When I took my family to Castaway Bay last month, I was treated to a special gathering for bloggers where we learned about all of the new and exciting happenings going on in the Lake Erie area. I came home with a ton of reading material, and was pretty surprised at how much they actually have to offer. See, my family usually heads to Sandusky, Ohio every year to enjoy Cedar Point Amusement Park. Once we've wiped ourselves out there for 2 days, we head back home without a second thought to area attractions. Big mistake! We've been missing out on so much fun all of these years!
The Lake Erie Shores & Islands region has something for pretty much everyone!
For Families, hit up one of the many fun centers- Island Adventures Family Fun Center, Northern Lights Arcade and Goofy Golf. Animal lovers will have a blast at Lagoon Deer Park, Toledo Zoo, and my personal favorite, The African Safari Wildlife Park! Each attraction offers families hours of fun and entertainment!
|We still giggle over all the fun we had at The African Wildlife Safari!|
|Getting hands on with the animals at the Toledo Zoo|
If you are into history, the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region is the place to be! Visit Edison Birthplace where you will see the early boyhood home of Thomas Alva Edison, which features a collection of rare Edison inventions, documents, and family mementos. Tour 16 buildings in a 19th century village at The Historic Lyme Village. The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom showcases Rush R. Sloane House, once owned by former mayor of Sandusky and former owner of Cedar Point, which was a safe house for runaway slaves. While still a private residence, plans are underway to turn the home into a B&B. Facer Park was also recently inducted into the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom, and features a life-sized sculpture "Path to Freedom" that is composed of 800 feet of chain, and faces and limbs cast in bronze. Read more about the statue here: http://www.nps.gov/subjects/ugrr/index.htm.
Get more lessons in history when you visit the 3 great local museums! Get a family pass to Maritime Museum, Milan Museum and the Merry-Go-Round Museum for only $45 for the 2015 season at any of the museum locations.
For the great outdoors lovers, be sure to hit up Lake Erie Island State Parks. New improvements are coming to Kelleys Island, North Bass Island South Bass Island and Middle Bass Island in 2015-2016. Ohio is proud to to be one of only 7 states in the nation where admission to state parks is free (www.ohiodnr.gov).
There's plenty for food and drink lovers too! Try Small City Taphouse, where you can order from over 300 beers (45 on tap) and dine on Asian Inspired cuisine. The Orchard Catawba Island is new to the area, and features casual American cuisine and an extensive wine list. Some of my favorite wines come from Firelands Winery. It is located on the southern shore of Lake Erie, where wine has been made on site since 1880. The micro-climate of the island is so unique that the U.S. Government has declared it a specific viticultural area. Pop over to Tre Sorelle Cioccolato and pic up some of the yummiest chocolates around. We were treated to some samples at the Castaway Bay event, and they are divine!
Of course, thrill seekers will love all that Cedar Point has to offer. I am eagerly awaiting the new Rougarou Roller Coaster!
Named after a terrifying warewolf-like creature in French folklore, the former Mantis roller coaster will be completely overhauled to include new floorless trains. Riders will zip though at 60 miles per hour while their feet dangle just inches above the track and murky waters below.
Also new at Cedar Point this year, 2015 will debut the newly-renovated Hotel Breakers!
Located on the mile-long Cedar Point Beach, Hotel Breakers will give visitors a look at the fresh new exterior, classic interior finishes, and newly furnished and remodeled rooms. Check out the fun colors and the headboards in the rooms. Aren't they awesome!?
I only touched on a small number of things that can be found in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region. If you would like to learn about any of the places I featured here, or all of the other fun area attractions, be sure to visit www.SHORESandISLANDS.com. Also, check out this fun promo video featuring up-and-coming Nashville country artist Walker Hayes. Hayes has had 2 hit singles on U.S. Country Top 100 Charts, and has visited the area several times to film pieces for the popular "Lake Erie Love" campaign.
What part of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region do you find most exciting? The museums, family fun activities, historical, amusements parks? Let me know in the comments below!