Location: Lake Erie
Ease of Getting There: 9/10
Ease of Staying There: 7/10
Ease of Eating There: 9/10
Website of Town: shoresandisland.com
Sandusky, Ohio may be known for Cedar Point, the world-famous amusement park, but do you know how much more it has to offer in addition to elephant ears and roller coasters? Located on the northern shore of Lake Erie, Sandusky (which fittingly means “at the cold water”) promises a couple days of activities, excitement and relaxation. It is 60 miles west of Cleveland, 60 miles south of Detroit and 300 miles east of Chicago. With several airports nearby, including the Erie-Ottawa International Airport, just 15 minutes away, Sandusky is easy to get to.
Looking for a little water fun? Take the Jet Ferry Express to Kelley Island and Put-In-Bay. While the latter is known for its wild parties, there’s plenty of family-friendly fun to have on both islands. You can rent golf carts, mopeds or bikes to get around on land; grab a kayak, jet-ski or parasail to voyage by water. For geology lovers, head to see the largest and most easily accessible glacial grooves in the world, which contain marine fossils that are 350 to 400 million years old. If the crowd is 21+, visit Kelley Island’s vineyards for some locally grown and produced vino. When you get hungry try the local Lake Erie perch for lunch or dinner.
Before you leave northern Ohio, make sure to take a walking tour of historical Sandusky, stopping to soak up some education at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky. Visiting during the winter months? Favorite cold-weather attractions include Kalahari waterpark, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, and African Safari Wildlife Park, a drive-through zoo. East Harbor State Park offers hiking, camping and wildlife all year round, too.