Erie CountyGrowth

And the winner is… Sandusky named top coastal small town in nationwide vote


Lake Erie Shores & Islands

SANDUSKY – The results are in, and what local residents and visitors have known for years is finally gaining national recognition – that Sandusky is the best coastal small town in America.

Recently, a panel of experts at USA Today nominated Sandusky for its 10 Best Coastal Small Towns award. Nominees for this prestigious honor had to have a population of less than 25,000 and offer “uncrowded, unpretentious, and affordable” waterfront fun. Once chosen for the award, a nationwide vote was launched and Sandusky beat out 19 other towns for the top spot.

“We are proud and honored to be named Best Coastal Small Town,” stated City Manager Eric Wobser. “This recognition is a testament to the community spirit and sense of momentum that inspired our residents to vote for Sandusky.”

In addition to now being known as the Best Coastal Small Town in the country, Sandusky is also known as the home of world-class attractions, including: Cedar Point amusement park, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, indoor water parks, a vibrant shopping and dining scene, and its waterfront with ferry service to the Lake Erie islands and even Canada!

All of Sandusky, but in particular it’s downtown area, has seen a renaissance over the past several years. Sandusky has seen an investment of $100M with historic buildings being renovated and over 30 new businesses entering the marketplace. Public-private projects are transforming the waterfront and the city, including: the creation of a 12 mile path, called the Sandusky Bay Pathway, a distinct program with Bowling Green State University and Cedar Fair that offers students the opportunity to learn resort management and hospitality from Cedar Point professionals, and the reconstruction of a pier to include a greenspace, boardwalk and sunset stairs. The downtown offers an incredible food destination along with a variety of activities: ax throwing, escape rooms, Segway tours, and kayak and paddleboard rentals. The recent addition of Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center, an outdoor sports entertainment complex, combined with a new indoor sports facility debuting later this year, along with the area’s outstanding fishery, and other venues have helped make the area “America’s Sports & Family Fun Capital.”

“This helps propel Sandusky and the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region to a worldwide audience,” said Larry Fletcher, President of Lake Erie Shores & Islands. “Travelers today are looking for authentic, small town experiences. And when you combine the numerous attractions, restaurants, shopping, dining, and overnight accommodation offerings, it’s no wonder that Sandusky earned this recognition.”

To learn more about what’s happening in the city of Sandusky, check out the city’s website at