What's New in 2011?
May 16, 2011
• Don’t Look Down! Cedar Point, voted “Best Amusement Park in the World” for 13 consecutive years, is debuting one of the world’s tallest swing rides. This is no kiddy swing – it towers at 301-feet-tall and swings 64 riders at nearly 30 mph! Paying homage to the amusement park’s heritage, WindSeeker will swing riders over Cedar Point Beach. In the early 1900’s Cedar Point Beach was a popular destination for families to play. One of the original amusement rides, Sea Swings, would dip riders into the cool waters of Lake Erie as it spun in a circular motion. 100 years later Cedar Point plans a 21st Century version of that ride to thrill visitors in 2011 and beyond. Also new this year is a new nighttime music and light show, “American Portrait.” This pyrotechnics extravaganza will combine contemporary and patriotic music and will run nightly from June 3 – August 21. The new show is sponsored by Marathon Oil Corporation.
• Go Big or Go Home! Kalahari Resort, home to the nation’s largest indoor waterpark, has announced expansion plans for 2011. Already the largest hotel in Ohio, the resort’s convention center currently cannot accommodate a number of convention requests due to lack of ballroom space. The proposed $22 million expansion, slated to begin construction in March, will more than double the current size of the convention center from 95,000 square-feet to 215,000 square-feet. 2011 expansion plans also include the addition of seven 5-bedroom family condominium units, called Nyumba rooms. An additional $5 million investment, these 22-person luxury, stand-alone units will be ideal for small meetings, retreats and reunions.
• Your Guide to Ohio Wines! A new tour company will begin operation in the Lake Erie Shores & Islands region in spring 2011. Northcoast Grapevine Tours plans to showcase the area’s wineries and educate customers on the local grape growing and wine producing industries along Ohio’s north coast. Guests will be transported on a day-long escorted tour through the countryside, to a select group of wineries from an itinerary of their choosing, or an agenda can be set for them based on their likes and interests. A safe and educational way to enjoy the area’s wine heritage!
• Chilly Maritime History! The first area commercial fishing enterprise began in Sandusky Bay in 1851. From 1875-1890, 400,000 tons of ice was harvested during the season each year. A new permanent exhibit will showcase “Ice Harvesting & Commercial Fishing” at the Maritime Museum of Sandusky, opening with the Arctic Ice Festival February 5-6, 2011. The museum also plans a new building adjacent to the current museum which will house a boat school, workshop and exhibit area to open by summer 2011.
• Let Your Light Shine! Summer 2011 brings back the area’s most popular public arts project, A Light in the Harbor. This outdoor exhibit features more than 20 fiberglass lighthouses and sailboats painted by local artists and displayed throughout downtown Sandusky and other prominent locations from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The project is intended to bring locals and visitors to experience the rebirth of downtown Sandusky. It also serves as a fundraising event for the Merry-Go-Round Museum and the American Red Cross. In 2008 this project raised more than $30,000 for the two organizations. Art pieces will be auctioned at a gala event in September.
• “Restless” Cruising! Put-in-Bay Cruises is a new business venture for one of the partners in Miller Boatline. Scott Market plans to offer island tours and cruises for small parties, private weddings, anniversaries and more. The 38-foot vessel, named the “Restless,” is a 1938 wooden tug. She will make her home port at Miller Marina, Put-in-Bay.
• Art Walk comes to Downtown Sandusky! A new monthly art walk is scheduled for the first Thursday of each month, May through December, in downtown Sandusky. Each art walk will have a theme featuring such art forms as culinary arts, architectural art, sidewalk chalk art, quilting and fabric art, jewelry and more. Maps will be available for visitors to find participating businesses who may be hosting artists on site.
• Relax & Play Italian-Style! A Touch of Italy Bed & Breakfast, located in Port Clinton, will offer guests an all-new 3rd story game room in 2011. This fun room available for use by all house guests includes a foosball table, poker table for eight, dartboard, pool table, refrigerator, couch and wide screen TV. Ciao!
• North and South…in Ohio! 2011 marks the national Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War, which began in 1861. The Civil War 150 project is a state-wide initiative to commemorate the anniversary and create opportunities for a new generation to rediscover the many ways Ohioans played key roles in the war and ways in which the war changed life in Ohio. A local CW150 group is planning events such as lectures, educational programming, reenactments, cemetery walks, museum exhibits and more. The Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont features “CIVIL WAR: Battlefield & Homefront,” an exhibit which aims to interpret the war using the personal letters of Northwest Ohio residents who served in the war and who stayed behind. The exhibit will run through January 29, 2012.
• Don’t Give Up the Ship! Plans are already underway for a massive tribute commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie Bicentennial (War of 1812) which actually took place on September 7, 1813. This one day conflict saw Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry (for which Put-in-Bay’s Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is named) and his crew defeat the British Navy to secure the Great Lakes region for the United States. The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce is currently working with the National Park Service to plan events leading up to, during and after the bicentennial. Perry’s Victory will honor a theme each year, beginning in 2011 with a year-long tribute to Native Americans.
• New Hotel Along Lake Erie’s Shoreline. The former Portside Inn located on the waterfront 1.5 miles east of downtown Port Clinton will open in early May as the region’s second Travelodge. The property is being completely renovated and will offer guests a complimentary breakfast bar, outdoor pool, grills and picnic benches, shuttle service to the Jet Express, and more. 1811 East Perry St. Port Clinton.
• Dock’s Beach House and Beachfront Resort Getting a Facelift. A popular Port Clinton eatery and waterfront hotel will open under new management in May and guests will notice several changes. The restaurant is being increased in size and a new Caribbean-style roof is being added. This bar and grill sits directly on the lake and guests can take their purchases to enjoy on the beach. Upgrades are also being made to the Beachfront Resort hotel and guests have reciprocal privileges at the Commodore Perry Inn & Business Center located across the street.
• More Island Fun at Frosty’s. Island visitors have been enjoying this historic bar and family pizza restaurant for more than 60 years and in 2011 they will find more things to enjoy about it. Inside, more seating has been added to the main bar and they have increased their breakfast capacity. The more prominent changes are outside with a new seating area called The Backyard. It will be decorated in a multi-colored Caribbean theme with a bar featuring margaritas mixed with fresh seasonal fruit and custom made burritos from Big Man’s Burrito Stand. All the fun in this new area starts May 21st.
• Boo and Then Some! Already known as one of the scariest haunted attractions around, Ghostly Manor Thrill Center expanded their offerings in 2010. Open year-round, during the Halloween season the haunt expands to include an outdoor walk-thru know as the Ghostly Gauntlet. After Halloween the fun doesn’t stop as it transforms from a haunted thrill to a North Pole adventure with the Christmas Wonderland 3D family walk-thru, “Snow Ride” XD 4D Theatre movie and the annual Christmas Light Show choreographed to holiday music.
• Let’s Go to the Movies! A brand-new, state-of-the-art Cinemark Stadium Movie Theatre opened November 2010 at the Sandusky Mall. The 32,000-square-foot building features 10 screens, digital and 3-D capabilities, stadium-seating and a self-serve concession stand, holding approximately 1,700 viewers. The auditoriums are equipped with plush, high-backed rocking seats featuring a 16-inch height difference between rows, providing generous leg room and ample space to enter and exit without disturbing other guests.
For more information on these new features and all of the great Lake Erie Shores & Islands® attractions visit www.SHORESandISLANDS.com.
Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands
One of the Midwest hottest vacation spots, the region between Toledo and Cleveland provides an eclectic mix of historically significant sites, family-fun amusements, gorgeous scenery, and outdoor recreation.