20 Beach Towns Within Driving Distance of Cincinnati to Visit this Summer

While the tri-state area is landlocked (we are in the midwest) there are still some beachy towns around Cincinnati. They may not tout the perfect white sands of warmer climates, but there are plenty of places right on a body of water of some sort just waiting to be explored. Check out the spots on this list any weekend through the rest of the summer. CityBeat's sister paper Cleveland Scene contributed to part of this slideshow.
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Put-in-Bay, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours
Less than a five-hour drive from Cincinnati, Put-in-Bay offers an island getaway experience. You’ll have to take a ferry to reach the island, but once you're there, the recreational opportunities are boundless — explore a cave, go parasailing or jet skiing and tour the island by helicopter or train. While Put-in-Bay offers an extensive list of attractions, one of the most popular has to be Perry’s International Peace Memorial, an observation deck where you can see the Detroit, Toledo and Cleveland skylines from an observation deck.

Put-in-Bay, Ohio

Distance: 4 hours
Less than a five-hour drive from Cincinnati, Put-in-Bay offers an island getaway experience. You’ll have to take a ferry to reach the island, but once you're there, the recreational opportunities are boundless — explore a cave, go parasailing or jet skiing and tour the island by helicopter or train. While Put-in-Bay offers an extensive list of attractions, one of the most popular has to be Perry’s International Peace Memorial, an observation deck where you can see the Detroit, Toledo and Cleveland skylines from an observation deck.
Geneva, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours
Established in 1869 as a public picnic grounds, Geneva-on-the-Lake has been a recreational destination for generations of Ohians. Today you can enjoy fishing, boating and swimming at the nearby Geneva State Park, shoot a round at one of the in-town golf courses and explore a selection of arcades, restaurants, nightclubs and wineries. If traveling with kids, be sure to visit Adventure Zone, a family fun center featuring a zipline, go karts, bumper boats, mini-golf, batting cages and more.

Geneva, Ohio

Distance: 4 hours
Established in 1869 as a public picnic grounds, Geneva-on-the-Lake has been a recreational destination for generations of Ohians. Today you can enjoy fishing, boating and swimming at the nearby Geneva State Park, shoot a round at one of the in-town golf courses and explore a selection of arcades, restaurants, nightclubs and wineries. If traveling with kids, be sure to visit Adventure Zone, a family fun center featuring a zipline, go karts, bumper boats, mini-golf, batting cages and more.
Huron, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours
Situated on the south shore of Lake Erie between Cleveland and Toledo, Huron is the ideal place for a weekend getaway on the water. The beach town boasts beautiful parks with scenic views of Lake Erie, plus public beach access. Additional attractions include the Huron Lighthouse (maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard), a mile long fishing pier and an amphitheater hosting weekly events that overlook the municipal marina.

Huron, Ohio

Distance: 4 hours
Situated on the south shore of Lake Erie between Cleveland and Toledo, Huron is the ideal place for a weekend getaway on the water. The beach town boasts beautiful parks with scenic views of Lake Erie, plus public beach access. Additional attractions include the Huron Lighthouse (maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard), a mile long fishing pier and an amphitheater hosting weekly events that overlook the municipal marina.
Kellyes Island
Distance: 4.5 hours
Take a ferry to the largest freshwater American island in Lake Erie. Once there, swim at a sandy beach, rent a bike or kayak, go on a wine tasting, go scuba diving and fish from various piers or boats. Be sure to check out the Glacial Grooves State Memorial — the largest and most breathtaking example of glacial grooves in the world.

Kellyes Island

Distance: 4.5 hours
Take a ferry to the largest freshwater American island in Lake Erie. Once there, swim at a sandy beach, rent a bike or kayak, go on a wine tasting, go scuba diving and fish from various piers or boats. Be sure to check out the Glacial Grooves State Memorial — the largest and most breathtaking example of glacial grooves in the world.
Marblehead, Ohio
Distance: 4 hours
Sitting on the tip of Marblehead peninsula, dividing Lake Erie from Sandusky Bay, and 20 miles from Cedar Point amusement park is the small village of Marblehead. This quaint lakefront hamlet is in a region known as "vacationland" for its sport fishing and boating community during the summer months. Marblehead also has a functioning lighthouse that has been in operation since 1822.

Marblehead, Ohio

Distance: 4 hours
Sitting on the tip of Marblehead peninsula, dividing Lake Erie from Sandusky Bay, and 20 miles from Cedar Point amusement park is the small village of Marblehead. This quaint lakefront hamlet is in a region known as "vacationland" for its sport fishing and boating community during the summer months. Marblehead also has a functioning lighthouse that has been in operation since 1822.
Sandusky, Ohio
Distance: 4.5 hours
Sitting on Sandusky Bay, this large beach town occupies 26 miles of Lake Erie’s shoreline. After exploring the popular amusement park Cedar Point, visitors can relax on the mile-long Cedar Point Beach, set sail from the marina or hang out at one of the many parks and piers scattered across the city.

Sandusky, Ohio

Distance: 4.5 hours
Sitting on Sandusky Bay, this large beach town occupies 26 miles of Lake Erie’s shoreline. After exploring the popular amusement park Cedar Point, visitors can relax on the mile-long Cedar Point Beach, set sail from the marina or hang out at one of the many parks and piers scattered across the city.
Oregon, Ohio
Distance: 3 hours
Just east of Toledo, this beach town claims one mile of shoreline on Lake Erie. Visitors can swim on the sandy beaches of Maumee Bay State Park, bike along the “Oregon Trail” or relax at one of three regional parks.

Oregon, Ohio

Distance: 3 hours
Just east of Toledo, this beach town claims one mile of shoreline on Lake Erie. Visitors can swim on the sandy beaches of Maumee Bay State Park, bike along the “Oregon Trail” or relax at one of three regional parks.
St. Marys, Ohio
Distance: 2 hours
Located in Western Ohio, St. Marys is an unlikely beach town. Grand Lake St. Marys alongside the town was once a man-made reservoir designed to supply water for the Miami and Erie Canal, but it has since become an Ohio State Park and recreational area. The park offers a grand total of four public swimming beaches, along with five public launch ramps. In town, you can find a mini-golf course, swimming pools, splash pads and a variety of antique and specialty shops.
Photo: ohio.org

St. Marys, Ohio

Distance: 2 hours
Located in Western Ohio, St. Marys is an unlikely beach town. Grand Lake St. Marys alongside the town was once a man-made reservoir designed to supply water for the Miami and Erie Canal, but it has since become an Ohio State Park and recreational area. The park offers a grand total of four public swimming beaches, along with five public launch ramps. In town, you can find a mini-golf course, swimming pools, splash pads and a variety of antique and specialty shops.
Port Clinton, Ohio
Distance: 3.5 hours
Commonly referred to as the “Walleye Capital of the World,” Port Clinton upholds its namesake with several marinas and fishing charters dispersed throughout the town. With plenty of quaint restaurants and shops in the downtown area, along with a lighthouse, unique parks, a nature preserve and a sandy beach, this good ol’ fishing town has something to offer everyone who visits.

Port Clinton, Ohio

Distance: 3.5 hours
Commonly referred to as the “Walleye Capital of the World,” Port Clinton upholds its namesake with several marinas and fishing charters dispersed throughout the town. With plenty of quaint restaurants and shops in the downtown area, along with a lighthouse, unique parks, a nature preserve and a sandy beach, this good ol’ fishing town has something to offer everyone who visits.
Vermillion, Ohio
Distance: 3 hours
Bordering both Lake Erie and the scenic Vermillion River, Vermillion is a quintessential beach town. The historic downtown features a plethora of waterfront restaurants, marinas and old-timey storefronts, giving the town a vintage feel. A sidewalk connects downtown to Main Street Beach, where you can see the historic Vermillion Lighthouse and watch the sunset from the beach's observation platform.

Vermillion, Ohio

Distance: 3 hours
Bordering both Lake Erie and the scenic Vermillion River, Vermillion is a quintessential beach town. The historic downtown features a plethora of waterfront restaurants, marinas and old-timey storefronts, giving the town a vintage feel. A sidewalk connects downtown to Main Street Beach, where you can see the historic Vermillion Lighthouse and watch the sunset from the beach's observation platform.