Marine News from the Great Lakes

This Is Toledo!

Published: Sunday, July 1, 2018

On the northwestern shores of Lake Erie, just a short ride up the Maumee River, sits the center of downtown Toledo. From family fun to a romantic getaway, there’s something to do for everyone, and boaters have ideal access to the fun.

For a romantic weekend, you can enjoy prime riverfront hotel accommodations at Marriott’s new Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel. At The Heights, their rooftop bar, you can sip cocktails and take in a spectacular view of the river and a 360-degree view of downtown. Docks are available right next door near Promenade Park.

A short walk away, you can discover The Chop House, Toledo’s newest premiere restaurant. This luxury restaurant focuses on prime beef, fresh seafood, and premium wines. For a beautiful night under the stars, the ProMedica Concert Series in Promenade Park features all kinds of music from national headliners like George Thorogood to Jazz Fest, the Toledo Symphony, Blues on the Water, and much more.

Right across the river from downtown, you will find The Docks, a collection of great restaurants such as the Real Seafood Company, Zia’s, and El Vaquero Mexican Restaurant. Boaters can literally dock right outside these restaurants and enjoy outdoor dining looking back at the Toledo skyline. Just want to chill on your boat? Zia’s will deliver a pizza promptly to you!

For more casual dining, downtown has many great venues from Hensville’s Holy Toledo! Tavern and Fleetwood’s Tap Room to The Blarney Irish Pub, Ye Olde Durty Bird, M’Osteria and Bar, Table Forty 4, and many others. Dining isn’t your only option, though. Rooftop Comedy at Fleetwood’s Tap Room is a series of free shows that spotlight regional standup comedians in a unique outdoor setting.

Toledo also offers DORA, the Downtown Outdoor Refreshment Area. Visitors and locals alike can stroll the city streets within the DORA boundaries and enjoy their alcoholic beverages.

For downtown entertainment, don’t miss your chance to see the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and a true downtown highlight. Their home — Fifth Third Field — opened in 2002 and is a state-of-the-art 8,943 seat facility. This gem of a stadium is the biggest draw in Hensville, Toledo’s newest entertainment district.

After a night on the town, start your next day in Toledo with a visit to The Toledo Museum of Art, just a short distance from the heart of downtown. The museum has a world renowned collection in the historic main building and also a contemporary Glass Pavilion. The collection is open to the public and free of charge, except for special exhibitions.

For family fun, Imagination Station is a great option right on the riverfront. As Toledo’s Science Center, Imagination Station is dedicated to making science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fun and accessible with hundreds of interactive exhibits. Further up the river, the Toledo Zoo features a collection of over 10,000 animals with mammals, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and invertebrates representing 750+ exotic species from around the world. Voted the “Best Zoo in the United States” in USA Today’s 10BEST Readers’ Choice Awards, the Zoo also offers a recently renovated aquarium featuring more than 3,000 aquatic animals in 178,000 gallons of water. In addition, the Toledo Zoo offers an outdoor summer concert series featuring national acts. Docks are available at the Maumee River Yacht Club, just adjacent to the Zoo, for AYC and I-LYA members.

If you just want to picnic by the river, visit the Middlegrounds, one of the region’s newest Metroparks. Located in downtown Toledo, the Middlegrounds includes a half-mile of river frontage beginning at the Anthony Wayne Bridge and extending southwest of Martin Luther King Plaza. The urban, 28-acre greenspace offers a 1.5-mile meandering walk/bike path and tranquil views of the Maumee River. Visitors can rent kayaks by the hour to paddle the Maumee River in downtown Toledo and scenic Swan Creek. This park also features the Metroparks’ first off-leash dog area. Separate fenced areas are provided for large and small dogs.

As you head back out toward Lake Erie, visit the National Museum of the Great Lakes, voted the Number 2 Ohio Attraction by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice 2017. There are six exhibit galleries, an outdoor maritime park, and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship available for tours. Adjacent to the museum is the City of Toledo’s Skyway Marina which has docks available through Brenner 75 Marine.

Set sail for Toledo today! For more information, log on to

ProMedica Concert Series Schedule
Location: Promenade Park

  • Wednesday, July 4:  Toledo Symphony Orchestra
  • Friday, July 13:  Gin Blossoms, Tonic and Vertical Horizon
  • Friday, July 20:  Soul Night
  • Friday, July 27:   Alumni Show
  • Saturday, August 4:   Blues Fest
  • Friday, Aug 10:  KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Friday, Aug 24:   O.A.R.
  • Friday, August 31:  Worship Night
  • Friday, Sep 21:   Easton Corbin

Find out more at

This article first appeared in the Summer Issue (Jul/Aug) 2018 of Great Lakes Scuttlebutt magazine.

tags: Destination, Lake Erie

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