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I’m very fortunate to have a college roommate who owned a cottage on Lake Erie in Lakeside, Ohio.

Two summers ago, my daughter, her family and I decided to rent Cynthia’s cottage for a week and a lovely getaway. We enjoyed it so much that we returned in July this year.

I grew up near Lake Michigan, so the trips to Lakeside are nostalgic for me. I love the drive up to the cottage. As we approach, we can see the big blue lake on the horizon. It feels like home to me. Cindy grew up in Buffalo, NY, on Lake Erie. Both our fathers worked in the steel mills built near our respective lakes’ shores. We were both raised in strong ethnic communities. So, to say the least, we found we had much in common when she and I first met at Butler University in Indianapolis. We’ve been friends for over 40 years!

Lakeside is known as one of many Chautauqua communities scattered throughout the Eastern United States. Founded in 1873, Lakeside became a retreat for families and adults where visitors are invited to participate in cultural and religious enrichment, history, musical appreciation, and health and wellness programs.

The area surrounding Lakeside hosts unique historical sites to visit, too. Believe it or not, Johnson’s Island on Sandusky Bay once was a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp.

There’s boating, fishing, swimming beaches, water sports all on Lake Erie and easily accessible.

Cynthia’s Cottage

According to The Lakeside Story:

Lakeside Chautauqua is a unique experience for each individual. We invite you to experience our Chautauqua community this summer in your own way; reconnect with family, grow spiritually, expand intellectually, unleash your creativity or challenge yourself physically. The opportunities are endless. You will soon realize why Lakeside Chautauqua has remained an annual tradition for generations of families.

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The Keeper’s House

I love lighthouses! This one on the Marblehead Peninsula became a state park built on the Columbus Limestone rocky shores of the lake. It’s maintained by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and operated by the US Coast Guard.

Since 1822, the Marblehead Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes. The Keeper’s House was constructed in 1880, and was the home to 16 keepers including two women.

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Of course, there’s a fantastic view of Lake Erie.

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And a great view of Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky.

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On the way back to the cottage at Lakeside, we stopped at Brown’s Dairy Dock on State Road 163. Brown’s is seriously a must!     Visit their Facebook page!

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And while we’re talking about food, a visit to the Jolly Roger Seafood House in Port Clinton is another must for our family.

Lake Perch and walleye are fresh, perfectly deep fried, and the servings are very generous.

Jolly Roger’s also serves incredible jumbo fried shrimp and fish tacos. Their onion rings are out of this world, too.

Really. I can’t get enough. Neither can Jessica. She, Brock and the boys stopped again on their way home to Indiana. Oh my gosh, it’s that good!

Visit Jolly Roger’s Facebook page.

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Lake Perch

A grand family getaway we all highly recommend!

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