Day 5

This Lake Erie gem is known for its quaint downtown full of shops and restaurants, including Erie and Anchor, SOS Wines, Main Street Threads Boutique, Harbourtown Trading Co., the Wine Vault and Hometown Bakery. Meanwhile, Chez Francois — one of Lake Erie’s premier restaurants — expanded its offerings with the 555 Lounge, which includes a raw bar and craft cocktails. 

“With so much great energy and opportunity, there are a lot of reasons to want to enjoy time in Sandusky’s downtown,” says Jill Bauer, of Shores & Islands Ohio, highlighting the Merry-Go-Round Museum as one of her favorites. “My family loves to visit the museum and take a spin on the carousel,” she says. “My kids love watching the carvers and doing crayon rubbings.”

Dive farther into the city’s roots at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky, which teaches visitors about ice harvesting, shipwrecks, boat building and Sandusky’s Underground Railroad history.

You can’t visit Sandusky without spending at least a few hours at America’s Roller Coast. This year, Cedar Point will unveil the Boardwalk, a retro-themed midway showcasing new rides that nod to the past, and a Grand Pavilion with a restaurant and lakeview bar. 

Before calling it a night at Hotel Kilbourne, a boutique hotel overlooking Sandusky Bay, head up the elevator to Moseley’s Rooftop Bar for drinks and a spectacular view of Jackson Street Pier and Lake Erie.