Are you looking to hit the road this spring? Here’s an idea for you—leave the winter blues behind and head out in an Aclipse Campervan. Aclipse is like an Airbnb for van rentals. Based in Cincinnati, its fleet of six Dodge ProMaster vans are equipped with camping basics like a down comforter, cooking utensils, a stove and propane, and a cooler. Simply rent online, drop off your car at the St. Bernard location, and you’re on your way!
Co-owner Emily Bruns says there are many places where you can drive to and camp in the van, but she has favorites. “You can certainly plan out every detail of your trip, but the van is great for those who aren’t big planners,” says Bruns. “You can move around on your own schedule—it’s easy to pack up, close the van doors, and head out. It’s all contained and ready to go.” Here are Bruns’s top recommendations for spots that are within drivable distance so you can embrace van life.
This is the closest option and great for a first trip. “If you’re new to camping and traveling, it’s a good destination to get your feet wet,” says Bruns. You can expect a two-hour drive, give or take. It’s a family-friendly destination with hiking trails, caves, and waterfalls—Ash Cave and Cedar Falls are popular spots. If you’re looking to try out a new activity, there’s kayaking and horseback riding with plenty of restaurants nearby too.
Red River Gorge
Another two-hour drive option, Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is known for rock climbing opportunities and scenic hiking trails. Check out the gorgeous sandstone arches, or explore some of Daniel Boone National Forest, which stretches from Morehead to the Tennessee border. The Red River is designated a Kentucky wild river, and campers can explore its beauty by canoe or kayak. And keep this pro tip in mind for future trips: Red River Gorge is an ideal spot to take in fall foliage.
Smoky Mountain National Park
The famed Smoky Mountains are among the most visited national parks. It’s about five hours away from Cincinnati. On your way, stop by Pigeon Forge, the home of Dollywood. The Smokys feature beautiful hiking trails, bike paths, and a peaceful trip to the mountains.
New River Gorge
Adventurous types and more experienced outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy rafting, rock climbing, and hiking in the mountains of West Virginia at one of the newest national parks. Only four and a half hours away, New Rive Gorge is most known for its whitewater rafting, and for Bridge Day, an annual festival that features BASE jumpers flying off the New River Gorge Bridge.
It’s a farther drive, but the 10 hours are worth it. Michigan’s famous destination is known for its 15 miles worth of sandstone rocks and cliffs, but the picturesque water is what brings flocks of travelers each summer. Kayak along the shore and picnic at Miner’s Beach. Explore the area’s maritime history at a variety of sites including the Au Sable Light Station and the Coast Guard boathouse on Sand Point.
Ready to book your trip?
Visit the Aclipse Campervan website to check availability and schedule your rental.