Unique and Fun Things to Do in Port Clinton, Ohio

When you think of Northern Ohio, Sandusky may come to mind because of Cedar Point Amusement Park.

The surrounding area has plenty of additional adventures if you extend your stay.

I’m sharing more about the fun things to do in Port Clinton, Ohio, only 20+ minutes away from Sandusky.

Lake Erie Love sign

Some of these adventures were hosted by Shores and Islands Ohio, while others were not, as always all opinions are my own. This article contains affiliate links.

African Safari Wildlife Park in Port Clinton Ohio

Visit The African Safari Wildlife Park

267 S Lightner Rd, Port Clinton, OH

African Safari Wildlife Park is THE place to go for an unforgettable adventure with animals! The wildlife park has a drive-thru park and a walk-thru safari.

drive thru safari at African Safari Animal Park

Your admission includes one cup of grain for your vehicle to be used during the Drive-thru Safari.

Realistically you’ll want to purchase additional food so that more people can feed the animals. There is also a lot of spilling that takes place during the ride both inside and outside the vehicle.

African Safari Animal Park

Be on the lookout for camels, bison, alpacas, elk, emu, giraffes, zebra, llamas, highland cattle, deer, and more from the safety of your vehicle during the Drive-Thru Safari!

 highland cow at African Safari Animal Park

You’ll want to go through the Drive-Thru Safari more than once during your visit because the animals are active at different times of the day.

highland cow at African Safari Wildlife Park

You may see some animals you didn’t notice during your first time.

The animals can get pretty zealous while eating out of the cups.

Younger kids may do better watching the feedings in the beginning or you may need to help them hold the container otherwise it will most likely spill.

African Safari Animal Park

The Drive-Thru Safari experience will bring plenty of smiles and laughs so keep your camera or cell phone close.

We laughed nonstop during the whole drive-thru portion of our visit.

Ring tailed lemur at African Safari Animal Park

The Walk-thru Safari has peacocks, parakeets, red kangaroos, ring-tailed lemurs, alligators, and more.

This is also a great opportunity to get out and stretch, learn, and explore.

Check the daily times on the summer show schedule from late May through Labor Day.

Budgie feed sticks at African Safari Animal Park

Additional Animals Encounters at African Safari Wildlife Park

*Animal encounters are available during the summer season and Extended Weekends only. Some of these animal encounters are an additional fee.

  • Aviary Adventure
  • Camel Rides
  • EdZoocational Animal Programs
  • HogWILD Experience
  • Zoo-It-All Animal Encounters
  • Giraffe Encounter
  • Capybara Encounter
giraffes at African Safari Animal Park

Here are a few tips before you go to African Safari Wildlife Park

  • Visit the drive-thru safari in the morning when the animals are more hungry
  • Allow several hours for a visit
  • You may want to purchase the largest-sized animal food package if you plan on going through it multiple times and have multiple kids in your vehicle.
  • Use both hands to grip the bottom of the cup when feeding animals and hold on tight!
  • Your admission includes unlimited trips through the drive-thru safari and I recommend going through at the beginning of your visit and after you visit the walk-thru safari.
  • Have your camera or video ready during the Drive-Thru Safari
  • There is a cafe onsite if you want to purchase snacks or a meal during your visit
  • Pricing, hours, and days of operation vary throughout the year- Check online before you go.
  • Many of the special animal encounters need to be booked in advance and they’re only available on specific days
  • Closed toes shoes are required for several animal encounters
Liberty Aviation Museum

Aviation Appreciation at Liberty Aviation Museum

3515 E State Rd, Port Clinton, OH (Erie-Ottawa International Airport)

The Liberty Aviation Museum was founded by volunteers in 1991 to showcase WW2 aircraft.

Liberty Aviation Museum

Highlights of the Liberty Aviation Museum:

  • 1928 Ford Tri-Motor “City of Wichita”/”City of Port Clinton”
  • WWII North American Aviation B-25J Mitchell Bomber “Georgie’s Gal”
  • WWII Consolidated-Vultee PBY-6A Catalina
  • Lake Erie Warbirds’ WWII Grumman TBM Avenger
  • Lake Erie Warbirds’ Canadian Car & Foundry Harvard IV
  • WWII Boeing Stearman Biplane (Model 75) “Harold’s Dream”
  • #97 Denight Special DDT Pylon Racer

*The actual aircraft, vehicles, and displays at the museum at any given time can vary depending upon air show & car show touring schedules, visiting aircraft from other museums & private collections, special events, and other factors.

burger at Tin Goose Diner

Dine at the Tin Goose Diner

Located within, the Liberty Aviation Museum Complex, 3515 E State Rd, Port Clinton, OH

*Open on select days.

The 1950s-themed American diner was originally built by the Jerry O’Mahony Diner Company in 1951 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and later restored and relocated to the museum complex in 2012.

The Tin Goose Diner is known for its $100 burger by pilots, not because the burger is $100 but because it was a diner that pilots could previously fly to for around $100 in food and gas for the plane.

 Tin Goose Diner

That price has most likely gone up in recent years but it’s still a pretty cool place to fly to for a burger, fries, a milkshake, or a root beer float.

100% of the profits from the diner go towards the Liberty Aviation Museum.

walleye fishing Lake Erie

Go Fishing at the “Walleye Capital of the World”

Did you know Lake Erie is known as the “Walleye Capital of the World?”

walleye fishing Lake Erie

You can go fishing on your own, or book a charter fishing trip with the pros. Either way, you must purchase a fishing license for anyone ages 16 and up.

fishing charter Port Clinton Ohio

A benefit of going with a fishing charter is that they provide All the equipment and they know the best places to fish.

I’m confident that my dad and I wouldn’t have caught as many fish on our own. And I never had to bait the hook which was another perk.

There are several charter fishing companies to choose from on Lake Erie based on price per day and review score.

Port Clinton Lighthouse

See the Port Clinton Lighthouse at Waterworks Park

205 E. Perry St. (SR163) Port Clinton, OH (Waterworks Park)

The Port Clinton Lighthouse dates back to 1896, originally at the entrance of the Portage River. It was decommissioned in 1952 and moved by orders of the US Coast Guard.

You can tour the Port Clinton Lighthouse on select Saturdays from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend.

Waterworks Park Near Port Clinton Lighthouse

In addition to the lighthouse, Waterworks Park has a beach, playground, baseball field, and a fishing pond with walking trails.

pier in Port Clinton Ohio

Walk Jefferson Street Pier at Port Clinton

This is a popular spot for fishing or walking down the pier for a scenic view.

Port Clinton Lighthouse Ohio

The vantage point from the pier gives you another perspective of the Port Clinton Lighthouse.

Friendship Park is also within close proximity of the Jefferson Street Pier.

Jolly Roger's Seafood House

Enjoy Fresh Fish at Jolly Roger’s Seafood House

1715 E Perry St, Port Clinton, OH

walleye tacos Jolly Roger's Seafood House

Jolly Roger’s Seafood House is known for its Lake Erie yellow perch and walleye.

You can even watch employees breading the fish while you wait to order food at the counter. We ordered our perch and walleye as fish tacos but they also have sandwiches and platters.

Jolly Roger’s has plenty of non-fish options on their menu too.

dining area Jolly Roger's Seafood House

Guests will find plenty of seating indoors with natural light or you can enjoy your meal outside with a nice view of Lake Erie.

ice cream at the Ice Shanty

The Ice Shanty

1737 E Perry St, Port Clinton, OH

(Open seasonally)

Who doesn’t love an excuse for ice cream?

ice cream sundae at The Ice Shanty Port Clinton Ohio

There are many creative Toft’s Dairy ice cream flavors at The Ice Shanty to choose from along with classic flavors.

father and daughter with ice cream at the Ice Shanty

Their portions are generous so be prepared that your eyes may be bigger than your stomach. My dad and I ended up with a backup cup for our cones.

The Ice Shanty Port Clinton Ohio

There is seating inside and outside seating on the patio.

room at Fairfield Inn & Suites Port Clinton Waterfront

Stay on Lake Erie in Port Clinton

Fairfield Inn & Suites Port Clinton Waterfront

1811 E Perry St, Port Clinton, OH

The Fairfield Inn & Suites Port Clinton Waterfront is a great option if you want to stay right on the water.

view from Fairfield Inn & Suites Port Clinton Waterfront

The hotel has a nice outdoor area where guests can enjoy the views of Lake Erie.

There’s an indoor pool, free parking, a fitness center, and a free continental breakfast.

You can compare hotels in Port Clinton, Ohio here.

Shores & Islands Ohio Welcome Center - West

Stop By the Shores & Islands Ohio Welcome Center – West

770 SE Catawba Rd, Port Clinton, OH

The Shores & Islands Ohio Welcome Center – West has great interactive exhibits where visitors can learn more about the local ecology.

Shores & Islands Ohio Welcome Center - West

I always like to stop by a local welcome center to learn about special events during my visit and additional recommendations of things to do and places to eat.

map of Northern Ohio

You can also pick up a local map to have a point of reference for the area and brochures for any additional experiences you may want to try during your visit or in the future.

Marblehead Lighthouse

Visit Marblehead Lighthouse

110 Lighthouse Dr, Marblehead, OH (20 minutes from Port Clinton)

Marblehead Lighthouse has bragging rights as the oldest continuous lighthouse in operation on the Great Lakes.

Marblehead Lighthouse

The lighthouse was built in 1821 and continues to be one of the most photographed buildings in the state.

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

The museum, lighthouse tours, and gift shop are open during select times/ days. The Tower climb is very popular with guests ages 6 and up for an additional fee.

view of Cedar Point from Marblehead Lighthouse

Marblehead Lighthouse State Park is a wonderful place to watch a beautiful sunset over Lake Erie.

You can also get another perspective of Cedar Point Amusement Park.

Jet Express

Ferry to Nearby Islands

You can take a ferry from Port Clinton to nearby islands in Northern Ohio.

Miller Ferry (Departs from Catawba Dock) to Put-in-Bay Island

5174 E Water St., Port Clinton, OH

  • 18-minute ferry from the tip of Catawba Island to Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island)
  • 40-minute ferry from the tip of Catawba Island to Middle Bass Island

Check out their lodging, golf carts, and family fun packages here.

scenic view in Port Clinton Ohio

Jet Express

49 Jackson Street, Port Clinton, OH

25-minute ferry from Port Clinton to Put-in-Bay

Tips for Visiting Cedar Point Amusement Park

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