Travel is tough these days, but road trips are still thriving! There is so much you can discover on a road trip and lots of socially distanced and outdoor activities are available, especially in small towns.
Zanesville and Muskingum County in southeast Ohio is a rural area that’s known for beautiful scenery and plenty of outdoor adventures. It’s an area that has a lot to offer including history, art, and animals!
If you’re setting out on a road trip, be sure to check out these fun things to do in Zanesville, Ohio and the surrounding areas in Muskingum County.
Legal Stuff (aka if I don’t write this the internet gods will not take kindly to me): This post was written in partnership with the Zanesville/Muskingum County Ohio Visitor’s Bureau. This post may contain affiliate links. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I’m just a simple girl, trying to make a living off the internet…thanks for your support!!
Zanesville, Ohio At A Glance
Location: Zanesville is located in Muskingum County in southeastern Ohio, about 50 miles east of Columbus.
Driving Distance from Nearby Cities:
- Columbus, Ohio: 55 minutes
- Cleveland, Ohio: 2 hours 15 minutes
- Cincinnati, Ohio: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: 2 hours 10 minutes
Things To Do In Zanesville, Ohio [And Surrounding Areas]
Zanesville, Ohio is centrally located in Muskingum County and is the county’s largest town. This small city was established in 1800 and is today known for its pottery and unique Y-shaped bridge.
Zanesville is also the birthplace of Zane Grey, an American writer who was well known for his western romance novels, many of which were turned into movies in the early 20th century. If you’d like to know more about Zane Grey, check out the National Road and Zane Grey Museum in Norwich, Ohio.
Location: 14000 International Road, Cumberland, Ohio 43732
Contact: 740-638-5030 | The Wilds
You can’t talk about this area of Ohio without mentioning The Wilds. If you’re aren’t familiar with it, you’re in for a treat. The Wilds is a world-class, non-profit drive-through safari park and conservation center. If you can’t afford a trip to Africa, head to The Wilds!
You’ll find a number of different types of tours and activities at The Wilds and you can even stay there overnight. The basic tour is the Open-Air Safari Tour and you can’t go wrong with this one.
Open-Air Safari Tour
- A 2+ hour drive through the park where you’ll see incredible animals like rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, and more.
- Available May-October; reservations required
- Cost: $30; Wilds members and Military (with current ID) are FREE
The Wilds also offers lots of specialty tours and activities including Wildside Tour, Sunset Safari Tour, Fishing Safari, Horseback Safari, and more!
Alan Cottrill Sculpture Studio
Location: 110 South 6th Street, Zanesville, Ohio, 43701
Contact: 740-453-9822 | Alan Cottrill Studio
Gallery Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Suggested admission of $2 per person (cash only)
Alan Cottrill is a southeast Ohio native who traveled the world and came back to set up a sculpting studio in Zanesville.
Ohio State University fans will be familiar with Cottrill’s work without even knowing it — he’s the sculptor behind the Brutus Buckeye statue in front of the Schottenstein Center on Borror Drive in Columbus (plus Woody Hayes and Jessee Owens sculptures on campus).
Alan Cottrill also has work featured at renowned locations like the U.S. Capital’s Statuary Hall (Thomas Edison) and the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center in Columbus, Georgia.
But the best place to see lots of his work in one spot is at his studio in downtown Zanesville, Ohio, which holds the largest body of work by any living sculptor in the world (over 400 bronze sculptures)! Even if you don’t go inside (but you should), you can browse dozens of statues that line the street in front of his studio, and you’ll also be able to see lots of his work around town.
Visiting Alan Cottrill’s studio is definitely one of the best things to do in Zanesville, Ohio!
Explore More: If you’re really into art, you may want to stop at the Zanesville Museum of Art too. It’s open Wednesday through Saturday and admission is free.
John and Annie Glenn Museum
Location: 72 West Main Street, New Concord, Ohio 43762
Contact: 800-752-2602 | John and Annie Glen Museum
Hours: May through October, Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Unfortunately, the museum is currently closed due to Covid-19, so add this to your calendar for 2021. However, if you call ahead, they will open for small groups of 5-10)
Cost: Adults – $7, Seniors – $6, Students – $3, Children under 6 are free
I’ll be really honest here — before touring the John and Annie Glenn Museum I thought it would be a bit on the boring side. But I was wrong!
The museum is inside the childhood home of John Glenn, who was born in Cambridge, Ohio, and grew up in New Concord, Ohio. The home itself has been moved from its original location and has been restored to how it would be in the World War II era.
Your tour of the home will be given by a costumed historian who stays in character the whole time. John’s mother led my tour of the home and she was absolutely charming. I could have listened to her all day long! In addition to the living history tour, you’ll also be able to see lots of John Glenn artifacts including some of his flight gear.
The Alpacas of Spring Acres
Location: 3370 Big B Road, Zanesville, Ohio 43701
Contact: 937-416-7770 | Alpacas of Spring Acres
Hours: Tours available by appointment only (temporarily closed due to Covid-19)
Cost: $5 per person
The Alpacas of Spring Acres is a real working alpaca farm, conference center, and bed and breakfast all rolled into one. On the farm, 90 alpacas roam on 180 acres of land. You can take a guided tour of the farm, try out fiber arts like weaving and spinning, shop in the store, or stay overnight!
Unfortunately, The Alpacas of Spring Acres is temporarily closed so keep this in mind for future trips.
Blue Rock State Park and Forest
Location: 7924 Cutler Lake Road, Blue Rock, Ohio 43720
Contact: 740-674-4794 | Blue Rock State Park | Blue Rock State Forest
The Blue Rock State Park, located in Blue Rock, Ohio, got its name from the blue colored shale found within the region. Over 4,500 acres of forest (Blue Rock State Forest) surrounds the park. You can swim and boat on Cutler Lake within the Park and there are also campsites near the lake.
Location: Zane’s Landing Park, at the west end of Market Street, Zanesville, Ohio 43701
Contact: 800-7432303 | Lorena Sternwheeler
Tour Times: Tours available through October 18, 2020, check Facebook or call 740-455-8282 for updated tour dates and times; Reservations are required
Cost: Adults – $10, Seniors – $9, Children ages 2-12 – $6
Take an hour-long cruise down the scenic Muskingum river aboard the Lorena Sternwheeler. This year, capacity has been reduced and passengers will be spaced out at least 6 feet to allow for social distancing.
Where To Eat in Zanesville, Ohio
Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl
Location: 532 McIntire Avenue, Zanesville, Ohio 43701
Contact: 740-452-5267 | Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
For a sweet treat, stop by Tom’s Ice Cream Bowl. This old fashioned ice cream shop has been serving scoops for 70 years. In addition to traditional flavors, you’ll find unique and seasonal flavors like Chocolate Caramel Marshmallow Fudge, Cherry Cordial, Berry Chocolate Bonanza, and more.
In addition to inside seating, there’s a large patio area with tables and chairs right next to the restaurant.
Old Market House Inn
Location: 424 Market Street, Zanesville, Ohio 43701
Contact: 740-454-2555 | Old Market House Inn
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
If you’re looking for a great dinner with a unique atmosphere, check out Old Market House Inn. This Italian restaurant is decorated like an old English Pub (strange, but somehow it works)! The menu has lots of options to please every palate from salads and pizza to pasta and steak.
Where To Stay In Zanesville/Muskingum County, Ohio
During my time in Zanesville, I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites. It was clean and modern and my room was very comfortable. If you’re looking for a convenient and affordable hotel in Zanesville, the Holiday Inn Express should fit the bill.
If you’re looking for a more unique and upscale experience, check out Nomad Ridge at The Wilds. You’ll love glamping in one of the comfortable yurts that are surrounded by fantastic scenery and animals.
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites
Location and Contact: 1101 Spring Street, Zanesville, Ohio | 740-297-4751
Amenities: Grab and go breakfast, free Wi-Fi, indoor pool, fitness center
Nomad Ridge at The Wilds
Location and Contact: 14000 International Road, Cumberland, Ohio 43732 | 740-638-5030
Staying overnight at The Wilds is a truly unique experience. Nomad Ridge offers adults 21 and up a unique glamping experience in a private yurt, available from May through October. A yurt is a traditional structure made of canvas stretched over a wooden frame. The yurts at The Wilds include bamboo floors, screened-in windows, solid doors, private bathrooms, and free Wi-Fi. You’ll be immersed in the sights and sounds of The Wilds without having to “rough it”.
There are 3 types of yurts available: Woodland Yurts, Premium Yurts, and The Grand Yurt. Regardless of which one you choose, an open-air safari tour is included for each guest as well as breakfast and dinner for 2.
Zanesville/Muskingum County in Ohio offers lots of natural beauty in a rural setting. You’ll find small-town charm, lots of outdoor activities, and one of the largest conservation centers in the world.
Southeast Ohio has a lot to offer. After you’re done exploring Muskingum County, check out some other nearby areas like Cambridge/Guernsey County, Morgan County, and Hocking Hills.