The Best Things To Do In Sandusky, Ohio


Founded in 1818, Sandusky sits along the shores of Lake Erie and has been a popular Ohio vacation hotspot since the late 1800’s. As the home to Cedar Point Amusement Park, known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” hundreds of thousands of people flock to the amusement park each year. Sandusky, Ohio is much more than just a home to a world-renowned amusement park! While preserving its historical past, Sandusky is a thriving town with new attractions, restaurants serving delicious cuisine and local bars providing exciting nightlife. Keep reading for the best things to do in Sandusky, Ohio!

Things To Do In Sandusky Ohio

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The Best Things To Do In Sandusky, Ohio

This Sandusky Ohio travel guide will show you the best Sandusky attractions, restaurants and hotels to make the most of your visit to this lakefront town. Whether you’re planning a family-friendly vacation, romantic getaway or a retreat with your friends, a coastal Sandusky getaway is fun for everyone!

Historic Sandusky, Ohio

Since 1818, Sandusky has seen its share of historical events.  It was once the world’s largest freshwater fishing port and products were shipped year-round.  Even during the winter as harvested ice from Lake Erie enabled fish to be shipped to the East Coast. During the 1830’s-1850’s, Sandusky was a major depot on the Underground Railroad as slaves escaped to Canada on ships sailing from the port of Sandusky. There’s plenty of historic places in Sandusky for history buffs to explore. Visit historic sites and museums or take a self-guided Downtown Sandusky Historic Walking Tour.

Historic Downtown Sandusky

The revitalization of historic downtown Sandusky invites visitors and locals alike to enjoy the peaceful waterfront and well-manicured parks, stroll the charming streets, shop at local boutiques, dine at locally owned restaurants and marvel at beautifully restored buildings.

Sandusky, Ohio Architecture

Boy with the Boot Statue

Located in Washington Park, near the Erie County Courthouse, the replica Boy with the Boot statue dwells within the park’s water fountain. The original bronze statue was installed in 1895 and now resides in the lobby of City Hall. This charismatic statue serves as Sandusky’s unofficial mascot and is an endearing symbol of the city’s past.

Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio

Sandusky State Theatre

Sitting in the heart of historic downtown Sandusky, the stunning Sandusky State Theatre officially opened in 1928. This historic landmark has been providing live entertainment, comedy, musical and theater performances and educational series to the Sandusky community for nearly 100 years. While you may visit the theatre for a show, take time to appreciate the beautifully restored architecture, numerous original features and the spectacular grand chandelier.

{Due to a strong windstorm in June 2020, the Sandusky State Theatre is currently closed for renovations.}

 Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio

Museums In Sandusky, Ohio

Merry-Go-Round Museum

Located in the original Sandusky Post Office building (which is now on the National Register of Historic Places), the Merry-Go-Round Museum officially opened in 1990. With exquisite and rare carousel figures, the museum gives visitors a glimpse of amusement and carousel history. The museum features Dentzel carving tools, a Gustav Dentzel deer (ca. 1895), Charles Looff goat and camel (ca. 1880), the King Armored horse by Daniel Muller (ca.1925) from Cedar Point’s Kiddieland carousel and a circa 1939 Allan Herschell Corporation Merry-Go-Round that children and kids-at-heart can still ride today.

Merry-Go-Round Museum in Sandusky, Ohio

Other popular Sandusky museums include; the Maritime Museum of Sandusky, Follett House Museum and the Ohio Veterans Home Museum.

Boat Tours In Sandusky, Ohio

There’s no better way to experience Sandusky’s lake life than by taking a boat tour.

Airboat Ride

Take a thrilling ride through Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay on a Air1 Airboat. Captain Tony takes guests on a fun, high-speed ride with waterfront views of Cedar Point and local wildlife. Bring a waterproof jacket because you may get wet!

Sandusky Airboat Ride

Sandusky Sunset Cruise

I love watching the sunset on a daily basis, but there is just something magical about watching the sun set over the water. With a relaxing sunset cruise on the Goodtime I, guests are encouraged to sit back and enjoy the serene surroundings as the boat cruises through Sandusky Bay. With views of the Sandusky shoreline and Cedar Point, you’ll be in the perfect spot to watch the star of the cruise, the sun, gently sink into the water. A sunset cruise in Sandusky, Ohio is the perfect way to experience the breathtaking Lake Erie sunsets.

Sandusky, Ohio Sunset Sandusky, Ohio Sunset Cruise

More Sandusky Attractions

Segway Tours in Sandusky, Ohio

As an alternative to a walking tour, taking a Segway tour with Sandusky Segwave is a fun way to explore the town. Jim, your friendly and knowledgeable tour guide and owner of Sandusky Segwave, offers one and two-hour tours that showcase Sandusky’s historic sites and local attractions.

Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio

Firelands Winery

Producing wines since 1880, Firelands Winery is one of the oldest wineries in the state. Take a self-guided winery tour, sample a wine flight, relax on the outdoor covered patio and walk through the vineyards. Wine lovers could easily spend an afternoon at Firelands Winery enjoying the delightful wines, delicious cuisine and the serene surroundings!


 Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio

Toft’s Ice Cream Parlor

You can’t miss the deliciousness of Toft’s ice cream! Since 1900, the family owned, and operated dairy has supplied the Sandusky region with milk and dairy products. Toft’s Dairy is Ohio’s oldest dairy.

Sandusky, Ohio Waterparks

Sandusky has two huge indoor waterpark resorts that make for the perfect year-round weekend getaways. Kalahari Resort is Ohio’s largest indoor waterpark, while the Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark is equally exciting.

Sandusky, Ohio Amusement Parks

Cedar Point Amusement Park is known as the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World,” with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the park each year. Another spot for thrilling indoor adventures in Sandusky is Ghostly Manor Thrill Center.

Hiking near Sandusky, Ohio

Sawmill Creek Preserve offers three miles of quiet trails and Sheldon Marsh Nature Preserve is home to nearly 500-acres and is a great place to watch migrating birds.

Lighthouses near Sandusky, Ohio

While there aren’t any lighthouses in Sandusky, Ohio, Marblehead Lighthouse is just a short 30-minute drive away. During the warmer months, visitors can climb the 77 steps to the top for a breathtaking view of Lake Erie, learn about the history of the lighthouse at the museum and stroll around the waterfront park for more Lake Erie views.

Marblehead Lighthouse, Ohio

Sandusky, Ohio Restaurants and Bars

Sandusky’s Food Scene

Sandusky has a surprisingly diverse gastronomy scene. From brewpubs to brasseries, you’ll find a little bit of everything in Sandusky. A few of my favorite place to eat in Sandusky, Ohio are: Vine & OliveToft’s DairyJ BistroZinc Brasserie, OH Taco, Small City Taphouse, Sandusky Bay Pancake House. Dockside Café for a laidback Sandusky waterfront restaurant.

Sandusky’s Nightlife

Whether you want to enjoy a hand-crafted cocktail or local craft beer, Sandusky has plenty of bars to serve you a refreshing libation. A few of my favorite bars are: Volstead BarCrush Wine BarMoseley’s Rooftop Bar (enjoy great views of Lake Erie while sipping on a cold drink at Moseley’s) and Bait House Brewery.

Hotels in Sandusky, Ohio

From a boutique hotel, family friendly beach hotels to national chain hotels, there are plenty of options in the Sandusky area. A few of my favorite places to stay in Sandusky, Ohio are: Hotel KilbourneCedar Point’s Hotel Breakers and Kalahari Resort.

While Sandusky can be a bustling town spring through fall due to roller coaster fans flocking to Cedar Point and the abundance of lake activities, it’s a great coastal town to visit in any season. During the colder months, there are still lots of great things to do in Sandusky, Ohio in the winter. No matter the season, there’s plenty of fun things to do in Sandusky, Ohio!


Sandusky Ohio


A special thanks to Lake Erie Shores & Islands and all the wonderful businesses we visited in Sandusky! I was an invited guest of Lake Erie Shores & Islands. As always on Ohio Girl Travels, all opinions are my own!

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