Ohio has no access to the ocean, but it is one of the eight states with access to the Great Lakes and it has more than 300 miles of shoreline on Lake Erie. The beaches on Lake Erie are mostly wide and sandy, with easy access to the water for swimming and plenty of opportunity for boating, kayaking, and swimming when the weather allows. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Geneva State Park
3.Cedar Point Shores
4.Maumee Bay State Park
7.Catawba Island State Park
8.Camp Perry Beach
9.Conneaut Township Park
10.Euclid Beach Park
12.Indian Lake State Park
14.Rocky Fork State Park
15.Salt Fork State Park
15 Best Ohio Beaches
- Headlands Beach, Photo: GCapture/stock.adobe.com
- Geneva State Park, Photo: allexxandarx/stock.adobe.com
- Cedar Point Shores, Photo: Dasha Petrenko/stock.adobe.com
- Maumee Bay State Park, Photo: Juli/stock.adobe.com
- Beulah Beach, Photo: naraichal/stock.adobe.com
- Edgewater Beach, Photo: Kenneth Sponsler/stock.adobe.com
- Catawba Island State Park, Photo: Landon/stock.adobe.com
- Camp Perry Beach, Photo: Rafail/stock.adobe.com
- Conneaut Township Park, Photo: elvis901/stock.adobe.com
- Euclid Beach Park, Photo: wilgory/stock.adobe.com
- Put-in-Bay Beach, Photo: Zack Frank/stock.adobe.com
- Indian Lake State Park, Photo: Maksim/stock.adobe.com
- Huntington Reservation, Photo: Rafail/stock.adobe.com
- Rocky Fork State Park, Photo: Klanarong Chitmung/stock.adobe.com
- Salt Fork State Park, Photo: Richard/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Richard/stock.adobe.com
More Ideas in Ohio: Kings Island
Located near Mason, Ohio, Kings Island is a 364-acre amusement park operated by the Cedar Fair corporation, offering a variety of high, mild, and family thrill rides along with a 33-acre water park.
Kings Island, Ohio was initially conceived as a theme park in response to the 1964 flooding of Cincinnati’s Coney Island amusement park, which caused significant damage to the park’s rides and attractions. Discussions of relocating the park led to the proposal of a new theme park by Gary Wachs, the son of Coney Island’s president and CEO. Plans for park development were stalled until 1968, with the announced development of a new theme park in the northern Kentucky region that would serve as a major competitor for Coney Island. Wachs entered into a business deal with Taft Broadcasting Company, the owners of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon franchise, to purchase a 1,600-acre plot of land in Warren County, Ohio near the suburb of Kings Mills. Though Coney Island’s proposed competitor park in Kentucky was never developed, construction on the new theme park began in 1970, with a community naming contest dubbing it Kings Island. Rides from the former Coney Island park were transferred to the park site over the following two years, with the new theme park officially opening to the public in April of 1972.
Throughout the early 1970s, the park gained national prominence after it was featured in episodes of the family sitcoms The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. Several world-record-breaking events were recorded at the park during its first decade of operation, including a 133-foot Harley Davidson jump by famed stunt artist Evel Knievel. The park’s Beast roller coaster, opened in 1979, also made headlines for breaking wooden coaster height and length records. The park experienced a downturn in the 1980s as the result of several management sales and the high-profile failure of its Bat roller coaster, but in 1992, the park was purchased by Paramount Communications, Inc. and rebranded as Paramount’s Kings Island, including a rebranding of its Hanna-Barbera Land children’s area to incorporate Nickelodeon characters and themes. In 2006, Paramount disbanded its theme park division following the split between its parent corporations Viacom and CBS, and the park was sold to Cedar Fair, the owner of Ohio’s Cedar Point and Geauga Lake theme parks.
Rides and Attractions
Today, Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair and is the second-most-visited amusement park in the United States behind Cedar Point, receiving an annual visitorship of over 3.38 million visitors. It has won a number of major industry amusement awards throughout its operation, including the Amusement Today Golden Ticket Award for Best Kids’ Area for 17 consecutive years between 2001 and 2017. More than 100 rides and attractions are offered throughout the park, including 15 high, mild, and family thrill roller coasters.
Major roller coasters at the park include The Beast, listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest wooden roller coaster in the world. The coaster’s 7,359-foot-long track spans 35 acres of densely forested terrain and reaches maximum speeds of up to 65 miles per hours. The park’s newest coaster, Mystic Timbers, was voted as the Best New Ride of 2017 by Amusement Today and reaches top speeds of 53 miles per hour along its 3,265-foot track, while the park’s tallest and fastest coaster, Diamondback, offers a 215-foot initial drop at a 74-degree angle, reaching speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. The park’s classic Racer wooden dual-track coaster features forward and backward rides on a track designed by legendary coaster designer John C. Allen and was awarded the Roller Coaster Landmark award by the American Coaster Enthusiasts. Steel coasters at the park include the six-inversion Vortex coaster, the suspended Firehawk and Banshee coasters, and the indoor dark coaster Flight of Fear. Family coasters include the mine-train-themed Adventure Express and the Backlot Stunt Coaster.
A variety of high thrill rides are offered at the park, including the Delirium giant pendulum ride, the 315-foot Gyro-style Drop Tower, the largest of its kind in the world, and the WindSeeker giant wave swinger ride. Water rides include the flatboat Congo Falls ride and the White Water Canyon whitewater rafting ride, while classic midway rides include Zephyr wave swings, Monster and Scrambler rides, and the 80-foot-arc giant Viking Boat. The park’s replica Eiffel Tower, a ?-scale replica of the Paris original, serves as a regional landmark, offering elevator rides to an observation tower deck. A Planet Snoopy children’s ride area features a variety of miniature coasters and family rides themed around the classic Peanuts characters by Charles Schulz, while more than 50 water rides and attractions are offered at the park’s Soak City water park.
Live entertainment is offered daily at the park, including a variety of stage shows featuring local and regional talent and nightly fireworks shows at the park’s closing. Dining options throughout the park include a large Oktoberfest-style Bier Garten and local Cincinnati food chains La Rosa’s Pizza and Skyline Chili. Annual special events at the park include a Fourth of July Spectacular, a Great Pumpkin Festival at Halloween, and the holiday WinterFest celebration. The park is also the host of the annual Spirit Song festival, a three-day contemporary Christian music festival.
More Things to Do in Ohio
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More Ideas in Ohio: Greater Cleveland Aquarium
The Greater Cleveland Aquarium was opened in 2012, over 20 years after the last aquarium in Cleveland closed. This new aquarium was envisioned by a commercial property owner who was looking to fill his vacancy in the Powerhouse Complex. Planning Began in 2009 and the vision was a $50 million project that would span over 100,000 square feet, filling the complex.
The project was a lengthy collaboration speared headed by Powerhouse owner, Jeffrey Jacobs, and in 2012, after spending only $33 million instead of the original plan of $50 million, the aquarium opened to the public after a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 21st, 2012, three years later.
There are eight galleries with more than 50 exhibits where visitors will journey through Australia, South America, Africa, and Indo-Pacific to discover the marine life there. There are also exhibits that relate to the native species from Ohio specifically and many exotic animals as well.
Plastic Waters Exhibit educates visitors on the effects of pollution, namely plastics, affect the great lakes region, oceans, and our water supplies. This exhibit combines elements of arts and sciences and features some amazing artifacts like a mass of plastics bags that weighs 35 pounds that was inside the stomach of a camel. This exhibit is sponsored by Alliance for the Great Lakes and also shows how visitors can volunteer and get involved in recycling and conservation programs.
Ohio Lake + Rivers focuses on the native marine life of Lake Eerie and Ohio. Lake Eerie has just the right conditions to produce the most diverse wildlife populations of all the Great Lakes. The exhibit makes visitors feel as though they are walking through the woods and will experience waterfalls, turtles and reptiles, native fish, birds, owls and a discovery hut where kids can participate in hands on learning activities.
Lakes + Rivers of the World showcases marine life from Australia, Asia, South America and Africa. This exhibit features tropical and exotic species that thrive in warm waters. Visitors are greeted by the Giant Gourami in the entrance tank which has become one of the favorite exhibits at Greater Cleveland Aquarium.
The aquarium even serves as an African Tortoise rescue with several coming from an animal sanctuary in the state. In this exhibit, visitors can interact with the tortoises by touching their shells which the animals enjoy.
Discovery Zone is another exhibit that is dedicated to education on pollution. The effects that pollutants such as chemicals has on the ocean eco-system is highlighted through several interactive exhibits. The Discovery Zone also showcases the Moon Jellyfish that glow in the dark. The exhibit is in a smoke stack of the power house and creates a mythical environment for visitors as they walk through the life stages of the jellyfish from polyps to adults.
Indo-Pacific Gallery is home to fish from Eastern Asia and Indonesia, Fiji, The Red Sea and Hawaii. There are venomous Lionfish to greet visitors and exhibits that are decorated with exotic flowers native to those regions as well.
Northern Pacific Gallery showcases life in the cold-water oceans and features animals such as Octopus, crabs, anemones, sea cucumbers and starfish. The giant octopus is one of the visitor’s favorite exhibits and the create is known to come right up to the glass to greet visitors.
Coastal Gallery is one of the most popular galleries in the Greater Cleveland Aquarium and features an 11,000- gallon touch pool where visitors can interact with stingrays using a two-finger touch method. There is also a live coral exhibit in this gallery where visitors learn why reefs need to be protected. In fact, the coral in these exhibits is grown from tiny fragment pieces of coral that is acquired from various marine life institutions so that no harm comes to any of the natural ocean coral reefs. Children love the coral reef exhibit because many of the fish seen in the popular Disney Movie Finding Nemo live here.
Tropical Reef is made up of three galleries that all feature tropical fish.
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Shark Sea Tube is holds 230,000 gallons of water and features four different species of sharks, eels, turtles, and many other fish. The most impressive, and often awe-inspiring, exhibit, the 175 Sea Tube that visitors can walk through in the gallery allows them to get up close and personal to sharks and feel as though they are swimming amongst them.
The Exploration Station is set up just like a real-life research boat. The electric eel is part of this exhibit and visitors can explore ship cabins like the captain quarters and engage in several hands-on learning activities.
There are many events that are hosted at The Greater Cleveland Aquarium that are great for the community; as well as private events that can be booked and members only parties. There are a four large, community celebrations that are hosted at the aquarium—Winter Water Land, Red, White and Brew, Hauntaquarium, and The Shark Weekend.
There are also many interactive and educational programming offered by the aquarium throughout the year for many different ages.
Small Fry is a program tailored for toddler and preschool aged children. These events combine games, crafts, and hands on activities to learn about the world around them through color, touch, movements, shapes and animal encounters. Each child is required to have an adult participant with them. This special program also includes story and snack time and unlimited free time in the aquarium afterwards.
Aquarist for a Day is recommended for kids between ages 12 and 17 and provides a shadow experience of an aquarist team member. Participants get to follow their team member behind the scenes to learn about what goes into taking care of the hundreds of marine animals at the aquarium each day. Registration for this program is required at least seven days in advance and the events always take place on Saturday afternoons.
Very Important Guest Tour (VIG Tour) is a group tour with guide that goes through the galleries and behind the scenes for up to six guests. Guests have ample time to ask questions and get a sneak peek behind the scenes to areas of the aquarium are usually not accessible by the public.
Shark Dive Cleveland allows SCUBA divers who have been certified, the chance to encounter the sharks and 30 other species in the shark exhibit as close as possible. The experience includes admission to the aquarium for the participant and a guest that will watch them dive, a tour of the platform, a walkthrough of the exhibit and education session to learn about the various creatures in the exhibit and how to interact appropriately and all the dive equipment you will need for venturing into the shark tank. Participants are also encouraged to pick up as many shark teeth as they can find for souvenirs.
Fish Feeding Adventure allows participants to explore what goes into feeding the 30 species of marine life, included four species of sharks, from the top of the exhibit. The minimum age for the adventure is six and guests from 6-17 must be accompanied by their parent or guardian. Participants will also get to go behind the scenes to the feeding station where feels are prepared and will receive a guided tour of the SeaTube. Guests will be handling raw seafood so any allergies need to be declared upon registration.
Stingray Art Experience is a unique, creative experience for anyone six years and older. A private painting session is set up so that groups of up to four people can choose a color palette and assist a stingray in painting a canvass that participants can take home with them.
Zzzz’s in the Seas Overnight is offered to scout groups, families, youth groups, birthday parties and private events where guests get to come into the aquarium after hours and spend the night. Participants get a guided tour of the aquarium, animal encounter, SCUBA presentation in the SeaTube, scavenger hunt, snacks, and breakfast. There is a 20-guest minimum and 60 max with all guests needing to be at least 5 years old at the time of the overnight.
Birthday Parties can be held at the aquarium on Saturdays and Sundays are best for kids age 2-12. There is a 10 -guest minimum and 40 max for all parties and there are rules pertaining to chaperoning and deposits. Lunch, Parking, party room and aquarium admission is included for each guest.
The goal of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium has always been, and remains, to educate the public on fresh water and salt water life and saving the Earth’s water supplies. All the educational programs that are offered by the aquarium coincide with the Ohio Revised Science Standards and Model.
There are homeschool, scouting and school field trip programs offered by the aquarium along with educator resources, and summer camps. Most of the summer camp programs are five days and the Shark camp offers an overnight in the SeaTube as well. There is also a boating outing on Lake Eerie that is available for kids between the ages of 10 and 14 who will learn about how human activity has impacted the Great Lakes Region.
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2000 Sycamore Street, Cleveland, OH 44113, Phone: 216-862-8803
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