Top spots for a perfect day on the southern Lake Erie coast!
Last Saturday was perfect on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The weather was warm, the sun was brilliant, and there was just a slight breeze. The best part… we didn’t have any plans! We seized the day with two thoughts in mind: spend time by the lake and be outside. Wow, we had a great time! What follows is our itinerary… this is great for a day, or an add-on to a longer trip to the area.
Go for a walk
We love taking walks and hiking and have found that Huron, OH has some of the best walks close to Lake Erie.
We started with the loop trail around Old Woman Creek National Estuarine Research Reserve. The trail is beautiful, well-marked, and appropriate for many hikers. Old Woman Creek is located on the south side of Cleveland Road W, which is often referred to the lake road.
Sheldon Marsh is very close to Old Woman Creek on the north side of the road. This is one of our favorite walks anywhere! From the parking lot there’s a paved walkway that leads to the beach (about 1 mile). There’s beach access to the east and west. We love to head west toward Cedar Point… the beach goes on for about 1.5 miles!
Last stop in Huron… the pier and lighthouse are located on N. Main St. in the center of town. It’s fun to walk to pier to the lighthouse and look at the freighters docked on the Huron River. It’s also an amazing sunrise location!
Get a snack
Something that kind of irritates us… there are very few places on the Great Lakes to eat on the beach. There are some river restaurants available, but even they are few and far between! We were on a mission to change the game and drove out to Port Clinton to check out Dock’s Beach House.
Wow! What an awesome spot! We sat on the patio right on the beach and enjoyed a snack and drink. Though the atmosphere might change later in the evening, it was very family friendly and fun in the afternoon.
The menu includes burgers, sandwiches, and salads. Daniel loved his burger and chips. The beer and wine list offers some great selections including local and non-local wine.
Dock’s Beach House is the perfect place for a relaxing break by the beach! We will be back!
Where to go next? Sandusky, to explore the lake shore and town… and to end up at our favorite pizza place for dinner (more on that next!). Sandusky is known for Cedar Point, but offers a lot more. There are multiple parks and marinas to stroll through and a great new playground right on the lake.
The town of Sandusky has gone through a fantastic revitalization and has a lot to offer… great restaurants, a swanky new hotel, shops, and the Jet Express to the Lake Erie Islands. We walked around a bit and had fun in Soda Pop's, the local candy, ice cream, and soda shop. Soda Pop's is like the penny candy stores I remember when I was a kid… the candy is more than a penny but is still really inexpensive and plentiful!
Have an awesome dinner
I mentioned visiting our favorite pizza place earlier… Hearth Tavern. Hearth is located on E. Water Street in the same building as Zinc Brasserie (a more upscale dining spot). Hearth’s wood fired pizza is some of the best we’ve ever had! Daniel is still a fan of plain or pepperoni pizza and Hearth does a great job of keeping the kids happy while offering more adventurous options for adults! Todd and I had salads, which were awesome, and the fungi pizza. We were so excited to eat our pizza that we didn’t take any pictures!
Hearth has a very warm, cozy, and relaxed atmosphere and is a great place for people of all ages. Hearth also offers some of the Zinc Brasserie menu items, so there’s lots of variety for non-pizza eaters. Hearth’s beer and wine list is also quite extensive.
Wrapping it up
Whether you’re from the area or are visiting from far away, there is so much to do on the southern Lake Erie shore! We covered just a few places that shape a perfect day, but there are so many others like Marblehead, the Lake Erie Islands, and destinations to the east. Be on the lookout for other perfect day itineraries on Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes!
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