Our favorite place here is Kelleys Island State Park. The beach has ultraclear water, fine sand and a gentle slope that makes wading a treat. But first, you have to get to the island. The ferry ride takes 20 minutes; we suggest bringing your car. (419) 798-9763; kelleysislandferry.com
When you arrive, check in at Kelleys Island Venture Resort, an all-suites hotel with amenities (flat-screen TVs, landscaped pool) you expect from a good chain. From $245. (419) 746-2900; kiventureresort.com
There’s no on-site dining, but steps away, Kelleys Island Brewery is a great choice. Eat feta fries while enjoying the Lake Erie view. (419) 746-2314; kelleysislandbrewpub.com
Ready to explore the park? You can take soak up the sun, take a hike or rent kayaks. (419) 746-2546; ohiodnr.com Most visitors also check out the island’s glacial grooves, limestone channels carved by glaciers. ohiohistory.org
Try the breakfast parfait and cinnamon toast at Kelleys Island Brewery. Then soak up the lush island scenery from bikes or golf carts; several companies offer rentals. Or spend the morning relaxing in the pool or hot tubs at Kelleys Island Venture Resort.
Round out your stay by visiting the smattering of souvenir shops on the island, and grab lunch at The Village Pump restaurant, a friendly spot popular with boaters. Sink into a giant plate of nachos or fish tacos, or sample the lobster bisque. (419) 746-2281; villagepump.com
For more information: Lake Erie Shores and Islands (800) 255-3743; shoresandislands.com
Kelleys Island Chamber of Commerce (419) 746-2360; kelleysislandchamber.com