Explore the Best 10 Things to Do Near Sandusky Ohio: A Local’s Guide to Fun and Adventure

Discover a variety of exciting things to do near Sandusky Ohio, from the adrenaline-pumping rides at Cedar Point to peaceful island hopping on Lake Erie. Explore maritime museums, indulge in indoor entertainment, and connect with nature in serene preserves. Sandusky offers an adventure for every visitor!

Cedar Point Adventures in Sandusky Ohio

Cedar Point Amusement Park is an absolute must-visit on your Sandusky adventure. Recognized as one of the top destinations in Sandusky Ohio, Cedar Point offers an impressive lineup of over 70 rides and 18 roller coasters. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for an adrenaline rush or a family searching for a fun-filled day out, Cedar Point has something for everyone.

Along with its adrenaline-inducing roller coasters, Cedar Point also features the Cedar Point Shores Waterpark, a paradise for both kids and adults. With a plethora of attractions from wave pools to water slides, there’s no shortage of splashy fun to be had. The iconic Top Thrill Dragster, a perfect choice for the ultimate thrill-seekers, stands tall, offering a unique ‘rollback’ moment and speeds up to 74 miles per hour.

However, the thrill extends beyond this. In 2024, Cedar Point is set to debut the Top Thrill 2, a triple-launch strata coaster that promises to be the world’s tallest and fastest of its kind. With two 420-foot-tall towers and speeds reaching up to 120 mph, Top Thrill 2 is all set to redefine what it means to be a thrill-seeker.

Sandusky Island Hopping on Lake Erie

Transitioning from adrenaline-filled roller coasters to peaceful lake views, we now move on to Lake Erie. The lake is home to the beautiful Lake Erie Islands, each with its unique attractions.

Kelleys Island offers a variety of attractions for nature lovers, including:

  • Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve, home to the world’s largest accessible glacial grooves
  • Kelleys Island State Park and the Jones Preserve, perfect for bird watching
  • North Pond State Nature Preserve trail, ideal for hiking
  • Excellent fishing opportunities in the waters of Lake Erie around Kelleys Island, with the chance to catch walleye, perch, and smallmouth bass.

A short ferry ride away is Put-in-Bay, an island filled with fun and relaxation. You can explore the island’s attractions and historical sites via a guided tour train or by renting a golf cart for a more personalized experience. Don’t forget to enjoy the scenic views from the South Bass Island Lighthouse and unwind at the South Bass Island State Park, a perfect spot for a picnic.

Maritime History and Museums

Once you’ve marveled at the natural beauty of Lake Erie, immerse yourself in the rich maritime history that has molded Sandusky. The Maritime Museum of Sandusky is a treasure trove of knowledge, featuring exhibits on:

  • The history of the Great Lakes
  • Shipwrecks
  • Passenger boats
  • Commercial fishing
  • Ice harvesting

The museum offers:

  • A glimpse into Sandusky’s maritime past
  • A view of Lyman boats and other vessels in the Howman Boathouse and Motor & Engine Room
  • A boat building school and restoration workshop for hands-on learning experiences

These opportunities allow visitors to engage with the region’s maritime history.

Throughout the year, the Maritime Museum of Sandusky hosts various programs and events that delve deeper into its maritime themes, providing an enriching educational experience for visitors of all ages.

Indoor Entertainment Extravaganza

Having delved into Sandusky’s maritime heritage, let’s now partake in some indoor entertainment. Ghostly Manor Thrill Center, located near Sandusky Mall, offers an array of indoor activities that promise a day of excitement and entertainment.

Whether you’re a fan of escape rooms, love mini-golf, or enjoy the thrills of haunted houses, Ghostly Manor has it all, including an escape room. The center also offers:

  • an arcade
  • a roller-skating rink
  • a bouncy house area for the little ones
  • virtual reality (VR) games
  • a laser maze
  • a haunted mine experience in the XD theater

What’s more, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center offers personalized birthday party packages for all ages, making it the perfect place to celebrate special occasions. With so much to do, Ghostly Manor guarantees a day filled with fun and excitement.

Nature Escapes in Sandusky

Sandusky Ohio offers a range of experiences from indoor excitement to peaceful outdoor retreats. For those who want to be one with nature, Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve and Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area offer peaceful escapes from the bustling city life.

Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve offers:

  • 2 miles of hiking trails through diverse ecosystems, including hardwood forest, cattail marsh, and barrier sand beach
  • Habitat for nearly 300 bird species
  • Wildflowers
  • A variety of shorebirds feeding along Lake Erie

It is one of the last remaining undeveloped stretches of shoreline in the Sandusky Bay region and is a haven for wildlife lovers.

Pickerel Creek Wildlife Area, on the other hand, is a restored wetland habitat featuring boardwalks for exploration. Here, visitors have the chance to see native wildlife such as white-tailed deer and various migrating birds in their natural habitat.

High-Speed Action at Sandusky Speedway

Trading serene nature escapes for high-speed thrills, our next stop is Sandusky Speedway. Known for its exhilarating races, Sandusky Speedway is a must-visit for any racing enthusiast.

At Sandusky Speedway, there’s something for every race fan. From weekly races featuring varied classes of cars to special events like the annual ‘Sandusky Speedway Karts & Parts Cavalcade’, the Speedway promises high-speed action and excitement.

But watching isn’t the only way to experience the thrill of racing at Sandusky Speedway. The Speedway also offers driving experiences and ride-alongs for those who want to feel the rush of the race firsthand. And for the competitive ones, driver training programs are available, offering regular folks the chance to race on the tracks themselves.

Family-Friendly Water Parks

Having experienced the high-speed rush at the Speedway, let’s unwind and dive into Sandusky’s family-friendly water parks and Sports Force Parks. Whether it’s the expansive Kalahari Resorts, the tropical-themed Castaway Bay, or the immersive Great Wolf Lodge, there’s plenty of aquatic fun to be had.

Kalahari Resorts offers an extensive indoor water park complete with a lazy river, wave pool, water slides, and on-site restaurants and shopping options, making it a perfect destination for a day of family fun. Just a stone’s throw away is Castaway Bay, a tropical paradise boasting a wave pool, diverse water slides, and a special area designed for toddlers to enjoy safely.

Great Wolf Lodge in Sandusky takes the water park experience up a notch. With attractions ranging from a lazy river and multiple water slides to an interactive fort treehouse, Great Wolf Lodge promises an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.

Having enjoyed the water parks and theme park, our next stop is a nostalgic journey back in time at the Merry-Go-Round Museum. Established in 1990, the museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the art and history of carousels, making it a unique destination in Sandusky.

The museum’s collection includes antique carousel horses, such as the rare Daniel Muller military horse, and artifacts like Dentzel carving shop tools. Visitors can also enjoy a ride on the centerpiece attraction, a fully restored carousel made by the Allan Herschel Corporation in 1939.

While the antique carousel horses and artifacts provide a fascinating glimpse into the past, the museum features exhibits that also offer educational programs such as woodcarving classes. These classes not only help preserve the art of carousel carving but also offer visitors a chance to participate in the tradition.

Historic Landmarks and Architecture

No trip around Sandusky would be comprehensive without acknowledging its remarkable architectural heritage. The city is home to several historic landmarks and buildings that reflect its past.

The Follett House Museum, housed in a Greek Revival-style building, adds to the architectural charm of Sandusky. Its exhibits cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • The history of downtown Sandusky
  • Stories about military members
  • Stories about inmates
  • Stories about business owners
  • Stories about local families

Another noteworthy landmark is the Eleutheros Cooke House, built in the 1840s. This Greek Revival-style architecture is a testament to the timeless charm and history of Sandusky.

Cruise Lake Erie in Style

As we conclude our exploration of Sandusky, let’s add a stylish finish with a Lake Erie cruise. The Goodtime Lake Erie Cruise offers a variety of cruises, including:

  • Sightseeing cruises
  • Sunset cruises
  • Dinner cruises
  • Wine tasting cruises

Each cruise provides a unique perspective of the picturesque coastline surrounding Sandusky.

From the popular Sunday Funday trips to the vibrant Friday Night Party Cruises, Goodtime Lake Erie Cruise offers a variety of themed cruises, complete with live entertainment, food, and drink specials. Whether you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or simply enjoy a peaceful sunset, there’s a cruise for every occasion.


From thrilling roller coasters to peaceful nature preserves, from historic landmarks to scenic cruises, Sandusky, Ohio is a treasure trove of experiences. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for a fun-filled vacation, Sandusky has something to offer everyone. So pack your bags and prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey in this charming coastal town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sandusky Ohio worth visiting?

Yes, Sandusky is worth visiting for its beautiful parks, downtown architecture, and rich history, including its involvement in the Underground Railroad.

What’s Sandusky Ohio famous for?

Sandusky, Ohio is famous for its beautiful shoreline along Sandusky Bay, and being home to the world-class amusement park Cedar Point, earning it the title of the Best Coastal Small Town in America. It is also known as Ohio’s Water Park Capital due to its popular year-round indoor water park resorts.

Is Sandusky Beach for free?

No, there are fees for beach use at South Sandusky Beach, but those with a valid Corps of Engineers campsite registration tag, an American the Beautiful pass, or the Corps of Engineers Annual Day Use Pass can enter for free.

Does Sandusky Ohio have a boardwalk?

Yes, Sandusky, Ohio has a boardwalk called The Boardwalk, which is located along the Lake Erie shoreline and features a new themed area and entertainment space.

What is the most thrilling ride at Cedar Point?

The most thrilling ride at Cedar Point is the Top Thrill Dragster, which reaches speeds of up to 74 mph. It’s an exhilarating experience for adrenaline seekers.