Geneva-on-the-Lake is known for The Strip, a main drag populated with rundown bars, ramshackle rental cabins and game rooms for the kids. It's vintage boardwalk fun bordering on seedy, but Ohio families have been coming here, and loving the kitschy atmosphere, for generations. Coming from the south, travelers hit the lodge, where they'll find an entirely different vibe, before they enter into the wild GOTL fray.
The lodge is modern and large, a bustling hotel designed to blend into its environment (it's built on land leased from the state park) with rustic touches, such as a four-story fireplace in the lobby and windows aimed straight at Lake Erie. On a fall day, the lake is frothy, gray and beautiful, the perfect complement to sipping a glass of wine on the small porches and decks accompanying some rooms on the lakeside of the hotel. While the hotel falters on a few points (you'll only find Wi-Fi in the lobby and rates are inconsistent), it reigns as the largest and most comfortable accommodation in the area. Plus, for a small fee, a shuttle bus ferries visitors among the local wineries.