Your Staycation Destination
By Stephanie Siegel
When dreaming of a vacation, many of us conjure images of lazy beach days, indulging in delicious meals, outdoor adventures, and “living like a local.” You don’t have to travel far to experience all of those things and more! Ohio’s Lake Erie shore provides dozens of affordable vacation options. It is a short drive, but visitors will feel like they are hundreds of miles away.
Ohio Wine Country
The Grand River Valley is home to over 30 wineries and grows over 50% of Ohio’s grapes. Stretching across Lake and Ashtabula counties, the region has been recognized at national and international competitions for its award-winning wines. Both small boutique wineries and large vineyard estates pepper the countryside. The sweet-Ohio-wine stereotype no longer applies, as growers and viticulturalists produce bottles for every palate.
Make a Splash
In addition to the miles and miles of shore along Lake Erie, four scenic rivers twist their way through the countryside. Fishing is abundant along these picturesque waterways that beckon kayaking, canoeing, and recreational enthusiasts. Not to be forgotten is the giant inland Pymatuning Lake, sharing a border with Pennsylvania. Camping is the most popular seasonal activity in this state park. Locals can point you to the spillway on the eastern side where the ducks walk on the fish.
Drive Through History
Some call Ashtabula County the Covered Bride Capital of the state. It is home to 19 covered bridges, including the longest and the shortest in the United States. It is rumored that these bridges were covered to prevent horses from being scared of crossing; the truth is that bridges were covered to protect them from the elements. Take note of the craftsmanship and imagine the effort put forth so many years ago – over 100 years for several.
The FOOD Network has been spotted several times tailing local chefs who take advantage of the abundant local products to prepare dishes that make you want to lick the plate.
In historic Ashtabula Harbor, guests can stroll shops, get a glimpse of the lighthouse and eat until their waistbands are tight.
Vantage point can change your experience. Guests are invited to experience nature from the treetops on a zipline, from the water on a swan paddleboat or from the ground on a nature path. There are dozens of parks and preserves in northeast Ohio and all are under the canopy of migration paths for many species of birds. Don’t forget to pack your binoculars.
It’s a Tradition
The first summer resort in Ohio was located at Geneva-on-the-Lake over 150 years ago. The iconic strip still beckons guests. Many won’t let the year pass without a stop at their favorite watering hole or for their favorite donut or chilidog. Rent a golf cart and begin your own tradition at GOTL where “summer bummin” is on the calendar every day, wrapped up with a lakeside sunset.
Learn more at www.VisitAshtabulaCounty.com where you can request a travel guide for the area and begin to plan your next getaway.