The New Midwest Vacation
Big-time thrill rides and quiet beaches: Ohio
Plenty of Midwesterners chase thrills at theme parks, 10 million of us at last count, in fact. We're almost 30 percent more likely than other Americans to vacation at theme parks. And if you're looking for the next hot ride, all you really need to know about is Sandusky's Cedar Point Amusement Park.
America's second-oldest amusement park, set along Lake Erie west of Cleveland, holds one of the planet's great collections of roller coasters. Out of the park's 75 rides, 17 are roller coasters (left). The Millennium Force tops out at 93 mph. This screamer and its kin all stand within an hour of Cleveland, two hours of Detroit and Columbus and an easy day's drive from Milwaukee, Chicago and Indy.
If you get woozy just by walking through a revolving door, relax. A half-dozen golden beaches stretch about 90 miles along this shore from Vermilion (40 miles east of Cleveland) to Maumee Bay State Park outside Toledo. Perhaps the best sand beach on Lake Erie unfolds just beyond the lobby doors of The Breakers, Cedar Point's glorious white wedding cake of a 1905 hotel. And for visitors who like quieter surroundings, ferries regularly depart for peaceful offshore island.