Raise a glass, see the signts, challenge a friend to a round of indoor golf or reel in the catch of the day and so much more from Toledo to Conneaut.
Beneath the Surface
Learn the awe-inspiring secrets of the deep at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo, filled with more than 300 artifacts and 40 hands-on interactive exhibits. They include the 111-year-old freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker, which has been restored to the days when it was known as the “Queen of the Lakes.” nmgl.org
Raise a glass to one of the original craft brews and ciders for which Toledo’s Maumee Bay Brew Pub (mbaybrew.com) is known. Start with a pint of Throwin’ Scones Brown Ale, brewed with scones made by neighboring Maddie & Bella Coffee Roasters (maddieandbella.com), or opt for a pitcher of semi-sweet, refreshing MacQueen’s Cider featuring fruit by the Ohio orchard for which it’s named.
Bird’s Eye View
Forty-foot-high bluffs with 9,000 feet of shoreline provide the backdrop for magnificent views of the water along Lake Erie Bluffs in Perry. Visitors of all skill levels can enjoy low-impact hiking and fishing in the park. Get a bird’s-eye view of the coast atop the 50-foot observation tower by taking the winding staircase to a deck that offers 360-degree views. lakemetroparks.com
See the Sights
Cruise our Great Lake in style on the Nautica Queen (nauticaqueen.com) and enjoy a sightseeing adventure filled with spectacular views of bridges, Lake Erie coastline and the Cleveland skyline. Each lunchtime, sunset and Sunday outing includes a full buffet and tunes spun by the DJ aboard. While downtown, be sure to visit Great Lakes Science Center (greatscience.com), which makes the subject fun with a variety of out-of-the-ordinary NASA exhibits, including the Apollo command module which traveled 26.5 million miles in space; and depictions of how life is lived on the International Space Station. The center’s six-story high Cleveland Clinic DOME movie theater features surround sound and laser illuminated projection that takes audiences on stunning around-the-world educational adventures. Next door, the heart of rock ’n’ roll beats loudly in the shrine that tells the story of the music and its stars. Artifacts, interactive exhibits and music at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (rockhall.com) capture the magic of the soundtrack of our lives.
New Scenes at Cedar Point
As we bid a bittersweet goodbye to the antique cars that cruised their way along a tracked roadway in Frontier Town, we anxiously await the unveiling of plans for what is to come in that space. What do we know now? A restaurant geared toward enhancing the park’s variety of culinary offerings is in the works. What else is new for 2022? Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark & Resort (castawaybay.com) and Sawmill Creek Resort (sawmillcreekresort.com) are receiving major makeovers, from the front desks to the guest rooms, hallways and outdoor spaces — all with the goal of enhancing visitors’ experiences at America’s Roller Coast. Looking to plan your stay? Here’s a few dates to keep in mind:
• Opening Day: May 7
• Frontier Festival: May 26-June 19
• CoasterMania!: June 3
• Light Up the Point: July 4
• Cedar Point Nights: July 29-Aug. 21
For more than a century, nature lovers have been drawn to North Chagrin Reservation in Mayfield Village, Willoughby Hills and Gates Mills for the outdoor recreation it offers, the naturalist-led programs it hosts and the wildlife sanctuaries it harbors. The center’s Sanctuary Marsh wetland is filled with native plants that attract waterfowl, songbirds and shorebirds; it blooms with wildflowers in spring and summer. Sunset Pond is home to Canada geese, wood ducks, mallards and rare black ducks. Be sure to visit the North Chagrin Nature Center, featuring live animal exhibits, a children’s play area and wildlife viewing areas. Paved trails surrounding the center provide easy access to all visitors and feature a 300-foot boardwalk surrounded by picture-perfect views of Lake Erie. Pack a picnic and eat lunch beside Squire’s Castle, a historic gatehouse modeled after German and English baronial castles of the 1890s. clevelandmetroparks.com
Taste of Tuscany
Savor a taste of Tuscany in Northeast Ohio. Buccia Winery in Conneaut is renowned for producing estate-grown cool-climate, handcrafted, artisanal wines, including the exclusive Rogers 15-variety Agawam. Set amid picturesque vineyards, Buccia also hosts wine tastings and live music. Make it a getaway by booking a room in one of the winery’s cozy B&B guest suites, featuring private four-person Jacuzzi hot tubs and patios with vineyard views. Breakfast and wine flights are included with each stay. bucciavineyards.com
Take Me to the Theater
Experience the magic of live performances in the Rabbit Run Theater premier barn, located in the heart of the Grand River Valley Wine District in Madison. Each summer, guests are invited to bring a picnic supper and dine on the spacious grounds before seeing the best of Broadway inside. This season’s playbill features The Belle of Amherst: The Story of Emily Dickinson, (May 27–June 11), Titanic: The Musical (June 24–July 9), Disney’s Newsies: The Musical (July 22–Aug. 6) and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Aug. 12–27). rabbitrun.org
Take 5: Catawba Island Vibes
1. Hopped in the Region
A 60-acre farm complete with hundreds of fruit trees, rolling hills and natural caves sets the backdrop for a beautiful day spent enjoying a local pint at Twin Oast Brewing (twinoast.com), where the beers mix traditional German offerings with a modern American sentiment. This is the spot to find a sip that’s truly unique, such as an apricot blonde ale or cherry vanilla IPA. For a laid back, industrial nautical atmosphere, enjoy a comedy night or live music at Catawba Island Brewing Co. (catawbaislandbrewing.com) which offers a variety of beer brewed on-site, as well as hard ciders, mead, wine, bourbon and scotch.
2. World-Class Indoor Golf
Choose from more than 200 of the world’s best golf courses without leaving Catawba Island. At Coastal Swing Golf Bar, it’s possible with state-of-the-art technology, including high-speed cameras and golf simulators. This indoor experience allows you to play a round of golf regardless of the weather while you grab a drink from the bar and catch the latest sporting events. coastalswing.com
3. Farm-to-Table Fare
Discover the divine taste of European-inspired new American cuisine at Orchard Bar + Table, which offers thoughtfully curated seasonal dinner menus and Sunday brunch inspired by flavors from the restaurant’s farm. Pair a dish with a handcrafted cocktail, one of four types of Orchard wine or a selection from the extensive wine and craft beer lists. Looking for something a little more low-key? Visit Orchard Farm Stand, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, or stop by the retail shop and farm market to grab an assortment of Orchard items to take home. orchardoncatawba.com
4. Connecting the Past to the Present
Take a dive into the area’s rich history at Catawba Island Historical Society Museum, established in 2018 in the Union Chapel, a local staple built in 1888. Here, discover artifacts, documents and other information that has contributed to Catawba Island’s development, as well as answers to commonly asked questions, including: “Why is the peninsula called an island?” and “What is the origin of the Catawba name?” catawbaislandhistoricalsociety.com
5. Find the Best Fishing
Meet Charles Crum, a full-time U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain dedicated to providing anglers with the best opportunities for fishing on Lake Erie. His business, Char-Tom Lake Erie Sportfishing Charter, operates four fishing charters — one each for walleye, yellow perch, smallmouth bass or steelhead fishing. Remember to bring your camera, nonslip shoes (no black-soled or open-toed shoes) and most importantly, an Ohio fishing license. Char-Tom Charters also offers scuba diving trips mid-June through August. chartomcharters.com
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