Escape from the daily grind with a trip to the lake, but not just any lake, and pack up the family and visit Lake Erie. This lake is one of the five that make up the Great Lakes, and it’s the 13th largest lake in the world. There are many vacation rentals in Lake Erie that you can rent for your special trip, and you can plan your days filled with fun and the sun. Here are our ten recommendations for things to do and places ago during your Lake Erie vacation.

1. Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

marblehead lighthouse
Source: Flickr/cmh235fl

Pack up the car and take a trip back in time to the oldest lighthouse on Lake Erie that still operates. During the summer months, your group can enjoy a tour of the lighthouse. Take a picnic lunch with you and throw a blanket on one of the large rocks on the water’s edge for a meal your family won’t soon forget.

2. Boating

sailboat
Source: Flickr/TimothyJ

Whether you want the slower pace of a sailboat or the speed of a powerboat, Lake Erie is ready for you. Use one of the boat launches to put your own boat in the water. If you don’t own a boat, you can still hit the waves with a day or afternoon rental from one of the many local rental companies.

3. Put-in-Bay

winery tasting
Source: Flickr/daveynin

Pile everyone in the boat for the 20-minute ride out to Put-in-Bay. Once there, your family can rent bikes and explore the area or relax on the guided tram tour. Your party can spend some time learning more about wine at the Heineman’s Winery and buy a bottle to take home.

4. Jet Skiing

jet skiing
Source: Flickr/Eiti Kimura

Gather the group together and head out onto the lake for some high-speed hi-jinks on jet skis. You can use your own or rent them from a local company. This activity is great for groups without young kids, but smaller members of the group can ride with adults depending on the size of the jet ski. Don’t forget your life jackets.

5. Kelleys Island

kelleys island
Source: Flickr/Roy Luck

Take a day to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kelleys Island with the family. This is the largest of Ohio’s Lake Erie islands and a third of it is protected as a state park. Be sure to check out the glacial grooves where glaciers rubbed against each other during the formation of the island. You can even enjoy a romantic night at one of the island’s bed and breakfast establishments.

6. Swimming

lake swimming
Source: Flickr./Gary Brownell

Enjoy a day playing, splashing and swimming in the water of Lake Erie. Your family has its choice of beach areas with a variety of state parks in the area, such as East Harbor State Park. When you need a break from swimming, enjoy the wildlife or take a stroll along the lake. Don’t forget the sunscreen.

7. Cedar Point Amusement Park

amusement park
Source: Flickr/Jeremy Thompson

Take a break from the water and island life for some traditional thrills at this amusement park that blends exciting roller coasters with more relaxing rides, such as a carousel. However, you can’t escape the lake for long since your family can catch breathtaking views of Lake Erie from the heights of the roller coasters as they fly along the tracks.

8. Bird Watching

blue heron
Source: Flickr/Tyrin Price

While on vacation, encourage the family to take up a new hobby, bird watching, at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. Buy everyone their own notebook to keep notes on the birds they see and what they like best about each one. Take a couple of pair of binoculars to get an up-close look at the more timid birds.

9. Merry-Go-Round Museum

galloping
Source: Flickr/Ruth Hartnup

Who doesn’t love the romance of a carousel? Learn more about the history of merry-go-rounds at this unique museum. This indoor museum is a great place to spend a rainy afternoon and ride on a restored carousel from 1939. The kids and young at heart in your group won’t want to leave.

10. Nature Walk

maumee bay park
Source: Flickr/Becker1999

Return to a slower pace at Maumee Bay State Park with a nature walk. This state park offers 2-mile boardwalk trail where you and the family can stroll along and keep an eye out for the local wildlife. The park has interactive displays at the nature center and a butterfly gazebo. There’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy on a lazy afternoon.