As the third-largest city in the United States, and the largest in the Midwest, Chicago, IL has a lot to offer on a romantic couples road trip. One of the most popular attractions here is the Navy Pier Centennial Wheel. This 200-foot tall Ferris wheel is located right on the water and provides amazing views of the city skyline and adjacent Lake Michigan.
Also at the pier, you will find Pier Park which has numerous other rides and games for a fun day or evening out. Finally, there are a number of cruises that depart daily from the pier area. There are also numerous restaurants, bars, and live entertainment facilities in the immediate area. AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago is a spa built within a historic 1902 factory building. They meticulously restored the building to provide a historic ambiance to the pools and facilities housed here. There are a number of standard and custom experiences from soaks in the amazing thermal bath to messages and other sensory treatments. It makes for an amazing romantic experience.
The Ravenswood district is home to many places for a great romantic time in the city. Here you can visit wineries, distilleries, a farmer's market, and check out local art. There are also a number of local events like the Spring Wine Stroll and other live entertainment opportunities throughout the year. Camp Bullfrog Lake is a good place to stay in an RV within the city. It is a quiet area with great access to the nearby downtown areas.
The trip to Millersburg, OH will cut through Indiana and across central Ohio. This route cuts out the vast majority of the toll roads and provides an easy, beautiful trip through the heart of the midwest. From Chicago, take I-80/90 east into Indiana to exit 31. This portion will be tolled so be prepared for the fees. From here, the tolls end. Head south on RT-49 to RT 30 East. RT-30 will take you most of the way to Millersburg. When you pass through Fort Wayne, IN you'll have to option to go around town by taking I-69 North and then I-469 East/South. You can connect back to RT-30 east from I-469. When you get to central Ohio, you'll switch to Rt-60 South, then take RT-179 East Of of Hayesville. Just outside of Nashville, change over to RT-60/39 East which will take you into Millersburg.
The Ohio State Reformatory may not be the most romantic place on this trip, but there were several motion pictures shot here that most adults have seen, including Airforce One. The big movie role, however, was as the backdrop to 1994's The Shawshank Redemption.
The prison was originally built in 1886 as a reformatory for young men. It continued operations as a prison until 1990. After it was closed it was purchased from the state by a preservation society for $1. They continue to maintain the structures and their iconic castle-like appearance to this day. There are several tours available during the warmer months which cover the prison in general as well as specialized Shawshank Redemption tours that focus on the movie's use of the facility. There is also a Shawshank Redemption museum section which has several artifacts from the original movie production.
The prison also has a storied paranormal past and there are several ways to experience that. They have regular general paranormal ghost hunter tours available to the public. If you fancy yourself a paranormal specialist you can also schedule a private tour.
Charles Mill Lake Park Campground is a good place to stay. It is nearby the city and provides a clean, quiet space with partial hookups. Many of the sites are lakefront or lake view.
When passing near Findlay, OH be sure to take some time out to swing by the Gillig Winery. When you think of the major wine-producing areas of the world, Ohio may not come up tops on your list. However, Ohio has an excellent climate for growing grapes which has lead to a thriving wine industry. This is particularly true in the northern and northeastern part of the state where Lake Erie helps keep the grapes happy. Gillig Winery is the only winery in this part of the state. It is family owned and all the wines they sell are produced and bottled at their Findlay facility. They source grapes from around the world to produce an extensive list of wines including red, white, specialty, and fruit wines.
A visit here makes for a great date night. In addition to the great wines, there is also a bistro with outstanding food to enjoy while sampling the wines. They also host a number of events including live music, food/wine pairing, and wine/art events. This makes for a great date night out.
Arrowhead Lake Campground is a highly rated campground just south of Findlay of of RT-30 which would make for a great place to stay here. It is a quiet, well-run campground offering full or partial hookup sites, great amenities and convenient access to the highway and surrounding attractions.
The Embassy Theater was originally built as the Emboyd Theater in 1928. Today it is a performing arts theater and home to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra. This beautiful theater maintains its 1928 ambiance while seating up to 2147 guests.
The theater has two unique features that tie it back to its past. First is the Grande Page Pipe Organ. These were common fixtures in the silent movie days and the one here is only one of three of its size produced. Of those three, it is only one of two that remains in its original location.
The second item is the Brenograph. This large device, also dating to the 1920's, is installed in the projection room and it is used to project imagery onto the walls and ceiling during a show. The Embassy theater actually has two of these units, the one installed in the projection room as well as one in display in the Heritage Room for the public to see how it works.
In addition to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra, the theater hosts numerous performing arts events throughout the year including touring Broadway Shows, stand up comics, music acts, films, and the beautiful holiday Festival of Trees.
Mad Anthony Brewing Company is one of the premiere hot spots in the Fort Wayne, IN area. This microbrewery/gastropub features great food, house-made craft beers, and frequent entertainment. While they are known for their amazing Chicago style deep dish pizzas, they have many other great selections on their menu including many gluten-free and vegetarian choices.
Of course, going to a brewpub is all beer. They brew over 2000 barrels of beer here annually in several different styles. Whether you prefer IPAs, ales, lagers, stouts, or even wheat beers they have a brew for you with those covered on their standard offerings. There are also several seasonal beers available throughout the year.
The Johnny Appleseed Campground is a good place to stay in town. It provides a nicely treed retreat from the surrounding city and it is convenient for many of the attractions in the area.
Millersburg, OH is a small, quiet town in the heart of Ohio's central Amish country. Here you'll find rolling hills, large farms and a very laid back and quiet way of life. Millersburg is the center of the “action” here with the major Amish tourism beltway running from Loudenville to the west to the beautiful alpine-esque village of Sugarcreek to the east. Here you'll find numerous shops and restaurants selling everything from antiques to locally handcrafted products to a home-cooked meal. There are also a number of historical sites including the Age of Steam Round House, Schrock's Heritage Village, Historic Downtown Millersburg, and Historic Roscoe Village.
Swiss Cheese is a big deal here. There are a number of cheesemakers in the area and Sugarcreek is the home to the annual Ohio Swiss Festival which is held in early October each year. To sample some of the local cheeses, try out Guggisberg Cheese in Millersburg. They have an extensive offering of fresh, award-winning cheeses produced in their onsite factory.
Finally, there are several wineries and breweries in the area which can make for a great time out. The Mohican State Park is nearby with some great hiking trails. The Loudonville Canoe Livery offers some great paddling trips down the gentle Mohican River including an overnight trip where you can camp under the stars.
The Berlin RV Park and Campground is located just outside Millersburg. This highly-rated park will provide everything you need for a great stay in the area.