Property provides great view of Lake Erie, many amenities for families

My family recently stayed at the Lodge at Geneva on the Lake during a weekend getaway from Columbus to northeastern Ohio. We expected that Ohio’s newest lodge would provide a home base as we explored the area’s many tourist attractions, but the five-year-old lodge wound up being a destination in itself.

With its calming views of Lake Erie, generous offerings for families and easy access to a multipurpose trail that leads to a public swimming beach, there was little reason to wander off this reservation.

The Lodge is located at 4888 North Broadway (State Rt. 534) in the village of Geneva on the Lake, 185 miles northeast of Columbus. The area has long been a vacation destination for Ohioans and visitors from neighboring states. People are drawn by Lake Erie, fun activities to do on a mile-long stretch of Rt. 534 called “the Strip,” and Ashtabula’s many covered bridges.

The Lodge is located within walking distance of many of these activities. We ventured out by car only twice in three days.

The Lodge offers 109 rooms, including seven, two-room suites. Many of them have views of the lake, and all have high-speed, wired Internet access.

We stayed in a family room on the third floor. The room overlooked Lake Erie and the outdoor swimming pool, and had two beds and a set of bunk beds. Water is a big theme at this lodge. The outdoor pool area has a hot tub and water jets that kids can run through. The Lodge also offers a glass-enclosed indoor pool with a panoramic view of the lake. We were told that guests like to hang out there in wintertime when the lake freezes.

Our room was aptly decorated with paintings of local covered bridges. There are 17 in the area including a new one that’s 613-feet long. It’s called the Smolen-Gulf covered bridge and is considered to be the longest in the country. (A good time to visit the area is during the Covered Bridge Festival in October.)

The Lodge has a spacious lobby with a four-story fireplace and two restaurants. Horizons Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering wines from northeast Ohio wineries. The Terrace Grille offers outdoor dining and entertainment.

My husband was surprised to discover that the lodge offers spa services, something that’s rare for a state-affiliated facility. The lodge also has a fitness area, a game room and an ice cream shop that’s open during the afternoon.

The lodge grounds are spacious and beautiful. It includes many tall trees and a spacious grassy, lawn with volleyball net, horseshoe pitch and children’s playground. We had an impromptu picnic near the lake, munching on pizza we purchased along the Strip.

The lodge wasn’t perfect. We found it to be somewhat short staffed, although thankfully it didn’t cause any major inconveniences.

My favorite part of the visit was selecting a bike from the rack and riding on the recently paved multipurpose path. The trail meanders alongside Lake Erie, past a picturesque boat dock, through the woods and to the Geneva State Park, where there’s a 300-foot swimming beach.

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