By Bruce Stambaugh
There’s never a dull moment at Lakeside, Ohio. That’s quite a statement for a sleepy, little village on the shores of Lake Erie.
Don’t misunderstand. That doesn’t mean the residents are rowdy. Just the opposite is true for this Chautauqua town.
In the summertime, Lakeside bursts with energy and activities, planned and spontaneous. There’s never a dull moment because there’s just so much to do for any and every age level. I’ll let the activities speak for themselves.
The Lakeside programming offers vacationers and residents a multitude of sponsored options that enrich the body, mind, and soul. Founded in 1873 as a Methodist Church camp, Lakeside has evolved into a summer destination for thousands of folks across the country.Lakeside is a place that welcomes all who come to relax, learn, meet new folks, enjoy entertainment, and commune with others and nature. It’s why we keep going back year after year. Now that we’ve moved to Virginia, my wife and I make Lakeside our guaranteed summer vacation.
Since Lakeside is a gated community during the summer season, it’s a safe place to be for one and all. Kids are free to roam its crisscrossed streets that run the mile length of the cottage-filled community.
They won’t be alone. The community swells to 6,000 or more residents at summer’s peak. Making new friends is easy. Besides, the 300 year-round residents are glad to have the company.
Planned programs and classes for toddlers to teens to senior citizens fill each day. Choosing which activities and events to participate in creates an estimable problem. You won’t hear “I’m bored” at Lakeside.
Children can attend arts and crafts classes, build model boats, or enjoy a game of shuffleboard with family and friends. Lectures, bible studies, morning worship, and walking tours enlighten the adults.
For those who love the water, Lakeside offers swimming in its new pool that includes lap lanes, a kid’s area, and water slide. There’s even a children’s splash park down by the dock.
The waterfront is really where the action is at Lakeside. The dock is the go-to place for sunbathers and fisherpersons alike. Lifeguards standby for those who choose to swim in the lake. Sailors young and old navigate their own boats.
You can fill your day with more casual options, too. Take a leisurely walk along the shore while enjoying beautiful flower gardens, lovely cottages, and gorgeous views of Kelley’s Island, and Perry’s Monument at Put-in-Bay. Or sit on a park bench beneath giant shade trees and dream the day away.
In the evening, Hoover Auditorium takes center stage with a variety of programs that captivate the entire family. Admission costs are included in the gate fees.
If the weather cooperates, sunsets draw people to the dock for picturesque photo ops. Sunrises are just as spectacular rising over the lake with their pinks and blues.
A farmers market offers up local produce and delicious homemade goodies two mornings a week. For those less worried about their diet, freshly made donuts and hand-dipped ice cream bring many smiles.
As for my wife and me, we’re more than content to sit on our favorite sweeping front porch that dominates the front side of the guesthouse where we stay. At the corner of Third and Walnut, we have a first-class view of all that Lakeside has to offer.
I’m always happy but never surprised to spot long-lost friends walk by. That reconnecting alone nurtures my body, mind, and spirit to the full.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2018