Published March 2020
The health and safety of all who visit, live, and work in the Shores & Islands region is our top priority. This, combined with many state and federal COVID-19 related travel restrictions, has resulted in numerous opportunities for our visitors and residents being temporarily unavailable. Supporting our local business community is however now more important than ever, and there are still many ways we can provide that support right now, plus plan ahead for when we as a nation ride out this storm.
Eat Like a Local
There’s no reason we can’t enjoy the amazing food made by local chefs with creativity and skill. Many of our neighborhood restaurants are counting on community support to help keep them running during this trying time. Several eateries are stepping up their carry-out game and many are even offering delivery right to your door. Delicious Lake Erie perch, Lenten specials, scrumptious pasta and pizza, street tacos and other Mexican delicacies, slow-smoked barbecue, and more are still readily available. Take the added stress out of planning meals, while helping a local restaurant keep their business sustained. Grab a bite to eat to enjoy at home; find a list of local dining with carry-out and/or delivery here.
Drink Local Too
While area wineries and breweries have had close their dining and tasting rooms, most are still open for carry-out. So, continue to support local craft beverage makers by stopping by and picking up a few bottles, or fill a growler to enjoy at home. You can call ahead to place your order and it will be ready for you when you arrive.
Supporting your local businesses doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the comfort and safety of your home.
Many smaller retailers have had to shut their doors but that doesn’t mean we have to stop shopping! You can still support community retailers by shopping online. If your favorite shop doesn’t offer online commerce, be sure to follow them on social media. Some retailers offer online sales through Facebook Marketplace or do “live” sales. Speaking of social media, it is also helpful to support a local business by sharing them online with your friends. You can also call local shops to inquire as to whether they will take phone orders and offer shipping or quick pick-up.
Gifting and Giving
Another great way to support area attractions that may be closed temporarily is by purchasing gift cards good for future visits. In addition to the restaurants and stores mentioned above, you can pre-purchase tickets for many area attractions including Cedar Point, African Safari Wildlife Park, and Kalahari Resorts & Conventions online. You can also purchase gift certificates toward future entertainment at the Sandusky State Theatre or The Listening Room. Ferry tickets for future island visits can be purchased online as well. Miller Ferries to Put-in-Bay and Middle Bass Island offers one-way ticket purchasing – tickets can be used any operating day for any trip time. You can also purchase discounted Frequent Floater tickets – books of 20 one-way tickets for multiple island visits! The Jet Express high-speed passenger ferry to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island offers season passes and gift vouchers for purchase online. Gift vouchers can be purchased for use at the ports of your choice and redeemed in-person for tickets when boats are running.
Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands has a number of great virtual, online, and outdoor activities which can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Are you looking for something fun and educational for the kids? You can visit some of our attractions virtually from the comfort of your living room or enjoy a self-guided driving tour of area landmarks, historic buildings, and monuments and learn a bit about the unique history of the region. Daily outdoor exercise is always recommended. Check out a new hiking trail or nature area for a different kind of adventure. The birds are migrating back north, so now is a great time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Learn more about these ideas and more here.
The Lake Erie Shores & Islands welcome centers remain committed to providing the utmost service to our visitors and tourism industry partners. We are available to assist you Mon-Fri, 8 am-5 pm via phone, email, or live chat.
You can reach us at:
Port Clinton Welcome Center: 800.441.1271, 419.734.4386
Sandusky Welcome Center: 800.255.3743, 419.625.2984
In time we will get through this unprecedented challenge and we look forward to welcoming you back to all there is to see and do in Lake Erie Shores & Islands!