Other enteries in this series:
This is my fourth installment in the series “The Top 5 Chicago 4th of July Road Trip Destinations.” Each entry in this series will focus on one great vacation spot that you can pack up the kids and head to for the long holiday weekend.
Make the 4th of July 2014 one that your family remembers forever with a visit to one of these family-friendly midwest hotspots. Each spot will be kid friendly and focus on needing little planning to enjoy.
If you plan to stay in a hotel, you can use priceline or one of those sites to find a cheap room nearby. If you want to camp, you will want to start calling nearby campgrounds ASAP as campgrounds fill up much quicker than hotel rooms.
Top 5 Chicago Road Trip Destinations: #2 Sandusky, Ohio
Sandusky is best known as home to Cedar Point, but there is a wide variety of family fun at this destination. While it is roughly a five hour drive from Chicago, Sandusky has unique fun and activities that make it worth every mile.
First, there is Cedar Point. Cedar Point is like the Disney World of the north. It is family friendly and has activities for all ages. For teens, tweens and adults it’s known as the Coaster Capital of the world. It has world class and record breaking coaster, but it also has kid-friendly areas that are full of fun. The mascot of Cedar Point is Snoopy and his gang, and they put on a daily show on ice that shouldn’t be missed. You’ll be amazed at the quality of this show compared to the shows at Six Flags. Cedar Point is uniquely located on a peninsula that has Sandusky on one side and Lake Erie on the other.
One shore of the island is a beautiful sandy beach that offers all the typical beach-going activities, including parasailing. Also, it has some of the most unique lodging of any theme park. Cedar Point got started as a resort in 1870 and the historic Hotel Breakers is still open today. Hotel Breakers offers walking access to two gates of the theme park, making a stay here easy and stress-free. Resort guests also get early entry to the parks. If you’re bringing younger kids, you can also stay on the Snoopy floor which features the cutest Snoopy décor. In the evenings, you can even get your photo take in the lobby with Snoopy in his night gown. For more information, check out www.cedarpoint.com
After you finish getting your thrills you can head over to Port Clinton for the African Safari Wildlife Park. This isn’t your typical zoo; it’s actually a drive-thru wildlife park. You drive through the pastures that are home to bison, llamas, deer, elk, giraffes and zebras. You can buy cups of animal feed and carrots at different spots during the safari and the animals will walk right up to your car to eat. It’s one of the more unique ways to see wildlife, and provides a priceless memory for kids. After you finish the drive-thru portion, you can park and check out Safari Junction which includes snacks, a gift shop and a walk-through exhibit area that is home to even more animals. For more information, check out: www.africansafariwildlifepark.com
Aside from these unique experiences, there are also multiple waterpark resorts and other activities to enjoy around Sandusky. Most notably there is a Kalahari location and a Great Bear Lodge as well. This makes Sandusky a fully-fledged vacation destination for families. While it’s fun for a long weekend, you could easily fill a week in this area with the different activities and sights to see.