Experience small-town lake living in Marblehead

By Jennifer Ruple

A true perquisite of living in Northwest Ohio is our close proximity to Great Lakes – we’ve got five of them to explore after all. Think sandy beaches, lighthouses, water sports, seafood restaurants and spectacular sunsets – all of this can be yours for the day after a one-hour drive east to Marblehead, Ohio.

The Erie Social Shuffleboard Club and Bar
The Erie Social Shuffleboard Club and

Marblehead lies along SR 163, and an easy out and back trip along this route will give you access to all of the town’s amenities.

The iconic Marblehead Lighthouse
The iconic Marblehead Lighthouse

Just prior to arriving, stop in Port Clinton and grab a cup of joe and a quick breakfast at Coffee Express. Located on W. Second Street, this eatery is popular for its muffins and quiche – try Blueberry Cream Cheese and Raspberry White Chocolate muffins and Farmer’s Quiche loaded with ham, cheeses and veggies. Once in Marblehead, visit East Harbor State Park and feel the sand between your toes as you stroll along the shores of Lake Erie. The park also includes picnic areas, beaches for sunning and swimming, and several miles of trails for hiking or running.

The tasting room at Rocky Point Winery in Marblehead
The tasting room at Rocky Point
Winery in Marblehead

When you’re finished beaching it, it’s time to get social and try your hand at shuffleboard – yes, it’s back! The one-year-old venue, The Erie Social, is Lake Erie’s first indoor shuffleboard club and bar. Delightfully decorated with a vintage meets industrial vibe, the club features regulation size shuffleboard courts and tables, old English style dart boards, board games and a full service bar. While there, order some lunch at the adjacent Sandwich Shoppe which serves fresh deli sandwiches like The Catawba – roasted turkey, Fuji apples, crème Brie on cranberry walnut bread and The Freighter – roast beef, red onion, sharp cheddar, arugula, and chipotle mayo on rosemary ciabatta bread. All sandwiches come with your choice of Chardonnay Potato Salad or Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Salad Next along the road through Marblehead, peruse the many gift shops, antiques stores and art galleries including Ferguson Gallery, which carries unique paintings, art glass, antiques and jewelry, and Christi’s Just for Ewe gift shop known for its fun clothing, jewelry and accessories. The shop also carries nautical-inspired decor, children’s toys, gifts for babies, and their famous handmade fudge.

Coffee Express in Port Clinton
Coffee Express in Port Clinton
Waves crashing along the Lake Erie shoreline
Waves crashing along the Lake Erie

When it’s time for a little wine tasting, head to nearby Rocky Point Winery, located in the historic Marblehead Schoolhouse. Owned and operated by Chris and Kim Redfern, this charming winery recently celebrated its first birthday and features native Midwest wines, small plates and a cozy atmosphere for hanging out with friends. Just upstairs from the winery is the Red Fern Inn, which offers four unique rooms for rent, perfect for a romantic evening away. And finally, round out your day with a visit to the iconic lighthouse at Marblehead Lighthouse State Park where you can relax for a moment by water’s edge and watch the waves break on the rocky shoreline.