When you contemplate heading out on a journey–whether it is for the week or a weekend– it is interesting what you find when you take time to search the cities, towns and counties around you.
In this two-part series, I look at some Ohio locations that are often forgotten, but ones that deserve to be on the radar for your next getaway. In Part 1, I looked at Guernsey county in Southeast Ohio, and today I look at Maumee Bay near Toledo in Northern Ohio.
I set up shop at the beautiful Maumee Bay Lodge. With 120 guest rooms and 24 cottages (some pet-friendly). The accommodations are ideal for couples, solo travelers and multiple families who are traveling together. The lodge has a very “homey” feel. There are large wooden beams throughout the facility and comfortable, over-sized lounge furniture in front of a stone fireplace in the lobby.
The company that runs the lodge, Xanterra Parks & Resorts is committed to eco-tourism so you will find lots of efforts around the lodge to make it a comfortable and environmentally friendly place to stay. The lodge just instituted a “no straw” program in which they hope to do their small part to cut down on the millions of straws that end up in landfills.
There are so many things to do right on the grounds of the lodge: swimming in the indoor & outdoor pools or at the beach area, tennis, bicycle and jet ski rentals, volleyball, golf, fishing, hiking, nature activities and leisurely strolls along the paved waterfront. As I take a walk along the 2-mile boardwalk in a natural wetlands area photographing native birds, I realize that you don’t even need to leave the grounds of the lodge for a great getaway. There are so many things to do.
But, if you choose to head out, Toledo is just a ten minute drive with enough venues to fill several days. The Toledo Zoo is impressive with a new Australian exhibit Wild Walkabout that runs through Labor Day. I particularly loved the walk-through wallaby exhibit.
If you are traveling with kids, I highly recommend Imagination Station which is a fun-filled, hands-on science center, and the Toledo Museum of Art which houses more than 30,000 works and has children’s activity stations in many of its 45 galleries.
If you want to get out on the water, boat trips to the Toledo Harbor Lighthouse can be arranged. It is a short boat trip to the floating 3-story lighthouse which has been restored and has quite an interesting history.
If you like baseball, the Toledo Mud Hens have a game almost every night and tickets start at just $9. It’s a perfect evening for the family, and who can resist a hot dog at the ballpark!
If a nice dinner out is more your speed, I recommend the Real Seafood Company located at The Docks on the Maumee River. The ambiance is peaceful, the restaurant is beautiful and the food is memorable. The fresh-baked bread is sinful and the fresh seafood dinner combinations are creative. You must try the chilled seafood Gazpacho and the Almond Crusted Whitefish.
Of course, you have to leave an evening to take in the stunning Lake Erie sunset. As I sit along the water watching another day come to an end, I love how the natural beauty of this place re-charges me.