You have a bucket list and following the Ohio River through the American Midwest is near the top. Pause to ruminate on the journey in Portsmouth, a small city nestled against the north shore of the Ohio River. With the sprawling Crown City Wildlife Area to the east and views of the rugged mountain range over your eastern shoulder, you’ll fall in love with the enchanting oak-lined landscape of the “Heartland.” After all, it tugs at your affinity to connect with nature. Before you set out, book one of our hotels in Portsmouth and pack your walking shoes.
Portsmouth may be a small patch of earth, but the key is to look beneath the surface. During the 19th century Portsmouth served as a gateway to freedom for brave souls sojourning on the Underground Railroad. Today, the river provides a glistening state line, but once upon a time, it stood for a bright future, so we say chase it, traveler. And when you get tired, refresh yourself in one of the best Portsmouth hotels and begin again.
To meander through the mountains, pick up one of our Portsmouth rental cars and drive along the Ohio River Scenic Byway just 35 miles to the Edge of Appalachia Nature Preserve. You could follow the ridges and plateaus all the way to Newfoundland, Canada, but that’s a trip for another day.
Like Henry David Thoreau, you’ll want to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life,” but perhaps sucking the sap from a maple will suffice. Keep following the byway west to Cincinnati to feel the energy of “Queen City” come alive near the waterfront, and dream of peanut butter Buckeye treats in one of our top hotels in Cincinnati. Those should also be on your bucket list.
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