Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands offers many ways to enjoy and embrace this time of year from Halloween festivities to harvest celebrations to live entertainment opportunities. So grab a sweater or light jacket and let’s head out for an enjoyable Fall extended weekend getaway!
Oct. 12-13/Put-In-Bay – The 27th Annual German-style festival features German food, hot spiced wine, and cold beer. Live polka and German-style music entertain both days. Souvenir apparel and beer glasses will be for sale as well as many great raffle items. Prefer wine? Then head over on Oct. 5 for the Island Wine Festival. Sample foreign and domestic wines, including island wines. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon of good food, excellent wine, winery tours, and a large silent auction that benefits the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society.
Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
Sandusky – It’s the home of Lake Eerie Fearfest with six haunted atractions that become sookier every year! 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…
Apple Peak Harvest Gathering
Oct 19/Berlin Heights – The annual Apple Peak at Quarry Hill Orchards includes nearly 30 vintage, handmade, farm-style open air market vendors. This event will celebrate a true taste of autumn, highlight the peak of harvest, the turning of the leaves, and an appreciation for all things local. There will be a full day of flavors, engaging activities, and unique, authentic keepsakes for all ages. Pick your own apples, wagon rides through the orchards, live music, food trucks, local wine, hiking in the woods, boutique shopping with local makers, storytelling, culinary demos, rope making, painting, and much more.
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!
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.
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.