Surprising Sandusky, Ohio

Sandusky Ohio

Ohio was not what I expected. In July I had the chance to take a driving trip through part of the state, visiting the town of Sandusky, not to mention Cedar Point, the amusement park, and Put-in-Bay, the island vacation destination.

First off, I have to say that I love getting out of a car in some new town or city. Flying some place new is exciting, but there is something really satisfying about a driving trip, and for me–from Toronto–Sandusky is just a little over 5 hours away, which is the perfect distance–not too close and not too far.

Another interesting thing is that, while a lot of people I’ve spoken to have heard of Cedar Point, most people don’t know much about Sandusky or Put-in-Bay. That probably makes a lot of sense since Cedar Point is one of the best roller coaster parks in North America, but there’s a lot to be said for Sandusky, not to mention Put-in-Bay, and I think both areas are going to become a more popular very soon.

Sandusky is a charming small town, with a lot of history, and over the last couple of years it has started to reinvent itself with a downtown area that now boasts wine bars, upscale eateries, and a scenic harbour. What also makes the town special is that everyone we met were very plesant and welcoming. A few people, like Ryan Whaley at Green Door Media Works, are going the extra mile to bring new travelers to the town, and that is helping to change what people expect when they hear about this destination in Ohio.

It’s also a great example of the amazing travel experiences in our backyards, whether you live in Ontario, Ohio, or wherever.

Ryan showed Aisha and I around over the weekend and we had a fantastic visit to lots of places, including the Dockside Cafe, Merry-Go-Round Museum, Cedar Point, Firelands Winery, and Put-in-Bay in general (Splash was a major surprise for a small island in Ohio, but I’ll have to get to that another time).

From arrival to departure, the area was really a lot of fun, and on top of all the places we visited, it’s really worth thanking Miller Ferry who took us across the harbour and provided the golf cart rental we used to tour the island.

Stay tuned for the full details on the trip, and the articles I’ll have on the area. Otherwise, visit for more on Sandusky and the area, and thanks to everyone there for the hospitality.

W. Andrew Powell lives, sleeps, eats, and breaths movies and entertainment. Since launching The GATE in 1999 Andrew has enjoyed being a pest to any publicist who would return his calls. In his "spare time," Andrew is also an avid photographer, and writes about leisure travel and hotels around the world.