Vacationland, Ohio Lakeshore near Put-in-Bay

Port Clinton, Marblehead & Gateway to Lake Erie Islands

A guide to the Lake Erie Shoreline, with information on sightseeing, activities, restaurants, and lodging. Encompassing the areas of Port Clinton, Marblehead, and Catawba.

A short drive from the major cities of Cleveland, Detroit, and Toledo lie an area of Ohio that is known as Vacationland. Along the southern shore of Lake Erie, the city of Port Clinton, the village of Marblehead, the community of Lakeside, as well as Catawba Island make up an area that is home to summer fun and entertainment.

Things to see near Port Clinton

Port Clinton, the Walleye Capital of the World, is now a vacation destination. Located on Lake Erie, the town still makes its living from the Lake, but now it the place for boating, fishing, and beachgoing. The beach fun is best enjoyed June through August in this northern Ohio climate, but other sports and recreation can be enjoyed year-round. It is easy to find enough to do for a day or weekend visit, and many Midwesterners have vacation homes, condominiums, and mobile homes, mostly for the summer season. Camping is popular, with many campgrounds in the area.

Lake Erie Islands

Port Clinton and Catawba are also the gateway to the Lake Erie Islands. A short half-hour boat ride on either the Jet Express or Miller Boat Line will take you to South Bass Island, home of Put-in-Bay. The ferry ride is an attraction in itself, with tranquil indoor booths or open-air seating to enjoy the Lake breezes. Put-in-Bay is a pleasant place for families during the day but is known for its rowdy evening and weekend fun. This fun can spill into Port Clinton, especially after a late-night return trip. Other islands can be accessed by other ferries, and have more serene charms.

Marblehead is a community with a pleasant downtown shopping area and a famous Lake Erie Lighthouse, which has been preserved and free tours are available. Lakeside is a private, gated community, known as Chautauqua on Lake Erie.

Places to stay in North Central Ohio

The area has plenty of lodging. There are many motels and bed and breakfasts. Private condominiums can be rented, many with beautiful views of Lake Erie. The communities are spread out over a 10-mile area along the Lake, providing great views all along the shore.

Restaurants near Port Clinton

There are a number of restaurants to choose from. The area has steakhouses, but do not expect high prices and stuffy service. The restaurants cater to the local and tourist crowds and offer a laid back atmosphere at reasonable prices. The specialty of the area is local fish from Lake Erie, and few places serve it up better than the Jolly Roger Seafood House. Not much to look at from the outside, the Lake Erie perch here is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. For an even quicker bite, there is fast food, pizza, and ice cream shops throughout the area.

Fishing and Wineries in Vacationland

Fishing is very important here, both in terms of history and tourism. Fishing tours of the Lake are available in season. There is ice fishing in the winter. Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes and is shallower in this area, and usually freezes solid for a few months each year. Nearly each year someone has to be rescued from the ice due to an early thaw. More recently, wineries have started and expanded here, and the local wine is becoming more popular, including the sweet and expensive Icewine.

Nearby is the city of Sandusky, with all the big city amenities of dining, shopping, and lodging. Even closer is Cedar Point Amusement Park, one of the Worlds great amusement Parks, with 17 roller coasters. Other attractions for the family are African Safari Wildlife Park and Prehistoric Forest. There is plenty to do and see in Vacationland, Ohio.

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