Lake Erie truly shines in summer. This is when holidaymakers flock (with their boats) to the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes and spend the warmer months by the water. With the Canadian–US border running through its centre, Lake Erie is primed for a visit no matter which country you’re visiting. We chart the best places to stay in Lake Erie’s most picturesque towns below.
As its name suggests, Lakeview on the Lake offers stunning vistas of Erie. A variety of accommodation options are available here, from mini-cottages to romantic suites, beach bungalows and a private lake house. The hardest decision you’ll make is deciding which one to opt for. Be sure to head down to the lake at sunset (after a dip in the onsite pool) and watch the water mirror the pink-hued skies as the sun disappears below the horizon.
On the southern shore of Lake Erie, The Lakehouse Inn is just under an hour’s drive from Cleveland. It offers an all-inclusive experience. Rooms are well-appointed, most offer lake and sunrise views and are fitted with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs too. Breakfast is included (and breakfast baskets are available for those who want to start the day on the lake). Dinner should be eaten in-house too – all food served at Crosswinds Grille is sourced from local farmers.
Just back from the lakeside town of Port Dover, Clonmel Castle is an old-world gem perched atop a hill and surrounded by an English garden. Behind the red brick exterior, there’s a hint of gothic influence with dark-hued walls, a grand piano and antique relics adorning the bedroom walls. You don’t need to go far to immerse yourself in nature either. Lynn River Falls is just a two-minute walk away.
On the banks of Lake Erie, The Lodge at Geneva is primed for an action-packed holiday with options to golf, boat, fish, kayak and swim all nearby. As the hotel is located in the heart of Ohio wine country, there’s a shuttle to nearby wineries for the vino lovers among us. Alongside the 109 cosy rooms, there are 25 lakeside cottages if you want that extra dose of privacy.
Kettle Creek Inn is a stunning boutique hotel, nestled in the quaint fishing village of Port Stanley on the north shore of Lake Erie. Behind its clapboard facade, rooms are well-appointed, some with fireplaces and deep-soak tubs. In the summer months, opt for dinner in the outdoor garden, where chefs serve delights like New England clam chowder and Madagascar peppercorn poutine (this is Canada, after all). Handmade pizzas are served every Wednesday.
In the small but picturesque town of Barcelona, New York, the Lakeside Bed and Breakfast is a charming option along the Chautauqua Wine Trail. Each of the five suites are individually decorated with soft palettes, some with views of the Barcelona lighthouse, too. A farm-to-table breakfast is served each morning – our pick is the baked peaches French toast with caramel and locally-made, bourbon-infused maple syrup.
A gargantuan mansion with a storied history, Suncliff on the Lake was first built in 1914. Behind Suncliff’s columned facade, rooms are spacious with large windows filling them with light. After a day exploring Lake Erie, dinner at the Lounge is in order where you can dine on fresh salads, seafood and perfectly cooked steaks. They also host workshops here, including ballroom dancing and art sessions.
On the Canadian side of Lake Erie, owners Trish and Bruce transformed this Victorian-era home into a charming bed and breakfast. It dates back to the 1860s – there’s a beam in the kitchen wing that’s carved with ‘1861’. Rooms are individually decorated with embroidered quilts, antique furniture and fresh flowers. Note: you will have to share a bathroom with the other guests. Head down to the deck and soak up the last of the sun. You might even catch sight of fireflies, if you’re lucky.
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