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

COASTAL OHIO: EAST HARBOR STATE PARK

It’s literally been months since Rob and I have done anything just the two of us.  We were supposed to be going away overnight this weekend, but we just aren’t comfortable staying somewhere else or straying too far from home.  We decided to take advantage of the fact that we have babysitters available and are enjoying a day trip to the lake.  

Last summer we stumbled upon East Harbor State Park and loved it.  Earlier this week when we were brainstorming places to go on the lake, we knew we wanted to go somewhere where there wouldn’t be a lot of people and where we could social distance.  East Harbor State Park seemed the perfect option.

Nestled along the Lake Erie shore, East Harbor State Park is a hidden jewel.  Visitors can enjoy everything from boating, fishing and swimming, to picnicking, camping, and hiking.  Last year we enjoyed the public beach, and my guess is this trip will also result in some beach time.  We are interested in exploring the marina and perhaps the hiking trails.  We plan on spending about an hour or two here so it may just turn into reading our books and relaxing on the beach.  

Be sure to follow along with us on Instagram as I’ll be posting to my stories!

Slainte,

Shannon

COASTAL OHIO: LOCAL’S GUIDE TO THE BEACH AT MAUMEE BAY

We’ve had several people reach out to us with questions about the beach at Maumee Bay State Park so I thought I would put together a quick little guide for anyone thinking about visiting! It’s no secret that our family loves this beach. It’s only a 25 minute drive from our house and the beach offers some gorgeous views of Lake Erie. And since it’s a state park, the beach and the marshy trails surrounding it are open to the public during Ohio’s Stay at Home Order (just make sure you social distance yourself from others and bring your masks!).

Even though the beach is currently open, there are some limitations due to the current public health emergency. For starters, there are no public restrooms available. Under the Ohio Governor’s Stay at Home Order, all public restrooms are currently closed. Second, it is mandated you practice social distancing, so make sure to remain six feet away from others (park rangers do drive around regularly). Third, and this is true all the time, there are no lifeguards on duty on the main beach so you swim in the lake at your own risk!

Even though it’s probably obvious, I do need to point out that Ohio beaches are much, much smaller than beaches on the East Coast, in Florida, or California beaches. Because they are so small, what they lack in amenities such as access to refreshments, they make up for in less crowds and a more relaxed atmosphere .

So, without further ado, here are a few tips:

  1. Bring your own beach towel, blankets, or chairs (I love to bring our Turkish beach towels from Anchors Aweigh Supply Co.).  During the summer months I recommend a beach umbrella, too. 
  2. Pack a picnic basket or cooler with snack and refreshments.
  3. Bring extra clothing – it’s always at least ten degrees cooler along the shore than it is inland. 
  4. Get there early, especially in the warmer months.  Because Ohio beaches are smaller, they do fill up quicker.  We always get there around 10 a.m., which is at least an hour or more before the crowds.  This past weekend we had the entire beach to ourselves and it was amazing!
  5. Bring toys if you have kiddos – shovels, pails, buckets, bath toys, etc. 
  6. If you are an adult, bring a book, some music, or a magazine. 
  7. The beach is more gravely than sandy, so just keep that in mind.
  8. This beach doesn’t boast a ton of shells, so if you are looking to search for seashells by the seashore you will be quite disappointed.
  9. I’m not an expert on high tide and low tide, but currently it appears as though spring low tide is between 10am-1pm.  I include this because you have much more beach to walk around on. 

Another local tip, if the main beach is too crowded, the park also boasts a 57-acre in-land beach and lake! It’s about half a mile from the main beach and offers a much quieter atmosphere. Plus, you can swim, fish, paddleboat, and rent canoes on this lake!

Hopefully if you are planning a safe trip to the bay, these tips will help and prepare you for a lovely day at one of Ohio’s many Lake Erie beaches. 

Slainte,

Shannon