Soak in the beauty of sun, sand and pristine waters with an adventure at Lake Erie. Lake Erie activities are full of natural thrills. Go fishing and bring home the catch-of-the-day, go swimming, boating, kayaking, or just relax on the soft sand of Ohio's beaches. Spend a weekend camping along the waters and experience a side of nature that can't be duplicated. Even in the cold of winter, Lake Erie is alive with activities, including arctic fishing! With hundreds of miles of shoreline, Lake Erie is the perfect place to spend your next getaway!
- Lake Erie Islands and Hotspots
Get a real taste of island life at Lake Erie islands and coastal Ohio. Take a ferry to Put-in-Bayon South Bass Island for some real family fun. Rent a boat and adventure out to Kelley's Island, the largest American freshwater island in Lake Erie, nationally recognized as "Top-10 Healthiest Beach and Lake Getaway." Book a Lake Erie fishing charter to the "Walleye Capital of the World," Port Clinton or to Middle Bass Island whose name speaks for itself. Visit Marblehead, home of the oldest operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. Whether you're a beach bum or a thrill seeker, Lake Erie Shores and Islands have something for every member of the family.
- Shores / Beaches
Huntington Beach Park is the first beach along the Lake Erie coast to receive the Blue Wave seal from the Clean Beaches Coalition of Washington D.C., an honor given to beaches with superior water quality, accessibility, and that practice habitat conservation. The beach also has picnic areas, a break-wall for fishing and more. Headlands Beach State Park in Mentor is one of the most picturesque beaches on Lake Erie. There are miles of pristine sand and grasses bordered by a lighthouse and plenty of picnic tables. Headlands is the largest natural sand beach in Ohio. Edgewater State Park in Cleveland features a 900-foot-wide stretch of sand and two picnic pavilions. Other Lake Erie beaches include Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park, East Harbor State Park, Cedar Point, Geneva State Park, and Euclid Beach Park.
The immaculate waters of Lake Erie provide a bevy of fishing opportunities for everyone from the competitive sportsman to the fishing novice. Lake Erie is best known for walleye, perch and smallmouth bass, but fishers may also catch catfish, steelhead trout, largemouth bass, white bass, rock bass and other species. Lake Erie features many fishing charters available for rent. The fishing fun doesn't stop at the end of summer, venture out onto the frozen lake with a guide to ice fish inside a protective shanty. For up-to-date Lake Erie fishing reports, visit www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/6125/Default.aspx
One of the best ways to enjoy Lake Erie is by traversing the fresh water via boat; bring your own trustworthy sea vessel, rent a charter boat or experience the thrill of wave runner riding at the many harbors and marinas along the shores of Lake Erie. Put-in-Bay, one of the most popular destinations along Lake Erie, features several public docks and boat rentals. Other harbors are available in Fairport, Mentor, downtown Cleveland, Huron, Lakeside, Sandusky, Port Clinton and Kelleys Island, to name a few. Check out the Geneva State Park Marina, which features a deli, gasoline, boating essentials and bait, along with 383 docks for seasonal rental. The Toledo area's Anchor Point Marina, along with excellent docking areas and boat rental options, features a restaurant with panoramic views of the lake and live entertainment on the weekends. Other marinas-there are dozens--include Northcoast, Edgewater & East 55th, Battery Park, Cedar Point and Catawba Island Club.
Pitch a tent or rent a cabin along the shores of beautiful Lake Erie. There are plenty of options from rustic camping sites to amenity-rich campgrounds. Eleven Ohio State Parks, six of which offer camping, can be found along the shores of Lake Erie. East Harbor State Parkin Marblehead, Kelleys Island State Park, South Bass Island State Park, Middle Bass Island State Park and Geneva State Park are among the popular spots for camping and outdoor recreation. Plan a stop at Put-in-Bay, where you can fish, jet ski, kayak and camp at one of the most popular Lake Erie destinations. Several of these areas and islands also offer great hotels, bed and breakfasts and cottages.
Northcoast Grapevine Tours showcases the Lake Erie Shores & Islands' area wineries. Guests are transported on a day-long escorted tour through the countryside, to a select group of wineries from an itinerary of their choosing, or an agenda can be set based on visitors' likes and interests. The Grand River Valley Winery District in the Lake County region is the largest winery district in Ohio. The annual Vintage Ohio Wine Festival - traditionally held the first weekend in August - features over 20 wineries. The most acclaimed wine and food event between the Appalachians and the Rockies has been selected by USA Today as a top festival for many years. Popular wineries along Lake Erie include Grand River Cellars Winery & Restaurant, Ferrante Winery & Ristorante and Laleure Vineyards.