The Ohio River winds more than 900 miles through the states of Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Illinois. The river originates at the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers near Pittsburgh and ends at Cairo, Illinois, where it joins the Mississippi River. The Ohio River once was a major artery for tourist traffic. Today, the river towns continue to offer a host of resort accommodations for travelers arriving by water or on the highways connecting the towns along the river.
Indiana and Illinois allow river casino gaming, and gambling resorts on the Ohio River integrate games of chance with hotel accommodations, spas and family entertainment. The Belterra Casino, Resort & Spa in southern Indiana offers guests spa treatments and opportunities to golf, gamble and dine on-site. The 600-room hotel adjacent to the casino offers countryside or river views. The Grand Victoria Casino & Resort in southern Indiana at Rising Sun features more than 200 rooms and suites, Scottish links-style golfing, a health club and indoor swimming. On-site dining features the River View Buffet and Wellington's restaurant.
The Colucci Log Cabins, located on the Ohio River adjacent to Hoosier National Forest in Magnet, Indiana, is a rustic resort getaway with a choice of cedar log cabins overlooking the river. Some cabins include kitchens, whirlpool tubs, bedroom lofts and room to sleep six to 10 guests. The Cedar Hill River Resort in the Shawnee National Forest on the Ohio River in southern Illinois features cabins that sleep two to six people. All of these cabins have full kitchens and fireplaces; some include Jacuzzi tubs and sleeping lofts. [references: #3 & #4]
Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center, part of Ohio's Shawnee Forest preserve, offers water sports on the Ohio River and Roosevelt and Turkey Creek lakes. Other sports at the rustic resort include backpacking on the forest's 50-mile formal trail and golf. The Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia, features a choice of 271 rooms at Wilson Lodge or cottage accommodations. On-site dining services offer guests a choice of two grills or formal dining at the Ihlenfeld Dining Room. Golfing, tennis, horseback riding and winter skiing are entertainment options.
The River Mill Resort, at the Madison, Indiana, National Historic Landmark District, combines a resort with historic museums. The resort hotel's 74 guest rooms have views of the courtyard or the Ohio River. Guests can stroll the new river walk and dine in downtown Madison. The resort offers a fitness center, full-service spa and access to nearby art museums and gardens. The General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, Kentucky, at the confluence of the Ohio and Kentucky rivers, offers lodging in a 53-room hilltop resort. Twenty-four cottage accommodations with one to three bedrooms are also available. Outdoor resort activities include canoes, rowboats and pedal boats. Guests also can fish, swim and golf, both miniature and 9-hole regulation, on the resort grounds. Resort dining features the Two Rivers Restaurant's bistro-style menu.
- Belterra Casino, Resort & Spa
- Grand Victoria Casino & Resort
- Colucci Log Cabins
- Cedar Hill River Resort
- Shawnee Lodge and Conference Center
- Oglebay Resort & Conference Center
- River Mill Resort
- General Butler State Resort Park
- National Scenic Byways Program: Ohio River Scenic Byway
- Perry County, Indiana: Scenic & Historic Tours
- Ohio History Central: Ohio River
- bridge over the ohio image by Dawn Williams from Fotolia.com