Every summer I try and visit a new place along the Ohio coast and earlier this summer I had the pleasure of visiting Lakeside Chautauqua with my good friend Katie! People have always told me I would love Lakeside and let me tell you. None of them were wrong! Lakeside is the most charming coastal town with beautiful views of the lake, lovely historic homes and buildings, and the most quaint downtown filled with nautical inspired boutiques and coffee shops. It’s truly a gem.
I’m going to break this post down into a little bit of history of the coastal town and some tips if you plan on visiting soon.
ABOUT LAKESIDE CHAUTAUQUA
Lakeside Chautauqua is a private community along the shores of Lake Erie that was founded 150 years ago. You might be wondering, what in the heck does “Chautauqua” mean? The word originates from the Iroquois tribe and is meant to mean “two moccasins tied together” or “bag tied at the middle.” What this really represents is a community that welcomes all people to come together to grow spiritually, culturally, intellectually, and physically. Chautauqua focuses on four pillars which are religion, education, cultural arts and recreation.
Lakeside is truly such a unique place to visit. Founded by Methodist preachers in 1873, Lakeside soon became a faith-based summer resort and to this day, people still come to worship, rest and reconnect.
Since it’s founding, the coastal town has grown and become home to beautiful lakefront cottages, unique restaurants, and coastal inspired shopping boutiques.
You can read more about Lakeside and the Chautauqua movement here.
TIPS IF VISITING LAKESIDE
I had the advantage of visiting Lakeside with a friend who rented a home every summer growing up and she was able to give me the inside scoop about visiting! Below are some tips that will make your experience even more memorable!
- Lakeside is a private community and a Chautauqua Pass and an Auto Pass is required in order to get in during the summer. You can choose to forego the auto pass and park outside the gated community, but you still have to buy a pass to get in. So here is a big tip! General admittance is $28 for the day. We bought the half day pass which gets you three hours for $6. Every additional hour you stay is $1. So if you plan on going for like 8 hours, the half day pass will definitely save you money!! We ended up going from 11-3:30 and it was much cheaper than buying the full day pass. Another tip: the price increases for the month of July. So I recommend going in June or August. But really, after Labor Day in September would be the best time to visit because they don’t have the admissions fee! You can read more about their fees here.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes. You can drive your car in, but you will still be walking a lot so make sure you have on comfy sneakers or sandals! I wore my J.Crew Factory sneakers and they were perfect for walking around nonstop.
- Definitely be sure to play shuffleboard! It’s free and a great way to relax and enjoy the lake views. I had never played before and was a bit skeptical but I actually really enjoyed it!
- If you arrive early in the morning, you have to try a freshly baked donut from The Patio Restaurant- they are SO good.
- If you need a yummy place for lunch or dinner, try out the Hotel Lakeside Dining Room! It has beautiful views of the lake and the food is delicious. They offer breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch and afternoon tea!! Plus the hotel was built in 1875 so the historic vibe is very cool.
- If you have kids they have a kiddy pool right on the pier so bring your swimsuits!
- Lakeside has a ton of waterfront recreational activities. Whether you prefer swimming, sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or fishing, there is something for everyone. Or you can just bring a book and enjoy the view from a comfy lounge chair.
- In addition to waterfront activities, visitors can play tennis, pickle ball, sand volleyball, and miniature golf, plus several playgrounds for the babes (including an inclusive one!).
- Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen!!
I might be forgetting some insider tips so my plan is to update this post as needed.
If you are planning a trip to Lakeside I’d love to hear all about it!