West Chester, Ohio, is a great city to live in, with phenomenal food, fun attractions, and friendly people. But no matter how lovely your city is, sometimes it’s good to get away, see different things, and experience different cultures. Even if it’s just to a neighboring city, a change of scenery can help you relax and disconnect from the weekday worries. There are many spots near West Chester that can provide the respite you are looking for. Read on to learn about our list of the top five day trips from West Chester you need to try.

Nashville, Indiana

A tour train hauling guests.
Image via Flickr by Serge Melki Licensed CC BY 2.0

If you don’t mind a two-hour drive, the town of Nashville, Indiana, could be your next destination to help you leave your work worries behind. Known by locals as “Little Nashville,” this welcoming location will charm you and your family.

The aspiring little engineer in your life will happily ride the Nashville Express Tour Train. A Brown County attraction for almost four decades, the train is a source of local pride and a phenomenal way to learn about and experience Little Nashville. The 25-minute scenic tour of Nashville, Indiana, is a 2.5-mile ride that gives riders an informative history lesson about Nashville. Tickets are $7 per person, and only cash is accepted. While in Nashville, consider some retail therapy as well.

The quaint town features charming local boutiques, restaurants, and friendly wineries serving up a taste of Little Nashville. A favorite among locals is the Salt Creek Winery on North Honeysuckle Lane. The red zinfandel is aged in American oak has notes of cranberry, cherry, and black pepper. The art scene in Little Nashville is equally exquisite. Pay a visit to The Emerald Pencil on the Village Green, which is owned and operated by artist and writer Pamela Keech and is a great place for a unique gift or souvenir. To learn more about Nashville, Indiana, including lodging options, visit the website.

Natural Springs Resort

In just over an hour from West Chester, you can escape the day-to-day stresses and pamper the family with a visit to Natural Springs Resort in New Paris, Ohio. Reconnect with nature and recharge yourself in the scenic setting. The resort has 46 acres of tranquil landscape, over 200 campsites with waterfront and shade options, and luxury and convenience cabin rentals.

Amenities at Natural Springs Resort include a crystal clear 12-acre spring-fed lake, natural rock formations, a sandy beach, a picnic shelter, and a beachside cafe and grill. You’ll also find plenty of activities to keep the family busy. Anglers will have fun casting a line for catch-and-release fishing throughout the main lake, while kids will enjoy playing in the splash pad and eating some signature ice cream. Tent campsites start at $34, while cabins range from $79.99 to $180.99. Pet-loving families will be happy to learn that pets are welcome, and a robust Wi-Fi service can keep you updated with important news and connected to family even while you relax.

Natural Springs Resort Lake and Campground is located at 500 S. Washington St. in New Paris, Ohio. To learn about protocols or to secure your cabin or campsite, call 888-330-5771 or email info@naturalspringsresort.com.

Athens, Ohio

Athens, Ohio, is a great place to take the brave and curious historians in the family. A visit to the Old Athens Lunatic Asylum will teach you about some controversial practices from the past. Reserve a Walking Tour of the Historic Athens Asylum for an outdoor activity the whole family can enjoy. Led by George Eberts, an Appalachian Behavioral Health employee, the two-hour walking tour ranges from $15 to $18. For $20, participants of the tour can also access the History Center. For more information or to reserve your spot for the next tour, call 740-592-2280.

Other things to do in Athens include experiencing the art scene by visiting the Trisolini Gallery or the Dairy Barn Arts Center Gallery Shop. Grab a yummy meal at Courtside Pizza, or treat the kids to a frozen custard from Whit’s Frozen Custard.

Louisville Mega Cavern

For aspiring geologists, the Louisville Mega Cavern is a sight and experience to be remembered. It is Louisville’s top attraction and features the world’s only underground zip line. The cavern was mined from the early 1930s to the early 1970s. The mega cavern is about 100 acres and is one of the largest caverns in the United States.

A trip with the family to visit these wonderful rock formations offers excitement for all ages. Mega-zips are led by guides and offer an exhilarating way to spend two hours. The mega-tram is a tour that takes you on an underground adventure filled with a rich history and information about geology, mining, and recycling. To see over 60% of the caverns, try the walking tour. It is a 90-minute journey full of exciting facts about the caverns and their history.

Red River Gorge

If you don’t mind the two-hour drive, a trip to the Red River Gorge at Daniel Boone National Forest might be just what you need to relax and reset. Visitors can enjoy anything from rafting and canoeing to zip lining. Get the kids some time away from the screen and some exercise while hiking one of the many trails. Make a weekend of your visit and camp out at the Koomer Ridge Campground. Be sure to plan ahead and take all the supplies you need. Before you leave, travel the Red River Gorge Scenic Byway for a jaw-dropping sight.

So there you have it. Crème de la Crème of West Chester, Ohio, has enjoyed sharing with you our list of the top five day trips for you to take when you need to get away and unwind. What do you think of our list? Did we miss your favorite destination to escape to release stress? If we did, let us know! Leave us a message sharing your suggestions and we’ll be happy to check out your ideas. You might even see your destination added to our list.