car during a $21.95 a person drive I'm going to put you through an entire NFL Hall of Fame weekend. Depending on how deep the scratch is, we might watch a football documentary there, too. It is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, during the summer.
I'm extremely new to the area, and haven't been able to really explore outside of Toledo and Perrysburg. So I really hope readers can comment on my local bucket list, or clue me in to other hidden gems for a day/weekend trip.