Marvin Fong, The PDA young beachgoer at Edgewater Beach in Cleveland.
What's summer without a little sand in your toes? A bummer of a summer indeed.
Just because we're hours from the ocean doesn't mean a decent beach is out of reach. From Toledo to Erie, Pa., there are miles of sandy stretches along Lake Erie's southern shore.
True, Mother Nature did not line Ohio's North Coast with the superfine stuff that surrounds, say, Florida's shore. But Lake Erie's coarser version is still perfect for elaborate castle construction, energetic morning walks and lazy afternoon lounges.
So don't let the high price of gas kick sand onto your summer plans. Pack up your sunscreen and sandals. Throw your blanket and bucket in the car. Then pick your perfect beach.
We've got a list of Lake Erie's best strands - some wild, some groomed, some filled with recreation, others better for solitary strolls. And best of all: Each one is, at most, a two-hour drive away.
Lisa DeJong, The Plain DealerThis may be the best-placed picnic table in Northeast Ohio. The view, the breeze and the shade are perfect from the bluff at Huntington Beach Reservation of Cleveland Metroparks in Bay Village. The swimming below is pretty good, too.