SANDUSKY, OHIO, March 3, 2023 – The results are in, and Sandusky, Ohio, is once again the best coastal small town in America! Sandusky is also named third in the best Midwestern small town category!

Recently, a panel of experts at USA Today nominated Sandusky for its 10 Best Coastal Small Towns award and Midwestern Small Towns award. Nominee cities for these prestigious honors offer “uncrowded, unpretentious, and affordable” waterfront or Midwestern fun. Once chosen for the award, a nationwide vote was launched and Sandusky beat out 19 other towns for the top spot.

Sandusky previously won this honor in 2019. This was the first time the community was also nominated in the Midwestern small town category.

“Sandusky is a special place with a diverse community, entrepreneurial energy, and iconic assets,” said McKenzie Spriggs, Executive Director of Destination Sandusky. “We’re excited to have a spotlight on Sandusky to show that to the world.”

In addition to now being known as the Best Coastal Small Town in the country, Sandusky is also known as the home of world-class attractions, including: a thriving waterfront, Cedar Point amusement park, Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, water parks, a vibrant shopping and dining scene, a full seasonal calendar of community concerts and events, and ferry service to the Lake Erie islands!

“This recognition will continue to propel Sandusky and the Shores & Islands Ohio region forward as a must-visit location for people from across the country,” said Larry Fletcher, President of Shores & Islands Ohio. “Many travelers today are seeking destinations that offer them new experiences combined with authentic, local flavor experiences. When one considers the numerous attractions, dining and shopping spots, and diverse overnight accommodation offerings, it’s no wonder that Sandusky earned this honor.”

All of Sandusky, but in particular it’s downtown area, has seen a renaissance over the past several years. Sandusky has seen investment of more than $100M with historic buildings being renovated and over 30 new businesses entering the marketplace. Public-private projects are transforming the waterfront and the city, including: the creation of a 12-mile path, called the Sandusky Bay Pathway, a distinct program with Bowling Green State University and Cedar Fair that offers students the opportunity to learn resort management and hospitality from Cedar Point professionals, and the reconstruction of a pier to include a greenspace, boardwalk and sunset stairs. The downtown offers an incredible food destination along with a variety of activities: ax throwing, escape rooms, historical tours, and electric bike, kayak, and paddleboard rentals. The popularity of Sports Force Parks, Cedar Point Sports Center, and other venues, along with the area’s outstanding fishery, have helped make the area “America’s Sports & Family Fun Capital.” IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio is currently in a three-year agreement with the city to host its triathlon, bringing thousands of athletes each summer.

“Thank you to every person who voted for Sandusky. Your vote means so much more than just putting us at the top of this list. It means that you are proud of Sandusky, of what we have to offer our residents and tourists from all over the country,” said Sandusky City Commission President, Dick Brady. “Sandusky is the best coastal small town because of so many of our residents believe in the vision we’ve created and because we all have worked together to make Sandusky the best.”

To learn more about what’s happening in the city of Sandusky, check out the city’s website at To learn more about travel and tourism opportunities in the region, visit