Sandusky, Ohio, located on Sandusky Bay, has more than 22 miles of shoreline within the city limits in addition to beautifully landscaped parks, historical architecture, and many tourist attractions.
These range from waterparks and boating to museums and wildlife, meaning there is a lot to do in Sandusky, Ohio as well as numerous great places to stay and eat.
With so much to do, families and couples alike will want to ensure they have plenty of time to do all the activities. Plan ahead and bring your sunscreen, so you don't miss out on anything.
1. Castaway Bay
© Castaway Bay
Castaway Bay is more than just a resort waterpark; it's a tropically themed paradise featuring 237 hotel rooms and suites, a 38,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, a 6,000-square-foot arcade, three restaurants, retail shops, a fitness center, and a craft and child activity center. Very family oriented, the park is adjacent to a marina and has space for meetings, events, and parties. One of the closest hotels to Cedar Point, Castaway Bay's rooms and suites feature private decks and balconies, flat-screen televisions, and free Wi-Fi. Rooms also have microwaves, mini-refrigerators, and coffee makers.
2001 Cleveland Road, Sandusky, OH
44870, Phone: 419-627-2500
2. Cedar Point
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There is something for everyone at Cedar Point Amusement Park. Featuring roller coasters, rides for thrill seekers, and kid-friendly rides, families will have a blast at the Roller Coaster Capital of the World. Travelers will be delighted to choose from one of several overnight accommodations nearby; you can camp in a tent or an RV, or stay in hotel. Sports enthusiasts will love Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point. Newly opened, this sports center is a recreational development not far from Cedar Point that hosts sports tournaments and offers families even more activities, such as mini golf, a trampoline play structure, and a rope course.
1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-627-2350
3. Eleutheros Cooke House and Garden
© Eleutheros Cooke House and Garden
Open seasonally, the Eleutheros Cooke House and Garden offers free admission to visitors interested in learning about Sandusky's history. Constructed between 1843 and 1844, the house was built by Eleutheros Cooke, Sandusky's first lawyer. The home was purchased by Attorney Rush R. Sloane in 1878, at which time it was completely dismantled and reassembled at its current location. The property changed hands several times between 1878 and 1994, when the home and its contents were left to the Ohio Historical Society. Visitors can experience the home much as it was when its final owners, the Dorns, lived there. It's an experience the whole family will find interesting.
1415 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-627-0640
4. Follett House Museum
© Follett House Museum
Admission is free to the Follett House Museum, which documents the history of Sandusky and Erie County by offering a collection of artifacts from Sandusky's earliest times. The Greek Revival home offers panoramic views of Sandusky from a widow's walk and insights into important history points, such as the Battle of Lake Erie and Johnson's Island Prison. There are four floors in the museum, each floor containing exhibits that tell another piece of Sandusky's history. Learn what domestic life was like back then, about business and industry, and how tourism has evolved.
404 Wayne Street, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-627-9608
5. Goodtime Lake Erie Cruise
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Open since 2007, Goodtime Lake Erie Cruise is a family-owned business. Guests may choose from five options, including the family-friendly option of the Daytime Island Hopping Cruise (appropriate for all ages). Adults can enjoy the Sunset Bay Cruise on the lakes=, which operates Tuesday and Thursday evenings and provides entertainment as well as happy hour specials. For something a little more unique, take the Wine Wednesday Cruise and taste five different wines and snack on complimentary hors d'oeuvres. The Friday Night Party Cruise will have everyone dancing and indulging in some fun. Consider it a floating night club. Specialty cruises are also offered during summer and fall.
109 West Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 800-446-3140
6. Kalahari Waterparks
© Kalahari Waterparks
About an hour from Cleveland, The Kalahari Waterpark is fun for all ages. In addition to the indoor waterpark, visit the Safari Outdoor Adventure Park and outdoor slides. Rent a cabana or bungalow, visit the spa, or participate in one of the many daytime activities on the schedule. There's plenty to do and see here, including the Candy Hut, where you'll find hand-dipped chocolates, caramel apples, homemade fudge, salt water taffy, and more. You can even order a basket ahead of time to have it waiting for you and your family when you get to your room. No one gets bored at Kalahari Waterparks!
7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 877-525-2427
7. Lagoon Deer Park
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Lagoon Deer Park houses animals from Europe, Africa, and Asia as well as both South and North America. Feed the animals by hand as you make your way through the park; you might even have some animals following you. There is also a new gift shop on site, where you can buy souvenirs, collectables, and handcrafted items. The lagoons are a shady place to fish in a calm environment, great for catching rainbows, bullheads, channel cat, white bass, and carp. Junior anglers will have a blast, but you can also bring a flat-bottomed boat if you prefer to be directly on the water.
1012 Martins Point Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-684-5701
8. Merry-Go-Round Museum
© Merry-Go-Round Museum
Open 7 days a week, the Merry-Go-Round Museum displays a collection of carousels ranging from hand-carved wooden animals to animals with hand-carved bodies with a cast aluminum head, legs and tail (50/50 or half and half). In 2014, the museum had the great honor of loaning carved and antlered carousel deer to the White House during the Christmas season. First Lady Michelle Obama is pictured next to one of the deer in the East Room of the White House. It is also rumored that some of the items that have been donated to the museum are haunted, and visitors have reported quite a bit of paranormal activity.
301 Jackson Street, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-626-6111
9. North Coast Parasail
© North Coast Parasail
Don't forget about parasailing during your visit to Sandusky. Everyone in the family ages 6 and up will love it. Enjoy a gentle take-off and landing from the boat deck, and floating high above Cedar Point Beach will be a memory you'll never forget. You will also have views of the Lake Erie coast and the amusement park as well as other scenic views. Many people find parasailing to be both relaxing and an adventure. Although walk-ins are accepted, reservations are recommended.
1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-627-2279
10. Ohio Veterans Home Military Museum
© Ohio Veterans Home Military Museum
Memorabilia from the Civil War, Johnson's Island, world wars I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan can be viewed at the Ohio Veterans Homes Military Museum, which is located inside the I. F. Mack Building at the Ohio Veterans Home. The veterans home also maintains the museum and reference library, which is dedicated to the residents. Featured objects include a typewriter and table from World War II, a German “Potato Masher” Hand Grenade and, a map of the Korean War.
I.F. Mack Building at Ohio Veterans Home, 3416 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-2454, extension 1447
11. Rusty Wallace Racing Experience
© Rusty Wallace Racing Experience
At the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience, visitors can book a ride-along experience on a 3-lap qualifying run, driven by a professional instructor in a NASCAR stock car. Your car will have a motor that was previously used to compete. Lose your yellow rookie stripe and ride shotgun in the ride of your life. There is nothing like the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience! More ideas: Midwest Weekend Getaways
614 West Perkins Avenue # 1, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-4084
12. Sandusky Maritime Museum
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Families can have fun learning about the rich maritime history of the Sandusky Bay area at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky. Interactive exhibits and educational programs will keep visitor's attention while they will learn about the interesting themes showcased here, such as ice harvesting and shipwrecks as well as the Underground Railroad, in which Sandusky played a role. There is even an interactive Kids Zone for the little ones, where kids can build their own boat, play matching games, and complete a maze game. There is also a gift shop. More ideas: Midwest Weekend Getaways
125 Meigs Street, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-624-0274
13. Sandusky Speedway
© Sandusky Speedway
Enjoy everything from mods, sports, street, and hobby races to kid's bike races, kids race car rides, and more. Adults will have a blast with the crate sprints and other activities. There is s $1 admission during Fan Appreciation Night. The speedway even uses race monitors to send timing information to smartphones, allowing absent fans to get live timing and scoring data from the timing system.
614 West Perkins Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-4084
Toft's Ice Cream Parlor is a Sandusky landmark known for its delicious products. What started out as a small family dairy farm in the early 1900s is today a 76,000-square-foot facility. Both locals and tourists enjoy Toft's Ice Cream Parlor, which showcases more than 70 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt. Toft's dairy products can also be purchased there. The original soda fountain and parlor seating is still part of the ice cream parlor. Tofts products can be found everywhere from grocery stores and schools to restaurants and ice cream shops.
3717 Venice Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-4376
15. Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
© Ghostly Manor Thrill Center
If you enjoy a little scary fun, the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center could be perfect for your next party or event. Touted as being one of the best haunted house experiences in the States, the Ghostly Manor has thrills a plenty, with ghosts and ghouls popping out around every corner. In addition to braving the Haunted House, the center also offers a wide range of other family entertainment including an Escape Room adventure, a Laser Maze, VR Games, Roller Skating Rink, Mini-Golf and a Bounce House and Soft Play area for younger visitors. Various group and party packages are available.
3319 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, 419-626-4467
16. Sandusky Children’s Museum
© Sandusky Children’s Museum
When you take your children to visit the Sandusky Children’s Museum you will be giving them the opportunity to stimulate their minds while they have plenty of hands-on fun. Here your children will be able to come to grips with many science concepts that are difficult to adequately demonstrate in a classroom setting. There are all kinds of cool things to do including building your own cities with a hands-on construction system, having fun with robotics and remote control vehicles, learning to build bubbles large enough to stand in and much more.
133 E. Market Street, Lower Level, Sandusky, OH 44870, 419 502 0263
17. Firelands Winery
© Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
Established in 1880, Firelands Winery is one of the largest wineries in Ohio and has won several awards for their delicious wines. The winery is named for the original area where the winery was located, where Connecticut residents were resettled after their homes were burnt to the ground during the Revolutionary War. Visitors are invited to stop by the Tasting Room and get to know some of their large range of wines. You can also tour the facility and enjoy a meal in the restaurant, where carefully curated tasting flights are served alongside delicious pizzas, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts.
917 Bardshar Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, 419-625-5474
18. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
© Great Wolf Lodge Water Park
Offering hours of year-round indoor fun for all ages, the Great Wolf Lodge Water Park should feature on your list of best family days out in Ohio. In fact, you should seriously consider checking into the Lodge for an overnight stay to have even more time to enjoy all the fun slides and rides. At the heart of the water park you will find the 4-storey Fort Mackenzie which is suitable for adults, children and toddlers. For a little more excitement, adults and teens can get an adrenalin boost on the Alberta Falls twin tube ride. When the adults need some time out they can relax at the adult-only Hot Springs. Little visitors will love the Soak ‘n Oak Springs.
4600 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, 800-461-9653
19. Goofy Golf
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Goofy Golf is a great family entertainment center where adults and children older than 3 can have hours of indoor and outdoor fun. To begin with, there are 36 holes of mini-golf; the courses have been carefully designed to be both fun and a little challenging so that players of all ages can enjoy them. There are also 3 Go Kart racing tracks available – minimum height restrictions apply to all of these, starting at 54”. Children over the age of 3 can ride with an adult. The Bumper Boats are also great fun for anyone 3 years and older. Finally, the center has a large gaming arcade with more than 50 high-tech games to choose from.
3020 Milan Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, 419-625-9935
20. Star Lanes
© Star Lanes
Star Lanes is the place to go in Sandusky for a fun night of adult/family bowling or care-free children’s bowling party. The center caters to all bowlers, offering child-friendly bumper lanes, lighter balls and smaller shoes to encourage children to take up the game. More experienced bowlers can join one of the leagues where you can enjoy meeting new people as you improve your game. On Friday and Saturdays the lights are dimmed and Glow Bowling, with great lighting effects and even better music, draws in the crowds. If you child has a birthday coming up, Star Lanes can provide the perfect birthday party – all you need to do is bring the guests and the cake.
2097 Cleveland Road West, Sandusky, OH 44870, 419-626-2413
21. Soda Pops
© Soda Pops
If you can still recall (and still crave) the old fashioned candies of your youth, Soda Pops is the place to go for a nostalgic walk down memory lane. Soda Pops has all your vintage favorites including candy cigarettes, taffy, fire balls and lemon heads, as well as many more that you might have forgotten. In addition, they sell soda in real glass bottles – more than 200 varieties of soda and root beer at any time. Soda Pops also stock a range of vintage posters, toys, games and other odd and ends which you might like to add to your collection of vintage memorabilia.
209 W. Water Street, Sandusky, OH 44870, 419-635-6147
More ideas: Ohio Parks
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