Cleveland August 05, 2019
This Unspoiled Beach Town Near Cleveland Is Like A Dream Come True
There are a few places in the United States that feel tropical, but Ohio certainly isn’t one of them. In fact, it’s hard to envision Ohio with
any tropical features like beaches and islands, but both of these can we found right here in the Buckeye State… and just around the corner from Cleveland! This Lake Erie island beckons to adventure seekers, and it’s close enough to home for a day trip. Prepare for some fun in the sun, because we’re about to embark on an island adventure that will have you feeling like you’ve found paradise.
In the blue expanse of Lake Erie, you will find a quaint island with a fascinating history.
Kelleys Island is most famous for featuring Glacial Grooves State Memorial, the most impressive (and most accessible) glacial striations anywhere in the world. In more recent history, this island hosted Native Americans and, eventually, served as a rendezvous point in the War of 1812. It was designated as such by U.S. General William Henry Harrison, but it would take nearly two more decades for the islands to develop a meager population of settlers.
Today, this island entertains thousands of tourists each summer... and very few year-round residents.
A few hundred people call this island home, but several thousand visit the island each summer in search of the paradise it hides. Visitors are not disappointed when they find history, enchanting beaches, and a number of unforgettable campgrounds.
Though this island is just a few miles south of the Canadian border, it feels as though it is somewhere much more tropical than Ohio.
There are a number of lovely sandy stretches on this island that are beckoning to sun worshipers. Kelleys Island State Park has its own charming sandy beach, and fisherman flock to this island that is known as the walleye capital of the world. There is nothing like fishing at local hot spots or renting a fishing charter and hitting the water.
Touring the town is downright magical.
You'll find a great deal of charm throughout the expanse of the Village of Kelleys Island. Its neighborhoods are quaint and historic, but you'll find a few impressive destinations (like Kelleys Mansion, pictured above) that will make your jaw drop.
Throughout your travels in this unspoiled beach community, you'll find a number of incredible attractions... and some just might surprise you.
You will find the ruined walls of an old winery that begin production on the island around 1872 (pictured above). You'll also find additional enchantment right on the horizon - you never know what you'll see out on Lake Erie!
Adventure seekers will find excitement scuba diving under the waters of Lake Erie, exploring the quarry landscape of Horseshoe Lake, or visiting Inscription Rock.
Historic shipwrecks lie under the waters around this island, and on its shores you'll find evidence of human inhabitants in a
petroglyph that dates back hundreds of years
. Horseshoe Lake, the lovely blue lake pictured above, fills a historic former quarry and offers scenic views to hikers exploring this 2,800-acre island.
If you're in search of adventure, you will find this and more in the charming community that has settled on Lake Erie's largest island.
Plan to visit this charming site via ferry (more information
). There's much to love about this unspoiled island community, and its proximity to Cleveland makes it perfect for a day or weekend trip.
This dreamy island is an attraction so close to Cleveland that everyone deserves to pay it a visit at least once. What is your favorite attraction on Kelleys Island? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this island adventure, you’ll love exploring some of the other Lake Erie islands… like