Ashtabula for Everyone

This part of Ohio promises a good time for any kind of adventurer, including your four-legged friends. 
There’s something for everyone in Ashtabula County, Ohio, guaranteeing a great time no matter whom you’re with.
There are opportunities for romantic getaways, trips with your four-legged friends or activities with your kids that will leave them sleeping peacefully on the ride home. Keep reading to find the best fit for your next trip.

The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake continues to offer all the comforts necessary for a happy couple, from rooms to lakefront cottages. The lodge also offers an Anniversary Sweetheart package for a getaway for two, which includes a breakfast at Horizons, the fine-dining restaurant in the Inn.
Many couples like to partake in all the amenities the lodge offers, says Daisy Hall, director of sales and marketing. New this year is an expanded poolside area featuring more seating, a fire pit and a game area, including outdoor chess, bocce and shuffleboard. And the Canopy Tours remain a popular excursion.
“A lot of people like the zip line,” she says. “It’s probably the best view you can get of Lake Erie.”
Another option is the Lakehouse Inn, a bed-and-breakfast, spa and winery. It also offers special packages for couples, with options ranging from an expanded dessert menu to couples massages. The restaurant there is the Crosswinds Grille, known for its locally sourced farm-to-table offerings.

Geneva-on-the-Lake is home to the oldest miniature golf course in the United States. Allison’s offers 18 holes amid all the mini-golf hazards. Also in Geneva-on-the-Lake is Pucker Up! Kids (and adults) can make their own cotton candy there.
The Strip in Geneva-on-the-Lake is home to one of America’s last places to play Fascination, a relic of old arcade games. A more modern arcade can be found at Game ON! It’s a video game and pinball arcade on the main drag in Geneva-on-the-Lake. It features a full menu and is owned by the same people as the Old Firehouse Winery, which has a kid-friendly menu as well as a Ferris wheel, formerly from Erieview Park, that offers rides nightly. Plus, as the name indicates, the winery is inside an old fire station, and who didn’t want to be a firefighter at one point?

These days, a lot of people are traveling with their pets. And there are plenty of places you can take your pets in Ashtabula County. You both can get your exercise on the Western Reserve Greenway, a former railroad right-of-way that has been turned into a network of trails throughout Ashtabula and Trumbull counties. Many of the area wineries are pet-friendly. You can sip wine at South River Vineyard or spirits at Red Eagle Distillery with your four-legged friend beside you. Both have the same owner, and both offer expansive outdoor seating to appreciate the scenic vistas.
“The animals are usually well-behaved,” says Frankie Stocker, who works at South River. “It’s pretty chill.”
One of the lesser-known gems along the Lake Erie shore is Walnut Beach Park in Ashtabula. In addition to breathtaking views, it’s got a host of activities and amenities, and leashed dogs are permitted. Also, Willow Lake Campground is pet-friendly, and offers an 80-by-80-foot fenced-in dog park.

The first covered bridge in Ohio was built in 1809, and their number peaked around 2,000. Only 130 remain in the state today, but 19 of can be found in Ashtabula County, due in no small part to the efforts of former Ashtabula County Engineer John Smolen. A new covered bridge, named for him, was built in Ashtabula Township in 2008.
At 638 feet, it’s the longest covered bridge in America, and nearby is the shortest: an 18-foot span built by vocational school students on West Liberty Street. It’s possible to see all 19 in one day (all but two are traversable by road traffic). In keeping with the theme, eat at one of three Covered Bridge Pizza locations; they are casual restaurants built from timbers formerly used for covered bridges.

Area hotels cater to a fun night out with the gang. The Lakehouse Inn offers a “besties” package for a girls’ weekend or bachelorette party, and one of the most popular offerings at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is its wine shuttle. The bus stops at three of the wineries that dot the area, known for its grape growing and wine production.
During the week and on weekends, many of the wineries and the bars along the Strip in Geneva-on-the-Lake offer live music. The most notable of these is the Cove Niteclub, which has been rocking audiences since the 1960s. You could see the next big thing there (Jimi Hendrix, James Brown and Joe Walsh all have played at the Cove). Geneva Township Park also features a regular Thursday night concert series featuring a variety of music genres, including rock, country and tribute bands.