SHORES & ISLANDS OHIO, May 16, 2024 --- National Travel and Tourism Week is coming! Established in 1983, National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW) is an annual tradition to celebrate the U.S. travel community and travel’s essential role in stimulating economic growth, cultivating vibrant communities, creating quality job opportunities, inspiring new businesses, and elevating the quality of life for Americans every day. May 19-25, 2024, marks the 41st anniversary of NTTW. Travel, even in your own neighborhood, is integral to every industry and nearly everything we do. Travel is essential to a future of American growth and innovation. Shores & Islands Ohio is proud to celebrate NTTW to keep moving #TravelForward.

The Erie and Ottawa county destination welcomes nearly 12 million visitors annually and provides an economic impact of more than $2.7 billion. The Shores & Islands Ohio destination marketing organization operates two welcome centers – in Sandusky and Port Clinton. In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week, we invite locals to experience what millions of visitors discover each year. Join us in our welcome centers for a full week of activities and ways to get out and enjoy the Shores & Islands Ohio region!

Each day, we are honoring a different aspect of the local tourism landscape. Here are some of the fun things you can do each day:

All Week – Celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week

The Shores & Islands Ohio welcome centers, located at 125 E. Water St., Sandusky and 770 S.E. Catawba Rd., Port Clinton, are open Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm, Saturday, 9 am-2 pm and Sunday’s, starting Memorial Day weekend, 9 am – 2pm.  Beginning on Monday, in order to help share the Lake Erie Love, 3’ x 5’ flags will be available at both welcome centers for a suggested donation of $20 to the Lake Erie Foundation. The “Lake Erie Love” and Shores & Islands Ohio flags are available to both residents and local businesses, who are encouraged to show their Shores & Islands Ohio pride by sharing the love! A limited number of flags are available until sold out.

Sunday, May 19 – Sunrise/Sunset Sunday

While the Shores & Islands Ohio welcome centers are closed on Sunday, we will be kicking off our online photo contest, where photos of local sunrises and sunsets can be entered to win fun prizes. Photos must be taken within Erie or Ottawa counties in Ohio and entries must state in the title where they were taken. The contest will run through Saturday, May 24 and winning photos will be displayed in the welcome centers and be recognized on

Monday, May 20 – Museum Monday

On Monday, we will launch the all-new Shores & Islands Ohio Heritage Trail, using the Bandwango online passport platform, similar to the existing Cheers Trail and Golf Trail. Participants can sign in to Bandwango on their smart phone and “check in” at a number of museums and historical sites to earn a prize after completing the trail. The Heritage Trail and Museum Monday will encourage folks to explore the variety of museums in the region. Stop by our welcome centers to pick up a limited quantity of FREE museum tickets. Participating museums include Liberty Aviation Museum, Maritime Museum of Sandusky, Merry-Go-Round Museum, Milan Museum, Edison Birthplace Museum, Historic Lyme Village, Vermilion History Museum, and R.B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. One ticket per family; tickets available on a first-come, first-served basis and until they run out.

Tuesday, May 21 – Tourism Tuesday

On Tuesday, we draw attention the power of tourism in our community and the variety of tourism enhancements and projects funded, in part, by the Shores & Islands Ohio Destination Development Grant. On May 21, stop by the welcome centers to enter for a chance to win a “Tourism Tuesday” stay-cation which includes prizes donated by Grant recipients such as Pied Piper, Sandusky Wine Merchant, African Safari Wildlife Park, SoLSTAY, Sandusky Book Bar, Crush Wine Bar, North Coast Beachfitters, and The Chefs Garden. Bakery goodies will be available to welcome center visitors, provided by Pickle & Chips Field Trip in Marblehead.

On Tourism Tuesday the Shores & Islands Ohio team will also participate in Tourism Ohio Day on the Statehouse lawn in Columbus. Destinations and attractions will be promoting all the fun things to see and do around the great state of Ohio.

Wednesday, May 22 – Water Wednesday

On Wednesday, we highlight the importance of our Great Lake, Lake Erie. Water recreation activities will be featured, such as boating, fishing, watercraft rentals, and more.

Additionally, both welcome centers will be hosting special events. In Sandusky, there will be a knot-tying workshop led by Beagle Bay Knotworks of Huron at 2 pm. At the Port Clinton welcome center, there will be a lunch-and-learn program on boater safety and/or local maritime history – please bring your own lunch to eat while you enjoy the program. These events offered free to the public and light refreshments will be served – the knot-tying workshop will be limited to 15 participants. Please call the Sandusky Welcome Center at 419.625.2984 to reserve your spot!

Thursday, May 23 – Theatre Thursday

As we anticipate the reopening of the iconic Sandusky State Theatre later this summer, Thursday is when we celebrate theaters, performing arts, and other local cultural institutions. Both welcome centers will host a musical performance from Cellist Brian Shifflet, who also happens to be one of our Visitor Experience Managers. Stop by our welcome centers on Thursday to enter to win a Shores & Islands Summer Symphony Basket. Two prizes, each including two tickets to a future Firelands Symphony Orchestra concert, S&IO blanket, wine, tumblers, and cutting board will be given away.

On Thursday, Shores & Islands Ohio will also be hosting the second annual Media Marketplace, where travel writers and online content creators will have the opportunity to meet with and learn about a number of local attractions and businesses and form potential future partnerships to promote these destinations throughout the Midwest. More than 40 influencers will visit the area and learn about what the region has to offer visitors.

Friday, May 24 – Foodie Friday

On Friday we highlight the unique foods that can only be found at restaurants in Shores & Islands Ohio. Think fresh perch and walleye, straight from Lake Erie, and a variety of other specialty food items that are distinctive to the region. Each welcome center will host a food truck which will be open to the public from 11 am-2 pm. Stop by the Sandusky Welcome Center to purchase foods from a local favorite, The Gaucho & The Gringa, parked near the welcome center. Food truck at the Port Clinton office is still to be determined. Stop in to learn about the variety of local restaurants offered throughout the destination. Yum!

Saturday, May 25 – Sip & Shop Saturday

A number of Shores & Islands Ohio communities feature downtown shopping districts where you can shop community retailers while enjoying a beverage. Milan and Sandusky offer a DORA district, while Port Clinton offers a similar MORA, where alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks can be taken from a number of establishments in to-go cups, so that guests can sip while shopping! Stop by the welcome centers on Saturday for a list of businesses included within these districts of visit to see a map of locations. Then grab your favorite coffee, smoothie, or brew and get to shopping and supporting local!

Sunday, May 26 – State Park Sunday

While National Travel & Tourism Week has come to an end, we wish to close out the week highlighting a new Shores & Islands Ohio-sponsored project, Chronolog.  Shores & Islands currently hosts ten stations including locations at Kelleys Island State Park, South Bass Island Lighthouse, Edison Woods, and more! To check out all Chronolog sites, visit  Chronolog locations are set up so that you can take a photo for the Chronolog site, which compiles user-generated photos to create a time lapse and monitor the environment and inspire stewardship. Be a part of this citizen-science effort, simply by taking a photo with your smart phone and uploading it to the official Chronolog site.

And, since it is Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of the summer season, our welcome centers will now be open on Sunday – stop by for a guide to the state parks and other natural areas to explore.

Join us all week on our social media accounts as we highlight each special day through video. We hope you’ve enjoyed all the ways Shores & Islands Ohio is celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week! Visit for additional details and be sure to request your Shores & Islands Ohio Play + Stay Guide 2024!