Hectic week? Working extra hours at work? Running around with the kids? Whatever the reason, everybody needs a break—including couples. No need to feel hopeless or spend a fortune traveling to some tropical island—romance is less than an hour away from Cincinnati in Adams County.
An easy eastbound drive leads to this picturesque county in the Appalachian foothills. Turn after turn reveals scenic vistas and the natural beauty of this area. Once there, it’s easy to start to unwind, reconnect (and hopefully disconnect from technology) and enjoy all the area has to offer.
Adams County is home to five bed and breakfasts, and each offers up a unique respite perfect for fueling the romantic fires.
Dogwood Farm Bed and Breakfast in West Union is located in a Williamsburg-style home nestled on 62 acres. In operation since 1990, it’s a cozy spot for couples, offering a summertime three-course breakfast in its screened-in porch. In the winter, say goodbye to stress and hello to romance in front of its fireplace. Inside, you’ll find rooms decorated with antiques and paintings. Outside, you’ll find a 30-acre wood and gardens packed with flowers. If you can’t disconnect, the bed and breakfast offers free wireless Internet and cable television. Some fun facts about this inn: bears have been spotted on the grounds, the guesthouse is built with recovered barn beams and the wainscoting comes from boards from a former floodwall in Maysville, Ky.
Murphin Ridge Inn in West Union is a larger inn situated on 142 acres of farmland and woodland featuring panoramic vistas of the Appalachian Mountain foothills. It features 10 well-appointed rooms, nine cabins, a fine dining restaurant, a gift shop and seasonal outdoor activities (including a pool). Every inn room is uniquely furnished with 18th century American reproduction furniture and Shaker-style furniture hand-built by Ohio artisan David T. Smith. Rooms include super comfortable waffle weave robes and linens. The hand-built cabins include a fireplace, whirlpool tub and private settings.
The Inn takes romance to new levels by offering a variety of packages and extras designed to take your cares away. For example, for honeymooners new and practicing, upon arrival in your room or cabin you and your honey will be greeted with a split of champagne or sparkling juice, two Murphin champagne flutes, a seasonal bouquet of fresh flowers and chef’s choice of chocolates and/or chocolate-dipped fruit.
Roses, spa baskets, wine and champagne can also all be ordered in advance.
At the Murphin Ridge Inn gift shop, you can do some last-minute holiday shopping and snap up gifts and art from local artists as well as jams, jellies and pickles (the same ones served in the dining room). Other popular items are the Inn’s homemade granola and Foggy Bottom Pancake mix.
No need to leave the Inn if you don’t want to; the dining room features three-course meals with selections including steak, fried chicken, made-from-scratch desserts and its signature cocktail, the Murphin Sunset, made from fresh-squeezed orange juice, cranberry juice and citrus vodka. Why the Murphin Sunset? It’s a nod to the sunsets this property is known for. See for yourself.
Other bed and breakfast options in the county include the 1840 historic John T. Wilson Homestead Bed and Breakfast in Peebles. This home had been used by Wilson as a station on the Underground Railroad and is a nationally registered historic landmark. Offering up three bedrooms, four baths and living and dining spaces, it’s been fully modernized for comfort. Owners Ralph J. and Patricia Alexander report that the Blair Log Cabin has been used for anniversaries and has a romantic fireplace, perfect for chilly winter nights.
Riverhaven Bed and Breakfast in Manchester is well named with views of the Ohio River and the hills of Kentucky from its comfortable porches. This pre-1893 home has six guestrooms.
Rooster’s Nest Bed & Breakfast & Antiques is found on 25 acres of woodlands and offers four spacious rooms all furnished with antiques, many of which are for sale.
Want an even more private escape? There are several options for cabin and cottage rentals in the area including Cave Hill Cabins. The curvy, wooded drive up Cave Hill Road is just the beginning of your getaway.
Take a deep breath, build a fire and relax. The well-appointed, spacious cabins have all of the amenities you desire. The cabins have been restored with beautiful woodwork, stone and special touches reminiscent of the American frontier. The cabins have fully equipped kitchens so you can prepare a romantic dinner for two then head outside to watch the sunset or do some stargazing.
When you schedule your trip, ask about the special welcome packages available such as the continental breakfast, wine and chocolates, flowers and wine, fruit and cheese plate. The staff is always friendly and helpful!
An enchanting evening awaits you at Moyer Vineyard Winery and Restaurant. It has been offering up romantic dinners and views at its location along the Ohio River in Manchester since 1972. You’ll enjoy choices including Top Hat Filet Mignon, Prime Rib and Bechamel Poached Scallops. Wine tastings are also available. Varietals include River Valley Red, River Valley White and Chambourcin. General Manager Cindy Gilkison says, “The winery has been the scene of many engagements, rehearsal dinners and some smaller weddings, it’s a very romantic place.”
Adams County is also a great place for last-minute holiday gift shopping. Many Amish-owned stores are located in West Union including Keim’s Family Market and Miller’s Bakery and Furniture and Bulk Foods. Among the goodies you will find are indoor and outdoor wood furniture, baked goodies—such as bread, custard and nut pies—and gift items for your favorite foodie including homemade candy, jams, jellies and honey.
Antique lovers will love Adams County as well. Dotting the county are several shops including The Panhandler and Barn Sale Antiques in West Union.
Natural beauty and outdoor adventures are in abundance. From exploring the Great Serpent Mound (the largest and most well-known effigy Indian mounds in the United States) to walks and hikes at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve, Chapparal Prairie and Shoemaker Preserve, there are outdoor activities for everyone. A driving tour of the Quilt Barn Trail or area covered bridges (think Bridges of Madison County) might also lead to some romance!
Tom Cross, the executive director of the Adams County Travel & Visitors Bureau, shared some inside tips for winter travel to Adams County. “A drive along the Ohio River starting in Manchester and continuing through the county is a great opportunity to view Bald Eagles,” he says, “and the Great Serpent Mound is also a great place to visit in the winter. The snow gives a new perspective and lighting of the Mound for the Winter Solstice (Dec. 21 this year) is neat to see.”
A winter retreat to Adams County is just the ticket to relaxation. Adams County, that’s amore!
For more information about planning your romantic getaway, visit adamscountytravel.org.