Most tourists visit Sandusky, Ohio for the adrenaline-spiking experience of Cedar Point Amusement Park, but the vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene is worth extending the stay. Located in Erie Country, the downtown waterfront provides an array of water activities and coastal trails. Visitors can also book a cruise or a ferry to neighboring islands. The lakefront town has a unique state theatre and historical museum, as well as several waterparks to keep the whole family busy and entertained at this popular vacation destination.
Situated in the north of Ohio, Sandusky takes a strategic location on Lake Erie, 60 miles to the West of Cleveland. In the 18th century, it was occupied by British and French forces, and also served as the terminus of the Underground Railroad, an escape route for slaves. The Sandusky Bay's proximity to different islands helped establish a lake trade and fishing markets, enriching the economy of the town.
Attractions in Sandusky
Sandusky by Boat
Sandusky is the ultimate destination in the state of Ohio for a holiday on the lakefront. With islands such as the Kelleys Island and Bass Islands a couple of miles away from the coast, tourists can hop on an airboat for a thrilling highspeed ride across the Cedar Point or relax on a sunset boat cruise on Lake Erie. In the summer, there are plenty of festivities on the neighboring islands such as the “Christmas in July” and “Island Fest” that attracts residents and visitors annually, as well as a barge party where boats from Cleveland and Toledo park up at the Sandusky Bay.
Inaugurated in 1928, the Sandusky State Theatre is a must-see historic landmark, offering a variety of artistic and educational programs alongside its comedy, live entertainment, musical and theatrical performances. The second stop for visitors has to be the Merry-Go-Round Museum, containing a collection of rare carrousel figures, Dentzel carving shop tools and artifacts from carnivals and amusement parks. In the Bay area, the Maritime Museum of Sandusky encompasses a wide selection of displayed boats, models and nautical tools, great for those seeking to discover the history of boat-making, ice harvesting and commercial fishing on Lake Erie.
The Cedar Point Amusement Park
Home to 17 exceptional rollercoasters and 70 different rides, the park is the second largest in the US, catering to families, couples and friend groups looking for a fun time. In the summer, the Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, a few steps away from the main park, brings together water slides, pools and a multitude of activities. Visitors can even plan to stay the night at one of many accommodation options in the area, whether it is at the Cedar Point’s Express Hotel on the Cedar Point Beach, at a lakefront cottage rental or RV site at the Lighthouse Point.
Food and Nightlife
The town of Sandusky has an impressive range of restaurants and bars, celebrating different cuisines and locally-produced beers and liquors. Chet & Matt’s Pizza is not only one of the most visited pizza places of the area but it also invites pizza-lovers to take part of the King Kong Challenge for two, to indulge in a 29-inch party pizza for a chance to win cash prizes. For a cold beer, visitors can stop at the Thirsty Pony and stay for a bowling match at their in-house lane, or visit the Firelands Winery for midwestern wine tasting. Couples may want to try a tiki bar on the lakefront such as Paddle Bar or coffee on the water at Dockside Café.
Sandusky is a town that has it all, from amusement parks, to boating, artistic and gastronomic experiences that can entertain the whole family. While it attracts thousands of tourists every year for its infamous park, the fun does not stop at the gates of Cedar Point.