Our favorite time of year is here!! It’s beach season in Ohio (although I could definitely argue that the beaches are equally beautiful in the colder months too). Most people probably don’t realize that Ohio has a ton of beaches along Lake Erie and they can get quite crowded during the summer! Today I’m sharing some of our favorite Lake Erie beaches we’ve visited over the years. All of these beaches are on the western side of the state, but there are so many more beaches that we have yet to explore on the eastern side of the state in and around Cleveland. This is by no means a full list of Ohio beaches, but I thought it would be fun to share our favorites and encourage anyone interested in Coastal Ohio to visit one (or all) of these beaches!
Erie Beach at Maumee Bay State Park
This is our favorite beach and one that we visit the most frequently (it is the closest to where we live). I actually wrote a blog post about this beach back in 2020 and offer some tips for anyone beachin’ at this location. You can read that blog post here.
We love this beach because it’s actually quite large and is rarely too crowded. The views are some of my favorites and there is even a cute lighthouse you can see in the distance. But probably the best part of this beach is that it’s part of an Ohio State Park (Maumee Bay State Park) and there are a TON of activities for the family. They have biking, boating, hiking, cabins for rent, camping, fishing, canoeing, paddle boating, swimming, a pool, golfing, birding, and so much more. It’s truly an experience and my family has spent many a long weekend exploring and enjoying this park and beach.
The only negative to this beach is that the water is prone to toxic algae when the weather gets really hot. This means it’s not safe to swim. We’ve never actually swam in the water at this beach, but we will walk along the shore and get our feet a little wet. I wrote a blog post all about this algae issue and ways to help save Lake Erie from harmful toxins here.
East Harbor State Park
I know I said Erie Beach is our favorite beach, but the beach at East Harbor State Park is also up there as one that we visit frequently. This beach is also part of an Ohio State Park (East Harbor State Park) and there is so much to do beyond the beach. Visitors can enjoy everything from boating, fishing and swimming, to picnicking, camping, and hiking.
This beach is a lot smaller than Erie Beach and it gets REALLY crowded in the summer. You have to get there early if you want a spot. BUT, Rob and I have discovered that if you keep walking along the beach, past where you think it might end, you will discover 5-6 smaller or “private beaches” hidden between the trees. These little beaches can comfortably fit 6-8 people and if you are able to snag one early, you have privacy and incredible views! I wrote a blog post about this beach here.
Waterworks Park and The Port Clinton Lighthouse
Rob and I stumbled upon Waterworks Park and The Port Clinton Lighthouse earlier this spring and were so delighted by the views of the lake. Not only was the Lighthouse beautiful and the history fascinating, but there is a lovely public beach next to the lighthouse with gorgeous views of the lake. It was 40 degrees and snowing when we visited so literally no one was at the beach and we had the entire park to ourselves. It’s not a huge beach so I anticipate this being a popular beach when the weather is nice. We plan on going back with the kids later this summer. You can read more about this lighthouse here.
Main Street Beach in Vermillion
Vermillion is one of the cutest coastal towns we’ve visited in Ohio and it’s home to my favorite Erie and Anchor shop! We took Lilly to Vermillion in early 2020 before COVID hit for the opening of Erie and Anchor and were so charmed by the town and the cute Main Street Beach. The beach is smaller (like all Ohio beaches), but the views are next to none and there is a cute little lighthouse adjacent to the beach, which I mean, everyone loves a lighthouse!
We might be going back for a family trip in July and I cannot wait to explore this beach and town more!
As you can see we haven’t been to many Ohio beaches as we truly have our favorites, but we hope to explore many more and I’ll be sure to take you guys along for the ride!