Sandusky OH -- 55 miles from Cleveland -- may not be as famous a town for family getaways as, say, Orlando, but with some 9M visitors a year, it rates a place in the Family Vacation pantheon.
Cedar Point is the big draw, in Sandusky: an amusement park known above all for thrill roller coasters; if you're after height, steep, vertical loops, and other thrills, this is your spot.
But there's more than scream rides: Cedar Point amusement park is also a place with plenty for little kids, including PEANUTS (legendary comic strip characters) theming in areas such as PEANUTS Playground and Camp Snoopy. Cedar Park is open May to October; HalloWeekends in October include parade, Fright Zone, haunted houses for little kids, Halloween shows, pumpkin carving, costume contests. (Read more about Cedar Point.)
Lake Erie: Beach and Islands
Even before the first coaster was built back in 1892, Cedar Point was a popular spot for outings, due to its location on a long sandy beach on Lake Erie. The beach remains today: guests at Cedar Point amusement park can enjoy lake views and also stay at one of several waterfront resorts, such as the Hotel Breakers, a national historic landmark that opened in 1905. Castaway Bay (with indoor waterpark) and Sandcastle Suites are other waterfront options. (Sandusky has many other lodgings choices; the area is generally affordable.)
Nature-loving visitors can also take outings on Lake Erie. Laid-back Kelleys Island, for example, can be reached by ferry, and has forests, state park, beach, vineyards, historical homes, Native American pictographs; explore by hiking, biking, or golf cart. (Read about this and other islands you can visit in the Sandusky area).
Indoor Waterpark Resorts
A more recent type of man-made attraction in Sandusky OH is the indoor waterpark resort: an idea that started out in Wisconsin Dells as a smart way to attract tourists during winter months. Two of Wisconsin Dell's top resorts have locations in Sandusky:
- Great Wolf Lodge Sandusky, with signature GWL features such as Grand Lobby with clock tower; nightly story-telling; Northern Lights arcade; Snowland in December and Howl-O-Ween in October, summertime Racoon Lagoon outdoor pool.
- The Kalahari Sandusky- giant indoor waterpark; outdoor waterpark in summer, too; African theming; indoor mini-golf and "Dry Play" zone, family activities.
- Castaway Bay - waterfront hotel, owned by the Cedar Point amusement park; Caribbean-themed; three-foot wave pool, toddlers play area, Camp Castaway daily activities.
More in Sandusky:
Sandusky has other family attractions: local history museum, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, Goofy Golf...read more about Sandusky attractions. See Sandusky's Historic Main Street, too.