Lake Erie Vacationland Area Activities
So much to see!
Cedar Point, the "Roller coaster capital of the World," is a favorite summer destination for North Coast residents as well as visitors from all over the region and the country. But, the Lake Erie Vacationland area has more to do that just coaster rides. There are the North Bass Islands, museums, lighthouses, waterparks, historic sites, and much more! Read about the many area attractions near Sawmill Creek Resort.
Put-in-Bay and South Bass Island
Put-in-Bay, located on South Bass Island, just north of Sandusky and Port Clinton Ohio, is Ohio's Lake Erie playground. Cut off in the winter, the island comes alive in the summer with antique stores, a vibrant marina, lots of lively bars and restaurants, and a home-grown brewery and historic winery.
The island is reachable from by Miller's ferry from Port Clinton and by Jet Express' jet-powered catamarans from Catawba. The ferry runs regularly from late May to late November. Jet Express runs from May to October. You can also reach the island year-round by small aircraft, weather permitting.
Once on the island, there is a $2 shuttle from the dock into town or you can rent a bike or a golf cart...or you can walk; it's only about 1 1/2 miles.
Kelleys Island, the largest of the American Lake Erie islands, is located just off the north central Ohio coastline, accessible by frequent ferries and small airplanes.
The island is a summertime favorite. Less crowded than its cousin, Middle Bass Island and Put-in-Bay, Kelleys is known for its restaurants, winery, Victorian Houses, and its Glacial Grooves, souvenirs from the Ice Age.
Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest, continuously operational lighthouse on the Great Lakes. It has been featured on a U.S. postage stamp, has appeared on the license plates of Ohio's drivers, and has been added to the Ohio State Parks system. Found on the northernmost tip of the Marblehead Peninsula, this popular lighthouse's history began in 1819 when the fifteenth U.S. Congress decided that the area was too dangerous to be navigated without some sort of beacon. The sum of $5,000 was allocated for the construction of a light tower at the entrance to Sandusky Bay at Bay Point, Ohio, hoping that the lighthouse would help vessels travel safely through Lake Erie's nor'easters and the clusters of small islands on the southernmost coast of the lake.
Tours of Marblehead Lighthouse are offered on weekday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. from the day after Memorial Day until the Friday before Labor Day. They are also offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary on the second Saturday of the month from May through October. Call (419) 734-4424 x 2 for confirmation of tour times. A museum in the adjacent keeper's dwelling run by the Marblehead Lighthouse Historical Society is open during the same hours. The grounds surrounding the tower are great for picnicking and offer lovely views of Lake Erie, Sandusky Bay, Kelleys Island and South Bass Island. This is also the only area of the United States where the tiny "Lake Side Daisy," a protected species, can be found.
Inland Seas Maritime Museum
Learn about the sea-faring history of the Great Lakes at this hands-on and interactive museum. Located in Vermilion Ohio, about half way between Cleveland and Cedar Point, the Inland Seas Maritime Museum features an anthentic 1910 steamship pilot house, original timbers from early Great Lakes vessels, and artifacts from Great Lakes shipwrecks, among other exhibits.
The museum is open 361 days a year (all except major holidays) from 10am to 5pm. Admission (2007) is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors (65+), and $5 for juniors (ages 12 and under). AAA members receive a discount.
480 Main St.
A kid's favorite, this attractions features tame deer that you can pet and feed as well as over 200 exotic animals. You can also fish in the stocked lagoon or have a picnic in one of the scenic picnic areas.
Lagoon Deer Park is open from May through October. Admission prices and hours vary throughout the year.
Lagoon Deer Park
Lake Erie Islands Wineries
The temperate Lake Erie climate creates an ideal environment for growing wine grapes and a handful of wineries are scattered around the Sandusky area. Among these are Fireland Winery, an award-winning winery right in downtown Sandusky; Mon Ami winery (pictured at left), an historic winery at Catawba point with an elegant restaurant and a tasting room; Heineman's Winery on South Bass Island; and Kelleys Island Wine Company on Kelleys Island. A visit is a nice way to relax after the action at the park
Located about 15 minutes from Cedar Point, Seneca Caverns is one of the largest underground caverns in Ohio. The site is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and visitors take a one-hour tour that goes up to 110 feet underground and goes through seven subterranean rooms. The best part: on a hot summer's day, the caverns are a constant 54 degrees. Admission is $13 for adults, $10 for those 62 and older or 12-17, and $6.50 for those under 12.Seneca Caverns
15248 Twp Rd.
The inventor of the photograph and light bulb, among other things, is well-known for his associations with Michigan, New Jersey, and Florida, but did you know that Thomas Edison has born right here on the north coast in Milan Ohio, in 1847? The house where he was born, and lived until he was seven years old, still stands in its original location and has been restored and converted into a museum for Edison artifacts, inventions, and memorabilia. more information...
The Thomas Edison House is open from February through November and is easily reached from Exit 118 off of the Ohio Turnpike. Admission (2007) is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and $2 for children 6-12. Hours vary throughout the year.
Thomas Edison House
9 Edison Dr.
Over 9000 Confederate prisoners of war were once housed on Johnson's Island, a small piece of land just off the south coast of Marblehead, near the ferry docks and the Cedar Point Causeway. Between 206 and 267 of these soldiers are buried at the Johnson's Island Confederate Officers Prison Cemetery there. Today, the site is looked after by the U.S. Veteran's Administration and visitors are welcome year-round from dusk to dawn. A causeway connects the island with the mainland and carries a $1 toll each way. No other remnants of the POW camp remain on the island.
Back on the mainland is the Johnson's Island Museum, which features a scale model of the prison and other artifacts. The museum is open weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Johnson's Island Museum / Information Center
@ Ohio Veterans Home
3416 Columbus Ave.
Sandusky, OH 44870
Hours: 1PM to 4PM on weekends and holidays from Memorial Day to October 1st
Located in Fremont Ohio, about a half hour away from Cedar Point is the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. This 31-room mansion was the Hayes' primary residence after President Hayes left office in 1881. The complex, which includes the home, a museum, the grounds, and the tombs of Presdient Hayes and his wife, Lucy, was the first presidential library and museum.
Today, visitors can take a guided tour of the house, stroll the grounds, and take an unguided tour of the museum. On display are original family furnishings, President Hayes' library of over 12,000 books, many of his papers, and Civil War and 19th century artifacts. The Center is open year round Monday - Saturday from 9am to 5pm and on Sunday from noon to 5pm.