If you have ever travelled through or lived in Ohio, you’ll know there is a lot of ground to cover. We are lucky to live within driving distance to so many incredible places. With three young kids, taking 12-hour road trips is less than ideal. But finding places within driving distance here in Ohio is incredibly easy. And the perfect adventure and family fun can be found at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake.
Why the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake?
The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake is located on the most beautiful lakefront location — right on Lake Erie. The views are truly picturesque. And the lodge is gorgeous — both inside and out! With 109 rooms and 25 lakeside cottages, there is truly a space for all sizes of families. Our family of 5 was more than comfortable in our fireplace room, overlooking the outdoor pool and splashpad.
Here are my favorite parts of the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake:
Lakeside and poolside
The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake not only has incredible views, but it also features both an indoor and outdoor pool, and a splash pad. While we spent a lot of time exploring the strip and the state park, my kids wanted to spend every other waking moment at the pools.
We alternated between the indoor and outdoor pools for a change of scenery. But both pools have a view of Lake Erie that would give oceanside cities a run for their money. It is simply breathtaking.
Exceptional on-site dining at Horizons Restaurant
The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake features on-site dining from Horizons Restaurant. With stunning views, both indoor and outdoor dining, and a rotating seasonal menu, it’s the perfect place for dinner with the family.
Our appetizer was the kids choice — Warm Pretzels with Guinness Beer Cheese. They were so good that the kids asked for another order!
All three kids ordered their own kids meal while the parents indulged in the most decadent meals we’ve had in a long time. My smoked pork chop with local blueberry beer glaze, and brussels sprouts and kale salad paired perfectly with my all-Ohio wine flight featuring Ferrante’s best wines.
Chad ordered the quinoa crispy shrimp, which he let me taste. Also an incredible option. In all honesty, all five of us were so impressed by both the service and the meals. I truly have not stopped thinking about my pork chop since our visit.
Comfort for the whole family
The service in the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake was outstanding. From our check-in experience, to the friendliness of the gift shop staff, we felt over-the-top welcomed by everyone.
The kids loved the fireplace in our room (despite the 90 degree weather). I couldn’t help but think about visiting in the winter to get the full effect of our beautiful fireplace room.
S’mores and Sunsets
Sure, the views of Lake Erie are stunning during the day. But a Lake Erie sunset is magical. Whether you visit the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake with your whole family, as a couple, or with girlfriends, you absolutely must catch the sunset.
I wish I could put into words how magical this moment was for my small kids. They’ve seen plenty of sunsets before; but none have compared to the sunset on the lake. The only thing that made it more magical for them was getting to make s’mores with this incredible backdrop.
The gift shop at the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake offers s’mores kits and it is a must-do (especially if you ask my kids). Heck, even if you’re visiting as a couple, I highly recommend making s’mores with this view. What could be better than s’mores and this Lake Erie sunset?!
Family Activities at Geneva-on-the-Lake
Many people immediately think about the fun activities for couples in Geneva-on-the-Lake. But I am here to tell you there are absolutely so many fun activities for families. In fact, when we were in the car on the way home, all three kids declared that we must return for a visit soon!
Zipline Adventure Park with Lake Erie Canopy Tours
Before settling down and having a family, Chad and I were super adventurous. Heck, if we have a babysitter, we are still super adventurous. But there’s also a huge thrill in watching your children accomplish things they didn’t think they could do.
I will tell you that our middle child, Remy (age 5), is always the first to volunteer for something fun. But she also quickly realizes that she may be too nervous or scared. Luckily the guides with Lake Erie Canopy Tours and her brother, helped to convince her that she is strong and brave.
Both Ari (age 8) and Remy, completed the kids adventure course multiple times. Near the end of their hour long tour, Ari decided to see how quickly he could make it through the ropes course. His best time was about 2 and a half minutes.
I will forever be grateful for the confidence and bravery the staff helped to develop with my kids. And I cannot wait for Mila (age 3) to join in on the fun next year.
Tour the strip and park by renting a golf cart
During our first morning at the Lodge, I convinced my husband and kids that we should walk to get lunch from The Old Firehouse Winery. Honestly, it isn’t far. But what I didn’t factor into our adventure was the humidity and having 3 tiny people making the trek. But we made it! We enjoyed our lunch, wine slushes, and ride on the ferris wheel.
But, from there on out, we decided to travel the strip by golf cart rather than by foot. The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake offers on-site rentals for kayaks, paddle boats, and golf carts. It made exploring so much easier — the strip is a lot longer than I expected!
Go for a ride on #5 Big Eli — and then grab a meal at Old Firehouse Winery
Old Firehouse Winery, just minutes from the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, was purchased in 1956 for the now closed “Erieview Park.” After the park closed, Old Firehouse Winery bought it and it is the only winery in the world with its own ferris wheel!
You can purchase tickets from your server at the winery or in their storefront. But I offer you this pro tip: ride before you eat. The #5 Big Eli is fast. I may have had to put on a brave face for the kids (I’m afraid of heights, but I really wanted to experience seeing Lake Erie from that viewpoint. And it did not disappoint).
It is completely obvious why people visit Old Firehouse Winery. Even without the ferris wheel experience, the views and food are laid back and perfectly paired with their wine offerings.
Explore Geneva State Park
Geneva State Park is located right next door to the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake. It’s easily accessible by walking or riding on the paved trail from the lodge. Or you can take the golf cart through the main entrance. Either way you enter, the state park offers amazing views, and almost 700 acres to explore.
A six-hundred foot beach shoreline is a great place for kids to play on the shore of Lake Erie. Who needs an ocean, right?!
Get your adrenaline pumping at Adventure Zone
Within our first hours in Geneva-on-the-Lake, we walked past Adventure Zone. It’s located less than a half of a mile from the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, so it’s an easy walk. My 8-year-old declared that we must go there! This family-owned and family-run business features a full arcade and a bunch of other exciting attractions.
We made the most of our visit to Adventure Zone by hitting the go-karts (yay for tandem karts), bumper boats, merry-go-round, and bungee trampoline before making the grand finale exit from Geneva-on-the-Lake: the Zip Zone Zipline.
I credit my 8-year-olds willingness to climb the 60-foot tower and fly down the 1000 foot zipline because he had previously done the kids course at Lake Erie Canopy Tours. To tell you the truth, this mama was nervous for sure! Chad and Ari climbed that tower and I watched like a hawk from below. I had butterflies in my stomach and so much excitement for this adventure for him.
And guess what? They both did great!
Whether you take a two-day trip or week long trip to the Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, your family is going to have a blast. Book your stay today!