Updated August 2021
Does the idea of a road trip get your tail wagging? Don’t leave your four-legged friends home while you travel – Lake Erie Shores & Islands has some great suggestions for those traveling with pets.
Home Away from Home
Did you know there are pet-friendly accommodations all over the region? Nearly 30 hotels/motels, along with 16 campgrounds, four bed & breakfast inns, and more than 40 vacation rentals allow pets. When searching online at SHORESandISLANDS.com, select the “pets permitted” amenity; in the Travel Guide, look for the person walking dog icon. Always confirm with the property when making your reservations, as some locations have size restrictions or require a deposit.
Hit the Water
While water is certainly a necessity for keeping your pet happy and healthy, a refreshing boat ride can be a lot of fun as well. The Lake Erie islands are especially nice destinations for pet families. The Jet Express, Miller Ferry, and Kelleys Island Ferry are happy to accommodate your leashed or caged pet at no charge.
Grab a Bite
Looking to enjoy a meal with your pet? There are several pet-friendly dining establishments, most which feature an outdoor patio where your leashed pet can rest comfortably under your table. Dockside Café, Dockers Restaurant, Sandusky Bay Pancake House, Penn Station East Coast Subs, Old Fish House, The Keys, West Bay Inn, and Kelley’s Island Wine Company are just a few examples.
Light the Way
Discovering Lake Erie Shores & Islands lighthouses is a great sightseeing activity for you and your pet. Several lighthouses dot the coast in Vermilion, Huron, Marblehead, Port Clinton, and Put-in-Bay. They are available for exterior viewing from dawn to dusk and their grounds are great to explore and make amazing photo ops.
Run in the Sand
All of the area’s Ohio State Parks – South Bass Island State Park, Catawba Island State Park, Kelleys Island State Park, and East Harbor State Park – allow leashed pets, though some are restricted to designated beach areas. Other area beaches that welcome pets include Lions Park in Sandusky, Port Clinton City Beach, and Nickel Plate Beach in Huron (permitted after 6 pm).
Lake Erie Shores & Islands offers two off-leash dog parks where pets can run free within large fenced-in areas. Bark Until Dark Dog Park is located on SR 269 in Marblehead and is open 8 am until dusk. Two large fenced in areas are available for small and larger dogs. The MetroBark MetroPark is located on Hull Road in Huron, adjacent to Osborn MetroPark. This popular park is free for public use and provides over three acres of fenced in, professionally maintained lawn for dogs of all kinds with a partitioned area specifically for small dogs. The park includes a doggy playground.
Found some amazing Shores & Islands activities where it wouldn’t be a great idea to bring your four-legged family members along? For example, maybe you want to spend the day braving the latest adventure at Cedar Point. You’re in luck! Cedar Point offers daily boarding at the Pet Chek center. Maybe you want to visit an area museum or take on a waterpark? Never fear, Lake Erie Shores & Islands offers a complete list of area kennels and boarding options for your visit. We can also help if you are need of veterinary care with a list of emergency pet clinics. Contact us if you'd like more information!