“Not all who wander are lost.” We think that quote comes from the Lord of the Rings, and it’s doubtful that J.R.R. Tolkien ever wandered our midwest state, but the quote certainly rings true in Ohio. Ohio is the perfect state to wander; small towns, big cities, back roads, lakes, islands, fields, and streams. The following is a few of our finds when taking that less traveled roads of Ohio’s North Coast.
If you find yourself cruising on route 2 near Cleveland, take a turn on the Detroit Ave exit and seek out Happy Dog. Part neighborhood bar, part music venue and quite possibly the best hot dogs on the planet. Yep, their hot dogs are simply elongated meat like other hot dog joints, but folks a hot dog is about the toppings and they have a ton. We’re not just talking ketchup and mustard here, give Spaghetti O’s or Andy Capp’s hot fries a whirl on your dog. Happy Dog’s doing it with 50 toppings to choose from and don’t get us started on the tater tots.
Stick near the shores of Lake Erie and you’ll roll into the harbor town of Vermilion, Ohio. If you’re feeling a bit cosmic, Woodstock Cafe is an ideal spot. The owners focus on local sustainability and the food won’t disappoint. Savory soups and huge sandwich will balance out perfectly with the excellent selection of craft brews. Peace brah!
After hot dogs, sammies and brews you’re going to need to burn a few calories. No need to burn those cals on Stairmaster, do it at one of the most breathtaking location on the North Coast. At Sheldon Marsh nature preserve in Huron, Ohio you can stroll down the 1-mile paved trail to the shore of Lake Erie. Plenty of nature to while you ponder your next stop, make sure spend a few minutes looking over the ponds as well, always some fun critters to entertain you.
If you can find it, you win. Volstead Bar is a gem on East Water Street in downtown Sandusky. This 24-seat speakeasy features fine crafted cocktails prepared with the precision of a surgeon. Quite and quaint you’ll feel an instant sense of relaxation as you cozy up to the all oak bar. Make sure to ask the barkeep what used to be housed in late 1800’s brick building Volstead is located in.
Somewhere Southeast of Toledo you’ll find Curtice, Ohio and when you arrive you’ll most likely double the population. The definition of a townie bar Crazy Lady Saloon is a great place to order an ice cold MGD and a stacked burger. Another bar with a history, make sure to ask about the building between trains sliding by the parking lot.