Because its shores touch on several different states as well as the Ontario province of Canada, you can have any kind of vacation you want on Lake Eric. Whether you and your family are seeking beautiful sandy beaches, exciting water sports, parks to have barbecues in, or big city museums, you can find whatever you want here. As you search for the perfect Lake Erie vacation rental, consider staying in these ten areas around the lake.

1. Toledo, Ohio

Located on the western end of Lake Erie on the bank of the Maumee River, Toledo is a perfect vacation rental base from which to explore the region. The city has a lot of great things to do, like visiting the Toledo Zoo and the African Safari Wildlife Park. Peruse the exhibits at Toledo’s many museums, including the National Museum of the Great Lakes and the Toledo Art Museum. Take the kids to the Butterfly House, the Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, or the Merry-Go-Round Museum. Shop at farmer’s markets or upscale boutiques — whatever you’re in the mood for.

2. Kelley’s Island, Ohio

The largest American island on Lake Erie, Kelley’s Island is a great place to look for a vacation rental if you’re excited to unwind and relax with a small-town feeling. The island’s four square miles have an amazing diversity of activities, including swimming, boating, fishing, and bird watching. Take the kids to the island’s beautiful playground, or play a round at the miniature golf course. Rent a bicycle or golf cart and tour the island. You can even learn how to scuba dive, and explore some of the many shipwrecks in the area. Interestingly, sometimes it’s warmer on Kelley’s Island in the winter than it is on the mainland, so this is a fun place to go when it gets cold.

3. Sandusky, Ohio

Staying in Sandusky puts you within easy distance of beaches and islands in Lake Erie. The city is best known for its theme parks (people from all over Ohio travel to them), and the city has a number of unique indoor and outdoor water parks where you and your family can cool off in the summer. Sandusky’s main attraction is the immense Cedar Point amusement park, which has over a mile of beachfront and one of the largest collections of rides in the world, including over 15 roller coasters.

4. Cleveland, Ohio

Rock fans know Cleveland as the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and football fans know it as the site of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (which is actually in nearby Canton, Ohio), but in fact, choosing a vacation rental in this fascinating city on the shore of Lake Erie ensures that everyone can find something to interest them. Besides using the city as a base to explore the coastal area, enjoy exploring local attractions such as the Great Lakes Science Center, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Cleveland Aquarium, and the Botanical Garden. Cleveland also has a number of lakefront parks where you can hike, cycle, observe wildlife, and go boating. Definitely go to an Indian’s game on a warm summer night – you’ll love the energy!

5. Erie, Pennsylvania

A vacation rental in Erie, Pennsylvania, provides easy access to a multitude of water activities. Presque Isle State Park has long sandy beaches and opportunities for swimming, surfing, fishing, and cycling. Stroll the lovely landscape on foot, or rent a pontoon or kayak and explore it on the water. Take the children to one of America’s oldest amusement parks, the Waldameer Park and Water World, or view the flora and fauna at the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens.

6. Chautauqua, New York

A vacation rental in the town of Chautauqua near the eastern shore of Lake Erie offers you access to Chautauqua County’s many sights and activities. Enjoy sunbathing, swimming, fishing, and boating at the numerous beaches. Take advantage of the ideal conditions that make Chautauqua a bird watcher’s paradise at Dunkirk Harbor, Point Gratiot, Luensman Overview Park, and the Watts Flats Wildlife Management Area. Hike or cycle the trails at the many local parks.

7. Buffalo, New York

Situated on the eastern shore of Lake Erie on the bank of the Niagara River, the city of Buffalo bursts with attractive sights and activities. A Buffalo vacation rental offers quick and easy access to world-famous Niagara Falls. The city itself is a treasure trove of museums, galleries, and opportunities for shopping. Parks and marinas line the impressive waterfront. At the nearby Outer Harbor, enjoy hiking, cycling, boating, and fishing.

8. Port Dover, Ontario

During the summer months, a vacation rental near the long sandy beach lined with palm trees in Port Dover, Canada, can fool you into thinking you’re in the tropics or on the Mediterranean. After a relaxing day of swimming and sunbathing, take a stroll along the scenic pier and watch the local watercraft. Have a drink or a meal at a beachside cafe or restaurant.

9. Port Stanley, Ontario

Located in the middle of Lake Erie’s north coast, Port Stanley, Canada, offers vacation rentals near family-friendly wide sandy beaches where you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy water sports. The picturesque harbor has a lighthouse at the end of a long pier and a large marina full of diverse watercraft. Play 18 holes at one of several nearby golf courses. Hike the valleys and forested hills of the Elgin Hiking Trail.

10. Port Burwell, Ontario

Located at the mouth of Big Otter Creek on the north shore of Lake Erie, Port Burwell is renowned for its beautiful, expansive sandy beaches. Its premier attraction is Port Burwell Provincial Park, a family friendly location with great swimming, sunbathing, and bird watching opportunities. Check out the Marine Museum, and climb to the top of the Port Burwell Historic Lighthouse for a commanding view of the village, the countryside, and Lake Erie.