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Story: 45 Pics That'll Make You SOO Proud Of The Midwest" / Location: Somewhere in the Midwest... / Image: Chas Wiederhold

14 Road Trips Within Six Hours Of Cincy

Over the past year, a fair amount of travel concepts, destinations, photos, and stories have come across our desks. And don't get us wrong, they're all special. (Travel, whether it's in a location on the oppostie side of the globe, or to a neighborhood just up the road, is a vital and inspiring part of the human experience.)

But let's be honest, some articles just hit you differently. And some places leave you pining, thinking, and dreaming far longer than others.

Here, then, is our gift to you: a collection of the "Travel" pieces that made the past twelve months the most daydream-filled year on record.

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of the past year

Retreat To This Ohio Castle (& Leave Your Phone At Home)

"Think Games of Thrones meets Grimm's Fairy tales. Ravenwood Castle is the perfect (non-scary) marriage of the two." Everything about this middle-of-nowhere bed and breakfast is designed to be a true getaway. No cable TV. No wi-fi. No reliable cell service. Go ahead and dive in, friends. You don't know how bad you needed it till you give it a try.

45 Pics That'll Make You Soo Proud Of The Midwest

"I've lived my whole life wondering why everyone who is smart, talented, and creative moves away from a place I love. [...] I want an audience to grasp my fixation on this subject of pride for place. I don't want to be a townie alien anymore. I want to be someone who says, 'I love where I'm from.'" - Chas Weiderhold, who biked 2600 miles across the Midwest.

24 Hours In Amish Country

When you live in the city, you might forget how different things can look and feel just a short distance away. Holmes County, home to Ohio's Amish Country, is the definition of that phenomeon. This is a place where time slows down and cars share the road with horse-drawn buggies. It's a world away. And it is wonderful.

Discover The Wonder Of Rock Climbing At Red River Gorge

Because taking a place that you already know is super-special and discovering something that makes you see it in an altogether new light (and with an even-deeper level of respect) is a pretty magical experience. Plus, I mean those pics!

This Gorgeous Beach Is Only Six Hours Away. ... And It's In Canada

You can put all those "Eh" / "aboot" / maple syrup & hockey quips away ( for now, at least.) Rondeau Provincial Park, located on a sand spit jutting out from Ontario into Lake Erie, is straight-up beautiful. No jokes about it.
A Day in Rabbit Hash

When a dog is the mayor of the town, you know this is a place that does things right.

Put-In-Bay: The Tiny Ohio Island You Should Know About

"Welcome to Put-in-Bay, where golf carts are the preferred transport. Located on South Bass Island in northern Ohio, this destination has a split personality that ensures everyone has an unforgettable time. (Think Gatlinburg-meets-Key West. On steroids.)" Um, what?! Consider us intrigued.

Welcome To Clifton, Ohio. It's Gorgeous.

This is one of the year's most popular & beloved Travel stories. And it's easy to see why. An old mill resting idyllically atop pristine waterfalls. Clean sunlight sifting calmly through the trees. You can pretty much feel the tranquility radiating from the pics. Take a breath (preferably a deep one) and enjoy.

Yellow Springs: A Day Trip Worthy of Your Ohio Bucket List

The comedian Dave Chappelle lives there. But beyond a possible celeb-sighting, this hippy dippy town has lots of other aspects that'll keep you entertained. Take the Glen Helen Nature Preserve, for example. It's gorgeous.

The Abandoned Kentucky Ski Resort That Still Has Plenty To Offer

So apparently, back in the '80s, Kentucky had a ski resort But without snow, that didn't last too long. Still, a trip to General Butler State Resort, which is perched on the hilltops above the picturesque Ohio River valley community of Carrolton, is more than worth your while.

Walkabout: The Homes of Hyde Park

Hyde Park oozes charm. We know this. But the reason this particular "Walkabout" gets the nod is fairly simple. That Mushroom House on Erie Ave. It's wackadoodle -- and awesome.

Madison: Indiana's Own Piece of the South

Referred to as "America's Hometown," the river village of Madison, Ind. prides itself on its steamboat heritage and historic preservation.

A Walk Back in Time: Ripley, OH

Just 50 miles southeast of Cincinnati (and located on the river), Ripley will remind you of a simpler time. And sometimes that's all we need to repair our faith in humanity.

On the Road: Asheville, NC

The 5+ hour drive is spectacular in its own right, but then you arrive. And it somehow gets even better. Be sure to visit The Biltmore Estate and, of course, take a leisurely stroll through Asheville's quirky downtown.

Bonus: 10 Must-Visit Ohio Destinations

Because a single destination isn't good enough for "good measure," we've decided to give you 10. - - -Now it's on you. Grab the calendar, plan some epic trips, and get explorin'!