- By Sarah Franks
Ohio’s Hocking Hills have long been known for picture-perfect scenic drives, lush forests, dramatic rock formations and breathtaking waterfalls that freeze to gorgeous sculptures in winter. But the 6th annual Hocking Hills Comfort Food Cruise is also gaining a massive reputation, as this can’t-miss event lures foodies and adventurers alike.
A sure cure for the winter doldrums, the Cruise makes it easy for travelers to experience the region's inviting, casual restaurants. There’s one last chance to hop aboard this weekend, Jan. 26-27.
For $18, travelers receive a ticket book filled with a dozen sample tickets, with $5 of every booklet purchase benefiting local food banks. Each of the 12 tickets in the booklet is good for one comfort food sample at any of the 16 participating restaurants, plus a bonus stop at the Hocking Hills Regional Welcome Center.
As soon as you feel your pants getting a little too uncomfortable to continue, hop on any one of Hocking Hill’s number of picturesque trails to prepare for your next bite.
Think you can use up all 12 of your tickets in one weekend? If you’re not that hungry, you may buy one ticket book or if you’re very hungry you can purchase multiple — the tickets within each book may be shared.
Reservations are not needed, but one ticket is required for each sample.
Although affording a tropical, sun-soaked cruise isn’t always an option this time of year, we’ll take gooey, homemade mac n’ cheese over a sunburn any day.
The menu and 2019 cruise destinations include:
In between stops — or after their Cruise — travelers are encouraged to immerse themselves in all of the beauty of the Hocking Hills and its experiences. They can work up an appetite or walk off a full stomach as they snap photos of Old Man’s Cave, the spot that legend says hermit Richard Rowe once called home. Visitors can also enjoy the area’s fresh air and spectacular winter landscape with a hike to Whispering Cave, Cedar Falls, Conkle’s Hollow or explore any of the area’s many other gorgeous natural features.
>>WORTH THE DRIVE: Plan a ziplining trip to Hocking Hills
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of admission FREE activities, including the new John Glenn Astronomy Park.
The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns. In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the zipline capital of the Midwest, with 50 ziplines being offered via three distinct guide services. Stellar stargazing at the John Glenn Astronomy Park, unique galleries, gift and antique shops; canoeing; horseback riding; birding; fishing; spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug.
Want to go?
WHAT: Hocking Hills Comfort Food Cruise
WHEN: January 26-27
Hocking Hills Welcome Center
13178 State Route 664 S. Logan
COST: $18 per ticket booklet
MORE INFO: explorehockinghills.com