By Aaron Evans, Features Editor
Goodwill sweaters, piles of leaves and plunging your hand into pumpkin inna rds; grab your boots and your artificially flavored lattes, everyone. It’s finally fall.
Many of you may be wondering how in the world you could spend the glorified three-day weekend that is Fall Break, aside from the sacred Netflix binge days with your roommate. Sometimes, a change in scenery for a day does wonders for our sanity, and if you’re wondering how to get away with actually going “away,” here are four places that could make for impeccable day trips.
Aside from Chili and the Red’s, Cincinnati has a lot to offer in the strips of Calhoun St. and West McMillan St. These two streets are packed with plenty of stores, vintage bookstores, coffee shops and good restaurants. Highlands Coffeehouse is a necessity, especially since it’s open until 2:30 a.m. (a rare thing for us here in Lexington). If coffee isn’t your thing, you can find bubble tea at Tea n’ Bowl. Plus, you can get your Asian food fix there as well.
Duttonhofer’s Bookstore is a vintage bookstore in which you can get lost for hours exploring dusty old books, or if you just want to feel super intellectual and hip. When the old books start to lose your attention, walking along the Levee on the Kentucky side of Cincinnati or getting apple cider donuts at the Apple Fest in Lebanon is a great way to finish out the day. The drive is a manageable one hour and 48 minutes.
Columbus is typically a great place for retail therapy, between Easton Town Center and the Tanger Outlets. But for those wanting something with a little more personality, at the heart of downtown Columbus is High Street, lined with local stores, restaurants, coffee shops and art galleries – Short North. Hip, happening and highly underrated, the Short North boasts everything from the coolest, most impressive antique store you’ve ever seen (Flower Power) and trendy local shops to enough food options to suit everyone’s tastes.
This area also boasts Columbus’ Arts District, complete with galleries, music venues and public art (seriously, murals galore). There is also the North Market, which is essentially a food mall; it offers authentic cuisine with a wide variety of vendors – whether you want barbecue, thai, italian, mediterranean or anything in between, be assured that whatever you get will be delicious and high-quality.
A trip to Short North is worth a day away, and makes for a three hour and 20 minute trip (feel free to stop in Cincinnati on the way).
If you are seeking adventure but can’t travel far, consider venturing to the highly-unknown Mega Caverns in Louisville — 100 acres of caves underground Louisville that offer a slew of exciting activities, such as zip lining, aerial ropes courses and tram tours.
Fun facts about the cave, according to their website: the mine runs underneath all ten lanes of the Watterson Expressway (I-264) and approximately 70% of the Louisville Zoo is directly above the cavern. Added bonus: the drive is a gas tank-friendly one hour and 28 minutes.
The Soda Parlor
Nashville is a go-to road trip location, but Music City has more to offer than the Grand Ole Opry and the Barista Parlor (but those are worth checking out as well). For instance, what about a Soda Parlor?
For those of you who are less-than fans of coffee, this may be more up your alley. The Soda Parlor was started by YouTube sensation Olan Rogers (he’s hilarious, look him up) and serves as a store, soda shop and occasional hub of community. They serve delicious, hand-crafted soda floats made with local ice cream and quirky personality; this stop could serve the perfect topper to a weekend Nashville trip.