Mini road trips



These girls know that shopping is a fun, cheap summer trip. Photo by MCT Campus.

Whether you are staying in Ohio this summer or you live here year-round, everyone needs to get away once in a while. Unfortunately, with the state of our economy, most people can’t afford to take lavish vacations anymore.

Never fear, because I have rounded up a few different places you can go to around the area while using up just one (or less!) tank of gas.

  1. West Branch State Park

    This state park, located in Ravenna, is just a stone’s throw away from Kent. It offers camping, swimming and fishing. (with a valid Ohio fishing license, which can be purchased at Drug-Mart or Wal-Mart) Best of all, it’s FREE!

  2. Zoo (Akron and Cleveland)

    I may sound like a little kid when I say this, but I LOVE zoos. It’s fun to go observe animals and play with them. Zoos are also educational (though you probably don’t want to think about education over the summer) because you get to see the animals in their almost-natural habitat.

    For a smaller, more intimate experience, (with penguins!) go to the Akron Zoo, just about 15 miles from Kent. The admission is $10 and parking is $2. You can bring in a non-winning Ohio Lottery ticket to receive free parking.

    If you’re more interested in seeing elephants, monkeys and the Rainforest exhibit, the Cleveland Zoo is just over 30 miles from Kent. It offers admission for $11 and their parking is always free.

  3. Wildwater Kingdom

    Wildwater Kingdom in Aurora, used to be SeaWorld, then a part of Six Flags. Now it’s a water park that is great to beat the summer heat. Admission is $30 for guests 48″ or taller and $18 after 4 p.m. Parking is $5.

  4. Cedar Point

    No summer in Northeast Ohio is complete without a trip to Cedar Point. At about 87 miles and over an hour-and-a-half away, this is perfect if you’d like to leave Kent but don’t want to go too far. Admission is $47 for guests taller than 48″ and $30 after 5 p.m. when park closes at 10 p.m. or later. (4 p.m. when park closes earlier than 10 p.m.)

  5. Mansfield Reformatory

    Mansfield, located about 74 miles from Kent, houses the Ohio State Reformatory. The reformatory trip can be saved for a not-so-nice day. If you’re a paranormal buff, you can take a tour of this allegedly haunted prison for $8. Or if you’re 21 years old or older and have nerves of steel, you can stay the night and participate in the prison’s Ghost Hunt for $65, but these spots fill up fast.

  6. Beachwood Place

    Let’s face it: girls (and some boys) like to shop. Beachwood Place Mall is a premier shopping destination for those who like the finer things in life, and it’s just up I-271. The mall includes stores such as H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and Delia’s.

    My favorite shop is Lush Cosmetics, which uses fresh ingredients to make many skin care and cosmetic items. The sales associates are very friendly and make the products by hand. My first experience at Lush consisted of receiving a hand treatment that left my grippers soft and tingly for hours afterward. I think it’s worth the trip to Beachwood Place just for this store.

Where are some places that you like to travel to on one tank of gas?