April 2014 Issue
Editor's Note: Rules of the Road
Looking back, it was simultaneously one of the best and worst ideas I’ve ever had. I was a college junior at the time. Spring break was looming, and my friends and I wanted to spend our week somewhere other than overflowing beachside hotels. We wanted a different kind of adventure, but one that still had plenty of sun.
My big idea: a road trip to the Florida Keys... from Bowling Green, Ohio. We’d save money by camping and would have a car to get around from beach to beach. That’s how the logic went anyway.
Inexplicably, spending roughly 24 hours in a car with two other people seemed manageable at the time, fun even. And, for the first several hours on the road it really wasn’t all that bad.
Even 12 hours into the trip, we were all in good shape. At 18 hours though, the miles began taking their toll. We all started to get grumpy. Seeing signs for Miami helped, until we realized we still had hours left to go until we reached our campground.
Tempers eventually flared. We’d all been staring through a windshield for way, way too long.
Somewhere along the line, as we jutted out across the water on the long highway that links the chain of Florida islands, we all just stopped talking, soaking in the motion and the moonlight. That was probably what saved our vacation: We all just finally agreed to shut up and enjoy the ride.
I thought of that somewhat misguided adventure when we were assembling this month’s cover story on great Ohio road trips. So many times, when setting off to see other places, it’s easy for us to forget about the adventures possible close to home. They’re trips that can be taken over a weekend and often don’t involve the expense of those more ambitious travels that we think about far more than we actually see through.
That’s what this month’s cover story is about: inspiring you to hit the road and take a closer look at our state. With so many great spots throughout Ohio, we had to make choices and grouped our destinations around themes. We’ve also structured them so you can take on as much or as little of our suggested road trips as you want or have time to.
The guide is designed to whet your appetite for exploring places you haven’t seen and revisiting old favorites, whether your urge to get out and see new things is fueled by food, history, sports, nature or Lake Erie.
Admit it, with the winter we’ve all just endured, lake breezes, lazy afternoons at the ballpark and looking out over a forest that stretches to the horizon sound better than ever.
Go ahead. Choose your own adventure.