fbpx

(This arti­cle may or may not con­tain affil­i­ate links. What does that mean?)

My hus­band and I were sup­posed to go on a cruise to cel­e­brate our 5th anniver­sary, but obvi­ous­ly that was can­celled. We want­ed to get away, and get a break from our tod­dler, but we were stumped. Where to go? My hus­band pitched me an uncon­ven­tion­al idea. Let’s stay in an RV, he said. 

I’ll admit, I was a bit of a hard sell. When I think of romance, I don’t think of camp­ing. But my hus­band is per­sua­sive. I had­n’t been camp­ing in at least 10 years, and I had nev­er stayed in an RV before, so I did­n’t know what to expect. I searched AirBNB for an RV and we picked out an RV park in a part of Ohio we had­n’t yet vis­it­ed and we set out on our adventure!

 

Get­ting there is half of the fun right? We had­n’t ven­tured to this part of South­ern Ohio before, so we decid­ed to take our time dri­ving out to MOCO RV Park. We love to find ran­dom places to stop on the way. When else will you get the chance to see Big Muskie’s buck­et? I’ll be hon­est. I did­n’t even know this place exist­ed until we saw a sign. Some of my favorite trav­el expe­ri­ences have start­ed with my hus­band see­ing a sign and insist­ing we stop and check it out. 

 

 

Southern Ohio

This is the buck­et of an exca­va­tor that was used for min­ing in South­ern Ohio. My 6′ hus­band is pro­vid­ing scale, this thing is tru­ly massive!

 

 

After we fin­ished check­ing out Min­er’s Memo­r­i­al Park, we found our­selves at MoCo RV Park, our home for the week­end. Since I had nev­er stayed in an RV, I did­n’t real­ly know what to expect. I could­n’t believe how nice the RV was! Our RV was ful­ly stocked with every­thing we need­ed to relax and enjoy our kid-free week­end. We def­i­nite­ly were not rough­ing it! Our RV had a queen bed, a ful­ly stocked kitchen, a TV, a table and 2 reclin­ers. The table could be con­vert­ed to a bed if need­ed. We did not need.

We went into town to get some sup­plies and take out and set­tled in for a qui­et evening. My hus­band and I love board games, but we are super com­pet­i­tive, so we’ve agreed only to play coop­er­a­tive games to save the peace. It was nice to lis­ten to the rain hit the camper, and enjoy each oth­er’s com­pa­ny. I can’t remem­ber the last time I just relaxed and lis­tened to the rain. It was also a huge bonus that no one was ask­ing me for fruit snacks. We dozed off lis­ten­ing to the sounds of the crick­ets rather than the sounds of the city. 

 

 

RV

I’ve nev­er had a reclin­er while camp­ing before. This is so much bet­ter than sleep­ing on a lumpy air mat­tress.  ©Emi­ly Householder-Stacey

 

Don’t Miss! RVs for Fam­i­lies 101: Tips to Pre­pare You For Your First Trip

 

The next morn­ing, we decid­ed to ven­ture to Mari­et­ta, Ohio, a small town right on the Ohio Riv­er. We walked around down­town, brows­ing the stores on Main Street and enjoy­ing the beau­ti­ful views of the Ohio Riv­er. We also vis­it­ed the Ohio Riv­er Muse­um. My hus­band and I both grew up in a small town along the Ohio Riv­er, so we real­ly enjoyed learn­ing more about the river’s his­to­ry. We went on a guid­ed tour of the steamship, WP Sny­der. We walked up the street to the Cam­pus Mar­tius Muse­um, which focused on the expe­ri­ences of the peo­ple who lived in Ohio when Ohio was still con­sid­ered “the frontier.” 

 

 

Steamship

We toured this steamship at the Ohio Riv­er Muse­um, and then we gave thanks for mod­ern tech­nol­o­gy. ©Emi­ly Householder-Stacey

 

 

The next morn­ing, we set out for Hock­ing Hills State Park. Hock­ing Hills is best known for its caves. We hiked on 2 trails, The Old Man Cave Trail and Ash Cave Trail. The Old Man Cave Trail involved a lot of steps. I’m admit­ted­ly not in the best shape so it was quite a work­out! My legs hurt the next day. Old Man Cave is the most pop­u­lar of all the caves at Hock­ing Hills. There is a very nice vis­i­tor cen­ter at the trail­head.  The trail to Ash Cave is wheelchair/stroller friend­ly, so if you don’t feel like hav­ing a “leg day expe­ri­ence” that trail is your best bet. 

 

 

Good to know: there are no flush­ing toi­lets at the Ash Cave Trail. 

 

We end­ed our day with an evening at a rooftop patio, enjoy­ing views of the Ohio Riv­er and stuff­ing our faces. After all, we had just walked like 3 miles. We had earned this.

 

 

Cave

Old Man’s Cave is called that because a gen­tle­man named Richard Rowe lived there. Ohioans are great at nam­ing things.

 

 

Ash Cave

A local church used to hold ser­vices at Ash Cave because the acoustics rocked. Get it? Rocked.

 

 

 

 

Mon­day morn­ing, we packed up and head­ed to Grand­ma’s to pick up our lit­tle man. On our way home, we stopped for a pic­nic lunch in Bel­mont Coun­ty Ohio. We picked up some Ohio Val­ley Style Piz­za at Dicar­los and took it to a local park to enjoy our last kid-free moments. 

I’ll be hon­est, when we set out on our RV adven­ture we did­n’t real­ly have a plan. We just want­ed to spend some time alone. I wound up googling things to do the next day each night, which is very unlike me! Some­times, the best trips are the ones where you don’t have a plan and you just see where the road takes you. I would stay in an RV again. It was less expen­sive to rent an RV on Airbnb than to get a hotel room, but we had all the mod­ern ameni­ties we need­ed to be comfortable. 

 

Where to stay:

We stayed at Moco RV park, which we found on Air BNB. There are lots of RV’s avail­able in the area if you want to try it out for your­self! If you want to vis­it Mari­et­ta, check out the Lafayette Hotel, which is right in the mid­dle of down­town. ($ 75–150 a night). If you want to vis­it Hock­ing Hills, I high­ly rec­om­mend rent­ing a cab­in, many of which come equipped with hot tubs! (prices vary wide­ly, there are cab­ins for all budgets!)

 

Don’t Miss! 2 Moms, 4 Boys and an RV: 7 Tips on enjoy­ing Fam­i­ly Camping

 

When You Go:

 

Want to check out South­ern Ohio for your­self? To get here from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia, your best bet would be to fly into Colum­bus Ohio and rent a car. From Colum­bus, you can eas­i­ly dri­ve to all of the places Bruce and I enjoyed, and you’ll dri­ve past some beau­ti­ful scenery too! If you do ven­ture to South­ern Ohio, you might want to bring an old school GPS, or a map, there were lots of areas where we did not have any cell ser­vice. And look at the route ahead of time, my trusty Garmin acci­den­tal­ly took us off-road­ing in my Ford Focus.

 

 

Like this sto­ry? Pin it!

 

 

 

Emi­ly House­hold­er Stacey is a writer, trav­el agent and mom based in sun­ny Cleve­land, Ohio. Emi­ly runs Aida’s Adven­tures trav­el agency while her son takes his after­noon nap. She has trav­eled through­out Aus­tralia, Asia and North Amer­i­ca and the rest of the world is on her buck­et list. Emi­ly and her fam­i­ly love a good theme park. They have annu­al pass­es to 6 of them!