We love tent camping and decided to try something "new" (we're from Delaware) by going to EAst Harbor STate Park in Ohio (Marblehead, near Sandusky Ohio).
The visit was a good one overall. The campground was reasonably priced (27$ for electric equipped) and it turned out that there was a LOT of things we could do in the area. So if you have restless car-equipped campers, you can drive to find various attractions and activities.
On the plus side:
+The staff there was SUPER friendly
+The site is pretty large with many types of campsites
+There's a walmart super center, pancake breakfast place (not a chain restaurant), and many other venues for eating and supplying needs within just a few miles of the park. However, the park feels remote and non-commerical. Nice balance with immediate campground feeling combined with accessible ammenities.
+We stayed in C section (They are lettered-- C was one of the pet-friendly and electric sections). Our bathrooms there were great. Clean, screened (so not buggy), with hot showers, and facilities for washing clothes.
+The naturalist knows just about anything you could ask about when it comes to plants and wildlife. Although there could have been more programs, in my opinion, she was very well informed.
+There are bike rentals (10.00 per day when we were there)
+Most sites were grassy or with partial grass ground along with paved area for car/truck. So you can easily get to-from vehicle and the grassy areas make for easy stake-pounding and tent set up.
+The park concession area sells firewood by the bundle as well as ice and other basic needs.
There were some issues you might want to keep in mind
-We stayed in C100 and it was NOT shaded at all. It became brutally hot in summer sun. Many sites were equally lacking in foilage and trees (at least in C seciton. Section A had very nice old growth tree cover, but it doesn't provide electric hook up).
-The sites can be relatively small. If you like privacy and aboreal space, then you might be disappointed depending on what site you choose (see advice below).
-rental bikes had odd, old fashioned handlebars that made them less than easy to use.
-We would have appreciated a greater number of naturalist or educational programs.
-If you are an adult who prefers a quiet setting with few kids, then I would consider another park. This park is EXCELLENT for families, but there were children on bikes riding past all the time. They were well behaved, but a little noisy (naturally).
When using the online reseveration system, pay close attention to the campsite description. When you click on the site number, a boxes opens that indicates whether that site is fully, partially or not shaded. Frankly, I wish I had taken that more seriously and picked a more shaded site. If you have an RV with AC, then it's not a big deal, but if you in a tent, keep this in mind.
There were a LOT of RV's. If you use one, you'll feel right at home. But if you are a tent camper (as we are), then you might feel intimidated. When we were there, I'd say over 75% of campers were in RV's, pull-alongs, etc. Not many people "roughing it" there.
Keep in mind that Cedar Point Amusement Park and some water parks are nearby. So there's lots you can do if you budget for it. If you know you are going to Cedar Point, go to their site to look for discounts or promotions. It was over 50.00 per person when we went. I wish we had done more homework to line up discounts.
Check out the lighthouse and islands if you can, but budget for it (ferry boat tickets, bike rentals on islands, etc).
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