20 Things To Do In Sandusky Ohio

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Sandusky, a city in northern Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie, was once inhabited by Native Americans. The city dates back to 1838 and was named after the Wyandot word that means water (Saundustee). It’s fitting that many of the things to do in Sandusky involve the bay and river. There’s more water than land – 12.19 square miles (31.56 kilometres square) of Sandusky area is covered in water compared to 9.63 square miles (24.93 kilometres square) of land.

This small city in Ohio has a population of around 75,622 and is between Cleveland, 80 kilometres (80 miles) to the east, and Toledo, 72 kilometres (45 miles) to the west. The most well-known attraction in Sandusky is Cedar Amusement Park, which is worth visiting on its own. While you’re there, there are other things to do in Sandusky too.

Sandusky, Ohio

20 Things To Do In Sandusky Ohio

1- Get An Adrenalin Rush At Cedar Point Amusement Park

fun things to do in sandusky cedar point
One of the fun things to do in Sandusky Ohio is to spend time at Cedar Point Amusement Park.

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Cedar Point Amusement Park is the place to look forward to.

The park is one of the grandest landmarks in Sandusky and lives up to its hype with 17 rollercoasters, from thrilling rides like the Corkscrew and Crosscurrent to family rides like the Cedar Creek Mine Ride.

There are daily events like concerts, festivals and shows. Other facilities are a waterpark, sports complex and family-friendly accommodation.

It’s one of the oldest amusement parks in the USA (150 years) and has won several awards.

The park is spread across 364 acres (147 ha) on Lake Erie’s peninsula, Cedar Point Amusement Park is enormous.

Cedar Point Amusement Park is at 1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870.

2- Attend An Open-Air Concert At Jackson Street Pier

things to do in sandusky cedar point peninsula
Cedar Point Peninsula in Sandusky.

Jackson Street Pier is one of the best outdoor spaces to catch shows, concerts and games.

It is a perfect way to relax and enjoy entertainment, happy vibes and lovely views of Sandusky Bay.

It’s the place to meet the locals and make new friends.

Jackson Street Pier was retransformed in 2018 from a four-acre (1.619 ha) piece of land into an entertainment area with hundreds of parking spaces, staging areas, benches and spots to relax.

Jackson Street Pier is at 233 W Shoreline Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870.

3- Visit The Merry-Go-Round Museum

Discover carousel art and explore its history by visiting the whimsical Merry-Go-Round Museum.

The museum opened in 1990 and was built to celebrate and document the history and design of the carousel.

It’s where you can appreciate the craft and creativity invested in designing the intricate details on a carousel and learn the stories behind famous carousels.

The museum’s carousel dates back to 1991 and was constructed in New York. It came without animals, which were later added.

The gift shop sells miniature carousels to hang at home as a reminder of your visit to Sandusky.

The Merry-Go-Round Museum is at 301 Jackson St, Sandusky, OH 44870.

4- Cool Down At A Water Park

family things to do in sandusky ohio child sliding down a waterslide
One of the things to do in Sandusky Ohio with kids is to visit the waterparks.

Sandusky’s water parks are perfect for kids to cool down in swimming pools, water slides, Flowrider and other water rides.

Sandusky’s water parks include Kalahari Resorts, Great Wolf Lodge Water Park and Castaway Bay.

  • Kalahari Resorts is at 7000 Kalahari Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870.
  • Great Wolf Lodge Water Park is at 4600 Milan Rd, Sandusky, OH 44870.
  • Castaway Bay is at 2001 Cleveland Rd W, Sandusky, OH 444870.

5- Shop At The Sandusky Farmers Market

free things to do in sandusky ohio assortment of fresh veges with a sign 'locally grown'
Another thing to do in Sandusky Ohio is to visit the farmer’s market.

Enjoy locally grown produce at the Sandusky Farmers Market.

From fresh apples and cherries to baked goods, flowers and eggs, the market is a great spot to meet local farmers and learn how farming works in Ohio.

Wander around snacking on hot dogs, croissants, and home-baked cookies and try the local coffee.

Sandusky Farmers Market is open on Saturday (8 am to 12noon) from June to October at 100 East Washington Row, Sandusky, OH 44870.

6- Eat Fresh Seafood

things to do in sandusky ohio indoors fish meal on a plate
Dining on fresh seafood is one of the top things to do in Sandusky Ohio.

Thanks to the lakes around Sandusky, fresh seafood is always available, so if you love seafood, head to one of the local wholesalers and bag the catch of the day.

Chat with fish farmers and traders who have spent years in this business.

If you’re rather someone else do the cooking, try Bay Harbor (1 Cedar Point Dr Ste 104, Sandusky) for a meal of lobster tail, Boston blue cod or Lake Erie Perch with a view.

7- Cruise Or Sail On Lake Erie

things to do in sandusky ohio today boats moored at dusk
Cruising around Lake Erie is one of things to do in Sandusky Ohio.

As Sandusky sits on the shores of Lake Erie, fishing and boating are both popular activities.

Head to one of the sailing clubs or centres to go for a sail on the lake, such as Sandusky Sailing Centre, Sandusky Sailing Club and Erie Islands Sailing School.

Charter a boat (and a captain) for a sunset sail, join a sailing lesson at a sailing school or a lake cruise.

Goodtime Lake Erie Cruise offers a few different cruises, such as sunset cruises, island-hopping cruises, wine cruises and a Friday night party cruise.

Sandusky Sailing Centre is at 814 E. Water St. Sandusky, OH 44870. Goodtime Lake Erie Cruise is at 109 West Shoreline Drive, Sandusky, OH 44870.

8- Stroll Around Washington Park

things to do in sandusky ohio aerial view in autumn
Looking for things to do in Sandusky, Ohio? The city’s parks are beautiful if you’re visiting in the fall.

Washington Park is a 21-acre (8.498 ha) garden with flowers, a picnic area, benches, walking paths and a large green field for sporting activities.

If you’re visiting with kids, this is a good place to let them run around.

The historic park dates back to 1818, when it became a public ground, and up until 1842, it was an open space for traffic to pass through.

The Washington Park downtown is at 200 Washington St. Sandusky, OH 44870.

9- Dine At The Sandusky Yacht Club

romantic things to do in sandusky ohio
One of the romantic things to do in Sandusky Ohio is to have dinner at the Sandusky Yacht Club.

Make a reservation at the Sandusky Yacht Club and enjoy a relaxing meal by the lake.

You’ll find halibut, Lake Erie perch, Bay of Fundy salmon, and other meals on the menu.

The club’s history goes back over 100 years, making it somewhat of a local landmark.

Other facilities include a heated pool, clubhouse, fitness centre and wellness activities.

Sandusky Yacht Club is at 529 East Water Street, Sandusky, OH 44870.

10- Explore Shoreline Park

Enjoy views of Lake Erie as you wander around Shoreline Park, a lovely spot to relax and stroll by the water.

Buy fresh fish at one of the fish shops to grill in the park and enjoy a meal at the picnic tables.

There’s a play area and restrooms.

Shoreline Park is at 411 E Shoreline Dr, Sandusky, OH 44870.

11- Discover Maritime History At The Maritime Museum

Visit the Maritime Museum to learn about maritime heritage and history.

The museum has displays of boats and ships that once cruised the region’s waterways and displays that tell stories of shipwrecks and pirates.

A visit to the museum is usually an eye-opener as it details Sandusky’s role in the Underground Railroad movement, which helped slaves escape to freedom in Canada.

The museum also holds events, such as boat-making workshops, afternoon teas and educational sessions.

Maritime Museum is at 125 Meigs St, Sandusky, OH 44870.

12- Discover The Secrets Of Marblehead Lighthouse

things to do in sandusky ohio with kids
Visiting Marblehead Lighthouse is one of the fun things to do in Sandusky Ohio with kids.

Marblehead Lighthouse was built in 1822 and is the oldest continually operating lighthouse on the US side of the Great Lakes.

The 65 ft (20 m) tower sits on Marblehead Peninsula and serves as a navigational guide for ships.

The museum has historical photos, artifacts and other interesting items that tell the story of the lighthouse and lightkeepers.

Marblehead has had 16 lighthouse keepers and numerous assistants.

You can climb the lighthouse (the last tour is at 3.40 pm) for a fantastic view of Sandusky Bay, Cedar Point Amusement Park, Kelley’s Island and Lake Erie.

It is an excellent spot for picnicking, taking photographs and summer is the season when there are concerts, bands and other events.

Marblehead Lighthouse is open from May to September at 110 Lighthouse Dr, Marblehead, OH 43440.

13- Play A Round Of Golf

fun things to do in sandusky golf ball on a tee
One of the fun things tod o in Sandusky is to play golf.

Sandusky has three golf courses and 14 others within 20 miles of the city, so you’ll have a choice of courses to pick from if you’re a golfer.

From the longest course (Catawba Island Club) to the oldest course (Plumb Brook Country Club), play 9 or 18 holes for a golfing fix.

14- Step Back Into History At Johnson’s Island

Johnson Island housed a US Army prison used to confine Confederate war prisoners.

10,000 prisoners were processed on Johnson’s Island, including 26 officers (some generals), privates and non-military people disloyal to the Union.

The museum displays historical items, such as letters, clothing, images and other artifacts from the war.

Most of the items are loaned to the museum by private collectors.

Johnson Island is in Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie.

15- Go Wine Tasting At Fireland Wineries

things to do in sandusky ohio this weekend glass of red wine and cheese
How about wine tasting if you’re looking for things to do in Sandusky Ohio this weekend?

Fireland Wineries is a Mid-West winemaker that has been making wine since 1880.

Harvest season begins in September when the grapes are ripe and ready to be harvested.

All of the estate’s grapes are harvested by hand.

Fireland Wineries is at 917 Bardshar Rd, Sandusky, OH 44870.

16- Feed The Animals At Lagoon Deer Park

best things to do in sandusky ohio
Feeding the animals at Lagoon Deer Park is another thing to do in Sandusky for kids.

Lagoon Deer Park has 200 types of animals from around the world, including six breeds of deer, sheep, emus, llamas, goats, elk, peacocks and miniature donkeys.

It’s a fun attraction for kids as you can buy bags of food and feed the animals by hand.

They also offer fishing in one of four ponds (bring your own rods and bait) where you can catch white bass, carp, rock bass, bluegill and northern pike, among other types of fish.

They also offer camping and night fishing on Fridays and Saturdays.

Lagoon Deer Park is at 1012 Martins Point Rd, Sandusky, OH 44870.

17- Fall In Love With Art

Admire artworks created by local artists at one of several galleries, pop-up art exhibitions and cultural centres.

Take a few hours to visit Sandusky’s art galleries, and you might find an art piece you love to take home with you as a reminder of the region.

Here are a few galleries to tick off your to-see list:

  • Sandusky Cultural Centre is at 2130 Hayes Ave, Sandusky, OH 44870.
  • Maksla Gallery is at 103 W Market St, Sandusky, OH 44870.
  • Strum Around Art House is at 1314 Milan Rd, Sandusky, OH 44870.
  • Sandusky Artisans Recovery Community Center (SARCC) is at 138 E Market St, Sandusky, OH 44870.

18- Visit Eleutheros Cooke House and Garden

Open seasonally, Eleutheros Cooke House and Garden is a historic attraction to visit if you’re interested in learning more about Sandusky’s history.

The house was built in 1844 by Eleutheros Cooke, Sandusky’s first lawyer, who wrote the Mad River and Lake Erie Railroad charter.

The property was sold several times until Randolph and Estelle Dorn bought the house in 1951.

In 1994, the home and its contents were left to the Ohio Historical Society.

You can experience the home much as it was when its final owners, the Dorns, lived there.

Eleutheros Cooke House and Garden is free to visit at 1415 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-627-0640

19- Visit Follett House Museum

Follett House Museum documents the history of Sandusky and Erie County through displays of items from Sandusky’s past.

The Greek Revival-designed home is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

There are fantastic views of Sandusky from the Widow’s Walk on the rooftop, where you will also glean insights into important historical events like the Battle of Lake Erie and Johnson’s Island Prison.

The museum has four floors, each containing exhibits that recount another piece of Sandusky’s history.

You’ll discover what domestic life was like during its heyday and learn about business and industry of the area.

Follett House Museum is free to visit at 404 Wayne Street, Sandusky, OH 44870.

20- Discover War History At Ohio Veterans Home Military Museum

If you’re a fan of war history, pay a visit to the Ohio Veterans Home Military Museum.

The museum houses memorabilia from various wars, including Johnson’s Island, the Civil War, World War I, World War II and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Objects featured include a WWII table and typewriter, a German “Potato Masher” Hand Grenade and a map of the Korean War.

Ohio Veterans Home Military Museum is at I.F. Mack Building at Ohio Veterans Home, 3416 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870.

21- Drive Or Ride At Sandusky Speedway

If you’re looking for an adrenalin rush, spend a few hours at Sandusky Speedway is, a half-mile car racing track with low banking turns and long straightaways.

The speedway offers driving experiences, ride-along experiences and advanced driving packages.

Whether you’re driving or riding, you’ll attend a safety class then head out to the track to suit up.

You would have seen some of their racing cars on TV in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide series.

Sandusky Speedway is at 614 West Perkins Avenue, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-4084.

22- Eat Ice Cream At Toft’s

Eat ice cream at Toft’s Ice Cream Parlor, a Sandusky landmark that began as a small family dairy farm in the early 1900s.

Now, they have a 76,000-square-foot factory and their products are sold in grocery stores, restaurants and ice cream shops everywhere.

Toft’s Ice Cream Parlor offers over 70 ice cream and frozen yogurt flavours.

The original soda fountain and parlour seating are still in the ice cream parlour.

3717 Venice Road, Sandusky, OH 44870, Phone: 419-625-4376.