Lake Erie has some astonishing beaches for people of all ages to enjoy. Whether you're looking to do some swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, kite flying, Frisbee throwing, picnic eating, or something else altogether down on the sandy shores of Lake Erie, you'll find all you need at some of Ohio's best beaches.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.Lakeside Beach

Lakeside Beach
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Lakeside in Ohio has been a longtime destination for summer fun on Lake Erie generations. Lakeside Beach itself is an excellent place to both soak in the sunshine of sunny summer days or cook off from the heat in water. Since it’s a gated community, a fee for a daily pass is charged to enter the community and visit the Lakeside Beach. The beach features picnic areas with grills, showers, restroom facilities, and a lifeguard on duty during the specific hours posted. The Lakeside community is also situated near the restaurants and shops of the Lakeside Business District.

Lakeside, OH 43440

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2.Cedar Point Beach

Cedar Point Beach
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When you hear the name 'Cedar Point', you probably think of rides and fairground attractions, with the Cedar Point park being one of Ohio's best places to visit, but the beach here is also highly enjoyable. In fact, the Cedar Point Beach offers a nice little relaxing getaway spot when compared to the noise and bright lights of the fairground rides located just a few hundred yards away. This a great place to come in the evenings, with a really chilled-out vibe all around the beach, and there are some good nearby amenities including restaurants and hotels.

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3.Kelleys Island State Park

Kelleys Island State Park
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Just off the coast of Ohio is Kelleys Island. The Kelleys Island State Park covers over 650 acres of land, with lots of beautiful forests to explore and get lost in, as well as plenty of sandy and rocky spots on the coastline to enjoy. The only way to get over to the island is by boat, but there are regular ferry crossings from local coastal cities like Marblehead, and the island is definitely worth the trip, offering some really nice swimming and picnic opportunities.

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4.Edgewater Park Beach

Edgewater Park Beach
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If you happen to be located in the big city of Cleveland, Edgewater Park Beach is the best Lake Erie beach for you. It's only a short walk from the downtown streets of the city, so you won't even need to take the car to visit this beach, which offers awe-inspiring views of both the city skyline and the natural majesty of the lake itself. There are lots of good facilities at this beach, including play areas for kids and lots of picnic tables and benches. It's a popular spot with city-dwellers, so crowds can gather here at weekends or on special occasions.

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5.Maumee Bay State Park

Maumee Bay State Park
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If you're visiting or living in the city of Toledo, Maumee Bay State Park is one of the best Lake Erie beaches for you to check out. It's only a short drive from the city and covers more than 1,800 acres of land. Two big beaches can be found here, with both of them offering soft, comfortable sands and exceptional views. Lots of helpful and fun amenities can be found around the park too, including a golf course, concessions, rental properties, a marina, scenic trails, and restrooms.

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6.Headlands Beach State Park

Headlands Beach State Park
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Headlands Beach State Park is actually home to Ohio's biggest natural beach. It runs for around a mile in total, meaning there's always more than enough room for people of all ages to enjoy. Whether you're coming here alone, as a family, with a special someone, or accompanied by a group of friends, you'll be able to find a nice big spot of sand to spread out and feel totally relaxed and at one with nature. The waters are very calm here too and lifeguards are on-duty in the summer months, so it's a good Lake Erie beach for swimming.

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7.East Harbor State Park

East Harbor State Park
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Accessible by either car or ferry, East Harbor State Park is another excellent Ohio beach location for Lake Erie. The beach here runs for around 1,500 feet in total and is backed by some gorgeous natural scenery. The views here are good enough to take one's breath away, so this is definitely an excellent Ohio beach to do some photography. Lots of wildlife can be spotted in the area as well, including herons and turtles, and there are some good amenities here including a disc golf course and restrooms.

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8.Camp Perry Beach

Camp Perry Beach
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Located around seven miles from Port Clinton City Beach to the west, Camp Perry Beach in Port Clinton offers a beach suitable for both fishing and swimming on the shoreline of Lake Erie. In addition to providing a beach that’s open and free to the general public, the Camp Perry Military Reservation is also home to plenty of history, a museum, and the Ohio National Guard. Camp Perry Beach features restroom facilities and a fishing pier, which can be reached by following the jetty. The elevated walkway also offers great views of the surrounding fields and the beach.

Port Clinton, OH

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9.Port Clinton City Beach

Port Clinton City Beach
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Situated just across the road from Lakeview Park, Port Clinton City Beach is a sandy, swimming beach more than two thousand feet in length that’s great for the entire family to have a fun day in the sand and sun. Dogs are allowed at the beach as well, as long as they are on a leash. The large shallow area of Port Clinton City Beach makes it an ideal beach for swimming along the shoreline of Lake Erie. Restrooms and a picnic shelter are located in Lakeview Park. Port Clinton City Beach also offers good views of nearby South Bass Island.

Port Clinton, OH

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10.South Bass Island State Park

South Bass Island State Park
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South Bass Island State Park is located along the South Bass Island cliffs, providing excellent views of Lake Erie. The 33-acre park offers access to Lake Erie waters from the small stone beach. There is also a fishing pier, as well as a cleaning house, for anglers to use at the park. For visitors looking to get out onto the water, South Bass Island State Park’s public boat ramp provides access to the lake. Boat rentals are available nearby for personal watercraft, kayaks, fishing boats, and power boats. A seasonal campground is available at the state park with over 100 sites.

Put-In-Bay, OH

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11.Catawba Island State Park

Catawba Island State Park
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Catawba Island State Park is a small day-use state park in Port Clinton, Ohio that spans approximately ten acres. The park primarily provides a spot to launch boats into the lake. There is also a cobblestone beach from which visitors can launch canoes and kayaks. Along with boating, Catawba Island also offers opportunities for fishing from the large fishing pier, as well as picnicking with two picnic areas that feature restroom facilities. Swimming is allowed in the park, however, it is at visitors' own risk according to the Ohio State Parks website. Ice fishing and ice skating are possible winter activities.

Port Clinton, OH

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12.Main Street Beach

Main Street Beach
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Main Street Beach, located in the city of Vermilion, is a swimming beach open to the general public that can be found at Main Street’s north end. The small, but still popular, beach is less than an acre in size and is close to many restaurants and shops in the downtown Vermilion area. The ADA-accessible beach features a concession stand, ADA mobility mat, benches, a launch point for canoes and kayaks, and an observation deck from which visitors can take in views of the lake. Next to Main Street Beach is the replica of the original Vermilion Lighthouse.

Vermilion, OH

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13.More About Lake Erie Beaches

More About Lake Erie Beaches
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Out of all of America's natural wonders, the Great Lakes really stand out as some of the most impressive, rivaling the likes of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park in terms of raw, natural, awe-inspiring beauty. All five lakes can be a joy to visit, but if you're looking to spend some time at a Great Lakes beach, Lake Erie might be your best option as it is the southernmost lake and tends to get the warmest temperatures and best weather for large parts of the year. Lake Erie is the fourth biggest of the Great Lakes. Located on the International Boundary, Lake Erie stretches out into the Canadian Province of Ontario as well as the American states of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. Ohio is one of the best states to visit if you're looking to check out Lake Erie's beaches and visit the lake for recreational purposes. Ohio has the longest coastline on Lake Erie of any state and is also home to some of the lake's very best beaches. Many of Ohio's Lake Erie beaches can be reached quickly and easily from some of the state's major cities like Cleveland and Toledo. Even if you happen to be down in Columbus, it doesn't take long to drive up to the coast.

Best Beaches in Ohio for Lake Erie

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12 Best Lake Erie (Ohio) Beaches for Families with Kids

Hotel Spotlight: A Water's Edge Retreat on Kelleys Island

A Water's Edge Retreat is a luxurious bed and breakfast retreat on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie, Ohio. Located four miles north of Marblehead in the western basin of Lake Erie, Kelleys Island is the largest American island in the lake and is a popular vacation destination for families and couples alike.

A Water's Edge Retreat offers a relaxing, home-away-from-home retreat with elegant accommodations, delicious home-cooked cuisine, modern conveniences and friendly, welcoming service. All guest rooms and suites offer beautiful views Sandusky Bay, and most offer views of Marblehead Lighthouse and Cedar Point, and guests can kick back and watch the lake freighters make their way across the lake.

Guests are treated to a gourmet breakfast served every morning, which can be enjoyed in the beautiful formal dining room or outside on the covered verandah overlooking the lake. Cheese and wine hour is held each afternoon, offering samples of some of the region’s best cheese and wines. A roaring fire in the lounge offers cozy respite on chillydays, and sunny beach decks are ideal for relaxing in the summer months, and a whirlpool spa is a perfect place to unwind.

A Water's Edge Retreat Suites

A Water's Edge Retreat in Ohio offers six beautifully appointed and individually decorated guest suites with private entrances, en-suite bathrooms, and deluxe amenities. All suites boast breathtaking views of the gardens and lake, and additional amenities such as fireplaces, hot tubs, golf carts and bicycles add extra levels of comfort to ensure an unforgettable stay.

The Mary LouisePremium Waterfront Guest Suite boasts an unusual octagonal shape with four large windows offering breathtaking waterfront view. The carpeted suite features a queen-size bed and private en-suite bathroom with soaking bathtub and glass-enclosed shower and ample storage for clothing.

The Marguerite Suite is a Premium Waterfront Guestroom that offers a large queen bedroom and separate sunny sitting area with windows that look out over the lake. This gorgeous waterfront-facing suite features a queen-size bed in country fabrics, an en-suite bathroom with glass-enclosed shower and bathtub, and extra sitting nook with large windows facing the lake and modern amenities, including CD player and stereo player.

The Paul Francis Suite is an alluring waterfront-facing guestroom with three-sided views of the lake and sunny spacious living areas. The Suite features a queen-size bedroom and en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower. A cozy sitting nook has a day bed / pull-out sofa for extra guests and desk and chair.

There is a minimum two-night stay at all guest suites and each suite includes a gourmet breakfast each morning, afternoon cheese and wine, beverages and hors d'oeuvres in the evening, bicycle and discounted golf cart rental, a $20 massage therapy gift voucher, and an after-dinner treat.


A Water's Edge Retreat serves a delicious gourmet breakfast each morning, featuring the usual favorites and extra treats. Enjoy hot selections such as eggs, omelets, bacon and sausages or go continental with cereals, tomato, yogurt, fresh fruit, and juice. Freshly brewed coffee and tea adds the final touch and breakfast can be enjoyed in the lovely formal dining room, on the sunny covered verandah or on one of the beach decks overlooking the lake. Hors d'oeuvres and beverages are served every afternoon as the sun sinks below the lake horizon and sweet treats are offered just before bed.

Regarding dinner, there are several excellent restaurants around the island, serving a variety of cuisine in casual and laid-back settings. Bag the Moon is a family-friendly restaurant whichis open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves a menu of all-American fare such as ribs, steaks, and chicken while the Caddy Shack Restaurant & Buckeye Bar is the best spot to go for fresh seafood. They also serve excellent pizza, sandwiches, salads and pitas and have fried chicken specials in the week. Beer-lovers can head to Kelleys Island Brewery, which has a sunny beer garden in which to enjoy a few local brew, cocktails and sangria alongside casual cuisine.

Wine-lovers can enjoy sampling the vintages of Kelleys Island Wine Co., which is home to a variety of award-winning wines and a European-style deli and bistro serving delicious light lunches and snacks. Special barbecue nights are held on The Grilling Deck and Coffee House, and Ice Cream Parlor serves mouthwatering treats, all on the grounds of Kelleys Island Wine Co. The Island House Martini Bar and Restaurant is a popularspot with great food, beer and wine and ambiance, and Captain’s Corner is a fun, family-friendly eatery that serves a range of favorites such as hamburgers, steak, pasta and a special kid’s menu with beautiful views of Lake Erie in the background.

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Amenities & Recreational Activities

In addition to beautiful accommodations, A Water's Edge Retreat offers deluxe amenities, including a gourmet breakfast every morning, bicycles and golf carts for exploring the surrounding area, and a hot tub in the garden for the ultimate in relaxation.

For more active pursuits, the island boasts excellent hiking and cycling paths and the tranquil waters of the lake are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. The lake is packed with perch, catfish and smallmouth bass, which makes for excellent fishing and there are several boat launches for those who prefer fishing froma boat rather than the shoreline.

Birders will delight in the myriad species of birds that call the island home and can partake in free week-long nature and birding camps while wildlife-lovers can discover several rare species such as Lake Erie water snake and theKelleys Island salamander. Monarch butterflies can also be seen in their thousands as they migrate to Mexico for the winter, and shy white-tailed deer with their tiny fawns can be seen grazing at dusk and dawn.

Things to Do Nearby

A Water's Edge Retreat is located on Kelleys Island in the western basin of Lake Erie. Measuring more than 2,800 square miles and the largest island American island in the lake, Kelleys Island is just four miles from Marblehead and twelve miles from Sandusky, both of which are on the Ohio Peninsula and offer a variety of things to see, do and enjoy.

The entire island is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is home to many remnants of the past from architectural styles and scenic treasures to ancient natural wonders, which can easily be explored by walking, cycling or golf cart.

The Glacial Grooves State Memorial features some of the most spectacular examples of ancient glacial grooves formed over thousands of years. The Memorial is an international study site and is renowned for its vast gashes of prehistoric glacial grooves that have been carved into thelimestone bedrock.

The Inscription Rock State Memorial is a large, flat-topped boulder on the south side of the island that features signs of an early Indian hunting ground. The Boulder has faint pictographs of men, animals, and birds that are thought to have been drawn by Erie Indians more than 400 years ago.

Kelleys Island is one of extreme natural beauty and is packed with lovely landscapes, beautiful flora, and plenty of wildlife. The island boasts miles of self-guided nature and hiking trails that wind along the shoreline and through flower-studded woodlands, lush wetlands, and rolling meadows. The East Quarry Trail explores the east stone quarry, which is home to ancient fossils.

The 17-mile shoreline of the island is home to a variety of endemic and migrating bird species on their journey across the lake. Visitors can enjoy free week-long nature camps that explore the island’s bird population.

The Lake offers a wealth of water-based recreational activities, such as swimming, kayaking, canoeing, jet-skiing, and power boating, and anglers will delight in the excellent fishing. Shipwrecks on the bottom of the lake dating back to the 1700 and 1800s provide plenty of fun for snorkelers and scuba divers. The Kelleys Island State Park has a lovely sandy beach with safe swimming, a quaint stone pier for fishing and a boat launching ramp.

827 E Lakeshore Drive, Kelleys Island, OH 43438, Phone: 419-746-2333

Back to: Romantic Weekend Getaways in Ohio.

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