In midsummer we were deep in the midst of buying our first home. It was a hectic and stressful time for us…making a huge purchase, packing up our belongings, hoping we were able to get into the new place before we had to be out of the current one, ect. It seemed liked the wrong time to take a family vacation but it was actually the perfect time. We put real life on hold for a long weekend and enjoyed some time away together as a family.
So did we want to enjoy nature or go to a posh resort? Both actually. We ended up going to Maumee Bay State Park Lodge which is right off of Lake Erie. it is the perfect combination of an outdoorsy, nature rich experience and resort living at the same time. The resort actually resides within a state park and much of the area around it is wild and untouched. They have numerous activities available and most encourage you to be out in nature. The inside though is posh and beautiful as you would expect a resort to be. It is the best of both worlds.
We had a beautiful family suite that boasted an upstairs loft for the kids and it had a balcony overlooking the lake…which is stunning. The quickie video below is one I shot from our balcony after waking. Hear the birds??
We spent our days swimming (inside and out), playing shuffleboard, throwing horseshoes, walking the nature trails, golfing, visiting the nature center, and taking golf carts around the lake.
The photo directly above is of my son looking for snakes. He and some other kids found some slithering around freely. It is testimony to the fact that things are wild around the resort and private bungalows. The nature thrives so you know they are doing their part to do no harm. I also spotted all electric maintenance vehicles making the rounds. The resort gets an A for green efforts in my book and after speaking with staff members they hope to do more soon. After all nature plays a huge part in their biggest business of the year, which comes from The Biggest Week in American Birding. They sell out all accommodations and people come from literally all over the globe to check out the birds in the area during the month of May. What greater incentive is there to keep things sustainable than when your nature lovers pay the bills?
We also made some time to visit nearby destinations with transportation provided by the resort. We went to the Toledo Zoo, which is every bit as amazing as our zoo in Columbus and that is saying a lot, we have an award winning zoo. The highlight was seeing the hippos. I don’t think I have ever seen hippos before….except for Disney’s Jungle Cruise and I don’t think that counts. We also checked out the Toledo Museum of Art, which was spectacular. Their collection is amazing and the play time exhibit (below) was super fun for the whole family.
We also made time to visit the Imagination Station, which is a local science and learning center. It used to be a COSI (which we have in Columbus) but I must say that it now kicks COSI butt. We had an incredibly fun time and would consider going back to the area JUST for this experience. Another wonderful place we went was the Great Lakes historical society museum where we boarded the ship Col. James M. Schoonmaker.
All aboard! A photo posted by Tiffany Washko (@tiffanywashko) on
It was a memorable trip and the kids mention going back often. I love that we are supporting a local state park if we do. If you live in Ohio, northern Indiana, or southern Michigan then you don’t have far to go for a great family vacation.