By JILL BAUER
Lake Erie Shores & Islands
We know, nobody NEEDS a new reason to enjoy the amazing activities and summer fun at Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands! But whether you’re a regular visitor or a newbie just learning the ropes of all the fun there is to be had, everyone enjoys learning about the exciting, new things available. Here are just a few of the new attractions offered this year:
1. Monster Jam Thunder Alley roars into Cedar Point this summer, now through June 30! Get up close, sit in, and even ride in some of your favorite Monster Jam trucks at this all-new, limited-time experience. Monster Jam Thunder Alley includes four adrenaline-charged experiences included with park admission. Forbidden Frontier on Adventure Island also makes its debut at the park. The new attraction is described as an interactive experience, where you are challenged both mentally and physically to solve the mystery surrounding the Forbidden Frontier. It is said every experience has a different ending, determined by the player and the secrets unlocked.
2. Skydive Put-in-Bay offers a unique new way to experience island thrills. Tandem jumps are available with island-based air service, Island Air Taxi, in conjunction with instructor JR Piosek, with over 20 years of experience and more than 19,000 jumps. Jumps include hand cam video to document your one-of-a-kind adventure.
3. The Lake Erie Shores & Islands Cheers Trail is a fun way to explore area wineries, breweries, and distilleries. With 18 locations to discover, this new trail offers a reward to those who visit five locations. Pick up a brochure at one of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands welcome centers, get stickers when you make a qualifying purchase at participating locations, and return your trail map with five stickers to receive a free gift. Complete the entire trail, and you can be entered to win a future getaway!
4. The Marketplace at the Cooke is a new indoor retail and restaurant space in downtown Sandusky, part of a $6 million renovation of the iconic Cooke Building at the corner of Columbus Ave. and Market St. Businesses within the marketplace include a Sandusky Children’s Museum, Noble Axes axe-throwing, Fancy Me Boutique, Bake Erie specialty sweets, Doughin’ Crazy edible cookie dough and ice cream, Derrick Jr’s barbecue and soul food, and Sandusky Bell and Deli. The marketplace will also host pop-up-shops from various local artisans.
5. Port Clinton offers a brand new, four-story Fairfield Inn and Suites, which recently opened at a beautiful waterfront location. The new 85-room hotel features lakeside views and large suites along with Marriott Hotel amenities such as fast Wi-Fi, continental breakfast, fitness center, and indoor pool.
6. New this year at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions are two escape room attractions for families. Families will love these new “Out of This World” escape rooms. The adventures are perfect for all experience levels. Check out this two-part mission and book the Desert of Time where you’ll be transported into space, then finish out your journey as you Escape from Planet Obscura on a quest back to planet Earth.
7. Lakeside Chautauqua introduces a number of exciting new attractions to the resort community dedicated to nurturing mind, body, and spirit. The creators of the popular Sandusky restaurant, Barra, will open the Lago Coastal Café. The restaurant features a walk-up window for carryout service, an indoor café, and shaded outdoor seating. The brand-new Pickleball Center opens this summer and the Lakeside Chautauqua organization recently introduced a new app which offers program and schedule information on mobile devices. The Lakeside Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of new music director and conductor Daniel Meyer, will add a Pops concert and two new matinee youth concerts to its schedule.
8. Erie Shore Wave Runners is now open at Captain’s Corner Marina in Vermilion. In addition to wave runner rentals, the business offers guided tours through the Vermilion Lagoons, Vermilion River and the nearby coastline via personal watercraft.
These are just a few of the new and notable attractions coming online this summer. What will you add to your summer Shores & Islands bucket list?