A Summer Guide to the Lake Erie Shores and Islands in 26 Letters

May 01, 2014

Arrive – Located in the heart of the country, the Lake Erie Shores & Islands is easily accessible by land or sea or plane. Wait, we mean land or lake or plane. You get the point.

Brave your fears – Experience the scariest haunted house you'll ever encounter at the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center.

Catch a fish – Book a charter boat through Tibbel's Charter Fishing Service and fish your heart out for walleye, perch, or bass.

Drive your car alongside bison, alpaca, llama, deer, and Scottish Highlander cattle at African Safari Wildlife Park – just make sure you keep your windows rolled up unless you want another passenger!

Enlist in the Navy – or just imagine you had during the War of 1812. Hop a ferry to Put-in-Bay and visit Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, which commemorated the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial in 2013.

Fire down a water slide – KalahariGreat Wolf LodgeMaui SandsCastaway BaySoak City – and the list goes on.

Get Groovy – Immense pressure let Mother Nature carve out glacial grooves in thick limestone and during the pinnacle of the last ice age, Kelleys Island was under more than a mile of ice. A mile of ice? That's pretty cool – no pun intended.

Hear memorable musical numbers including The Music and the Mirror, What I Did for Love, and One (Singular Sensation), as the Huron Playhouse's 68th season opens with its stunning musical-vérité A Chorus Line.

Invite your friends – Have them watch the Lake Erie Love music video and then personally give them a tour of the spots you love.

Jog on a beach – Not saying you have to run five miles, but running on a beach can be fun. Take in the beautiful landscape of Sheldon Marsh, get your heart rate going at Kelleys Island State Park, then pass out in the sand and listen to nature.

Kayak the needle – Explore Put-in-Bay harbor via paddle at Kayak the Bay. See if you can find and thread the needle amongst Gibraltar Island’s limestone cliffs.

Listen to some music – The Listening Room in Port Clinton features some of the best singer songwriters across the United States.

Make it to a Museum – Whether it's a trip to the Merry-go-Round Museum or the Milan Museum, learning about history is cool and it's just a coincidence that those both started with the letter ‘M’.

Nibble on Foie Gras – Food that's hard to pronounce is usually really good and it's no different at Zinc Brasserie, the eatery that started the downtown Sandusky restaurant renaissance.

Open a bottle of wine – It's not Napa Valley or Sonoma; it's better. The Lake Erie Shores & Islands Wine Trail has over 40,000 acres of vineyards. Take a tour.

Play a round of golf – Oak Harbor Golf Club, Sawmill Creek Golf Club, and Mills Creek will bring out your inner Jack Nicklaus.

Quaff down an ale – For all you craft beer fans, the Catawba Island Brewing Company's tasting room offers several unique options. Sip on a New Mcfadden Red Ale, or our personal favorite Lake Erie Love Light; or take some home in a growler.

Ride a record breaker – Cedar Point's new coaster is Valravn, the world's tallest, fastest, and longest dive coaster. Cedar Point is home to several other record-breakers as well. Are you brave enough?

Spelunk – Cave exploring is awesome and whether it's Seneca Caverns in Bellevue or Crystal Caves at Put-in-Bay, there's bound to be a stalactite that's just right for you.

Taste a legend – The Boardwalk's famous lobster bisque served in a bread bowl is well-known as the best in the region.

Unveil your inner pilot – Everyone dreams of flying. At the Liberty Aviation Museum in Port Clinton they won't let you fly, but at least they’ll let you look at their collection.

View the world from 500 feet up – Scared of heights? Don't be. Go parasailing on Cedar Point Beach with North Coast Parasail.

Watch the sunset over Sandusky Bay from onboard the Goodtime I cruise ship. Sunset cruises are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout most of the summer.

marks the spot – Lake Erie is famous for its shipwrecks.  Learn all about them and see which ones are still sitting on the lake floor waiting to be explored on your next scuba adventure at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky.

Yearn for chocolate – Tre Sorelle Cioccolato in Sandusky specializes in ganache filled candies and truffles.  Everyone likes a person who shows up with chocolate.

Zip line – Are you going to let your child show you up on Kalahari's Zip Line? C'mon, it's only 60 feet high and 400 feet long. Want something more challenging? Check out Tree Tops Zip Lining.

Ready to plan your Lake Erie Shores & Islands adventure from A to Z? Check out the Itinerary Builder and get ready to have the time of your life!

**Special thanks to Chad Whaley of Green Door Mediaworks for assisting with this post.

Tagged: shores and islands, put-in-bay, ohio, family fun, travel, summer, islands, guide, getaway, lake erie love, lake erie, kelleys island