The only thing that can make a charming town even more charming is a waterfront view or two.
Fortunately, Ohio is home to several waterfront towns that offer gorgeous views of Lake Erie, the Ohio River and other bodies of water we’ve come to know and love here in the Buckeye State. The following are 11 of our favorite waterfront towns in Ohio that we think are picture perfect for a day trip.
The historic riverboat town of Marietta is known as the first permanent settlement of the Northwest Territory. The town borders West Virginia and is nestled along the banks of both the Muskingum and Ohio Rivers. It's also known for its Victorian-style houses, European ambience, brick streets and sternwheelers.
At the tip of the scenic Marblehead Peninsula the charming town of Marblehead features the iconic Marblehead Lighthouse, beautiful views of Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay and boating culture. The lighthouse is the Great Lakes' oldest continuously operating lighthouse and is open for tours during the summer.
When you want to really get away from it all for a day and see a side of Ohio you may not have ever seen before, consider visiting the Lake Erie Islands. It’s a lot easier than you think—and you can do it in just a day. Take a ferry to South Bass Island, where you'll find Put-In-Bay. No matter your interests, you'll find something to do in this one-of-a-kind town.
Settled in 1790, The French City sits along the Ohio River in Southeast Ohio. The centrally located city park (pictured) features beautiful views of the river and serves as the heart of the town. State Route 7, the longest state route in Ohio, runs through downtown Gallipolis and right along the river.
5. Port Clinton
The quaint fishing town of Port Clinton has a unique charm all its own year-round. As a safe harbor for Lake Erie boaters and the "Walleye Capital of the World," Port Clinton eats, sleeps and breathes fishing. No matter the time of year, you're likely to see marina after marina packed with fishing boats, people fishing from the pier and the catch of the day being sold at local restaurants and markets.
With a name like Loveland, how could it not be beautiful? Home to the historic Loveland Castle, this lovely little town covers just five square miles in the greater Cincinnati area. Loveland also straddles the Little Miami River (pictured,) and is known for its beautiful bike path (also pictured,) the Little Miami Scenic River Bike Trail.
7. Chagrin Falls
This Cuyahoga County village is the epitome of charm. The town's name is derived from the waterfalls of the Chagrin River. Chagrin Falls (pictured above) flows in the heart of the town, which was established in 1845.
8. Grand Rapids
This charming village is located along the southern bank of the Maumee River, just southwest of Toledo. This restored canal town is truly one of a kind. While you're here, we recommend lunch at La Roe's Restaurant and a ride on a canal boat pulled by mules down the restored Miami & Erie Canal.
Home to the breathtakingly beautiful Mohican State Park, Loudonville is a true gem for nature lovers. The Mohican River flows right through the town and park. Popular activities here include smallmouth bass fishing, canoeing and hiking. For an unforgettable visit, rent a nearby cabin for a quiet, overnight getaway.
"Where southern hospitality begins," this small city lies east of the mouth of the Scioto River at the Ohio River. During your visit here, be sure to eat at The Scioto Ribber and check out the Southern Ohio Museum and historic murals.
Also along the banks of the Maumee River is Perrysburg, home to Fort Meigs, the largest wooden wall fortification in North America. This town features rich history, and kayaking at Meigs on the River is a popular activity here.
Have you been to any of these towns before? What’s your favorite waterfront town in Ohio? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!