Sandusky Ohio — More than an Amusement Park

I would consider myself more of a photographer than a writer, but I would like to share some highlights from my recent trip to Sandusky. Lake Erie Shores & Islands was kind enough to invite me to explore their up and coming city. I had been to Sandusky many times to visit Cedar Point. I don’t ride coasters or “thrill rides,” so it was great to find that Sandusky has more to offer than just an amusement park. I’ll walk you through my trip in the three essential segments of every good trip, in my opinion, photography, food, and fun.


I was only in Sandusky for three days and two night, so there are probably a lot of places that I did not get to photograph. One of the best places to shoot if you are in the area is the Marblehead Lighthouse. It has a unique setting that makes it fun to photograph. There are also many areas with wildflowers or appealing landscapes of the lake. Also, if you enjoy that sunset light, you can take a ride on the Goodtime I Sunset Cruise. It provides some scenic views of Sandusky Bay and Cedar Point.


Let’s just say that Sandusky has more food options than you would ever believe. If you are a hearty breakfast eater, like me, you should check out Bates Farm Kitchen. Chef Clint Bates will make you a superb farm-to-table meal. I had the biscuits and gravy, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. If you are more of a cup of coffee person, like my wife, you may like Boom Town Coffee
Or if you stay at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, as I did, you can enjoy their breakfast. They have a cool automatic pancake maker, at least I thought it was pretty cool! Push a button, and you’ve got pancakes! It’s like magic! 
For lunch, you can sit by the water and eat at Dockside Café. I had their double cheeseburger and fries. I definitely recommend them. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, we also checked out Osteria Gusto at the Firelands Winery. They serve amazing Italian food. I was in pasta, pizza, and cheese heaven. Also, if your like me and don’t consume “adult beverages,” they have possibly the greatest grape juice that I have ever tasted. 
There are so many options for dinner in this town, but I’ll just tell you my experience. My favorite was J. Bistro because I’m a kid and still love pasta. I had the Chicken Linguini. If you are more adventurous eater like my wife (which means you eat more than cheeseburgers and pasta), you would probably want to try the sushi and other delicacies at the Small City Taphouse. If you have an appetite for Asian and Vietnamese food, they’ve got you covered! 
Of course, after every one of those meals, you will need a dessert. I would go ahead and add Toft’s Dairy to the favorites on my google maps app. I believe the dairy started in 1900, so let’s just say they’ve figured it out.


Of course, if you’re looking for fun in Sandusky, you’ll think about Cedar Point, and that’s fine if you feel like getting dropped, flipped, and precariously projected into the air. But for the rest of us more mature (okay, scared) people looking for something to do, there are quite a few things. You should really try the Segway tour from Segwave. Not only will learn the history of Sandusky but you will also meet Jim, probably the best Segway teacher in the US. I know that Segways have picked up a bad rap, but it was honestly my favorite activity! If you’re looking for a thrill ride like a roller coaster without the seatbelts, visit Tony at the Air1 Airboats. Tony’s airboat literally flies across the water giving you scenic views of wildlife that take you right by Cedar Point. Ghostly Manor has something for everyone in the family to do. They are known for their haunted house, but with the skating, golfing, escape rooming, laser dodging, and other fun activities, you don’t have to get the life scared out of you. But tell me how it goes, if you do decide to go. If you like educational or more cultured fun, we visited the Merry-Go-Round Museum, Maritime Museum of Sandusky, and the Sandusky State Theatre. I found the Merry-Go-Round Museum one of the neatest places. I can’t say that I have ever been a huge merry-go-round fan or anything, but the tour was very intriguing. It was interesting to see how much creativity goes into each animal. I’m probably not going to add horse carving to my list of hobbies, but I would love to take my kids back, so they can ride the carousel and learn the fascinating facts about the Merry-Go-Round Museum.

During my visit to Sandusky, someone used the word momentum to describe the city. I would say that is what I observed. We met with Sandusky City Manager Eric Wobser and Sandusky 2018 Bicentennial Chair McKenzie Spriggs, and they shared their passion for their city and their exciting plans for their bicentennial celebration. And even, Ryan Whaley, owner of Hotel Kilbourne/Moseley’s Public House, expressed his enthusiasm for the rise of Sandusky. Ryan has an impressive vision for the future of his city. So, next time you drive through Sandusky to get to Cedar Point, I would recommend you stop and see what else the city has to offer. I think you’ll be impressed.