Posted On: Feb 28, 2011
If you're like me, you want to get the most out of every vacation and getaway. I've got too little time and not nearly enough money for those grandiose dream-trips, but when I do get away for a long weekend, I seek out a unique place to stay. While I can always count on the wifi and amenities of a standard hotel, I aim to make every part of my getaways, especially the place I stay, an experience to remember. Here are a few of my favorites: Southeast Ohio's Hocking Hills is my go-to destination when I need a quick reconnection with nature. The scenery, adventures and hiking are incredible, and there is a huge variety of lodging options, from cabins, to campgrounds to inns. While it's definitely a splurge in my book, Glenlaurel Scottish Inn is such a memorable experience, it's hard to pass up. After a day zipping through the trees or tearing around on an ATV, Glenlaurel is a restful retreat. Along with the on-site restaurant where you may be serenaded by a bagpiper, the inn has incredibly comfortable beds - wherever they can stuff goosedown, they do! Cleveland has a lot to offer in terms of unique lodging, but my favorite spot is the Hyatt Arcade. While it is a national brand, the Hyatt Arcade is anything but stanadard inside. Built in 1890, the Arcade was America's first indoor mall. The guestrooms are all converted shops looking out onto a central five-story atrium. The architectural details in the rooms just can't be found anywhere else. It doesn't hurt a bit that the Arcade is just across the street from the entertainment district on E. 4th Street, where you'll find Michael Symon's Lola restaurant, The Greenhouse Tavern and lots of other nightlife hotspots. I'm lucky enough to live near the great neighborhood of German Village in Columbus - but like a lot of the houses in the area, I don't have a lot of spare space to host overnight guests. I recently set up some friends with the German Village Guest House, and they loved it! It's a little hard to find, but that's part of the experience - the guesthouse fits right in with the brick architecture of the homes around it and gives visitors the experience of living exactly like a local. Inside, you'll find three luxe suites, which can be rented individually, plus a kitchen, living room and patio (a German Village must) for shared use. Pretty much everything you need (coffee shops, a book store, art galleries, restaurants and the amazing Pistacia Vera dessert boutique) are within a five-minute walk, and you're only a five-minute drive from Downtown Columbus. Of course, you can find unique lodging across the state at DiscoverOhio.com, but another handy resource for finding home rentals and vacation rentals is HomeAway.com. What's your go-to unique place to stay in Ohio?