DELAWARE, Ohio (WCMH) — The price of everything is rising, from food and utilities to shelter and fuel prices. So enjoying a weekend getaway may seem out of reach because of the cost.

So, you’re stuck in the middle of the Buckeye State and you want to know what options you have? Believe it or not, there are a number of places for day trips and weekend getaways within minutes of downtown Columbus.

Among them is Alum Creek State Park, one of Ohio’s many free state parks.

The obvious option is to grab your beach towels and head to the reservoir for a swim along the 3,000 feet of beach. Of course, you’d be visiting for the day, so bring your packed lunch and enjoy a picnic and even fire up a grill for a charbroiled meal. Before arriving, check the website for information about whether the beach is open or closed. Download the park map here

Hiking

When you’ve finished lunch and want to dry off a bit more, hit the five trails to get your steps in for the day.

  • Hollenback Trail – 1.5 miles – easy
  • Multi-purpose Trail – 5 miles – easy
  • Park Office Trail – 1.5 miles – easy
  • Rocks to Roots Trail – 4.1 miles – moderate
  • Storybook Trail – 0.5 mile – easy

Boating

The water offers more than swimming; there’s fishing, boating, and a kayak and canoe launch. You can get all the information about rentals at the full-time marina.

Camping

If you cannot get to all of them in one day, pitch a tent or bring your camper and stay the night. There are 286 electric sites available and four include ADA features. Reservations are required and you can make those as early as six months out.

  • Heated shower facilities with flush toilets
  • Dump station
  • Beach and boat ramp for the exclusive use of campers
  • Basketball courts, volleyball, miniature golf, horseshoe pits, and playgrounds
  • Seasonal nature programs

So camping and boating may not be your ideal getaway. You can still make plans to attend a local concert, make reservations at your favorite restaurant, and stay the night in one of the area’s luxury hotels. Sure you’d spend more than camping, but it is definitely cheaper than traveling for a day or two and being gone for an entire week.

Happy staycationing.