A guide to the top-rated, mom-approved beaches in Northwest Ohio
One of the greatest things about living in Northwest Ohio (as if you needed another reason to set your roots here) is that we are nestled into the shores of Lake Erie, one of the nation’s Great Lakes. This means we have access to some GREAT family-friendly beaches. Whether you are looking for a quick day trip with your kids, or a close-to-home vacation destination for those long summer weekends, there is a beach for you just around the corner.
The following beaches are all mom-recommended and kid-approved.
Maumee Bay State Park Beach
1400 State Park Rd.
Oregon, OH 43616
Maumee Bay State Park is situated along the western shores of Lake Erie, amidst wet woods and marshes, in Oregon, OH. It boasts two sand beaches (one on Lake Erie and the other on the park’s inland lake), a lodge with hotel rooms and cottages, camping facilities, a golf course, and more. This makes it the perfect location for a weekend getaway!
The Maumee Bay State Park beaches are free to the public and include a concession area and changing booths. Non-motorized recreational boats are approved and available for rent on the inland beach (canoes, paddleboats, and rowboats), and wave runners can be rented and used at the Lake Erie beach. Boaters can dock at the marina to get in on the fun, too!
Your kids will love chasing the seagulls, checking out the hiking trails, and collecting shells along the Lake Erie coast. Bonus – the inland lake is great for swimming when Lake Erie is too cold or built up with algae.
Cedar Point Beach
1 Cedar Point Dr.
Sandusky, OH 44870
Located just outside the gates of Cedar Point Amusement Park (aka “America’s Roller Coast”), Cedar Point Beach stretches approximately one mile along the shore of Lake Erie and if you are listening, you can hear the laughter and screams of park guests as they ride some of Cedar Points’ famous attractions. This private access, white sand beach includes lounge chairs, Jet Ski rentals, beach volleyball, restrooms, and nearby restaurants, and is the perfect place to relax, cool off and unwind after or in-between park visits. Open-water swim is permitted during park operating hours.
Cedar Point Beach is available to all Cedar Point Amusement Park, Cedar Point Shores Water Park, Cedar Point Resort guests, and Season/Platinum Passholders.
Lakeview Park/Port Clinton City Beach
1100 E. Perry St.
Port Clinton, OH 43452
Port Clinton City Beach is a small, public access beach located on Port Clinton’s E. Perry Street. Directly across the street is Lakeview Park which boasts a picnic area, charcoal grills, concessions stand, public restrooms/changing area, outdoor showers and a large playground. The playground may actually be the best part of this beach! It has a unique, nautical theme that includes a lighthouse with a telescope, boat, mini-coaster swing, and a variety of other equipment that is perfect for all ages. Grab a hot dog or ice cream cone from the concession stand and watch your children play for hours; then rinse off at the beach!
A couple of things to note about this beach in particular – it is located along a relatively busy road (there is a street light and crosswalk from the parking lot/park) and the shore is pretty rocky. Water shoes are suggested!
East Harbor State Park Beach
1169 N. Buck Rd.
Marblehead, OH 43440
East Harbor State Park Beach is a 1,500-foot sand beach with free public access located in Marblehead, Ohio, just south of Catawba Island. Open from dawn until dusk, the park has several hiking trails, a bike path, fishing, and nearby campgrounds. Changing areas are available as well as grills, vending machines, picnic areas, and playgrounds. The beach is clean and easily accessible so you don’t have to lug all of that gear (mom’s you know what I am talking about) too far while trying to keep your kids from running off. There are also a ton of great spots for impromptu (or planned) photo-ops and ships nearby.
Also, on days it isn’t too crowded you can find a shady area to sit – SCORE!
White Star Quarry Beach
901 South Main St.
Gibsonburg, OH 43431
White Star Quarry is toted as the best place for inland scuba diving in Northern Ohio, so if you are a diver; this is the place for you. But, if diving isn’t your thing, head on over to White Star Beach to catch some rays and have some fun on this clean, sand beach with crystal-clear (and turquoise in some areas!) water. For a small fee, you and your kiddos can enjoy the quarry which includes a playground just outside the beach, a snack stand, grills, and picnic tables.
Bonus – this beach isn’t on Lake Erie so there is no need to worry about algal blooms!
Other Beaches of Note
Gem Beach (Private Access)
Port Clinton, OH 43452
Metzger’s Marsh Beach
12600 Bono Road
Curtice, Ohio 43412
Crane Creek State Park Beach
Oak Harbor, Ohio 43449