6 Top-Rated Resorts in Sandusky, OH
Sandusky, Ohio, can trace its history as the state's leading vacation destination all the way back to 1870, when the town's first dance hall opened on Cedar Point Peninsula. Fast forward to today, and this point of land jutting out into Lake Erie is not only reputedly the "roller coaster capital of America," it's also home to some of the top all-season family resorts and conference facilities in the Buckeye state.
Leading the way are some of the largest resorts in Ohio. These include the iconic Cedar Point's Hotel Breakers, notable for its state-of-the-art convention space and proximity to theme parks; the always-popular-with-the-kids Kalahari Resorts & Conventions; and Great Wolf Lodge.
Not that adults aren't well catered to in Sandusky. These resorts, in addition to great places to stay like Farrell House Lodge and familiar brand names like Hampton Inn, also make great places to spend quality time with loved ones. And in addition to their popularity for romantic weekend getaways, business travel, and family-centric theme park blow-outs, they also make for good bases from which to explore the area and its many attractions.
To find out more about the top places to stay in the USA's roller coaster capital, be sure to read through our list of the very best resorts in Sandusky, Ohio.
1. Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Sandusky
Accommodation: Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Kids just love Kalahari Resorts & Conventions in Sandusky. Not only does this massive African-themed property include two separate waterparks — one indoors, and one outdoors — it also offers kids the opportunity to immerse themselves in a wide variety of programs and entertainment options.
That's not all. As Kalahari guests, kids also get the chance to explore the neighboring safari-styled adventure park. This attraction features both exotic and domestic animals, many rides, and exciting zipline adventures.
The fun doesn't stop there, though. Family adventures continue in this 3-star resort's oversized suites, which come with large-screen TVs and plenty of space to spread out. Large groups are particularly well catered to thanks to a clever layout that allows a number of rooms to be combined to create a huge 10-bedroom unit. These large family compounds include a central living area, as well as a full kitchen and large living room.
For a dose of real luxury, book your friends or family into the ultra-deluxe Entertainment Villa. Spread across two levels, this huge five-bedroom home-away-from-home comes with its own large (and private) fully-furnished patio with a gas barbecue, a dedicated games room with a pool table, and a full kitchen. They also feature good-sized separate dining areas for entertaining, and seven large HDTVs. Set apart from the main resort, this unique luxury villa offers an unforgettable vacation experience.
Address: 7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, Ohio
2. Cedar Point's Hotel Breakers
Accommodation: Cedar Point's Hotel Breakers
For those wanting to be as close as possible to Sandusky's theme parks, Cedar Point's Hotel Breakers should be near the top of your list. Consisting of an impressive 669 guest rooms, this large, 100-plus-year-old resort-style hotel is about as close as you can possibly get to the popular Cedar Point theme park, and has been welcoming guests even before the very first roller coaster was built in Sandusky.
In fact, this historic hotel boasts a guest-only entrance to the park, which even opens its doors an hour early to those enjoying an overnight stay. Another theme park perk is the chance to buy discounted admission tickets to Cedar Point, as well as Cedar Point Shores Water Park.
You'll also be spoilt for choice when it comes time to relax and unwind after all that family fun. The hotel offers a collection of standard accommodations, along with larger suites and stand-alone cabins for those needing extra beds and separate living rooms. Some lake-view rooms are available and are certainly worth the additional expense.
On-site amenities include an indoor swimming pool and two outdoor heated swimming pools, hot tubs, plus a splash area for younger guests. Guests also have access to the mile-long beach area adjacent to the theme park, too. And for older kids and water sports enthusiasts, Jet Ski rentals and parasailing adventures can be booked on-site.
A variety of dining options are also available in the resort's three restaurants, which offer everything from fine dining to casual dining experiences. Kids' menu items are also available, and there's even an ice cream parlor on-site.
Need a shot of caffeine and a snack? The resort's Starbucks coffee shop can help. For those wanting to venture off-site for a meal or some shopping, a handy shuttle bus service is provided.
Address: 1 Cedar Point Drive, Sandusky, Ohio
3. Great Wolf Lodge Water Park, Sandusky
Accommodation: Great Wolf Lodge
Another of Sandusky's larger kid-friendly vacation destinations, Great Wolf Lodge Water Park offers no end of great opportunities for families to reconnect as they unwind. As much as the resort emphasizes the fun of playing together in its pools, it has also created a wonderful in-room experience for young and old alike.
The highlight for kids in these oversized family suites are the "KidCabins." Really a mini-suite-within-a-suite, these affairs give kids their own place to sleep and play. Best of all, these unique spaces include both bunk beds and day beds and come in a variety of themed décor options, including wilderness and log cabin themes.
For parents seeking a little time on their own, go for one of the spacious two-story loft suites. While the kids are bedded down for the night upstairs, the lower living area provides plenty of opportunity to reconnect over an in-room meal in front of the cozy fireplace, or to take in a movie on the big screen HD TV.
Better still, take advantage of the resort's babysitting services and get out and enjoy one of the on-site restaurants. The resort in fact has a variety of dining options, including one for adults only. There's also on-site shopping and a well-equipped fitness center. Historic downtown Sandusky is just a few minutes away by shuttle bus and offers plenty of dining and entertainment opportunities, too.
Unlike some of the other resorts in the area, Great Wolf Lodge is open year-round. Popular times to visit include Christmas, with special programming aimed at the kids (yes, there really is a Santa, at least at Great Wolf Lodge). New Year's packages are also available, with programs and events available for kids, and later for parents wanting to ring in the New Year together while the kids are tucked up in bed.
Address: 4600 Milan Rd, Sandusky, Ohio
4. Farrell House Lodge
Accommodation: Farrell House Lodge
For those looking for something a little more intimate in Sandusky, the historic Farrell House Lodge is just the place. With only nine luxuriously appointed guest rooms, this beautiful 19th-century southern-style mansion offers a degree of privacy and tranquility that is not found in the many larger resorts in the area.
Perfect for romantic couples' getaways, this country estate is set on a 130-acre conservation area consisting of a wildlife-rich mix of meadows and woodlands that's perfect for nature lovers. The property also has a pristine stream that is home to a number of trout species, as well as a huge 10-acre pond.
No two rooms are decorated the same, each boasting rich decor and high-end furnishings. If your budget allows, book one of the exquisite master suites for an added dash of luxury. Consisting of two rooms, these elegantly decorated suites feature two queen beds, a separate seating area with fireplace, a large private bathroom, and great views over the estate grounds.
For those seeking something a little different, two stand-alone homes are also available. One, an original farmhouse, comes with four bedrooms, a well-equipped full kitchen that's perfect for a memorable meal, and a dining room. The other is a fully restored former granary barn that's been turned into funky cabin-style accommodations. It includes a large loft dormitory area with a king and four single beds.
Wherever they stay on this sprawling property, guests have access to a wide variety of summer activities. Highlights include the complimentary use of canoes, kayaks, and a rowboat, along with a games room, DVD library, and fishing privileges (a daily fee applies for the latter). A hearty breakfast is also included in your stay, and lunch and dinner options are available in the main lodge dining room.
Address: 1104 Lima Sandusky Road, Sandusky, Ohio
5. South Shore Inn
Accommodation: South Shore Inn
The family-friendly South Shore Inn is a budget-conscious property with some resort-style amenities. It has a convenient location just a few minutes' drive from Cedar Point Amusement Park and downtown Sandusky.
South Shore Inn has several styles of rooms and suites. The double queens are a good choice for families with small children who are on a budget. The rooms are simple but clean and have fridges and microwaves upon request. You can also book inter-connecting rooms if you have older children.
The three-room suite is a great choice for larger families. With pool views, it can sleep up to 8 people. Each room has its own TV and a mix of carpet and wood flooring. If this is a romantic trip, book their Honeymoon Suite. It comes with a Jacuzzi tub and king bed.
Like the rooms, the amenities here are designed with kids in mind. There is a swimming pool with a waterslide and a shallow end. There's also a hot tub. Children can use the outdoor play equipment and families can play a game of corn hole with the hotel's boards. If basketball is your sport, you can even shoot hoops here.
A complimentary continental breakfast is served daily, but there is no restaurant on the grounds. That said, the resort is just a quick drive to downtown Sandusky, where you'll find numerous dining options.
Address: 2047 Cleveland Rd, Sandusky, Ohio
6. Hampton Inn Sandusky-Central
Accommodation: Hampton Inn Sandusky-Central
Part of one of the largest names in affordable yet comfortable hotel brands in the USA, the 3-star Hampton Inn Sandusky-Central is certainly worth considering when visiting this part of Ohio. Location is everything, and this budget-friendly hotel is just minutes away from the huge Cedar Point amusement park, with its many roller coasters and rides. It's also close to the popular Kalahari water parks, too.
Its proximity to Lake Erie also makes it an ideal base from which to explore the many islands that make up this pretty part of the Great Lakes. It's also handy for visits to the historic downtown core of Sandusky itself. Other fun things to do in the area include golf, shopping, and hiking.
Accommodations consist of 50 clean and well-maintained guest rooms, each with features like free Wi-Fi and desks (special "lap desks" are also available for those who enjoy working in bed!). A number of easy-access suites are also available for those with mobility issues. The largest rooms available include king beds, fridges, a seating area, plus a large bathroom with walk-in showers and a whirlpool tub.
Complimentary breakfasts are included in your stay, as is the use of a fitness center and a swimming pool. Numerous off-site dining options are also located nearby.
Address: 6100 Milan Road, Sandusky, Ohio