It’s no secret, Jimmy and I, LOVE the beach. But alas, we live in northeastern Ohio, in the direct opposite of a beach town.
Last fall, on one of our Cleveland exploration days, we found ourselves at Edgewater Beach. We were very impressed and promised to come back in the summer. I know what you are thinking, “A Lake Erie beach is NOT the same as being on the coast.” I hear ya, I grew up in South Florida, I know a real beach when I see one. And while this isn’t the crystal blue sea, its a good alternative to enjoy on a sunny summer day.
There are two parking options. An upper and lower. We parked at the upper and walked down. When we go back, we will definitely park at the lower lot. The upper lot is home to the famous “CLEVELAND” sign and a great photo op. It was a little bit of a hike down to the beach, but we made it – a kid, 2 babies, a cooler, a beach umbrella, and two bags in tow. It wasn’t a bad walk down, but the uphill return was pretty brutal. We did take our stroller, just for practicality purposes, but strollers don’t do well on sand. If we could travel lighter, we would definitely leave it behind.
There’s no charge for parking or for entrance into the park. If you pack a lunch, this outing is completely free!
The beach is large, clean, and groomed. There are several life guards and different areas to swim. The sand transitions from smooth to slightly “gravelish” as you near the water. I’m not a fan of lake water, but the water felt surprisingly clean, for a lake, of course! 🙂 We were there from about 11-1 and it was not crowded at all.
We packed cold water and snacks, but not a full lunch. For those interested, there is a beach house with a full concession stand (and it’s not as overly priced, as one would expect). You can find the menu here. The beach house has the concession stand, clean bathrooms, bench swings, and lots of table and chairs to sit at. Like I said, we chose to eat lunch here and we enjoyed the ambiance of looking over the water (it’s two stories), listening to music, and people watching. On Friday nights, they open the bar and have live music, which sounds like a great date night in the making.
There were three ‘hang out’ options. A grassy area with trees and picnic tables that overlooked the water. A sand play area up top with smooth mounds and holes for the littles to play in. And then of course, the large traditional beach area. If you have little kids, this is the best beach umbrella out there.
We had a great morning at the beach, and then hopped over to downtown to check out the new splash fountain in Public Square (10 minute drive). It’s located right across from Tower City. You do have to pay for parking downtown, we paid 7$ for parking and were about a block away.
I was worried that my 7 year old would be bored, but he had a great time, running, sliding, and dodging the fountains. There are plenty of places to sit and watch your kiddos play.
My only negative about the fountain area, is that there are no public restrooms. I was hoping to change my kids before the long drive home and ended up having to do it all in the car. The fountain isn’t far from one of our favorite spots East 6th Street. We strolled over for an ice cream and a quick stop in our favorite T-Shirt store, Cleveland Clothing Company before heading home. All three of our kids were asleep before we even made it onto the highway!
You don’t have to travel hundreds of miles to have a day filled with vacation vibes! You may not have the time, you may not have the money, you may not have the means to go on your dream vacation; but instead of wishing- make the most of today, because today is the best stuff.
If you have been to Edgewater Beach before, I’d love to hear your thoughts below.