This is Vermilion: How to have an Awesome Vacation

“We have to go back. I forgot something,” I said, as we were pulling out of our driveway, toward Vermilion.

To his credit, my husband didn’t sigh or roll his eyes. Our destination was a small town on Lake Erie. Vermilion, Ohio is a great little place . In fact, the town motto is “A Small Town on a Great Lake” and it’s true! It’s small, quaint, and adorable. Oh, there’s also a beach!


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Main Street beach in Vermilion.

Main Street Beach in Vermilion, Ohio. It’s a very nice, little beach!

Vermilion: a Beachy good time

I originally planned to do an overnight in Vermilion, along with two day trips to other sights in Ohio. Then, I remembered I have kids and I’m tired. I had the Vermilion overnight stay booked in advance, but ended up deciding to add a day and arrive one day early. It all worked out and we spent two nights at a lovely B&B. I wanted a beach vacation and Vermilion provided!

Realities of traveling with children

It’s tiring, guys. Why in the hell do I think I can this? Every so often (and it feels SO often), one or both kids will hit some sort of developmental milestone and all hell breaks loose. Of course, a developmental milestone seemingly hit the morning we were headed out and lasted the whole trip. It wasn’t quite as tough as our first roadtrip with kids, at least. On top of that, I punished myself with the last minute planning and I knew it was likely something would be forgotten. My husband went back to the house, I did what needed to be done, and the crisis was averted.

The 1877 Vermilion Lighthouse replica

The 1877 Vermilion Lighthouse replica.

We loved Main Street Beach. It’s a fairly busy beach, but it wasn’t packed. The beach is a fine sand with rocks collecting along the wave break line. Once you step past that, the bottom is sandy again. The smooth rocks don’t hurt to walk on. Unless you burn the bottoms of you feet on the hot asphalt walking to and from the car because you didn’t bring the toys the first time. When that happens, the rocks are pretty uncomfortable.  I may or may not know from experience.

The water is shallow for a long way out. Once my kids realized they could walk in and out of the water on their own, there was no stopping them. It was glorious and harmonious and everything I want a vacation to be. It tired them the heck out! Also, it was an awesome and relaxing time for the adults.

The 1877 Vermilion Lighthouse replica at sunset.

The 1877 Vermilion Lighthouse replica at sunset.

How to Plan Your Own Awesome Trip to Vermilion

Things to know: There are a few beaches. We frequented the Main Street Beach. It is easy to find, close to our B&B, and has ample parking  (at least on weekdays; Thursdays through Sundays may vary). There are also other things to do, like paddle boarding, kayaking, and other water sports. We went on the Mystic Belle river cruise. It’s a narrated tour of the Vermilion River, with just a little dance into Lake Erie. It takes approximately 50 minutes. My 4 year old enjoyed it. My 3 year old was antsy. Your mileage may vary.

There are several wonderful little shops, a pier on the beach, and a train viewing area a few blocks away from the lake.

Vermilion's Main Street Beach is wheelchair accessible!

Main Street Beach is also wheelchair accessible!

Celiac concerns:  We tried 3 restaurants and I didn’t get sick. Yay! The best food of those three was at the Blind Perch. Be aware the service was really slow during a slow time of day.

If you want to eat really well in Vermilion, head to Chez Francois. It’s an upscale restaurant and men are required to wear a sport coat. Bring a babysitter, as this isn’t a place for kids. Even though we didn’t eat there this time, I mention it because that restaurant alone is worth a trip to Vermilion, Ohio.

Where we stayed: The Captain Bell House B&B. Seriously, go. The Innkeeper welcomes kids and while he doesn’t have roll away beds available, the cottage has a queen bed, a couch, and ample floor space. I know that doesn’t sound awesome, however we were provided with a sleeping bag, sheets, blankets, etc. My kids ended up sleeping on the floor and loving it! The beds are amazing. They are better than my bed at home!


The proprietor had no idea that I’m a blogger and was planning to blog about my trip. I received no compensation from the B&B. Some links may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through those links, I will receive a very small percentage at no additional cost to you. Thank you for visiting today!

Have you made a trip that surprised you with its awesomeness? Is it a lesser known destination?

10 thoughts on “This is Vermilion: How to have an Awesome Vacation

  1. Sara Broers says:

    I visited Lake Erie Islands and Shore this summer and stumbled on over to Vermilion AND I thought it was one of the cutest midwestern towns ever. Definitely a must see for light house enthusiasts, as well.

  2. Becky says:

    Those lighthouses are gorgeous! I grew up on Lake Ontario, so I love hearing more stories bringing visitors to the Great Lakes. So many things to explore.

  3. Kenny says:

    Thanks for sharing and introducing the place to us.
    America is really a huge country which there’s always somewhere to explore and see.
    I like to get on a road trip every once in a while and maybe I would be surprised!
    I have never heard about the city Vermilion and now I know – and it’s on the edge of lake erie!
    @ knycx.journeyning

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