Laura Watilo Blake

We all know about — and love — Lake Erie icons like Cedar Point, Niagara Falls and Put-in-Bay, but our shore also is lined with lesser-known treasures just waiting for you to explore.


Uncover the secrets of Monroe and get the scoop on ways to make the most out of a trip to Rochester.

This iconic autumn flavor is everywhere. Here's where to find it with a Lake Erie twist.


Found objects turn an Ohio summer home into a work of art.

The charming village of Ellicottville is most well-known as the home of the Holiday Valley ski resort. But there’s much to do for the whole family in the area during the less-crowded “green season” too.

Ohio resident Amy Weirick spent a lifetime saving up for a cottage on Canada’s Pelee Island. Just when her wish came true, the global pandemic closed the doors on American homeowners. Now, she is picking up the pieces of her broken dreams and making up for two years of lost time.

A Buffalo couple trades a house in the suburbs for year-round cottage living on Lake Erie.
Need new ground to explore? Grab your bike and head to Detroit's secret island.
Imagine escaping to the fruit-filled fields of the Niagara Escarpment, spending the afternoon playing mini golf overlooking the water in Lakeside, Ohio, or canoeing at Point Pelee National Park along Canada’s North Shore. There’s a fresh perch sandwich waiting for you in Port Clinton, Ohio, and a bar chair by the sand calling your name in Port Stanley, Ontario. The Lake Erie region just keeps getting better and better. So explore and enjoy. 
Relax with lake breezes and a cocktail or strike a yoga pose as the mighty Niagara Falls rushes before you. Enjoy dinner in an old grain silo in Buffalo or world-class cheesecake on the streets of Detroit. Zipline in Geneva-on-the-Lake or stop by a speakeasy in Erie. Whatever your idea of a good time, you’ll find it around Lake Erie.
The tide is turning for downtown Sandusky, which continues to ride a wave of revitalization in its bicentennial year. Head out and discover the new (and, dare we say, hip) restaurants, shops, cultural attractions and recreational activities.

What’s your thing? The thrill of walking on a high wire through treetops or the pleasure of sipping a Chardonnay on a patio overlooking the vineyards? Are you in the mood to explore a pirate ship or discover an outdoor sculpture garden? Should your weekend plans include a covered bridge tour or a ride on a classic wooden boat? Happily, Lake Erie’s shores have something for everyone. So, grab the family or a friend and set out to find your own fun.

A walking tour of downtown reveals 28 architectural treasures, stunning Lake Erie views and a glimpse into the Queen City’s golden past.
The Stork Club may be history, but the love affair with the iconic beachside attraction in Ontario endures.
Things are perking up in the port
Come along for the ride as Lake Erie Living spends a weekend tracking down some of the region’s best gastro-trucks.
It’s that time. Fall color is coming to a branch near you. Don’t miss a moment of the show with our leaf-peeper’s guide to autumn adventure in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsyvania, New York & Ontario.
Marblehead, Ohio

The Marblehead Peninsula in Ohio offers the very best of Lake Erie, including wine, s'mores and fun for everyone.


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

Great Finds at Lake Erie Shops

Imagine owning your own lush green island, lounging on its sandy shores and hiding away from the day-to-day madness of the mainland? For Jim Neumann, that dream became a reality when he bought Lake Erie’s Turtle Island. As it turns out, island ownership can be sublime — and sometimes not.

Sheila Consaul always wanted an interesting vacation home on the water. So when she found a lighthouse up for auction in Mentor, Ohio, she knew she wanted it. What she didn’t know was how challenging it would be to buy it, renovate it and make it livable.

Four years after purchasing the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse in Mentor, Ohio, owner Sheila Consaul considers it livable —although it would be nice to have running water, electricity, trash pick-up and, perhaps, pizza delivery. 

What happens when a die-hard tent camper hits the road in a rented recreational vehicle? We sent writer/photographer Laura Watilo Blake to find out, along with two tweens for a little added drama. 

The Detroit River's forgotten island is finally open to the public for exploring.
The ferries are running, beaches are open and there’s a full line-up of festivals and fun just waiting for you to join in. Here are 25 of the lake’s best events, plus a look at what’s new and other top ways to spend a summer day.
Our writer finds that parasailing is far more peaceful than she ever imagined.

As lighthouses are auctioned off by the U.S. government, private citizens and nonprofit organizations are finding out just what it takes to restore these shining reminders of the Great Lakes’ maritime history. Daryl Jamieson shares his hopes for this iconic Michigan beacon.

A record-level walleye population in Lake Erie is luring seasoned anglers and a new generation of fishing enthusiasts. Don’t know how to get started? Charter boats offer the fun of fishing without the fuss.

Head north to sample a few new brews, including one made from farm-foraged ingredients. 
In the face of devastating loss, Leisa Oakes Davis had two choices: She could give up or she could get to work, using art to bring healing to herself and a happy, hippy vibe to Kelleys Island. 
Three people on a paddle board in Lake Erie at sunset

Nothing can stop nature’s nightly show. Here are 10 of our favorite ways to enjoy the splendor from the shores, from drinks in Kelleys Island to yoga in Vermilion. 

Your little ones will love everything about Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky, Ohio. Here's how to make the most of your trip.
Ron Pavlovich has no interest in ordinary tapers, pillars or votives. As one of only seven master chandlers in the world, he waxes poetic by creating the most extraordinary candles that chemistry will allow from the workshop of his Lake Erie home.
It’s the Lake Erie island that is off limits to everyone except members. So when Laura Watilo Blake got her chance to visit the private retreat, she grabbed her camera and set out to discover what makes it so special.
It takes work to find a rental that offers everything you want.
So we did lots of it for you.
Read on for advice on finding a lake home you’ll love.
Tasty one-pot recipes that celebrate the flavors of Autumn — straight from the chef of Chez François in Vermilion, Ohio  

When life gets complicated, the Sawyer family keeps it simple at home by sticking to the basics.

This is the time of year to leave work at five, let the dust bunnies multiply and chase fun. For some, that means thrills like trying a new ropes course, striking a warrior pose on a paddleboard or taking part in a zombie mud run. For others, it’s chilling to Tchaikovsky with a glass of wine, going on a firefly walk or spending an afternoon picking peaches. Whatever your definition of a good time may be, now is the time to have it. Here are 35 trips, outings and events to take you from now until …  well, there’s no reason to even think about that yet.

A father and son tear down their family’s four-generation cottage to create a retreat for the future.

Since opening its doors 15 years ago, Pelee Art Works has become an island treasure for both locals and tourists.
It's more exciting than ever around our lake, but even after the tall ships sail away there's so much to do. Whether you're looking to indulge or explore, these are the can't-miss places, events and activities around our great lake.
With agritourism taking root amidst the fertile farmland and flourishing forests of Canada’s Norfolk County, there are so many great guilt-free ways to get a taste of what grows in Ontario's Garden and work off the calories as you go. No matter when you go, ’tis the season for food and fun. 
This small town has welcomed sailors, day-trippers and vacationers for decades. Here are the top spots to take it all in. 
From plucking ripe cherries right from the tree to indulging in culinary delights, Michigan is truly a locavore’s paradise. Here are just a few of the many places to sip, savor and celebrate what “the mitten” has to offer.

A mountain of memories, not to mention plenty of surprises, awaits vacation-home buyers in New York’s “Aspen of the East”

It’s a little more than 200 miles from Windsor to Niagara Falls, and the drive is lovely. Country roads ramble along the lake, connecting port towns, beaches and nature preserves.
A chef and his family live and cook successfully under one roof in Ontario.
These days, it’s the Pacific Coast Trail (hiked on-screen by Reese Witherspoon) that’s getting all the attention, but the Lake Erie region has thousands of miles of its own to offer. Whether you want to fill an afternoon or an entire week, there’s a footpath to follow. We’ve highlighted a few epic trail systems that follow ancient overland routes. So lace up those boots and get ready for your own adventure into the wild. 
Hit one of these themed-trails to see Lake Erie in a new light — and enjoy birding, history, food, wine and more along the way. 
Three families show how breaking the rules results in peaceful, happy retreats
Vermilion, Ohio

Take advantage of time spent in the picturesque Ohio beach town.

Erin Huber spent 11 weeks in Uganda with the goal of bringing fresh drinking water to the schoolchildren in the village of Mulajje. Some would call that a success; she calls it a start.
From Put-in-Bay to Port Stanley, the Lake lake offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy a great meal with an even better view. Here are 10 of our favorites, along with top picks for quick-and-causal eats, on-the-go picnics and even a few riverfront options.