June is national camping month, according to someone who told me that on the Internet. This is great news for those of us that love dirt, bugs, hiking, and the occasional four days without a shower. But what about the more docile members of your friend group, or your tame and domesticated partner that wants to share everything with you… everything except the responsibility of starting a fire, and tying your food into a treetop to avoid tempting bears? Well good news, adventurous Columbusites. You can sate your thirst for experience and freedom without sacrificing comfort or risking life and limb. Some call it a vacation, some might even call it “Glamping.” One thing is for sure: We have plenty of options for getting outside 270 and copping a new view of starrier skies.
Hit the Road, Jack
Among the defining societal tropes of Americans is the love of the open road. Our collective cultural memory includes Manifest Destiny, the Wide Wild West, roadside attractions, and Route 66. The question of whether to hit the road has never included a why, only a how. Columbus-based Road Adventures has built a company founded on the idea of helping you plan the road trip of a lifetime.
Through Road Adventures, you can rent a vehicle, like a tow-behind trailer, an RV, or even a vintage-style Airstream Trailer. Never driven an RV? No problem. Road Adventures will teach you the finer points of operation, and provide 24-hour roadside assistance and customer service, in case your road trip goes the way of a National Lampoon Vacation movie.
But Road Adventures isn’t just a rental service for travel vehicles. They are a complete travel package and planning company. From Ohio’s own Lord of the Rings fantasy, Hocking Hills; to national treasure and wildlife lover’s destination, Yellowstone National Park; Road Adventures has planned routes you can follow. These are complete with places to camp along the way, and plenty of attractions to break up the long miles.
Camping vehicles are the perfect way carry your comfort with you. You can rent an RV to get you to that music festival you and your buddies got tickets for. Let them help you find a spot with the proper hookups, and you can avoid the long lines leading to the hell on Earth that are festival shower and toilet facilities. Always wanted to see the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota? Take an RV through the Black Hills and arrive in comfort and style for a wild weekend.
Leave the planning and logistics to Road Adventures, if you wish. Or, just pick up the keys and head out on a magic American carpet ride.
For more, visit roadadventures.com.
The Air Up There
Some folks were lucky enough to have tree houses as kids. It was a little place of your own, where you could hide away from the grownups, and spy down on your surroundings. A cozy little place away from the every day. Turns out, you can go back to that little nest up high.
There are plenty of options for treehouse rentals in Ohio if you want to get away from all, or above it. The standout option is The Mohicans Treehouses. A set of four true-to-name structures suspended high in the trees, these rentals look like something from a story book. Two of the houses were designed by Treehouse Masters star Pete Nelson, and an episode of the show focuses on The Little Red Treehouse, one of the rental options complete with indoor plumbing and electricity. Little Red was originally constructed as a tasting house for Tree House Brewing, and later converted to accommodate an overnight stay. Small and cozy, Little Red is the perfect size for two people. The other three treehouses can host two couples, making them perfect for a double date weekend getaway.
The creation of the buildings was mindful in its sourcing and fabrication. The owners and designers made use of reclaimed barn wood for materials and hired local Amish workers to contribute to design and construction. The owners, Laura and Kevin Mooney are committed to sustainable operation of their fairy tale getaway. The site has become a destination not only for vacationers, but for event planners and partiers. The Grand Barn is a glorious and woodsy venue for weddings and other events, where guests are encouraged to spend their night in a treehouse after their festivities.
Visitors walk a gently swaying suspension bridge from a hillside to reach their treetop hideaway. It’s just like you always imagined.
And for those of us that never had a treehouse… it’s never too late.
For more, visit themohicans.net.
A Walk On the Wild Side
There’s an old romantic notion of waking up to a misty morning on safari, and you can have that experience without leaving The Heart of It All. Located on over 10,000 acres of reclaimed mine land, The Wilds is a safari park in every sense of the word. Visitors can take a tour by bus or by truck through the spacious fields provided to the many animal inhabitants of this sprawling, wild partner to the Columbus Zoo. From rhinos and cheetahs to takins and dholes, the resident creature roster is long and growing by the season.
A stay at the Grand Yurt on Nomad Ridge includes a safari for two. Dinner and breakfast are provided. The interior of the yurt is exotically inspired and gorgeously designed. A little slice of luxury in Southeastern Ohio. They are climate-controlled with indoor plumbing, and provided is the one thing you might be unwilling to sacrifice in your search for escape from daily life: coffee. Outside the Grand Yurt is an elevated patio with a fire pit, where a view of the prairie will greet you with the sunrise. You may even catch glimpses of animals roaming the open fields, seemingly oblivious to the fences.
For more info, visit thewilds.columbuszoo.org.