Bingo for Lake Lovers

We’re all big on our Great Lake, but is it time to up your game? Take a look at our bingo board, and see if you can score five squares in a row. If so, you’re a Lake Erie winner. If not, it’s time to get out there and try something new. 

Sipped Pink Catawba Wine
The pinots have their place, but on a hot summer day it’s pink catawba wine that cools you down and perks you up. Sip for yourself at 21 Brix Winery in Portland, New York, or at Heineman Winery on Ohio’s South Bass Island.,

Kayaked or Paddle Boarded in the Lake
There’s nothing quite like making your own way in the water. Located at Breakwater Beach in Ohio’s Geneva State Park, The North Coast Outpost rents both stand-up paddleboards and kayaks.

Walked Ohio’s “Most Beautiful Mile.”
Lakeside Chautauqua in western Ohio is known for its top-notch concerts, shuffleboard courts and array of art classes. But it’s the lakefront path that most delights first-time visitors with its perennial beds and container gardens boasting daffodils, coreopsis, hollyhock, coneflowers, helianthus, anemones, Montauk daisies and specialty perennials. In July, just in time for the Lakeside Plein Air Festival, the flowers are at their peak. “An abundance of day lilies and orange tiger lilies put on a spectacular show for the plein air artists to paint,” says head gardener Loretta Wilken.

Took a Ferry to a Lake Erie Island
From the summer breeze to the buzz in the air, the journey really is half the fun. Both the Jet Express ( and Miller Ferries ( travel to Put-in-Bay, while Miller Ferries also makes trips to Middle Bass Island. Kelleys Island Ferry ( heads to the island after which it’s named after. Ontario’s Pelee island is accessible from both the north and south shores via the Owen Sound Transportation Co. (

Peered From the Top of Perry’s Monument
Perry’'s Victory & International Peace Memorial commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie in which Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry led a fleet to victory in one of the most critical and decisive naval battles to occur in the War of 1812. Located on Ohio’s South Bass Island, the mMemorial rises 352 feet above Lake Erie, offering views for miles.

Hit the Beach at Presque Isle State Park
This 3,200-acre sandy peninsula celebrates 100 years as a state park this May (see page XX). And it looks very much now like it did in 1921 — undeveloped, pristine and beautiful. Miles of unspoiled beaches beckon visitors, as does the bike path, hiking trails and lagoons. While there areAlthough no outside vendors are allowed in the park, you’ll want to stop by Sara’s, located just outside the park, for its famous orange-vanilla twist ice cream cone.

Rode the Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point
This 17-second ride gets you from 0 to 120 mph in just 3.8 seconds. The view at the top is expansive but lasts just a split-second before you hurtle back down in a 270-degree twist.

Caught a Walleye or Perch
It’s more good news for anglers this year. “We had three very large walleye hatches, starting in 2015,” says Travis Hart, the Lake Erie Fisheries program administrator for the Ohio Division of Wildlife. “We’re easily looking at a five-to-10-year period of exceptional fishing.” Hartman expects wWalleye fishing to be good throughout the lake, while pPerch fishing will be better in the western basin this summer. 

Spotted a Warbler
The second and third weeks of May are peak birding season on the southern shores of Lake Erie, where birds stop to refuel before making the trip north. At Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Oak Harbor, Ohio, you’ll find over 30 species of warblers, the tiny and often colorful songbirds that turn up their beaks at backyard birdfeeders in the spring. Usually held at Magee Marsh, the Biggest Week in American Birding (May 6-10) will be virtual this year but still offers an impressive line-up of keynote speakers and workshops.

Cruised the Strip in Geneva-on-the-Lake
Whether you’re looking for a chef-prepared meal with a view (The Lakehouse Inn) or something fast and delicious (Eddie’s Grill), this kitschy stretch in eastern Ohio will leave you satisfied. But it’s more than the food; there’s an excitement in the air here that makes a hot July night on the lake even more thrilling — and perfect for people-watching.

Witnessed the Mighty Niagara Falls
Restaurants and bars have been slow to reopen in Canada, but you can’t turn off the Falls off — and one of the most exciting ways to experience them reopened this spring. WildPlay Niagara Falls offers a 2,200-foot zipline along the Niagara River gorge. Even better, zip at night when the Falls are illuminated.

Found a Piece of Beach Glass
If you’re new to the world of beach glass, heed this advice from Jennifer Reed, the co-owner of Relish Studio & Gallery in Erie, Pennsylvania: “Pick a beach that you wouldn’t necessarily sunbathe on and look for rocks that are the size of the beach glass you want to find. If it’s really fine detritus, you’re not going to find beach glass there.” And if you still can’t find any, you can always pick up a piece of beach glass-turned- handcrafted- jewelry at Reed’s shop.

Took a Photo of the Sunset
It’s hard to get a bad picture of the sunset, but if you want a specular shot follow these tips by Lake Erie Living contributing photographer Matthew Greene:
• Find out when the sun will set and get there at least a half- hour beforehand. The lead up to and the time after the sun disappears is when the magic happens.
• Keep an eye on the weather. Clouds and incoming bad weather can make for an amazing photo. 
• As the sun sets and the colors get richer, you will need longer exposures. Steady your camera by placing it on a tripod, fence or table.
• Objects between you and the sun will be silhouetted, which can be very interesting and beautiful. But if you want to see people’'s faces when pointing your camera towards the sunset, you will need to use your camera’'s flash to light illuminate them.
• Remember the rule of thirds when composing your photograph. It is often most visually pleasing to place key visual elements, like the sun itself, off center.

Ate a Locally Grown Peach 
A fresh homegrown peach needn’t be put into pie or cobbler to be delicious. It is perfect right off the tree. Pick your own at Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights, Ohio. When you’re done, drop by the tasting room at the Quarry Hill Winery where, even though you’re miles away, you can still see a bit of Lake Erie, thanks to the winery’s elevated perch.,

Visited the National Museum of the Great Lakes
Some 500 photos, 250 artifacts, 45 interactive exhibits and the 617-foot Col. James M. Schoonmaker museum ship come together to tell the story of the Great Lakes at this Toledo, Ohio, museum.

Watched Fireworks oOver the Lake
July Fourth is always Lake Erie at its best. While there’s still an element of uncertainty this summer, we know Cedar Point is going to go all out to celebrate its 150-year anniversary. Light Up the Point will feature a slew of fun events — including a pie-eating contest — and a fireworks display that’s promised to be bigger than ever before.

Advocated for Lake Erie
Concerned about Asian carp or algae blooms? How about microplastics or wind turbines? Check out the Lake Erie Foundation to learn what’s at stake — and how you can help. “Whether it’s for drinking water, fishing, swimming, boating or other uses, Lake Erie is a critical natural resource that in some way serves us all,” says Lake Erie Foundation board president Jim Stouffer. “The more of us who care about the lake, the better the chance that it will be protected.”

Have Been a Boater
If you’re looking to get on the water, you better move fast. “Pretty much all the dealers sold through all their inventory last year because it was one of the few things families could do together,” says Shawn Conschafter, the sales manager at Anchor Marine in Grand Island, New York, and the president of the Marine Trades Association of Western New York. “Talk to your local dealer and get your name on the list as soon as possible. Manufacturers simply cannot keep up with demand.”

Built a Sandcastle on the Beach
You know how to do it. But in case you need inspiration, check out Sand Fest, an August festival (date to be determined) put on by the Cleveland American Institute of Architects at Edgewater Beach in Cleveland.

Made a Concord Grape Pie
You can’t fake this pie with regular store-bought grapes. You need the real thing, fresh from the fields or the farmers market in late summer. But if you go through to the trouble, you’ll be rewarded with an explosion of flavor that’s worth the work (did we mention these grapes have seeds?). Here’s a favorite recipe of ours from a reader near the lake in Ohio.

Linda Chudowsky’s Concord Grape Pie
1 ½ pounds (four 4 cups) Concord grapes
1 cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoon butter, melted
1 9-inch unbaked pastry shell

For crumb topping: Sift ½ cup flour with ½ cup sugar. Cut in 1/3 cup butter till crumbly.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slip skins from grapes and set skins aside. Put grape pulp in a saucepan and bring to boiling point; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Press through sieve to remove seeds. Add skins. Combine sugar, flour and salt. Add lemon juice, butter and grape pulp. Pour into pastry-lined pie plate and sprinkle topping over pie. Bake about 40 minutes.

Listened to Live Music Near the Water
Anyone who knows Vermilion, Ohio, will rejoice to learn of the return of the 3rd Thursday Music, Flowers & A Sunset concert series. Dates include May 20, June 17, July 15, Aug. 19 and Sept. 16th, with the festivities starting at 6:30 p.m. and continuing till sunset. At each event, you’ll find at least 12 different musical groups performing on the flower-filled streets of downtown Vermilion.

Slept on the Beach
We’re not talking about that time you missed the last ferry home from Put-in-Bay, Ohio, when you were 22 and had to find a place to crash. Rather, we’re talking about camping. At Kelleys Island State Park in Ohio you can rent a yurt, hook up your RV or pitch your tent — and about a dozen sites are right by the water.

Supported a Lake-Loving Artist
There are so many Lake Erie artists to discover out, including Cary Ferguson and his playful take on life in Marblehead, Ohio (; Irene Mackenzie’s watercolors of both wildflowers and Niagara Falls (; and Eddie Mitchell’s exuberant and joyful paintings of flowers, the water and the sky ( But artist Vera Graham of Leamington, Ontario, ( recently caught our eye with her style, which she describes as “naïve expressionism.” Pictured here is “High Water,” one of her favorite works which tells the story of mother and child lamenting the loss of a long-standing Pelee Island beach. “Many times, I start with a realistic image,” Graham says, “and then I will work and rework the piece until I am satisfied with the feeling that is finally created.”

Climbed to the Top of a Lighthouse
Lake Erie boasts more than 50 lighthouses on its 871 miles of shore, including the Marblehead Lighthouse, which is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the Great Lakes. A few more worth checking out: Dunkirk Lighthouse in New York, the Lorain Lighthouse in Ohio, the North Channel Lighthouse in Michigan and the Port Burwell Lighthouse in Ontario.

Bingo Prize!
Post a photo of yourself (or a friend or family member) doing one of our Bingo square activities on Instagram with the hashtag #LakeErieLivingBingo and become eligible to win a four-pack of tickets to Cedar Point. Winners will be chosen at random.