Lake Erie is a feature that we, believe it or not, sometimes forget about. When you see it every day, it becomes a familiar part of your routine and loses some of its ability to wow you with its majesty. Fortunately for Clevelanders, the entirety of Lake Erie’s southern shore is abundant with parks that offer us new perspectives of the lake’s beauty. Many of the parks are surprisingly close to home, and a quick visit as the sun is retreating into the horizon will restore in you incredible awe for this vast body of water. Fuel up the car, because we’re headed on a Lake Erie road trip!
Prepare to immerse yourself in complete beauty, because this quick road trip will take you to the best parks on Lake Erie's southern shore.
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1. Lakefront Reservation
Lakefront Reservation is, without a doubt, one of the more magical places in Greater Cleveland. Located right on Lake Erie's shore, this park is complete with gorgeous trails and swimming beaches. It's a splendid place to enjoy seasonal migrations of birds and butterflies alike. This is a downright dreamy place to visit at dusk, as there truly is nothing like a Cleveland sunset.
Address: 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway, Cleveland, OH, 44102
2. Kenneth J Sims Park
Next up on our trip, we're headed into Euclid to take in the splendor of a little-known spot on the lakeshore. This park is petite at only about 32 acres in size, but it's absolutely coveted by birdwatchers and nature lovers. The park's playground is fun for visiting children, but adults will find themselves wowed by the on-site English Tudor-style estate, Henn Mansion.
Address: 23131 Lake Shore Boulevard, Cleveland, OH, 44123
3. Sunset Park
The appropriately named Sunset Park out in Willoughby is a breath of fresh air. At only two acres in size, this is one park that's often overlooked by nature-loving locals. However, its stunning sloped bluff landscape offers one of the most spectacular views anywhere on the coast. The park also features swing benches, which provide a serene space to cozy up for a romantic evening.
Address: 38327 Beachview Road, Willoughby, OH, 44094
4. Overlook Beach Park
At three acres in size, Overlook Beach Park is another site that's easily overlooked. However, its 375-foot-long beach offers a stunning way to spend the day in the sun. Much of this park is void of shade, meaning that you should certainly plan to bring sunscreen on your trip. Pack a picnic and dine in the lakefront gazebo, or wade in the water and feel the sand beneath your toes.
Address: Address: 5882 Thunderbird Drive, Mentor-On-The-Lake, OH, 44060
5. Mentor Beach Park
Mentor, as it turns out, is a splendid area to immerse yourself in lakefront beauty. This 13-acre park includes swings that face the lake, offering a lovely place to enjoy a little bit of the Lake Erie breeze.
Address: 7779 Lakeshore Boulevard, Mentor-On-The-Lake, OH, 44060
6. Headlands Beach State Park
The one-mile-long sandy beach of Headlands Beach State Park will leave you feeling like you've just spent the day somewhere tropical. As the largest natural beach in Ohio, this is a must-see site for nature lovers and sun worshipers alike. The beach is accented by the presence of plants that are usually only found on the Atlantic Coast, adding watercolor-like magic to the otherwise barren dunes.
Address: 9601 Headlands Road, Mentor, OH, 44060
7. Painesville Township Park
This 37-acre park has entertained visitors since the 1920s and it has recently undergone renovations under the care and guidance of Lake Metroparks. This park is always open, and each and every season decorates its landscape in a new and spectacular way. The water is too unpredictable here to swim, but fishers adore this Lake Erie fishing spot. There's nothing dreamier than a sunset strut down the park's 200-foot pier.
Address: 1025 Hardy Road, Painesville, OH, 44077
8. Lake Erie Bluffs
You'll find lakefront views, wetlands, and meadows throughout this magnificent 600-acre park. The appropriately named Lake Erie Bluffs park features beach bluffs overlooking both sandy and cobble beaches, creating a dreamy place to hike, fish, and camp. Lovers of the great outdoors are hooked to this dreamy destination, which is why it's an ideal way to end this road trip... there's nothing like a stay at
the park's campsites
Address: 2901 Clark Road, Perry, OH, 44081
A drive down Lake Erie’s coast is often the best medicine if you start to feel the pangs of cabin fever. Which of these spectacular waterfront parks is your favorite?
Can’t get enough of the outdoors, but can’t quite convince yourself to leave the amenities of home behind? Don’t worry, you can find the best of both worlds when you go
glamping near Cleveland.
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