Lake County Ohio Events, Lake County Attractions

Lake County, located east of Cleveland off I-90, offers residents and visitors a wide ranging array of county and metropolitan attractions, including Lake Erie beaches and nature preserves, niche venues, boutique and renovated or new hotels and renowned special events.

For more information and for a complete list of activities in Lake County, visit the Lake County Visitors Bureau.

Lake Metroparks annually provides nearly three million visitors with countless recreational and educational experiences throughout the year. The diverse Lake Metroparks facilities include an agriculturally themed park, a nature center, a state-of-the-art education and wildlife rehabilitation center, two golf courses, five parks on Lake Erie’s shoreline and a cross-country ski center.  Lake Metroparks maintains currently more than 43 miles of trails throughout Lake County, including a 4.8 bike/hike trail.

Visitors to Lake Metroparks enjoy kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and boating during the summer months.  In the winter months, the lake-effect snows of Northeast Ohio transform Lake Metroparks into a winter wonderland; the beauty of the fresh-fallen snows along the trails is such a beautiful sight to see.  Recreational opportunities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding.

The Holden Arboretum is a living museum of woody plants, one of the largest arboreta in the USA with 3,600 acres. Holden’s gardens and collections comprise about 600 acres. Holden Arboretum features over 20 miles of hiking trails through forests, meadows’ gardens, ponds and lakes. Hours are 9am-5pm daily.

The Lake County Wine and Vines Trails attracts about 10,000 leisure travelers every week during the heights of the tourist season. All year now is winery season, with monthly activities and themed dine-arounds.

Lake County has Ohio’s largest estate winery, Chalet Debonnè Vineyards, with 130 acres of vines, growing 600 tons of grapes for 26 different varieties.

Lake County hosts the Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, August 5-6, 2011, at Lake Metroparks Farmpark. Over 20 Wineries offer samples attracting 30,000 visitors from across the tri-state region and beyond.

New to Lake County is the Western Reserve Model Railroad Museum in the City of Mentor. The museum has 19,000 square feet of interactive operating trains, with 16 different scales, the largest in the world. The train museum has the largest American Flyer operating display in the world, plus the largest O gauge layout on public display.

The Lake County Speedway just became Northeast Ohio’s only NASCAR sanctioned racetrack.

Lake County believes it has the closest restaurant to Lake Erie. The Sunset Bar & Grill is so close to Lake Erie the patio gets splashed.

Lake County has Ohio longest beach, Headlands State Beach Park, one mile long, voted “Best Beach Sunset” by Ohio Magazine several years ago. 

Transitioning from major leagues, to championship minor league, the Lake County Captains, a Cleveland Indians Class A affiliate won the 2010 Midwest League Championship. 2.8 million fans have attended in eights years, with over three million total expected in 2011.

Fishing is tops in Lake County, especially for steelhead trout. Painesville’s section of the Grand River was named as the site of the best steelhead trout fishing in the region by the 2010 “Best of Cleveland” article in Cleveland Magazine. Lake County’s deeper Lake Erie central basin water is where the big walleye migrate in the warmer months, plus jumbo perch and bass fishing.

Unique to the region and perhaps the USA is Little Thunder Golf Course. Little Thunder, in Madison, is probably the only 18 hole, regulation golf course for youth and beginners. Families, young and senior golfers, can golf at a slower pace, without the pressure of more proficient golfer and marshals, rushing play.

Lake County has two lighthouses, the Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse, allow physically able visitors, to walk circular 77 steps to the top for a great view of Lake Erie. The 132 year old lighthouse has been called “a great destination for true lighthouse buff,” by Lighthouse Digest.

Lake County is graced by several historic landmarks including the James A Garfield National Historic Site in the City of Mentor.  Home of the 20th U.S. President, purchased in 1876, and renovated several times, the latest for $17 million, Garfield’s home has the largest original artifacts of any Presidential site.

The Lake County History Center Museum & Village recently moved to a  30,000 square foot former County Home with exhibit areas and galleries, filled with items like music boxes.

Lake County has an Indian Museum in Willoughby, featuring prehistoric Indians of the Ohio area, 10,000 BC- 1650 AD, plus today’s Indians 1800 to present.

Lake County’s agricultural base is large, from nurseries to orchards to bee hives.

Fresh, un-pasteurized honey is available at about six farmers markets in Lake County by the Ohio Honey Company based in Kirtland. The nutrient enriched honey can also be ordered on line.