A few years ago I was having lunch with a friend and we were talking the vacations we had just returned from. I had just returned from a 16 hour drive to Florida where it was as hot as the depths of hell and she had just returned from a 5 hour drive to Ohio. ‘Ohio? Why on earth would you take your summer vacation in Ohio,’ I thought. She must have read my expression because she quickly added, “Sandusky, Ohio is on Lake Erie and it was by far the best vacation we’ve ever taken.” After she told me all about her family vacation I went home and googled it and it’s been on my list of places to visit ever since!
Lake Erie Shores & Islands is one of the best areas on the great lakes for summer fun. There are several lodging options ranging from campgrounds to resorts, so definitely look into which options fit your needs. My family likes hotels for a night or two, but beyond that we are looking for larger stay options like condos or cabins. Also consider the weather, when we travel in the cooler months indoor waterparks are a big plus for us, but in the heat of the summer we’d skip that for a beach. Click here to search area accommodations for one that suits your family.
The area has enough activities to keep you busy for a week and then some so make sure to prioritize! The areas largest and greatest attraction is of course Lake Erie. The list of activities surrounding the lake includes everything you could want: swimming beaches, nature preserves, boating, fishing, canoeing, playgrounds, biking and more. Get your selfie stick ready because the area is just magnificent and it’s nice to swim in an area that won’t be closed due to sharks or hurricanes!
If you are looking for a nice beach there are several in the area to choose from. East Harbor State Park is a gorgeous stretch of beach that offers restrooms, showers, and changing areas, as well as hiking trails if you need to get out of the sand and stretch your legs. Central Park Beach, located inside the Lakeside Chautauqua community, is a great beach especially if you have younger children. Next to the beach is a splash park and kiddie pool for the littles. Kelleys Island State Park is a lovely beach for kids with its wade in water and kayak rentals. It’s also a great beach to hunt for beach glass.
If you have thrill seekers in the family then it would be ridiculous for you to come to the area and not pay a visit to Cedar Point. Did you know that Cedar Point is considered the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World?” Cedar Point features 18 coasters, including Millennium Force, voted the number one steel coaster on the planet and the brand new Valravn, the world’s tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster! There are also plenty of attractions for the younger kids, including Planet Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, but it’s a big kid/adult haven!
One other attraction that we definitely recommend is the African Safari Wildlife Park. The wildlife park is 100 acres and there is a drive through portion and a walk through portion where you can get up close to some pretty cool animals.
There is so much to do in the area it’s impossible to tell you about all of it, but one thing is for certain there is something for everyone. Museums, history, wildlife, watersports, you can do it all on Lake Erie! Click here to learn more about the Lake Erie Shores & Islands area and to start planning with their cool itinerary planning tool and Shore Savings Card which offers discounts to many of the area’s best attractions