Enjoy the ambiance of this Ohio beach town that features a carnival-like atmosphere.


The cottage community of Geneva-on-the-Lake (GOTL) (visitgenevaonthelake.com) retains its old-timey feel, even as it changes with the times. The retro vibe of Ohio’s oldest summer resort oozes on the Strip, which has a carnival-like atmosphere. Natural thrills can be found at Breakwater Beach within the adjacent Geneva State Park. Building sandcastles, splashing in the water and hunting for beach glass are favorite pastimes at the water’s edge, proving that fun in the sun never goes out of style.

Dining Destinations:
You can easily eat doughnuts, ice cream, pizza by the slice and other carnival-type snacks as you wander around GOTL. Don’t miss Eddie’s Grill (eddiesgrill.com), which has churned out burgers, hot dogs and homemade root beer since 1950. Old Firehouse Winery (oldfirehousewinery.com) entices a crowd to its huge lakefront patio for American classics and wine pairings. While there, take a turn on the historic Erieview Park Ferris Wheel for an exceptional aerial view. For fine dining, you’ll find chef-driven menus and farm-to-table ingredients at Crosswinds Grille at the Lakehouse Inn Winery (thelakehouseinn.com/crosswinds-grille) and Horizons Restaurant (thelodgeatgeneva.com/dine/horizons-restaurant), located inside the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake.

Explore the Shore:
Buy sweets at Pucker Up Candy Shoppe or load up on doggie treats at Ruff Life on the Lake (rufflifeonthelake.com). Play retro arcade games or take a swing at Allison’s Mini Golf (allisonsminigolf.com), reputed to be the oldest continually operating miniature golf course in the country. At the state park, go for a bike ride on the waterfront trail, where you might spot people ziplining through the trees. In addition to a zipline course, Lake Erie Canopy Tours (lakeeriecanopytours.com) has two aerial ropes courses, including a pint-size version for little ones. Or, explore the region on your own to see Ashtabula County’s famed covered bridges or by signing up for a wine tour in the surrounding countryside.

Serene Settings:
The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake (thelodgeatgeneva.com) is a full-service resort at the edge of Geneva State Park with 109 rooms and suites. However, if you want to rent one of its coveted 25 waterfront cottages in peak season, you’ll need to plan way ahead. You may have better luck booking one of the 12 rustic cedar cabins at Geneva State Park Campground (ohiodnr.gov), featuring a serene setting, cool breezes and a rocky beach just steps away. For a more boutique experience, the Lakehouse Inn (thelakehouseinn.com) has B&B-style guest rooms and cottages, plus an on-site spa, winery and restaurant.

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