But years later my mom signed me up for swimming lessons and I soon joined my neighborhood’s swim team.
What once scared me became a place of serenity and freedom. I swam competitively year-round and even worked as a lifeguard at Geauga Lake amusement park during high school and college.
Any chance I had to dip my toes into the cooling ripples of a lake, river or pool, I took — especially Lake Erie’s massive swaths of blue that always seemed to stretch out in front of me.
But I knew there was more to our Great Lake than my sun-filled drives home on the Shoreway. I gradually started expanding my horizons with a quick day trip to Vermilion for a kayaking adventure and a long weekend in Geneva-on-the-Lake, where my friends and I dabbled in the wineries and spas before taking a giggle-filled walk along the Strip.
Sure, New York may have the Hamptons (as I’ve witnessed plenty of times thanks to my obsession with Bravo’s The Real Housewives of New York City), but here in Northeast Ohio, we’ve got a fleet of beach towns — low-key, laid-back, idyllic harbors of our own — perfect for a quick weekend getaway or a longer, extended summer stay.
Now is the best time to get out and have a slice of that lake life with spots such as Ashtabula — quickly making a name for itself as a foodie destination that rivals Ohio City or Tremont — or even Sandusky, which you’ve probably driven through on your way to Cedar Point, but deserves a deep dive into its revitalized downtown district.
I’m floating a few more ideas onto my summer bucket list — a long weekend at Huron’s Sawmill Creek Resort (maybe with some Jet Ski rentals) and a daytrip to Conneaut to soak in the historic town’s North Coast WWII History Museum.
Wherever I end up traveling this summer, I know one thing for sure — I’ll be heading to the beach to take in that Lake Erie breeze. I hope you do too.
8:00 AM EST
July 1, 2019