Chic Spotlight: Tiny Trip Traveler Jennifer Reed

Chic Spotlight: Tiny Trip Traveler Jennifer Reed
When it comes to traveling away from the Queen City for a couple hours, this local lady has become quite the expert. Get tips from her travels and a sneak peek into her new book.

Cincy Chic: You wrote a book about quick trips from Cincinnati, which are all within a five-hour's drive of the city, so how did you first decide to write such a book?


Jennifer Reed, author of Tiny Journeys: Day Trips from the Queen City: I grew up traveling to many of the places I cover in my book. Then, when I got married, I wanted to show my husband all of these places from my childhood.


I'm also passionate about not going for the biggest, brightest entertainment complexes all the time. I think it's sad we live near so many important landmarks and attractions, yet I get a lot of shrugs when I ask people if they've ever been to, say, Serpent Mound. These things are our history, things people should be showing to their children. But I'm willing to bet there are children who have been to more amusement parks than Ohio State Parks. I want to change that.


The part that really led to me firing up the laptop and looking for a publisher, though, was social media. With my Facebook use, people saw my status updates about going on trips nearly every weekend and they started asking me for suggestions. That's when I thought I'd pull together my experiences and write a book.


Cincy Chic: Your book is in the editing process and is set to come out next spring, so what can Cincy Chic readers expect from Tiny Journeys?

Reed: First, the book will be affordable. The publisher is very good about working with authors to set price points, and my goal with this book isn't to make money. It's to get people out and exploring.


Second, there's a hint of the strange and unusual. While I do cover some well-known places, I do so with a twist. I love bigfoot stories and adore local legends. I'm naturally attracted to locations that have something unusual about them. I'm always trying to find out if there's more than meets the eye.


Cemeteries also feature prominently. I think a stop at a graveyard is vital to understanding local history.


Lastly, perhaps the best thing about this book is that many attractions are free! And if they aren't free, you can bet they're under $20.


Until the book comes out, the curious can always visit my blog or contact me on Twitter for trip suggestions.


Cincy Chic: This is for our Weekend Getaway issue, so what are some of the more adventurous getaways you include in your book?


Reed: One of the more ambitious trips for a weekend is to Point Pleasant, W. Va. It's only three hours away, but once you're there, you will be hooked by the legend of the Mothman and the important role of the area in the late 1700s. There's so much to do for such a small town, and the locals will help point you in the direction of the TNT igloos where many of the infamous Mothman sightings occurred. That place is delightfully creepy even in broad daylight!


I think Marengo Cave is a fantastic alternative to Mammoth Cave (which I also cover in my book). Ask anyone in Cincinnati if they've been on a cave tour and most will tell you they've been to Mammoth Cave. However, Marengo Cave is just as impressive and is much closer. For the truly adventurous, there are exploration tours where you experience a natural cave lit only by the lights you carry!


Cincy Chic: What great spots aren't as well-known as places like Gatlinburg or French Lick?


Reed: One of my favorite destinations is Cedar Bog — near Urbana, Ohio. It is an unusual landscape full of rare plant species and abundant animal life. I've only seen a handful of people there in the dozens of times I've visited, so it's very calm and serene.


I also recommend Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge a lot. My husband and I happened upon it on the way back from Hoosier National Forest and fell in love instantly. It's an important stop on migratory bird routes, and years ago the park staff introduced river otters, so there's always the chance you'll have an exciting wildlife sighting.


Cincy Chic: When you aren't traveling away from the city, what do you like to do for fun?


Reed: My husband and I love to geocache. For those not familiar with it, you use a handheld GPS to find caches, or small containers, which can hold anything from trinkets to money.…


I also enjoy visiting old cemeteries, which I blog about. (I think the symbols are interesting on old gravestones.) And I'm helplessly attached to my Kindle. I've had it since November and have read every single night since! And because my mind is always going a million miles per hour, I sometimes like to pull out my scrapbooking materials and get lost for a few hours.


Cincy Chic: What do you love most about Cincinnati?


Reed: I love that it's a great home base. Some people might get the wrong idea that I'm trying to push people out of the city with this book, when it's quite the opposite. There are a million and one things to do here, but sometimes you just need a change of scenery. Too many people see Cincinnati as this landlocked, vanilla place but we're in such a great position to enjoy our history and see how it fits in with places within a few hours' driving time.




Photographer: Neysa Ruhl Photography
Model: Jennifer Reed
Location: The McAlpin


Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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