Logan, Ohio — One day is seldom enough to spend in the beautiful Hocking Hills.
Fortunately, the picturesque region southeast of Columbus, abundant with natural wonder and engaging pastimes, is also filled with interesting and diverse places to spend a night or more.
Visitors will find literally hundreds of lodging options throughout the Hocking Hills.
Here are just a few of the most popular spots to relax and unwind after a day of hiking, adventuring, dining or vegging out.
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The Inn at Cedar Falls
The inn, 21190 Ohio Rt. 374, www.innatcedarfalls.com, has been making guests cozy for nearly 35 years. And through those decades, the lodging and service options at the inn have continuously expanded.
Today, guests can choose from cottages, cabins, yurts and geodomes, all featuring a private porch with forest views and located a short hike from the inn’s spa and magnificent Kindred Spirits restaurant.
I’ve had the great good fortune to experience several stays at the inn, including, most recently, a night in one of the new geodomes. Think Buckminster Fuller meets Henry David Thoreau.
My dome was modern and quite comfortable. The king-sized bed with deluxe mattress gave me a better night's sleep than I usually find on the road. And from the bed, I could enjoy the forest through a huge, transparent dome segment with a view that expands like Mother Nature’s own wide-screen TV.
The Spa, located in the original inn building, offers a wide variety of treatments and services including couples massages, a seasonal pawpaw (a local fruit) facial and massage, Reiki, and complete half-day packages.
Kindred Spirits serves breakfast to guests, but is open to the public for lunch and dinner. It’s worth a drive from Columbus for the gourmet fare alone. Kindred Spirits also includes a full wine and cocktail menu.
Accommodations begin at $269 a night.
The owners also operate Hocking Hills Lodges, nearly two dozen separate vacation rentals hosting groups of all sizes in a variety of beautiful settings.
Glenlaurel in Rockbridge
Glenlaurel, 14940 Mount Olive Road, Rockbridge, www.glenlaurel.com, bills itself as a Scottish country inn, and a pleasant Gaelic theme resonates throughout the property.
Guests can choose from 22 cabins, crofts and traditional inn rooms. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway without the kids, this is it. (In fact, Glenlaurel is for adults only.)
And a complete Hocking Hills experience can be enjoyed without ever leaving the property’s 140 wooded acres. Guests can hike private trails to explore the inn’s own gorge, rock cliffs and waterfalls.
In warmer weather, Glenlaurel offers its own 19th-century style Scottish links golf course with traditional clubs and balls. One day a week, a bagpiper pipes guests to dinner at the inn’s restaurant.
But even if you’re not a bagpipe fan, it’s worth staying to experience a meal, which currently is available only to overnight guests.
If Scottish food doesn’t sound particularly appetizing don’t worry — oatcakes and thistles are not on the menu (although haggis might be available on special occasions). Chef Jean-Michel Matos, who once served as an executive chef for Norwegian Cruise Lines, is French-trained with menus to match. (I’m still dreaming of his creme de chou-fleur soup with roasted walnuts and a hint of cayenne.)
Accommodations at Glenlaurel begin at $199 per night.
Worthington of Logan
This hotel, 72 W. 2nd St., www.worthingtonoflogan.com is great for guests who, after a day of hiking or rock climbing, may be all natured out and looking for a bit of “zing.”
The boutique hotel in downtown Logan sports — are you ready? — a tropical theme.
The hotel’s colors are a rainbow of tropical pastels and the modern rooms all open out over the hotel’s tiki coffee bar and lobby swimming pool.
Speaking of “zing,” the hotel is also directly across the street from Hocking Hills Moonshine distillery, and within walking distance of many other downtown Logan attractions.
Rooms start at $109 per night.
Cabins by the Caves
This lodging option, www.cabinsbythecaves.com, offers multiple cabins and vacation homes for rent throughout the Hocking Hills. Among the more than 60 lodge options are cozy and romantic cabins for two as well as sprawling-but-beautiful timber lodges sleeping up to 15, ideal for multigenerational family vacations.
I recently stayed at Sleepy Hollow, a new, family-friendly lodge featuring contemporary decor with a hint of whimsy.
Just six miles from Old Man’s cave, the lodge —really a vacation home — is located on five secluded acres and offers three bedrooms with king-sized beds, including a lower-level master suite with soaking tub.
Also on the lower level is a delightful entertainment area with wet bar, pool table, electronic pinball machine (free play, of course), and a theater with stadium seating and a 75-inch screen.
I also adored the large stone wood-burning fireplace, with fireboxes inside as well as outside opening on a huge porch with gorgeous views.
As for the whimsy, a bit of Washington Irving’s "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" theme is at play in the lodge — amusing but fairly subtle, so nothing to lose your head over.
Rates begin at $279 per night. Lodging at other Cabins by the Caves properties begin at $99 per night.
To explore a wide variety of Hocking Hills lodging options online, visit the Hocking Hills Tourism Association at www.explorehockinghills.com and click on Places to Stay.
Steve Stephens is a freelance travel writer and photographer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: 4 great places to stay in Hocking Hills