The Lake Erie Shores and Islands along Ohio’s northern border is an amazing family getaway destination. There’s enough both on the mainland around Sandusky and in the Lake Erie islands to keep the whole family busy for days — if not weeks.
Sandusky itself is the main passenger pier (along with Port Clinton) for getting to the Lake Erie islands of Put-in-Bay and Kelleys. There is one main attraction in Sandusky: Cedar Point. We didn’t get to explore that (yet) but got close enough to be impressed and enticed! There are a number of hotels and resorts from which you can base your visit if you don’t stay on the islands. We stayed at the Sawmill Creek Resort and had a great experience there.
Car passengers to Put-in-Bay take the Miller Boat Lines. And there are two main options for getting to the Lake Erie islands – the Jet Express and the Goodtime I. The Goodtime I provided us with a trip. It is an island hopper on a set schedule. We enjoyed the cruise and the stops at Kelleys Island and Put-in-Bay but were constrained by the boat schedule. The Jet Express offers more flexible time and location frames without the leisurely cruise.
The islands offer plenty of fun. Kelleys is less developed tourism-wise but has a great little camping and beach area and is quite picturesque. Put-in-Bay has tons of attractions to visit that could easily take a day or two.
I went with my husband on an anniversary trip but everywhere I went, I thought either “the kids would love this” or “we’re definitely coming back with the kids!” And go back we will.
Lake Erie Shores and Islands, which helped sponsor our trip, has welcome centers that can help you plan your vacation. In addition, it offers a Shore Savings Card that carries many discounts in one card. Pick it up with a travel planner at a welcome center or download from www.shoresandislands.com/visitors/specials.