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The Great Cleveland Outdoors

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Before you stuff your belly with food and booze, and before or after you've taken in all the cultural sights and sounds of the city, make some time to get outdoors in Cleveland. There are many good reasons for that, Lake Erie being just one of them.

Hit the Beach

The beach? In Cleveland? Damn straight. The Metroparks took over Edgewater Beach some years ago and it is now like a mystical magical place you wouldn't expect to find in Cleveland, let alone mere miles from downtown. It's clean and secluded and boasts great views of the city and sandy accommodations you thought you had to get on an airplane to enjoy. If you're around in the summer, do be sure to check out Edgwater Live, the Park's weekly Thursdsay night party featuring bands and food trucks. Out east, Headlands State Park offers a huge expanse of lush Lake Erie beach life just 45 minutes or so from downtown Cleveland. Grab a towel, pack a cooler, grab a book, and while away the weekend hours enjoying the sweet, sweet rays.

Cabrewing

There's simply no better way to tan and get drunk at the same time than lazily canoeing down a river. For the low price of $25, Mohican Park, just a short drive from Cleveland, offers a 7-mile canoe trip (estimated at about two hours) for which you ought to bring a cooler full of cold ones. The canoe trip need not be strenuous. You can row and sip at your own pace. Enjoy the sunshine and the natural surroundings and experience day-drinking how god intended you to: on a river in Ohio. If you're a real fitness freak or something, or have nothing on the agenda, you can do the 15-miler, a four-hour trip, which costs only $8 more. A host of other canoe rental ventures offer similar trips. You can't go wrong with any of them. Check out mohicanadventures.com for more.

Put-In-Bay

The Lake Erie islands are an integral part of summers in Northern Ohio. They sit, timeless, awaiting tourists from around the region as school years come to a close and minds turn invariably toward vacations. They are perfect for the rowdiness of those darned twentysomethings, and gentle enough for the most relaxed family friendly sightseeing. The pace of the daytime is easy-going, but as the stars come out at night, Delaware Avenue is like an MTV-sponsored spring break (and the bars offer discounts for brides-to-be, who are as ubiquitous here as the fake palm trees). All in all though, it's hard to think of something more fun than rolling around an island on a golf cart in the summer. Grab a ferry for a day trip from Sandusky or Port Clinton and be back by bedtime. Visit

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