FUN ALONG THE SHORES OF LAKE ERIE
There are very few things in life as fun and exciting as seeing new things. After four years of full time RVing, we’ve started visiting places a second or even third time. Of course, we are always finding new things to do in areas we’ve visited before like going to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls a few weeks ago. However, the past few weeks have been filled with entirely new-to-us places as we’ve been making our way along the Pennsylvania and Ohio coastlines of Lake Erie.
Our first new-to-us stop was Presque Isle, a peninsula located in Erie, Pennsylvania. It’s name in French means “almost an island.” It became a state park in 1921.
It’s a beautiful peninsula with much to see and do, including two lighthouses. The Presque Isle Lighthouse was the second American lighthouse on Lake Erie, built in 1872. The tower is 74 feet tall and the red brick house at the base is still used as a residence at the park.
Hiking, tours, boating, kayaking, fishing, and bird watching are among the many activities on Presque Isle. We decided to rent a bicycle built for five and head out on one of the bikes paths.
Thing 3 had a front row seat although I think he really wanted to be the driver!
Located at the base of the Presque Isle State Park is Waldameer Park and Water World. It’s the 10th oldest amusement park in America.
General admission to the park is free, making it a great affordable activity for families who may or may not like to ride rides. You can purchase a wristband for anyone who wants unlimited riding privileges or purchase individual ride tickets for those who prefer to ride just a few.
We haven’t been to many amusement parks on our travels through the United States. Most of the time we prefer quieter activities like visiting national parks or museums but this was a nice change. Thing 1 and Thing 2 had lots of fun riding together.
With classic games and rides like the swinging boat and wooden coasters, Waldameer has a vintage kind of charm that certainly makes it worth the stop!
We headed back to Ashtabula County where we used our Thousand Trails membership and set up base camp at the Kenisee Lakes RV Resort where we could take day trips and explore the surrounding area.
We also spent time relaxing by the lake and playing miniature golf at the campground.
From our base camp, we took a trip to Geneva-on-the-Lake, an old-fashioned lakefront getaway often considered one of Ohio’s first summer resorts.
The central attraction is the main street lined with restaurants, arcades, shops, and parks. Eddie’s grill has been serving visitors since 1950.
Geneva-on-the-Lake is appropriately located right along the shore of Lake Erie where a path overlooking the lake offers beautiful views of the water.
Our boys were happy to pop into one of the arcades to play a few games.
Even I couldn’t resist playing one of my childhood favorites, Galaga! I challenged Thing 2 to a game and I may or may not have won. 😉
The city of Cleveland was about a 45-minute drive from our home base. We had no idea how many things there were to do in Cleveland! It’s a lovely city with something for everyone. We started with a visit to the West Side Market in Ohio City, one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods, to pick up some produce and experience a little of Cleveland’s history.
Dating back to 1840, West Side Market is Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market. The market is home to over a hundred vendors selling everything from ethnic foods to fresh produce to meats and cheese.
It’s a foodie’s paradise!!!
The produce stands were a feast for the eyes with fresh fruit and vegetables meticulously arranged and balanced in heaping piles.
After a bit of shopping, we had some cupcakes, you know, to balance out all those fruits and veggies!
One of the most popular attractions in Cleveland is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the bank of Lake Erie. Originally planned to be housed in a brownstone in New York City, the museum opened its Cleveland-based doors in 1995 after numerous visits to many potential sites around the country by the board members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. The building was designed by world-renown architect I.M. Pei.
The museum houses some of the world’s most significant and legendary artifacts of rock and roll including one of Ringo Starr’s (2015 inductee) drum sets from the Beatles.
Of course, you won’t be disappointed if you are a fan of the King of Rock and Roll! The museum has an extensive collection of Elvis (rightly one of the first inductees) memorabilia.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is certainly worth the stop for anyone with an interest in good ole’ rock and roll music.
With so many choices of things to do in Cleveland, it was hard to make up our mind on what else to see. After a little searching on the Internet, we decided a visit to the Cleveland Art Museum was a must!
The museum is located in the Wade Park district in the lovely University Circle neighborhood.
The building itself is impressive. Galleries range from large open rooms to small intimate spaces to glass rooms with sweeping views of the surrounding neighborhood.
The museum is home to an extensive collection of over 45,000 pieces ranging from ancient to modern in all types of mediums. Thing 1 and I were particularly fascinated by the ancient Egyptian collection!
There were many famous contemporary artists represented as well and it was fascinating to see the evolution of art from ancient to modern all in one well laid out place.
Brent and I have always loved going to art museums together and we’ve been taking our kids to art museums since they were little in hopes of instilling a sense of appreciation. Plus, art is a wonderful way to bring history to life. I can’t say our boys jump up and down when we tell them an art museum is on the itinerary, but over the years there has been less complaining. During this visit, I even caught Thing 1 taking pictures of a few pieces.
It was definitely an afternoon well spent. If you are in Cleveland, it’s a must see and with free admission, there is nothing to lose!
We really feel like we scored with our visit to Cleveland. Honestly, we had no idea that the city has so much to offer. We could have stayed for weeks and still had plenty to do. Well, we are heading north along Lake Erie as we continue our Great Lakes Summer Tour. Next stop is Dearborn, Michigan to check out the Henry Ford and then onto Traverse City! We hope you come along with us!
Where are you going RVing this summer? Do you enjoy art museums? Are there places you love to go but your kids are kinda “meh”? Do you avoid taking your kids to those places or bring them along anyway? Who is your favorite rock star?