FAVORITE LAKE ERIE BEACHES

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!

Happy Beachin’!

Slainte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO: LOCAL’S GUIDE TO THE BEACH AT EAST HARBOR STATE PARK

A few weeks ago we took a day trip to East Harbor State Park.  I’ve written about this park that rests along the shores of Lake Erie before and thought a separate post about the actual public beach may prove helpful (as I’ve received several questions).  

The 1500 foot beach is teeny tiny as beaches go. Although the beach is quaint, the views are incredible. We arrived at the park around 10:30 a.m. on a Friday and first spent our time exploring the coastal trails. We may have ventured off the sandy path, but I’m so glad we did, because the views along the rocky shore are magnificent.

We headed over to the public beach around 11:00 a.m. and already the beach was packed. It appeared as though no one was social distancing and no one was wearing masks, so trying to find a spot was a negative for us. Rob suggested we walk along the sandy trail above the beach and boy am I glad we did!!

Just past the public beach are pockets of smaller, “private” beaches. A family was leaving as we were walking along the sandy trail and offered to give us their spot. These small pockets can comfortably fit 6-8 people, which means they are perfect for a couple. There are probably about five or six of these “private” beaches past the public beach.

Because we are in the midst of a pandemic, below are some tips if you want to visit this public beach before summer ends.

  • Plan your arrival time for earlier in the morning.  If you want a private beach or even a claim on the public beach, I would arrive by 9:30-10:00 a.m.
  • Pack your own beach chair and towels.  The beach and state park are too small to offer beach chair rentals.  
  • Pack your own snacks and beverages.  I’ve heard that there are concessions, but I’ve never seen them open.
  • Bring a book, magazine, music, etc. to enjoy while watching the waves crash against the shore. 
  • If you have kids, bring some beach toys.  Note that flotation devices are not permitted in the lake.  
  • Don’t forget your sunscreen and an extra change of clothes or beach coverup! 
  • And maybe throw in some tennis shoes if you want to explore the walking trails after sunbathing. 

I think that covers it! Just as an FYI, the beach does have newly renovated bathrooms and a changing area that are cleaned regularly.

Enjoy these last few weeks of summer!!

Slainte,

Shannon

STYLE: TIPS FOR A STYLISH BEACH DAY

As many people start looking forward to fall and all that comes with the crisp season (sweaters, denim jeans, plaid, pumpkins, scarves, etc.) I’m holding onto summer even more. I’m not ready to give up on these long, hot days full of sunshine, swimming, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and jaunts to the lake. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that I’m wearing a summer dress every day (M-F) until I can’t anymore. I just love my summer wardrobe and want to be able to enjoy all my summer pieces.

We visit the Lake Erie beaches often enough that I’ve discovered what to wear and what not to wear. Below are some tips for a no fuss, stylish day at the beach.

  • Always pack a straw hat or baseball hat. It’s extra windy near the water, so a hat is a must (otherwise your hair will be a mess in your face like mine in some of these photos).
  • Choose no fuss clothing – I like to wear denim shorts and a tee (love this Salty tee from Ohio based Shore Society) or a dress that won’t billow in the wind. You can easily wear your bathing suit under both options – this provides for a stylish coverup and a quick transition into the water.
  • Keep your jewelry minimal. I wore my everyday pearl earrings and just a handful of my nautical bracelets from Allison Cole Jewelry and KJP.
  • Choose sandals or flip flops – you’ll take your shoes off as soon as you hit the sand so don’t wear anything too cumbersome like tennis shoes, flats or heels.
  • Bring a straw or canvas tote to carry your towel, book, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc.
  • And most importantly, don’t forget your sunscreen!! We were guilty of this and I ended up looking like a lobster by the end of the day – definitely don’t recommend!

None of these tips are rocket science, but I have learned that when planning a day at the beach, you want to keep it simple and easy. You are there to relax and enjoy the views. The last thing you want to worry about is how you look.

Enjoy these last couple of weeks of summer!

Slainte,

Shannon