Five Winter Weekend Escapes Around Cleveland

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Five Winter Weekend Escapes Around Cleveland

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Wave pool at the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio.

Hey, Clevelanders, looking to get away for the weekend this winter? As a Cleveland local for almost 30 years, I know where to have a good time that's close to home. There are hundreds of places to stay and visit in and near Cleveland, but I will just go over some of my local favorites for winter, when weather might mean you don't want to go far but still want a quick getaway.

Kalahari Resort

Kalahari is a huge hotel and resort located in Sandusky, Ohio, which is about an hour from downtown Cleveland. Kalahari is known for its large indoor and outdoor waterparks, and they are always running specials. Right now, you can have an adult's night out, which includes an overnight stay for two, admission to the waterpark, mini bowling, mini golf, a $40 gas card, a $40 dinner credit, and more. You can also take advantage of the Super Sunday special, which includes breakfast for four and a round of mini golf.


Geneva-on-the-Lake is known as Ohio's wine country, located an hour from Cleveland. This is a great relaxing getaway this winter. There are dozens of places to stay and dozens more things to do here. The Ice Wine Festival runs through March 16 this year -- sample ice wines from area wineries. My favorite place to stay is The Lodge at Geneva on the Lake, where you can dine at their famous Terrace Grille.

Downtown at the Ritz-Carlton

Downtown Cleveland is one of my all-time favorite places to get away without going far at all. You can stay at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hotel and enjoy great dining and entertainment at John Q's. While you're downtown, go to the new Horseshoe Casino, shop around at Tower City, or enjoy a night on the town in Cleveland's Historic Warehouse District or East Fourth Street.

Nautica Queen Cruise

If you like downtown Cleveland, you can stay at the Marriott at Key Center and enjoy a night on board the Nautica Queen Cruise. This is a dining cruise that goes for a little over three hours. It costs $23.95 for lunch and $37.95 per person for dinner. They also offer a Sunday brunch for $29.95. If you have lived in Cleveland and never had a chance to do this, then it should be at the top of your list.

Castaway Bay

Castaway Bay is another indoor waterpark resort located in Sandusky. Castaway Bay has a tropical theme, which is definitely welcome in winter, and the resort features a spa in addition to the elaborate waterpark. The resort is running many specials this winter, including a family package that includes an overnight stay, waterpark admission, fun perks like T-shirts or backpacks, and more.

These are just some of the many favorite winter escapes for Clevelanders. Have another recommendation for locals who want to get away for a weekend before the weather warms up? Let us know in the comments.

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