This post was imported from the old blog I shared with my two best friends, Morgan and Mallory. It covers our trip to Ohio.
So, this was our first out-of-state trip and wasn’t Ohio a great choice? For this trip, we decided to combine two of our interests: hiking and shopping. After perusing Pinterest for a while, we came up with the two towns we would be visiting on our three day trip.
Where: Hocking Hills and Jeffersonville, Ohio
Why Ohio: Ohio just happened to be a neighboring state–might as well start somewhere!
Lodging: We stayed two places while on the trip, one pretty great and one not so great. First thing’s first: Ravenwood Castle. We found this lovely place via Roadtrippers and Rachel was sold because, “How many people can say they’ve stayed in a castle in Ohio?” So drawn to the weird factor, we checked it out. We had two options: stay in the castle or rent a gypsy wagon. A gypsy wagon?! Are you kidding me? Sign us up…oh but readers, we were not at all prepared for the gypsy wagon. The first day of our trip the plan was travel to Ohio, get lunch, check in at the castle, and then go hiking. The ride into the country to this Castle in the Woods was a long one and once it was over, we were without any cellphone service whatsoever (so like, if the castle ghosts murdered us, who would we call???) As we approached the castle via the gravel road, we did not see the wagons until further investigation. We parked and went into the basically empty castle looking for someone to check us in. The castle keeper (innkeeper) brought us to our pink wagon and we turned the key to the door knob and then we were smacked in the face with the most rancid smell, the smelliest smell, that smelt so smelly it turned our heads away immediately. We dumped our bags and tentatively went to check out the outhouse. I say outhouse even though it was a bathroom equipped with working plumbing, however the size of the spider on the wall qualified this glorified port-a-potty as an outhouse. Rachel unsuccessfully attempted to kill the massive spider with rocks. Following the altercation, we peaced-outie ASAP to go hiking. Upon returning (sweatier than we had been before), we came to the conclusion we couldn’t stay at the Gypsy wagon because we couldn’t avoid using the bug bathroom. We complained and they moved us in the Castle (the Shakespeare room to be exact). The three of us slept in a King size bed, Morgan broke the shower head, and the medieval breakfast was subpar. At checkout we learned that even though we complained and they placed us into the most expensive castle room, we were being charged the remaining balance. This did not fly but we dejectedly paid for it and left a most destructive review (which resulted in them refunding us–heck yes).
We also stayed at a Fairfield Inn & Suites near the Jeffersonville outlets, which comparatively was a warm hug. Our room wasn’t ready so they let us get free snacks and drinks, they had a pool, and we ate Chipotle in bed whilst watching Netflix. Which has actually become quite the tradition we recommend! We were each allowed to force each other into watching something we wanted the others to watch. Morgan made us watch Sherlock (Mallory and Rachel now like it more than her). Rachel made us watch Drive Me Crazy (BEST MOVIE EVER!!). Mallory made us watch Veronica Mars (good but kinda weird).
Shopping: The whole point in visiting Jeffersonville was to go to the Tanger Outlets, which didn’t disappoint on the shopping front but most definitely didn’t take us the whole day to breeze through all of the shops. We also stopped at the GAP clearance store in Hebron, KY and we all found lots of great deals and then continued our shopping spree at the Florence Mall, y’all.
Food: First stop of the trip of course was Sonic for breakfast and 99cent drinks. Duh. We also went to these places, with an emphasis on local dives:
Millstone BBQ: A Logan, OH must! Online we saw that it was a pretty popular place for Bikers–we knew we’d fit right in! Corn muffins come to every table and you’ll want more than one basket! If you’re a fan of BBQ or meat in general, this place is delicious!
Pizza Crossing: We don’t really remember exactly how good the pizza was but Rachel did get up and refilled our drinks after our waitress disappeared. The reason we can’t remember our pizza is because we can only remember one man: the forty year old man, who on a Tuesday night, felt confident enough to tell the waitress to tell Mallory her next drink was on him. The married, self-respecting woman she is, declined, and we quickly evacuated the restaurant and drove back to the castle well into the night, locking the castle doors behind us (literally it was a requirement if you came back after 10 o’clock at night).
Treehouse Treats and Treasures: Ice cream. ‘Nuff said.
Dippin Dots Vending Machine: Yes.
Wok & Roll: Your typical Chinese mall/outlet restaurant.
Chipotle: No offense but we will always risk E. coli when it comes to Chipotle.
LaRosa’s Pizza: Best pizza (and restaurant) in Dry Ridge, KY. If you see a LaRosa’s on the side of the road, turn into that place on two wheels. You won’t regret it.
Coldstone Creamery: If you don’t eat ice cream everyday, are you really living?
Sights we saw: We saw many landmarks while hiking in Hocking Hills. Hiking at the park was supes easy and not difficult. Most of the trails were flat ground, sometimes even paved! It did start raining while we were hiking but it didn’t really spoil seeing the ginormous Ash Cave or wading near the mini waterfall near Old Man’s Cave. Exploring this part of Hocking Hills was quite enjoyable even if the bathrooms were disgusting and didn’t have any lights. Ha. Ha.
Mallory’s – My favorite part of this trip was the petting zoo. The baby deer and goats were so sweet and precious and would eat out of your hand. These sweet animals more than made up for the terrible castle which literally had me in tears and the creepy dude at Pizza Crossing. Another favorite part of my trip was shopping! If you know anything about me you know that shopping is what my dreams are made of and this trip did not disappoint!
Rachel’s – My favorite part was almost dying. You heard me right, we almost died following our dinner at the Pizza Crossing. We were headed back to the castle on a dark and narrow road when I saw in the corner of the car’s headlights a large family of trash cats. I swerved and screamed so loudly that Morgan and Mallory surely believed the end was near and a fiery, deathly car crash was bound to ensue. Luckily we only peed ourselves a little, the trash cats lived, and we laughed the rest of the way along the wooded driveway to the castle.
Morgan’s – Man, the trip to Hocking Hell was a great one. There truly is nothing quite like Ravenwood castle and I can guarantee you are not missing out. Even though the castle was pretty terrible, I gotta say I had a lot of favorite parts of this trip. So many funny things happened. Lemme tell you about a few. Sweet, sweet Rachel–she was in charge of getting directions to the castle and so she chose the path of the less traveled. AKA the road to throwing up everywhere. 0/3 of us are great with sitting in cars and motion sickness is REAL, people. Though it sucked to be nauseous it was also a little funny and a true bonding experience to all be on Dramamine together. The trash cats thing was hilarious and terrifying too. Literally thought someone was going to murder us–if you ever need someone who can scream sooo loudly that you will think something terrible is happening, just give Rachel a call. The guy asking Mal for a drink was another high point. Lololol. And I love hiking so every part of the hiking time was bueno, bueno, bueno.