When considering where to travel for a fun and beautiful nature retreat, Ohio is often underrated. But I just booked a stay in a romantic cabin in the Hocking Hills region, located in the south-central area of the Buckeye State.
I’ve never stayed in a cabin before. I'm more of a city or beach gal when it comes to travel destinations. But when you’re looking to book a getaway for you and your partner in the crazy and unpredictable times of a global pandemic, a peaceful and quiet nature retreat away from the crowds seems like a great way to go.
The area is about an hour south of Columbus and encompasses a deeply dissected section of the Allegheny Plateau in Hocking County. The region's natural features include rock shelter formations, gorgeous waterfalls, and beautiful cliffs and gorges. The diverse landscape is due to the Blackhand Sandstone, named for a Native American carving on a particular formation near Newark, Ohio. The sandstone is thick, hard and weather-resistant, and so forms high cliffs and deep gorges.
The cabin we picked has a fireplace, a pool table, a fire pit outside, and a hot tub on the deck with a beautiful view of the woods.
Though not all cabins have it, the one we chose also has WiFi. I did consider going off-grid and ditching WiFi by booking a less expensive cabin deeper in the woods, but if this is a mini-vacation full of the things I enjoy, I think I’d like to keep the WiFi around. The cozy cabin in the woods is definitely going to make me want to write (and research my writing online).
So, with these few simple amenities, and plenty of delicious wine tucked away in the fully equipped kitchen, I’m really looking forward to a stay in this gorgeous spot with my husband.
We Haven’t Had Our Honeymoon Yet
My husband and I got married in August of 2020. It was a quick and simple wedding, where we exchanged vows in a park in front of 15 close friends and family. We made sure we had plenty of room for everyone to be socially distant.
Wedding photo of Mr. and Mrs. Bradshaw, August 8, 2020.
After the ceremony, we went to a local bar and enjoyed drinks on the outdoor deck. It was the fanciest of low maintenance affairs, to be sure. One that we threw together in a month or so.
I know that doesn’t sound super romantic. But my husband and I have both been divorced, and neither of us is into all that stressful (and pricy) wedding planning stuff. After over a decade of living together, we are as committed as they come, whether we have a marriage certificate or not. So an elaborate wedding just wasn’t a priority for us.
But, as we were seeing the absolute insanity of the world falling down around us during a pandemic, we decided we wanted to take the plunge. And yeah, the driving force behind tying the knot was probably a sense of responsibility related to tax and insurance benefits. My husband’s job gives him no benefits—no health insurance, no paid vacation, no retirement, nothing. Mine does.
Honestly though, it was about more than just red tape and paperwork. I wanted to give my partner what I had to offer and make sure he’s taken care of should a health issue arise. Who needs romance when you have real and active love?
So here we are, newlyweds for 6 months, and we’ve still yet to have a honeymoon. With Valentine's Day and my husband's birthday just around the corner, I look forward to some special one-on-one time in a gorgeous Hocking Hills cabin like the one pictured here.
Photo courtesy of hockinghills.com.
There are so many lodging options to choose from in the area, but this one in particular caught my eye. Yes, I want a bit of luxury. Yes, I want the hot tub and cozy fireplace and Satallite TV. No, I do not want to sleep under the stars (though I’d love to sip wine from the wraparound deck and take in the clear and sparkling night sky, absolutely.).
Hocking Hills is Great for Romance, Family, or Groups
Whether you're looking for a romantic tryst in nature for you and your partner, or you want to book a vacation for family or friends, there's something for everyone in this gorgeous and underrated Ohio gem.
Maybe you're like me and you want a more pampered lodging. Maybe you like to rough it and get all up close and personal with nature (I like the nature to surround my comfy cabin, but I don't need to sleep in it). Either way, there's something for you.
You can book a cabin, a cottage, a treehouse, a bed and breakfast, a hotel, or, you can rough it on the campgrounds if that’s your thing. (It’s not at all my thing, as we've established.)
For those who aren't looking for some one-on-one time to focus on your romantic relationship, consider a girls' trip with your besties or a weekend retreat with your family. There are cabins of all sizes. Some sleep 2. Others sleep 6 to 10 or upwards of 20.
And right now, it's the off season. If you don't mind hiking in the chilly weather and then coming back to your lodging to warm up in front of the fire, then this is a great time to book a trip at discounted rates. Of course, the warm weather has its perks—like swimming and canoing—so if you want to wait for spring or summer, that's a great option too. But plan ahead, because many of the lodgings in Hocking Hills book months ahead of time.
For me and my hubby, I was able to find a weekend available not too far off. Our cabin is $200 a night, though there are less expensive options. Plus, we're close enough to the area to be there in less than half a day's drive, so we'll save money that way.
I’d recommend Hocking HIlls to anyone who is looking for a little fun in nature and time away from the hustle and bustle. Within the region you'll find horseback riding, hunting, fishing, nature yoga, and of course, plenty of hiking. You can also visit the quaint town (I plan to hit up the Coffee Emporium daily).
I'm looking forward to the trails winding through lush forests and natural rock bridges, getting all the fresh air and exercise that my husband and I have been neglecting for the last, oh, year or so. Of course, I also look forward to lots of quiet, and, yes, intimate time together. Romantic time away, where we can leave the stress of our work life for a few days and focus on our relationship, on good conversation, and on each other.