Vacation Options in Northeast Ohio :  Islands, Beaches & Metroparks

There are so many wonderful vacation options in Northeast Ohio so we’ve created multiple posts.  If you missed post one, just click “Find Northeast Ohio Vacation Options.

Enjoy part two, Vacation Options in Northeast Ohio :  Islands, Beaches and Metroparks.

Islands

It is possible to have an “Island” experience in Northeast Ohio.  Lake Erie is home to many islands, but there are three islands that tourists in Northeast Ohio like to visit—Put-in-Bay, Kelley’s Island and Middle Bass Island.

All islands are accessible by Ferry.  Put-in-Bay is on South Bass Island.  If you visit on a Monday or Tuesday, you can take a tour of the lighthouse.  You can also golf or participate in various water sports, hiking or golf.  There are also multiple places to eat or see live music.

Kelley’s Island is the largest island and boasts 600 acres of State park land.   Hiking, fishing, swimming and kayaking are popular activities on Kelley’s Island.

Middle Bass Island also has a state park and has activities to enjoy such as miniature golf, primitive camping and biking.  Middle Bass Island also has a wildlife refuge.  It is possible to rent a place to stay overnight on the island.

Beaches

There are numerous beaches in Northeast Ohio on the coast of Lake Erie.  Most of the beaches are maintained by the Metroparks system.  Three of the popular beaches are Huntington Beach, Edgewater Beach and Mentor Headlands.   There are lifeguards on duty during the Summer from 11 am to 7 pm.   There are umbrellas on the beach that are first come first serve, picnic pavilions, restrooms and an ice cream stand.  The beach is accessible by stairs, although there is a handicap beach access parking area and beach wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

beach image

Edgewater beach has just recently been taken over by the Metroparks system.  It also has picnic pavilions, an ice cream stand, on-duty lifeguards, a playground for kids and numerous water activities.  There is also live music on Thursdays during the Summer.  On Thursday nights during the Summer from 5:30 – 8:30, enjoy live music, local food trucks, volleyball and other activities.  Edgewater also has beach wheelchairs available.

Headlands Beach State Park in Mentor has one mile of sandy beach.  It’s the longest beach in Ohio.  It is more like an ocean beach than any of the other Lake Erie beaches.   It has a natural sandy beach and dunes that have plants that are usually only common on the Atlantic coast.  This beach also has picnic areas and a short walking trail.

Metroparks

There are several Metropark systems in Northeast Ohio, including the Cleveland Metroparks, Lake Metroparks, Summit Metroparks and Lorraine County Metroparks.  The focus of this article is the Cleveland Metroparks system.  The Cleveland Metroparks system has 24 reservations and partner locations.

There are eight Nature Centers if you have children that like to learn about nature and animals.  There is also the Lake Erie Science and Nature Center that is not part of the Metroparks, although it is right near the Huntington Reservation.  It has several animals on display including snakes, spiders, fish, a tidal pool, turkeys, rabbits, owls, foxes, and deer, among other animals.  It also has a planetarium for a small extra fee.

Other things to do in the metroparks include miles and miles of hiking trails, bike trails, including two off-road mountain bike trails,  and horse trails.  There are several spots to go swimming, including Hinckley Lake, Wallace Lake and the beaches already mentioned.  There is also canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding.  If you are feeling adventurous, there is also a brand new tree-top adventure course in the Mill Stream Run Reservation.  Like golf?  There are eight golf courses in the Metroparks!

One of the newer walk and bike trails in the metroparks, the Lake to Lake trail, features a boardwalk that goes over marshland.

bridge rfrom

It has 2.4 miles of trails that links Lake Isaac to Lake Abram.

The Northeast Ohio area has so many places to enjoy in the Summer-time,  you would never be without something to do!