As we head into the “dog days of summer,” where Midwest temperatures soar well above the 80° mark and even up towards 100°, here are a few suggestions on how to keep cool during this heat wave. With more than 27 beach destinations, Lake Erie Shores & Islands is the summer capital of Ohio! Wade in the shallow water and feel the cool breezes as you relax in the sand. Several beaches even offer beach rentals so you don’t have to “sweat” lugging all your beach stuff; some even allow you to bring your pets! Want to experience an adrenaline rush while cooling down? Zoom across the surface of Lake Erie with a Jet Ski or waverunner rental from Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals, Erie Shore Wave Runners in Vermilion, and North Coast Parasail & Water Sports in Sandusky – where you can also parasail high above the lake!
African Safari Wildlife Park
Port Clinton – Covering more than 80 acres, African Safari Wildlife Park is home for animals from Asia, Africa and America in a large roaming preserve. Here guests and their families are able to travel through a preserve of roaming animals in the comfort and privacy of their own vehicle. During the tour, see hundreds of animals all together. Watch Elk, Bison, Giraffe, Zebra, Ostrich, Deer, Alpacas, and Camels. Feed the animals from the cup of food provided by the park. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture memories! There are many “new arrivals” throughout the year. There is also a walk-thru area, where there are many animals on exhibit.
Maui Sands Resort & Indoor Waterpark
Sandusky – Experience a true Hawaiian themed property, among an indoor tropical garden setting… with the complete splash-tabulous fun of an Indoor Waterpark! When you compare the value you will receive at the Maui Sands Resort & Indoor Waterpark against the areas other lodging and amusement choices you will be proud to call Maui Sands Resort your home away from home. Thrill seekers LOVE the gigantic bowl-shaped tube slide where riders can choose from single or double person tubes. Get totally wiped out by the bucket dump and enjoy the wet & wild treehouse activities that include small dump buckets, water cannons, and a climbing rope. Our lazy river winds through the waterpark as kids and adults stream along in our not-so-lazy action river… beware of the rapids! You’ll have so much fun you won’t want to get out!
Sandusky – Bring family and friends together for fun under one roof! Jump in our bounce houses, climb in the jungle gym and skate for hours with your choice of roller skates, scooter or roller blade rental! The Wizard’s Journey is a 9-hole Miniature Golf course with 3D blacklights. It takes you on an interactive quest to slay the dragon through caves, waterfalls, a forest, and much more. Next, try the XD 4D theater. This 4D motion-simulated ride takes you on a trip down snowy, pine-covered mountainside, through icy frozen tunnels, and more. Choose your favorite movie, or see them all, and see, hear, and feel the XD 4D experience! The Ghostly Manor Haunted House is one of the top rated haunts in the United States and now is better than ever! We have added more scares and new rooms while keeping our ticket prices the same! Ghosts lurk in every corner as you wander through this “old mansion.” See if you can make it all the way through as Ghostly Manor comes alive to reveal your deepest fears! See for yourself…
What could be more romantic than strolling through a picturesque vineyard or cuddling up in front of a roaring fire with a glass of vino? The Lake Erie Shores & Islands wine trail offers more than a dozen wineries, many available for tours and all with tasting rooms. Some wineries offer full dining menus to complement your sampling and live entertainment throughout the season. Consider an escorted winery tour for the ultimate experience.Northeast Ohio boasts more wineries per square mile than in any other region. The tiny parcel of land also is home to well over half of the winegrape acreage in the state. As the cool winds blowing over the icy lake slow growth of tender buds in the spring and the gentle warm breezes extend the summer season into fall, and the valleys collect cold frosty spring air, winegrowing families of the area celebrate their ability to grow some of the finest grapes anywhere in the nation. Hundreds of acres of rolling, lush vineyards, award winning wines like Pinot Gris, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc, easy to enjoy Chambourcin and Vidal Blanc as well as local favorites made from native varieties draw tens of thousands of visitors each year for touring and sampling.
Enjoy white-tablecloth dining at one of many fine restaurants in the area or sample local cuisine, such as just-caught Lake Erie perch and walleye, at a number of local pubs and fish shacks. A craft beer or spirits-tasting at a brewery or distillery is a great complement to any foodie journey. Fancy yourself a home chef? Consider a class at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, where you can learn from top chefs who work effortlessly farm-to-table. Then, visit a neighborhood farm market for fresh produce or pick-your-own ingredients at an orchard. Finalize your foodie finds at a local specialty food store where you will find international fare and then head back to the condo and pretend you’re on a reality cooking show. Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of local wine to enjoy. Bon appétit!
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. Toft Dairy is famous for their mega-portion ice cream cones. More than 50 flavors are offered at their scooping parlors, but we recommend the Lake Erie Cookie Island Monster – a mix of blue cake batter ice cream blended with cookie dough chunks, drops of chocolate chips, and chocolate cookies and cream. Other great spots for a tasty ice cream treat include Granny Joe’s Ice Creamatorium, Milan Village Drive-Thru, DQ Grill & Chill, Dairy Isle, Bay Bell Snack Shack, Brown Dog Gelato Co., and more!
Beacons of Light
Go on a coastal adventure exploring Lake Erie’s lighthouses. Did you know there are half a dozen in the Shores & Islands region alone? Spend a few days discovering these
beacons of light and their history guiding maritime explorers. From Vermilion to Port Clinton,
lighthouses are some of the area’s most popular sites. Consider visiting for sunrise or sunset
because Lake Erie lighthouses also make superb photo spots. You’ll need to take a ferry to Put-in-Bay if you truly want to see all of the Shores & Islands lights, as the South Bass Island Lighthouse resides within the lake. Don’t miss a stop at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky to learn all about Lake Erie and its functions as a shipping port, fishery, and recreational haven.