I grew up in Ohio, going to Cedar Point — the roller coaster capital of the world on Lake Erie Shores and Islands! But, there are so many more things to do in Sandusky, Ohio. As a kid, I didn’t know it.
We live in North Carolina now, and our kids didn’t know the excitement of Cedar Point — though, they knew the stories! So, we decided to take a vacation to Lake Erie Shores and Islands so they could experience the fun for themselves.
That’s a long road trip for a theme park day, so we decided to find out all the other things to do in Sandusky, Ohio, too.
There are tons of attractions in Sandusky, Ohio that make vacationing here with kids and teens a great idea!
Our thanks to Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores and Islands for hosting much of our trip and helping us discover all the great attractions in Sandusky, Ohio.
Things to do in Sandusky, Ohio with teens
Downtown Sandusky, Ohio sits on the Lake Erie shore. There’s ample free parking, both on street and in the lots near Sandusky State Theater. And, it’s very walkable.
If you want to explore Sandusky the fun way, take a Sandusky Segwave tour of the city. That’s a fun, quick way to learn about the city’s history and to take note of other things to do in Sandusky, Ohio!
There are lots of hotels in Sandusky, Ohio, too — making it easy to plan a vacation full of fun things to do here.
Enjoy the parks in Sandusky, Ohio
There are lots of parks in Sandusky, Ohio along the Lake Erie waterfront.
Shoreline Park, on the eastern end of town, has walking trails, a sandwich shop, playgrounds, ponds, fountains, a kayak launch and benches to enjoy the view.
Facer Park, on the left side of the street, has an incredible art installation. Of all the parks in Sandusky, Ohio, this is my favorite. Sandusky played a major role in the Underground Railroad, and the art installation in Facer Park shares that history.
A small gazebo here also has great views of Lake Erie.
Mylander Park, where you can play a giant game of Battleship, takes full advantage of its location in the heart of downtown along the Lake Erie waterfront!
We spent an hour playing giant Battleship (despite having the regular sized board game at home). Throughout our visit to Sandusky, we noticed people playing and laughing as much as we did.
Washington Park runs right through the middle of town, with fountains, the famous clock, gardens and walking paths. This park in Sandusky, Ohio is a great place to have a picnic.
And, if you’re walking through town, I recommend taking the path through Washington Park to get from one side to the other. It’s stunning.
Visit the Merry Go Round Museum
True confession! We visited the Merry Go Round Museum in Sandusky for me. My family knew it was on our itinerary and didn’t complain about it. They know I love carousels.
But my family? Not so much.
They were good sports and went along anyway. And, they loved it! Allow two hours to visit the Merry-Go-Round Museum, located at the corner of Jackson and W. Washington Streets, across the street from Washington Park.
• Read our tips for visiting the Merry Go Round Museum •
Savor a meal at one of the restaurants in Sandusky, Ohio
There are lots of restaurants in Sandusky, Ohio — from pizza to fancy and everything in between.
Another of the best restaurants in Sandusky, Ohio is Barra, serving “Modern Mexican Cuisine crafted with love.” The restaurant is known for its BLP (Bacon, Lettuce and Pico de Gallo) taco, but we think the carnitas taco is tops! The restaurant also serves rice bowls, which are tasty too. The food did not disappoint!
Travel Tip: Save on restaurant dining with restaurant.com. We’ve been using it since 2008 to discover local gems!
Try an escape room experience
Located in the historic Hubbard House at 134 E. Adams Street, Escape Rooms by FrankNicky is an amazing escape room experience. Our escape room experience took us back to the 1980s.
Escape Rooms by FrankNicky change the escape room experience regularly, so locals can go again and again.
And, it’s one of the best things to do in Sandusky, Ohio for vacationers — especially if you’re traveling with teenagers!
Escape Rooms by FrankNicky has another option similar to the escape room experience, but that takes players into the city to learn the history of Sandusky while trying to solve a mystery.
“Unlock Sandusky” sends guests into the city with a puzzle book and a tablet to learn the history of Sandusky while uncovering a mystery. Solve it (we did) and win a prize. This was a great alternative to the traditional escape room and even proved to be a bit educational!
Go rock climbing or kayaking
Another great spot in Sandusky is Paddle & Climb, at 305 E. Sandusky Street opposite Facer Park. Of all the things to do in Sandusky, Ohio, this is the one for adventurers.
This outdoor adventure store sells clothes and equipment for outdoor sport lovers. Or, for those like me, who like the comfort of these clothing lines.
They also have an indoor climbing wall with a several different “routes” to the top. Paddle & Climb also offers kayak and paddleboard rentals. They’re located just a block from the kayak launch at Shoreline Park making it easy to rent a boat and hit the water.
A single climb is only $5 and an unlimited day pass is $15. Equipment is included. Wear close toed shoes for this experience.
We hope this overview of the fun things to do in Sandusky, Ohio will inspire you to visit! We know we will always add a trip to this charming town on Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores and Islands when we are in the area.
To plan your Sandusky getaway, visit Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands (the CVB for the whole area). We’d like to thank the Merry-Go-Round Museum, Escape Rooms by FrankNicky and Paddle & Climb for hosting our visit. All opinions are our own.