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How to Have the Perfect Day at the Beach in Vermilion, Ohio

Vermilion, Ohio is our favorite little Lake Erie beach town! Read on for how we love to spend a day at the Main Street Beach in Vermilion!

I love Vermilion so much! With an adorable downtown, a clean beach and tasty treats it’s easy to spend the perfect day on Lake Erie in Vermilion, Ohio! Vermilion is home to one of our favorite Ohio beaches and we return again and again when we visit Lake Erie as a family (as I’m sure you will be able to tell from the growth of my children in between some of these photos!)

Why do we love Vermilion? It’s such a quaint, well kept town. Parking is easy. The beach is free. The lagoons are unique. There’s ice cream. And Woodstock Cafe. Read on to see how we have spent a day at Main Street Beach – year after year!

Where is Vermilion, Ohio?

hanging baskets on a light post in downtown Vermilion, Ohio on Lake Erie

First of all, let’s talk about downtown Vermilion! Vermilion is a small town of around 10,000 residents, situated on Lake Erie, in between Cleveland and Sandusky. 

downtown Vermilion, Ohio

Downtown Vermilion is known as the Harbor Town Historic District and is built around the Vermilion River and The Vermilion Lagoons. This is a beautiful residential area with shopping and restaurants. 

boats on the Vermilion Lagoons on Lake Erie

houses and boats on the Vermilion Lagoon in Ohio

With a touch of New England and a touch of Venice, Vermilion makes for a beautiful Ohio getaway where you can feel like you’ve truly gone on vacation to someplace far away – even if it’s just a few hours drive!

How Do We Spend the Perfect Beach Day in Vermilion, Ohio?

Our family has spent a day in Vermilion 4 different times beginning in 2015 and as recently as 2019! Each year we have done the exact same thing. No joke. In fact, looking back at the pictures I can see that I have eaten the exact same lunch each time! LOL

These are the things we do. We’re not ashamed to say we’ve done the same thing every year and we will probably do the exact same thing again the next time we go back!

1. Woodstock Cafe

Address: 665 Main St., Vermilion, OH 44089
Phone: 440-967-7687 

outdoor patio at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion, Ohio

Lunch at Woodstock Cafe is always our first stop as soon as we arrive in Vermilion. And every time we arrive just before the lunch rush and enjoy a relaxing meal on the amazing patio.

boy and dad playing checkers at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion, Ohio

What is so great about Woodstock Cafe, if you have kids, is the great outdoor dining patio that has rotating yard games to keep kids (and adults) occupied while you relax and wait for your food.

boys playing checkers at Woodstock Cafe

California Club sandwich at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion, Ohio

The menu includes pizzas, hot and cold sandwiches, subs, salads, plus craft beer. You can also stop in to order coffee and baked goods to go! Every year I get the California Club. Every time. 

boys playing Jenga on the patio at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion Ohio

boys playing games on the patio at Woodstock Cafe in Vermilion Ohio on Lake Erie

Whenever we eat at Woodstock Cafe we feel happy and relaxed! The patio gives off California hippie vibes and, of course, we know that we are headed to the beach so just looking at these pictures brings back a happy and nostalgic feeling for me.

2. Main Street Beach

Address: Main St. at Lake Erie, Vermilion, OH 44089

lake erie beach in Vermilion Ohio

The Main Street Beach in downtown Vermilion is at the north end of Main Street. There is parking up and down Main St. You may have to park a couple of blocks away. We always plan to go on a weekday so it is not as crowded. 

beach overlook and shore thing beach shop at Main Street Beach in Vermilion, Ohio

In front of the beach is an observation deck, outdoor spigot for rinsing off and a beach shack. The small beach shack is called Shore Thing and in it you can purchase snacks, ice cream and beach jewelry. You can also rent beach chairs and umbrellas here.

This is a great beach for walking and playing. In my opinion it’s a great size. Big enough to feel like you’re “at the beach” but small enough to be able to keep an eye on kids as they play.

boys playing on the Lake Erie Beach in Vermilion Ohio

There is one downside to the Main Street Beach and that is that there is no changing area or restroom close by. As I was researching details, I did see mention of a porta-potty, but I do not personally remember seeing one so maybe that is new since 2019.

There is, however, a Comfort Station a few blocks south in Exchange Park on Main Street at the corner of Liberty Avenue. This small building (an old police station) has large restrooms where you can also change clothing. It’s not super convenient so plan accordingly with extra bathroom visits at lunch. 😉  

people on Main Street Beach in Vermilion Ohio - Lake Erie

3. Big Ed’s Main Street Soda Grill

Address: 5502 Liberty Ave., Vermilion, OH 44089
Phone: 440-967-4002

downtown Vermilion, Ohio on Lake Erie

What’s left to do after the beach? Ice cream of course! We always stop for scoops, ice cream sodas or root beer floats at Big Ed’s Soda Grill on the corner of Main Street and Liberty Avenue.

root beer float at Big Ed's Main Street Soda Grill in Vermilion, Ohio

Expect old fashioned ambiance and a classic soda fountain and diner counter. All kind of ice cream treats are available including hand-dipped ice cream, shakes, malts, phosphates, floats, banana splits and sundaes!

boy with a drink at Big Ed's Soda Grill in Vermilion, Ohio

If ice cream isn’t your thing or you’re looking for a different meal option, Big Ed’s Soda Grill has an extensive food menu with classic diner items like hot dogs, burgers and other sandwiches.

Kids meals are available that include a drink and choice of fries or apple sauce. Kids options include hot dog, battered Icelandic cod, chicken tenders, corn dog, cheeseburger or PB&J.

man and toddler eating ice cream at Big Ed's Soda Grill in Vermilion

front of Big Ed's Soda Grill in Vermilion Ohio

Well, there you have it. That’s our three part plan for a perfect day at Main Street Beach in Vermilion, Ohio!

Just in case we ever feel like mixing up our routine, please feel free to share any of your favorite spots in Vermilion in the comments!

Read More Lake Erie Ideas:

Exploring Ohio with your Kids!

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How to Have the Perfect Day at the Beach in Vermilion, Ohio



Ella ryan

Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Just wanted to say thanks for this post.. we stopped in Vermillion on a road trip with 2 young kids and this was really helpful. We went to Woodstock cafe (great spot! The games were not there tho) and hit the beach. The porta potty you weren’t sure about is definitely there, and apparently a comfort station close to the beach is coming in 2022.

Julie Miller

Wednesday 4th of August 2021

I'm so happy to hear this! Thanks for commenting!