This week, we’ve got another short trip that’s jam packed with fun things to do. Even better, we’re also going a little off the beaten path – you won’t see any big cities on this part of the track-to-track road trip. You’ll get to experience small town America in all its glory.
To top it all off, Blake Koch will be racing the number 11 Chevy Camaro in his primary sponsor’s home state of Ohio! In fact, we’re going to make a small detour to the location of LeafFilter Racing’s corporate headquarters in Hudson, OH. Are you pumped yet?! Read on for your ideal itinerary!
Last race: August 5 at Watkins Glen International
Next Race: August 12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Time on the road: About 6 hours
Best route: I-86 West
Start Your Engines:
This week is all about getting out of the big city and having new experiences. Get back to nature in the famous Allegany State Park, where you’ll enjoy countless outdoor activities. If you’re brave enough to weather the elements, you can even camp for the night! All that fresh air and activity is bound to make your famished, so swing by The Wildwood Grill for a tasty bite to eat and a fun spot to hang out. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, a trip to Myers Steakhouse & Inn might be more your style. Have an adults-only group? Head on over to the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino and press your luck (but remember: gamble responsibly!). After such a busy day, you’re probably daydreaming about the moment your head hits the pillow so you can recharge for your next leg of the trip. Tarry Here Bed & Breakfast will not only provide a soft, comfy pillow for you to rest your head on, but it’s also a wonderfully welcoming place to stay. You’ll love it!
Eastern Ohio is known for its wineries, so if you’re a fan of that grapey goodness, you’re in luck! The Winery at Spring Hill is a local favorite, as is the Old Mill Winery. At both places, you’ll find tried and true favorites, as well as some unique creations. You can’t really go wrong with whatever you choose…unless you don’t like wine. In that case, head on over to the Red Eagle Distillery for some alternative libations. Their bourbon is truly something to write home about.
Okay, now it’s time for some fun the whole family can enjoy. Robinson’s Apple Barn has fresh, local produce and great scenery to top off the experience. If you’re camping or RV’ing for the week, the Kenisee Grand River Campground is a great place to make base. Oh, and before you go, watch the sunrise over the lake at Geneva Marina. It’s really a breathtaking sight to see.
Detour! Hudson, OH
This detour is a small one, we promise! For a mere 3 extra minutes of driving, you can visit the hometown of Blake Koch’s primary sponsor, LeafFilter! This quaint little town has a lot of things to see and do, so make sure to carve out some time to explore! Hudson Springs Park is a departure from the big state parks you’ve seen on this trip, but is nonetheless impressive as well. The beautiful 50-acre lake will certainly be the highlight of this stop. Once you’re ready for lunch, head on over the the downtown area of Hudson. One Red Door has some delicious, higher end fare that you’ll be talking about the rest of the day. Peachtree Southern Kitchen, on the other hand, has a local twist on Southern classics. Your taste buds will be in heaven no matter what you order.
Want a unique souvenir to bring home? Olive My Heart sells the most unique flavors of oil and vinegar you’re likely to find anywhere else. You can even participate in a tasting if you’re unsure of what you might like! Finally, before hitting the road again, make the wise decision to go to The Learned Owl bookstore. This local shop sells everything from the latest bestsellers to unique gems you won’t find at a big brand name bookstore.
LeafFilter sure feels lucky to call Hudson, OH home. Aren’t you glad you made the detour to see what it’s all about?
We’re almost to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course now, but first, one more pit stop! Ashland, OH, home to Ashland University, is a charming little town brimming with amazing places to eat. The beloved Ashland-Wooster Drive-In is a great first stop. A tall, cold glass of their homemade rootbeer is not to be missed! Another fun hangout is the Downtown Perk coffee shop and “desert oasis.” If you can’t tell by the description, this is a place you’ll want to indulge! Oh, and don’t skip Grandpa’s Cheese Barn, known far and wide for its wide selection of delectable cheeses. If you’re still hungry after all of that, grab dinner on the deck at The Cabin Restaurant. Start with goat cheese fritters, move on to the Cabin special filet, and finish the meal with a piece of their ultra-rich cheesecake.
Okay, now that you’re sufficiently stuffed, it’s time to relax. If you have any energy left, go get creative at the Tin Can Chandelier, where you can take part in a creative workshop like painting or throwing pottery. Or, if you’re on the verge of a food coma, head straight to the College House B&B for a restful night’s sleep.
Last Stop: Lexington, OH
Aren’t you glad you stretched that 6 hour drive out over the full week? There’s really nothing quite like the small town America experience! If you’ve got time on your hands, check out these 9 hot spots around the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. If you’re right under the wire, it’s time to get into the race day mindset. Put on that number 11 gear and stop on by the LeafFilter booth to say hi. Then, cheer on Blake Koch as he navigates this technical course with precision. With so many twists and turns, it’s bound to be an exciting race!