The weather is heating up, which means that many Toledo residents are looking for a cool escape from that scorching Ohio sun. Luckily, our area is home to some prime Lake Erie coastline, inland lakes and the Maumee River, all of which provide incredible spots to take a much needed dip and cool off. The first step is choosing your preferred oasis!
There are several community pools in the area (especially if you’re a gym member), but we’ve rounded up a few more remarkable destinations nearby, including quarries, beaches and hidden swimming holes. Whether you’re looking to dip a toe or cannonball into the deep end, these prime spots in Toledo and nearby Michigan are your ticket to fun in the sun.
The Centennial Quarry
Photo courtesy of Mark Oberst via the Centennial Quarry
Centennial Quarry is a spring fed swimming facility with all the fixin’s! The water is deep (about 22 feet on average), so you’ll be able to fully enjoy the diving platforms and water toys (think: aqua bobber, water teeter totter, swim rafts, and a log roller). The refreshing water and fun activities are sure to provide a good time for swimmers young and old. Once you’re done swimming, lay out on the sandy beach or strike up a game at one of the three sand volleyball courts.
Catawba Island State Park
On the tip of the Catawba Peninsula near Marblehead lies a 10-acre park with gorgeous, clear water and rocky beaches that are perfect for taking a refreshing dip and laying out to dry. Bring a lunch — the nearby tables offer a perfect spot to enjoy a meal and take in the stunning views that can only be found on Lake Erie.
Photo courtesy of Cedar Point
The roller coaster capital of the world is good for more than shrieks, thrills and funnel cake. Next to the resort hotels and water rides, you’ll find a well-maintained, white sand beach that is one of the best on Lake Erie. After a rousing game of volleyball (or a few roller coasters), retire to your towel to soak up some sun, or take a dip in the refreshing water.
Lake Hudson Recreation Area
It’s almost unfair how gorgeous the Lake Hudson Recreation Area is. Located just over the state line, the serene area offers campsites, picnic tables, volleyball, hiking, bird-watching, fishing and of course swimming near the small, sandy area. Kids and adults alike will enjoy bathing in the waters and taking in the views!
Kelleys Island State Park
Photos courtesy of Kelleys Island State Park
Lake Erie’s Emerald Isle (as the park is sometimes called) is a coveted destination for nature enthusiasts, campers and those looking for a scenic retreat! The unique geological features on the island make for some interesting walks, but the water is the true draw. Kelleys features a 100-foot public swimming beach that is much more comfortable than those of the other Erie Islands, which are rocky. It’s also a prime camping destination during the summer months!
Sterling State Park
Just over the state line in Monroe lies Sterling State Park, a 1,300 oasis featuring more than a mile of sandy, public beach, a boat launch, fishing piers, and hiking trails. Make a trip out of it by staying the night and letting the waters lull you to sleep in one of the lakefront campsites.
Photo courtesy of Luna Pier’s Facebook Page
Nestled between I-75 and the western coast of Lake Erie, you’ll find the charming shoreside community of Luna Pier. Aside from resort-quality amenities and stellar views, guests can enjoy more than four miles of continuous shoreline, a public beach and bath house, charter fishing, boating opportunities, winding bike baths and four picturesque parks.
Camp Perry Beach
Located within the Camp Perry military reservation just outside of Port Clinton, the Camp Perry Beach offers a small, white sand oasis that is open to visitors from dusk to dawn. Opt to stay in one of the cottages or condos on the reservation to extend your stay — military personnel get a discounted rate
Maumee Bay State Park
This stunning state park is a well-traveled gem in the Toledo area, offering 1,336 acres of paradise on the coast of Lake Erie. Here, you can enjoy a diverse array of outdoor activities, from wandering the scenic meadows, to playing 18 holes on the golf course, biking on the trails and of course, enjoying the beach. The waters of Lake Erie are wonderful for kayaking, jet skis, boating, or taking a dip! Opt to stay at the Maumee Bay Lodge for access to indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs.
Just Keep Swimming!
What’s your favorite place to take a dip near Toledo? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!