Activities & Attractions: Lake County

View of Cleveland from Chapin Forest
A beautiful view of the Cleveland skyline is visible from Chapin Forest. / Photo: Erik Drost

Chapin Forest Reservation
This beautiful, forested park offers nearly six miles of trails surrounded by mature beech, maple, and oak woodlands. The Lucky Stone Loop Trail leads to one of the most scenic overlooks in Lake County, where Lake Erie and the Cleveland skyline are visible on a clear day. (9938 Chillicothe Road, Kirtland 44094; 440.639.7275;

Erie Shores Golf Course
This 190-acre, 18-hole public golf course was voted 2019 Best Golf Course by readers of Northeast Ohio’s News-Herald. It’s also a designated National Wildlife Federation backyard wildlife habitat and a great place for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. (7298 Lake Road, East Madison 44057; 440.428.3164;

Fairport Harbor Marine Museum
The Fairport Harbor Marine Museum features exhibits and artifacts honoring the maritime tradition of the Great Lakes. / Photo: cmh2315fl

Fairport Harbor Marine Museum and Lighthouse
Situated at the mouth of the Grand River on Lake Erie, this museum features exhibits and artifacts honoring the maritime tradition of the Great Lakes. The historic lighthouse, which operated from 1825 to 1925, stands at 60 feet high with a 69-step spiral staircase. Open Memorial Day Weekend through September; Wed., Sat. and Sun. 1-6pm. (129 Second Street, Fairport Harbor 44077; 440.354.4825;

Headlands Beach State Park
This mile-long stretch of white sand along the shore of Lake Erie is the largest natural sand beach in the state. People come here to play in the waves, walk, fish, picnic and marvel at breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. (9601 Headlands Road, Mentor 44060; 440.466.8400;

Holden Arboretum
Catch a glimpse of Lake Erie from the top of the Kalberer Family Emergent Tower. / Photo: Lisa Dejong

Holden Arboretum
This 3,600-acre preserve is among the largest arboreta in the U.S. and designated as an “Important Bird Area” by the Audubon Society. Enjoy 20+ miles of trails and more than 120,000 documented plantings including rhododendron, magnolia, conifers, nut trees and viburnum. Venture across the Murch Canopy Walk 65 feet above the forest or climb the 120-foot Kalberer Emergent Tower for even more breathtaking views. Open daily 9am- 5pm. (9500 Sperry Road, Kirtland 44094; 440.946.4400;

Indian Museum of Lake County
Explore the history of the earliest people to live in this area before the Europeans, and learn about Native American cultures throughout North America. The Indian Museum has a collection of over 26,000 prehistoric artifacts, plus Native America crafts from 1800 to 2008 and an extensive library. Open Mon.-Fri. 10am-4pm and Sat.-Sun. 1-4pm. (7519 Mentor Avenue, Suite A112, Mentor 44060; 440.951.3813;

Home of James A. Garfield
The home of James A. Garfield became a National Historic Site in December 1980. / Photo: Tim Evanson

James A. Garfield National Historic Site
America’s 20th President lived in Mentor from 1876 to 1881. Take a guided tour of Garfield’s home, see the front porch that he used as a platform to greet thousands of well-wishers during his presidential campaign, and explore exhibits at the Visitor Center to learn about his life. Open November-April, Fri.-Sun. 10am-5pm, and May-October daily 10am-5pm. (8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor 44060; 440.255.8722;

Kirtland Temple
The Kirtland Temple, built in 1836, is now a National Historic Landmark. / Photo: Ralf Peter Reimann

Kirtland Temple and Visitor Center
The Kirtland Temple, founded in 1836 by Joseph Smith, Jr., was the first temple of the Latter-Day Saints and is now a National Historic Landmark. Visitors are welcome to tour the temple and learn about the Mormon community that built it before moving westward. Open Wed.-Sat. 10am-4pm and Sun. 1-4pm. (7809 Joseph Street, Kirtland 44094; 440.256.1830;

Classic Park
The Lake County Captains play at Classic Park in Eastlake.

Lake County Captains
Root, root, root for the Lake County Captains—the Class A minor-league affiliate of the Cleveland Indians! The Captains play at Classic Park, a state-of-the-art stadium with a seating capacity of over 10,000. (35300 Vine Street, Eastlake 44095; 440.975.8085;

Lake Farmpark
Lake Metroparks Farmpark / Photo: Tim Evanson

Lake Metroparks Farmpark
Farmpark is a family-centered science and cultural center devoted to agriculture, farming and country life. Visitors can milk cows, meet livestock, learn how cheese and maple sugar are made and explore the Plant Science Center to see a greenhouse and hydroponic display. Open Tues.-Sun 9am-5pm. (8800 Euclid Chardon Road (Rt 6), Kirtland 44094; 440.256.2122;

Mentor Ice Arena
The Mentor Ice Arena offers figure skating instruction, youth and adult hockey programs and open skate sessions year-round. It’s also the home of the Mentor Ice Diamonds Synchronized Skating team and the Mentor Ice Breakers FPHL hockey team. (8600 Munson Road, Mentor 44060; 440.974.5730;

Penitentiary Glen Reservation
Divided in two by a deep gorge with steep walls that inspired the park’s name, Penitentiary Glen offers miles of trails through forests and wetlands, a Nature Center, monthly train rides to the edge of the gorge, and a unique, one-acre Nature Play area with interactive sites for kids. Visit the park’s Wildlife Center, which treats and rehabilitates nearly 2,000 injured or orphaned animals each year. (8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road, Kirtland 44094; 440.256.1404;

Willoughby Ghost Walk
Experience the haunted history of Lake County with a guided Ghost Walk through Willoughby’s historic district! You’ll travel along dark paths and tour the cemetery while hearing tales of grave robbers, mysterious murders and tragic deaths. (3872 Erie Street, Willoughby 44094; 440.710.4140;