From our Southwestern

Beaches on Lake Erie

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Kick off your shoes, slather on the sunscreen: It's beach time in the Buckeye State.

But which beach?

Sure, you could drive 10 hours to the ocean (and many of us will).

But for an impromptu afternoon in the sun, or an effortless waterfront weekend away, nothing beats the ease of the Lake Erie shore.

Our Great Lake offers 191 places to access the water, including 37 public beaches that allow swimming - from Maumee Bay State Park outside Toledo to Conneaut Township Park near the Pennsylvania state line.

Some offer beach volleyball courts and boat rentals, others specialize in solitary strolls in the sand.

Whatever your best beach activity, there's likely a strand in Ohio that's just right for you.

Check out our interactive Lake Erie Beach Guide (below), which maps the locations of all 37 public swimming beaches in Ohio and also lists available amenities such as lifeguards, restrooms and concessions.

New this year to our Best Beaches list: Edgewater Park, which has undergone an amazing renaissance in the two years since the state handed over its upkeep to the Cleveland Metroparks (last week's water-quality problems notwithstanding).

The health of our Great Lake is precarious, to be sure; an educated public is one way to ensure that its beauty and recreational value can be enjoyed for generations of beachcombers to come.

Mouse over each number to see the address for each beach, as well as what amenities they offer.

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