estled into Sandusky Bay, on Lake Erie’s southern coast, lies the gem of the Great Lakes: Sandusky, Ohio. The city and its host county, Erie, home to 77,000, have long been destinations for tourists and thrill-seekers of every sort, in every season. With a whole host of entertainment and recreational offerings — the world’s best amusement park, a plethora of indoor water parks, tourist islands, and an abundance of wineries — the Sandusky region is a lure not just for Buckeye State natives, but tourists from surrounding states and beyond. It’s become an international tourist destination. The city itself is home to Cedar Fair and its flagship park, Cedar Point, continuously rated the best amusement park in the world. The company’s CEO has been known to help riders board Cedar Point roller coasters on occasion, an act illustrative of the genuine charm and good nature of this city’s residents and leaders. And while this is best known as the “Thrill Coast,” the area holds so much more, surprises that delight visitors of all ages and walks of life. On summer nights, the lake’s cool breeze carries inland
too, with museums and sights commemorating ties to the Underground Railroad, Civil War, War of 1812 and other pivotal events in American history. Sheltered coves and hidden beaches along island and coastal shores prove ideal for anchoring in calm waters, if only to enjoy afternoons of sunbathing and perch fishing, or unfettered explorations into ecosystems teeming with water fowl and wildlife. For restless visitors looking to test their mettle, the glass-like waters of Sandusky Bay make for the perfect opportunity to enjoy personal watercraft at thrill-seeking speed. Long-term vacationers and adrenaline junkies alike can find ample opportunities to satiate their palates in this region, which each year is visited by seven million people.
the shouts and laughter from a peppering of nearby islands, where boaters and families revel in dining and delights. The islands and coastal cities are steeped in history,
challenge to develop the waterfront. He envisioned the creation of a getaway where folks from Midwest cities like Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburgh could escape the oppressive rush of daily living, restoring themselves with the fresh air and fresh waters of Sandusky Bay. The area’s first public beach began with a bathhouse, a beer garden and a dance floor. If the people of generations past were to visit today, they’d certainly recognize the beach, preserved in all its grandeur. The area has exploded with growth over the years, however, with upscale lakefront residences on the Chaussee and ample housing and rentals throughout. To this day, boaters from Chicago, Wisconsin and Michigan can follow in the wake of the ferries from 100 years ago, gliding right up to Cedar Point’s beach at Castaway Bay Marina or Cedar Point Marina, one of the largest on the Great Lakes. And, of course, all routes lead to the motherlode: Cedar Point. “Tell me another port of call with as much to do right off the dock,” says Bryan Edwards, Cedar Point’s spokesperson. “Within 20 yards, you are in one of the biggest parks.” There are about 900 slips at Cedar Point’s marinas, with 130 available for overnight rental. History-minded visitors can venture onto the same mile-long stretch of beach where, 100 years ago, legendary football figure Knute Rockne perfected the forward pass. Rockne was a lifeguard at the beach in 1913. This summer, guests drawn inside Cedar Point’s gates will first be greeted by the newest ride: The record-breaking winged coaster, GateKeeper. GateKeeper is designed to suspend riders in such a way that they can’t see the track in front of or beneath them, creating a sensation of flight. The $30 million coaster will break five world records, including fastest non-launched wing roller coaster, longest drop and most inversions.
Top-rated amusement Like all good things, Cedar Point started with a beach. There’s truly something special in Cedar Point, where memories are just waiting to be made. To this day it’s a perfect destination for anyone, especially boaters whose first views of the park from the water are stunning. In 1870, Louis Zistel took up a Sandusky newspaper’s
photos courtesy of lake erie shores & islands
The Voice of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior