Published: Saturday, May 14, 2011 7:00 am
By: Lake Erie Shores & Islands
Sandusky is the heart of Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands®. The Lake Erie Shores & Islands delivers two extremes of pleasure – from peaceful tranquility to caffeine-equivalent adventure – and everything in between to help you energize and recharge your life! Whether you prefer relaxing naps in a lakeside hammock or adrenalin-pumping excitement to regain your vim and vigor, this lakefront destination has it all.
Located on Lake Erie's southern shore, about 60 (driving) miles west of Cleveland, the area welcomes nearly seven million visitors each year, by land and by water. Home to the world's best amusement park, some of the greatest freshwater fishing in the country, fun-filled islands, four indoor waterpark resorts and more, this Midwest vacation hot spot is brimming with reasons to visit.
If you just can't get enough thrills, you can dock your boat at the Cedar Point Marina, where you can visit world famous Cedar Point Amusement Park. The Cedar Point Marina, one of the largest on the Great Lakes, has 665 floating docks (100 of which are overnight). It offers a hoist, gas dock, marine services, ship store, pump station, showers, restrooms, food, pool, picnic area, water, cable, phone, and electric.
Cedar Point Amusement Park is home to more rides (75) and roller coasters (17) than any other amusement park in the country. Located on a scenic peninsula on beautiful Lake Erie, this family-friendly park and resort is world-famous for it's record-breaking coasters and thrill rides. Test your thrill-quotient with the all new Wind Seeker, debuting in 2011 as one ofthe world's tallest swing rides. This is no kiddy swing – it towers at 301-feet-tall and swings 64 riders at nearly 30 mph!
Cedar Point is also home to Soak City, an 18-acre water park and Challenge Park, a family activity complex. No matter what your age or adventure level is, this waterfront park offers a wide variety of entertaining activities for the whole family. In addition to these amusements, there is a beautiful sandy beach, along with several waterfront dining options including Bay Harbor Inn (steaks and seafood), Famous Dave's Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que (hickory-smoked St. Louis-style ribs, Texas beef brisket), Breakwater Café (great for breakfast, but also serving dinner), and T .G. I. Friday's on the Beach (festive atmosphere, entrees, sandwiches, and salads.)
Dockage for Cedar Point is also available at nearby Castaway Bay Marina, adjacent to Cedar Point's Castaway Bay indoor waterpark resort. Castaway Bay Marina features 262 slips. The marina also features amenities such as gated docks, fuel docks, telephone, water, electric, cable, pump station, dock boxes, a boaters' clubhouse, restrooms, shower facilities, in-ground heated pool with sun deck, and a picnic pavilion. A destination in itself, Castaway Bay is a Caribbean-themed resort, featuring an indoor waterpark, arcade, shops, dining, and a full-service spa.
For more waterfront fun, cruise in to Lyman Harbor. This premier waterfront entertainment complex with a million dollar view once housed the acclaimed Lyman Boat Works. Lyman Harbor features scheduled events, including an outdoor summer concert series, waterfront dining, banquet facilities, as well as boat dockage. Lyman Harbor features 100 transient docks, water and electric, showers, restrooms, and a picnic area.
When you are ready to relax, consider docking right in the heart of beautiful, historic downtown Sandusky at Battery Park Marina. Battery Park Marina features 825 wet docks, several transient docks, gas and diesel dock, ship store, pump station, showers, restrooms, food, pool, picnic area, water and electric hookup, tennis, and Damon's Grill restaurant. From Battery Park you can enjoy a leisurely stroll along the waterfront on the Sandusky Bay Pathway walking and bike path or venture into historic downtown Sandusky.
In downtown Sandusky you can visit the Merry-Go-Round Museum. At this family fun museum you can ride an antique carousel, listen to the music of band organs, visit with wood carvers as they create new carousel animals, take a guided tour, and learn about the art and history of carousels.
Adjacent to the Merry-Go-Round Museum is the lovely Washington Park, which leaves a lasting impression with its unusual pictorial flower beds, working floral clock, fountains, and collection of tropical plants. Lunchtime and evening concerts are frequently held in the park's gazebo. Be sure to visit the restored Red Popcorn Wagon for a salty treat.
In 2011 a special public arts project, A Light in the Harbor, will delight visitors with 5 foot painted lighthouses and sailboats placed throughout the city in parks and at businesses. Location maps for the art pieces are available at the Merry-Go-Round Museum and the Lake Erie Shores & Islands Welcome Center.
Of special interest to boaters is the Maritime Museum of Sandusky. Here you can explore Sandusky's rich maritime history through local artifacts, photos, and maps; view displays of Lyman Boat Works, local passenger boats and freighters, and many other boats built in Sandusky. A nautical gift shop is also available for your souvenir needs.
In downtown Sandusky you can also visit specialty shops, antique stores, unique restaurants and pubs, or catch a show at the Sandusky State Theatre, featuring top name musical artists, comedy, interactive dinner theatre and family entertainment. At Jackson Street Pier you can catch an island-hopping cruise aboard the Goodtime I or ferry to Put-in-Bay or Kelleys Island on the Jet Express.
From your marina you can take a taxi to Sandusky's very popular indoor waterpark resorts. In addition to Castaway Bay, Sandusky features the Northwood's-themed Great Wolf Lodge, the entertaining Rain Waterpark and the country's largest indoor waterpark, the African-themed Kalahari Resort. All four resorts feature indoor waterparks, restaurants, shops, and arcades. Castaway Bay and Kalahari also feature full service spas. Indoor waterpark day-passes are available at Kalahari Resort year-round and seasonally (call for availability) at Rain Waterpark and Castaway Bay. Great Wolf Lodge's waterpark is reserved for the exclusive use of its overnight guests.
Other exciting Sandusky attractions you can reach by taxi include Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, Goofy Golf, Lagoon Deer Park, Toft's Dairy, Hermes Vineyard, and Firelands Winery.
With all there is to see and do in the area, you should plan your visit today! A free visitors guide, including the valuable Shores Savings Card, for Sandusky and the rest of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands is available by calling1-800-255-3743 or at SHORESandISLANDS.com.