Looking for an affordable road trip getaway? Consider stealing our itinerary on our June/July trip last year!
In case you missed it, 2023 was the year of monthly travel for my family. None of our trips were hosted or sponsored in any way. Many people were interested in me sharing our trips so I’m doing just that.
At the end of June through early July, we headed south. Our final destination was Nashville for the 2023 Monster Jam World Finals but we decided to make it a trip & went sightseeing along the way. I’m going to break this write up down by location & everything we did at each stop so it’s easy to sort through & read.
Cincinnati was our first stop. We didn’t want to do one big drive all at once so we got an AirBnB & stayed the night in Cincinnati to rest. Before continuing on the next day, we spent some time at the Cincinnati Museum Center. We did: Bricktionary (which was a traveling exhibit & is now over), The Children’s Museum, Cincinnati History Museum, & The Museum of Natural History & Science. All of these museums are in the same building which is very unique. You can do just one, all of them, or pick & choose (which is what we did!)
We then headed over to Findlay Market before the next leg of our trip which is like a smaller version of the West Side Market here in Cleveland.
Next, we headed to our next destination: Kentucky!
We booked a small AirBnB close to Mammoth Cave National Park. This has been on our list to visit for quite some time & since we were relatively close, we decided to dedicate a portion of our trip to visiting. There are several different tours you can book or you can take a chance & do a self-guided tour (tickets are first come, first serve.) We did the Historic Tour which took approximately two hours. To be honest, I wasn’t very impressed by the cave but I’m glad we checked it off our list. Our tour did have some tight spaces to squeeze through as well.
After the cave, we ventured off to our final stop: Nashville!
It was super hot that day & we arrived too early to check in to our AirBnB so we headed to Gaylord Opryland Resort. I had read that it is open to the public & free to walk around so we did just that. There are so many spaces to explore & being a plant lover, the grounds were gorgeous. Opry Mills was close by so we also wasted some time there walking around.
The next day was the Monster Jam World Finals which is a whole day event.
The following day we explored more of Nashville & visited the Adventure Science Center which was free for us through the ASTC reciprocity program. Since we have a membership to Great Lakes Science Center, that grants us access to other science centers around the country. We always try to plan time to visit one to take full advantage of this perk. We really enjoyed this one, they had a workshop there just for older kids & we ended up staying there for quite some time which is unusual for us. That day we had lunch at the famous Hattie B’s which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND! Just be forewarned, it does get busy but it’s worth it!
Our last day in Nashville was spent taking a bus tour. We went with Gray Line Tours & did the Nashville City Tour. It was an hour & we got to see all the main areas of the city along with learn some historical facts. After the bus tour, we had some time to kill so we walked around the main strip, Broadway Street. We are not big country music fans so this wasn’t very exciting for us but we liked walking around & going to a couple shops along the way. Overall, Nashville is a one & done type of destination for me personally. I’m glad we visited but I don’t see us returning to be completely honest.
That wraps up Nashville – it was time to make our way back home!
From Nashville, we headed to Louisville. My son is a HUGE baseball fan so we of course had to plan a trip to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. This is a must stop for any baseball fan! While on the small side, it was neat to visit & see the inner workings of the factory.
Kentucky Science Center was right down the street so we made time to go there also which again was FREE for us!
Next, after taking a break at our AirBnB we decided to visit Louisville Mega Cavern. We did the Mega Tram tour. The good thing about it was it was nice & chilly in there + no walking involved but I would honestly say this is skippable. The cave is not really a cave & felt like we were just taking a ride through a warehouse. If you’re looking to waste time, it’s a fine place to visit but I wouldn’t put this high on your itinerary.
We were in Louisville on the 4th of July so we took a Lyft over to the Big Four Bridge for the fireworks show & it was really great! It’s situated at Waterfront Park which is a great place to check out the view of the rivers & walk around. You can even walk across to Indiana but we weren’t feeling that adventurous.
The following day we started our journey home & made one last stop.
We planned to swing by Newport Aquarium on the way home after receiving so many recommendations for it. I have to say I was shocked by how fast we got through it. We got there right when it opened so it was pretty empty but even walking slow, it took us about 45 minutes to get through the entire place. In my head, this aquarium was much larger so this was a very big surprise for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a nice aquarium but it was pretty expensive for what it is. The penguins were definitely my favorite!
That sums up our June/July trip of 2023!
Did you miss the other ones? Head back over to the TRAVEL page to check them all out!