Our Socially Distanced Getaways to Lake Erie

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

At the beginning of the summer, my mom learned that we would have occasional summer access to a friend's lake house – a small but sweet little spot on the water in Port Clinton, OH, about an hour & 15 minutes west of Cleveland. With no real travel on the horizon – like, for the foreseeable forever – we feel really, really fortunate to be able to escape to this cozy cottage every now & then.

Is there anything more relaxing than this view?

My family has been going to Hilton Head, S.C., ever since I was a little kid, & even though it's beautiful there, I just never really want to go to the beach. I've never been a big ocean person – so hot, so sweaty, so salty – but I'm loving life near the lake. It's much more calming & relaxing, & somehow it's not nearly as toasty, although there do seem to be a whole lot of spiders lurking around here.

The house itself is small but pristine; my mom's friend has owned it for more than a decade, & she takes meticulous care of it. We're so grateful to her for sharing it with us this summer! 

It has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a couple balconies that are perfect for watching the sun set on the North Coast. It's decorated in a super cute nautical theme that far exceeds my own interior decor capacities.

There's a cute little downtown area that I've only been to once, given that none of us is eager to spend time around other humans right now, but I'm looking forward to spending some more time there. It's surprisingly eclectic for such a small town, with some art, an oversized beach chair (look how little my mama looks!), & some quirky little shops & restaurants. 

There's also a little downtown beachfront, which gets busy but not busy enough that you can't socially distance. There's this teeny-tiny lighthouse & a birding trail, & down the road, you can rent jet skis & stand-up paddleboards. We haven't done any of that yet, but maybe before the end of the summer?

When we go to the lakehouse, we have to bring all our own food, of course, or plan to eat out/order in. The downtown of Port Clinton has been closed to cars so that diners can sit outside in a more socially distanced way, but so few people in town seem to be wearing masks that I'm still not particularly comfortable with it. 

Favorite spots so far are Coffee Express, which makes decent coffee & a mean quiche, & Scooter's Dairy Bar, which doles out huuuuge scoops of soft serve. I ordered carry-out from Dock's Beach House a couple of times (yumm, fried dish!), but the last time, when I went in & saw at least sever employees wearing their masks around their chins, I decided I wouldn't be back. 

We've also cooked for ourselves a few times. My mom made some amazing shrimp & grits, & I made my favorite Thai-style hot dogs. When I go to the house alone, though, it's mostly yogurt & granola for lunch & frozen pizza for dinner. Listen, I just wanna chill! 

My favorite thing about Port Clinton, though, is that it's where my mom & I discovered our newfound love of beachcombing. Our first time there, we were walking down the beach when my mom said, "Have you ever found any beach glass?" I said no, so we started to keep an eye out... & bingo, it turned out to be a goldmine!

Now, we look for beach glass every time we go. I recently spent a few days there solo, & I dipped out to the beach multiple times a day to see what I could find. Even when I don't find anything, it's a relaxing way to spend some time outside.

More to come soon on that front, but for now, suffice it to say that every time I leave Port Clinton, I find myself already ready to return. 

I'm feeling so fortunate to have access to the beach house this summer & to be able to get away a little bit, especially during a year when there are no other ways to do so. Looking forward to heading back soon!

Have you been able to get away at all this summer? Where have you been & what are you up to? 

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