I’m an indoor girl with a penchant for outdoor tendencies when I know it won’t involve sleeping in a tent.
Translation: I love to explore the outdoors during the day when I know I’ll be able to enjoy my creature comforts at night. I don’t know if it’s because of my family’s tenting experiences in Northern Maine when I was young (black flies and raccoons tried to invade our tent all day and all night) or the fact that I’m like the Princess and the Pea where I can feel the teeniest of lumps in a mattress, but I need walls and a door with a lock to get to sleep at night.
Have I found the magical combination of comfortable accommodations and a safe way to explore the great outdoors?
Just under a 40-minute drive from Columbus, Ohio, sits Deer Creek State Park Lodge. Surrounded by 2,337 acres of woodlands, water features, and open meadows filled with wildlife, the park and lodge are inviting to both Ohio residents and visitors from out of state that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and relax in a luxurious setting.
Looking for a reason to visit Deer Creek State Park and its lodge? How about five great reasons!
Deer Creek State Park Lodge offers king and queen bed rooms and suites, loft guestrooms, and even fun bunk guestrooms. The Kid and I stayed in a bunk guestroom on our visit and it was perfect for larger families (it can sleep up to six) or kids that love sleeping in bunk beds.
Our room had lots of space and was filled with the creature comforts I need, i.e., satellite television, coffee maker, free wifi, and super comfortable beds. I’m talking extra comfy.
If you are the cabin type, the park offers spacious cabins that sleep six guests with fully-equipped kitchens and two bedrooms. My favorite aspect of the 22 lakeside cabins? The screened-in porch! No mosquitoes for me while I’m watching the sunset, thank you. If you’re up for a historical stay, Historic Harding Cabin was the spot our 29th President would come to get away from it all. The 1 1/2 story cabin sleeps eight and includes all of the modern day conveniences including a washer/dryer and full kitchen.
The lodge is surrounded by beauty, and whether your guestroom view is the lake, the woodland areas, or poolside (that’s what we had and it was stunning at night), you’ll definitely need to bring your camera so you won’t have one of those man-I-wish-I-had-my-camera-with-me moments. With the Lodge being so close to the lake it was easy to run out the patio door and walk down to the lake at sunrise to simply sit and take it all in. Don’t be surprised if you see deer, raccoons, and Canada geese up and walking around while you’re enjoying the lake scenery.
There’s plenty of hiking and waling trails around the lodge as well, and a quiet walk through the cool woodland areas is a great way to get a little exercise and see the beauty of Central Ohio.
The Lodge’s in-house restaurant, Rafter’s
, is top notch in my book. Overlooking the lake and woodland areas of the park, we never had a bad meal. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the prices are very reasonable. The Kid and I sat at a table near the giant windows for lunch on our first day visiting and loved watching the boaters and kayakers traversing the water.
My picks? The Club Sandwich and Lemon-Berry Mascarpone Cake.
How about both an indoor and outdoor pool? There’s both at Deer Creek State Park Lodge. I know we visited this June, but the lodge is open year round so the indoor pool is perfect for cooler weather or for those that maybe don’t want to work on their tan. If you are a summer heat lover and still don’t want to work on your tan, the outdoor pool patio area offers umbrellas for both a respite from the sun and the heat.
If you and the kids like a good beach day, the lake has a sandy beach so make sure to take sand castle tools when you go!
The State Park and Lodge also offer kayak, paddle board, DVD, and bicycle rentals, as well as the free use of :
- Putting Green
- Board Games
- Basketball Courts
- Lighted Tennis Courts
- Sand Volleyball
- Baseball Diamond
- Group Fire Pit Areas (great for S’mores!)
- Fitness Center
- Hiking Trails
- Children’s Activities During Summer Months
- Children’s Playground
- Horseshoe Pits
- Shuffleboard Courts
- Winter outdoor sports including snowmobiling and cross-country skiing
If you’re a golf enthusiast, there’s an onsite 350 acre, 18-hole championship golf course, too.
The Day Trips
Ok, Columbus, Ohio, is an obvious choice for a day trip to learn about Ohio’s capitol, but there’s a fun town called Circleville that is definitely worthy of a visit. Nicknamed “Round Town” by the locals, the city was built in 1810 with a circular style instead of the traditional grid that most were fashioned in.
Each October, over 400,000 visitors flock to Circleville for its Annual Pumpkin Show and Fair. A quarter-finalist for America’s Best Communities competition, the city’s claim to fame is shown in the pumpkin touches year round, and from the water tower painted like a pumpkin to the orange fire hydrants with green tops and the gorgeous painted murals, the quaint town is draped in rich history and worthy of a visit. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out Wittich’s Candy Shop
, the nation’s oldest family-owned and operated confectionery, Lindsey’s Bakery
– home of the “Original World’s Largest Pumpkin Pie”, and the Ted Lewis Museum
– an homage Circleville’s hometown hero.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Xanterra Parks and Resorts to give you fine folks the scoop on what makes Deer Creek State Park Lodge so fabulous for families. I was not asked to state a particular point of view and all opinions are my own!