(Excerpt from OhioTraveler.com eMagazine)
The Victorian Era created many lasting traditions that are still appreciated today and vacationing at Geneva-on-the-Lake is no exception. Post Civil War days coupled with the height of the Victorian years provided travelers with a renewed interest in fulfilling their lives.
During those early years, the summer resort of the Geneva-on-the Lake played host to families seeking a respite from the summer heat and a place for relaxation and entertainment. Cool breezes, an abundance of lodging and new kinds of music made Geneva-on-the-Lake the center of excitement for Lake Erie and Ashtabula County. This important era set the stage for Geneva-on-the-Lake’s next century of growth, diversity and identity.
Over the past 136 years, names and faces have changed, but the spirit of the family visitor has not. Individual and events that have impacted the history of this small lakefront village is still deeply rooted in today’s everyday life. The Jenny Munger museum at the west end of the village has preserved many mementos of this time since passed.
The “Strip” or mile long street along Route 531 has always been a draw of this resort village. Picture postcard days brought smiles to children as they frolicked in the Lake Erie waves or walked along the sidewalks of the strip delighting in cotton candy and ice cream.
Dancing, singing and other live entertainment brought working class citizens from Youngstown and Pittsburgh to enjoy a bit of the high life. Arcades, shooting galleries and other try your luck games offered a chance to throw a little caution to the wind.
During the 1940’s and 50’s big bands didn’t miss a booking at one of the many entertainment hot spots. The famous bands of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller put Geneva-on-the-Lake on the map and were the talk of Monday’s lunch conversation. Restaurants and rooming houses continued to provide additional amenities to round out one’s stay.
Today music on the strip is more modern, cars find their way to Lake Erie in less than 3 hours versus a day and the dress is more casual. No more bustles, overcoats and tight leather tie shoes. But some things never change.
Tourists now and then still come for the same reasons. Geneva-on-the-Lake has transcended through time, for one simple reason. It has never tried to become something it wasn’t. It's an eclectic mix of fun and entertainment in which all walks of life can appreciate. If you want an authentic, interesting and enjoyable day trip, overnight or week long getaway, Geneva-on-the Lake is just the spot.
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A Lakefront Entertainment Complex at Geneva-On-The-Lake called The Landing, promises entertainment, dining, and shopping.
The Landing is an entertainment complex located in the center of the historic resort village.
The ambitious three-year project encompasses a “Boardwalk” and recreation area along the Lake Erie Shore, featuring shops, eateries, a microbrewery, and a performing arts amphitheater. Located on the site formerly occupied by Erieview Park, the lakefront development will be designed with modern amenities, but with a decidedly nostalgic and historic flare.
“We are cognizant of the tradition of Geneva-on-the-Lake as an old fashioned resort destination,” said Dave Otto, area businessman. “We visited several traditional East Coast boardwalk areas, and we hope to create a new tradition with The Landing. Frankly, it’s all about the water. We want to open up the view of Lake Erie for the public to enjoy. We also visited other riverfront and bay front areas, notably Bayside Marketplace in Miami, Ohio’s Put-In-Bay, and Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk. Our architects, William Doty and Associates, will combine the best of these areas, including plenty of seating and walkways,” continued Otto.
The Landing Amphitheater, a cozy 1200 seat venue, has Lake Erie as the backdrop. The amphitheater is designed with an open, airy feel, allowing continuous enjoyment of a lake view even when no acts are present.
Also, Old Firehouse Winery, serves as the west terminus of the Boardwalk. A “Sunset Plaza” will feature the old Erieview Park Ferris Wheel, which will be situated with a lake view. A group pavilion will also be constructed.
Other improvements include three additional storefronts, a Karaoke stage for Time Square, and an outdoor patio with a lake view for the Oak Room Lounge.
“When we made the decision to sell the rides, it hit me that Erieview Park was joining the ranks of the many ‘Lost Parks’ from our area: Euclid Beach, Idora Park, and Pittsburgh’s Westview Park. As an ode to these parks, we will be opening “Lost Parks Brewery,” said Don “Woody” Woodward, former Erieview Park manager.
“Located in the former “Dodgem” ride, the microbrewery will feature park memorabilia and a have a ‘fun’ menu and eclectic grouping of beers brewed on-site”, continued Woodward.
“This is located on the east end of the Boardwalk, serving as an anchor and counterbalance to Old Firehouse Winery as the west anchor. “Lost Parks Brewery” will be a perfect compliment to Old Firehouse Winery’s food and beverage selections.”
Like the Firehouse, a patio overlooking Lake Erie will tie in “Lost Parks Brewery” with the Boardwalk, the amphitheater, and other venues in The Landing.
In addition, more retail kiosks, carts, and storefronts will be available for lease to outside vendors. The remaining boardwalk section will be completed, featuring a casual seafood restaurant.
“We want to emphasize that our existing popular attractions will not only remain, but will be enhanced, such as Woody’s World, Wild Waterworks Waterslide, and Time Square,” said Woodward.
“As has been my family’s goal since their arrival here in 1920, we will emphasize that this is a family-friendly development. The Geneva State Park Lodge has brought a new and different market to Geneva-on-the-Lake, and we would not be attempting this extensive project had the Lodge not been built”, concluded Woodward.
4888 North Broadway (State Highway 534) in Geneva-on-the-Lake, the Lodge at
Geneva-on-the-Lake features 109 finely appointed guest rooms (the majority with
lake views); Horizons, an upscale restaurant with a striking octagonal
dining room and breathtaking view of Lake Erie; a lounge with a rectangular bar
and great views of Lake Erie; and amenities that include a fitness center, game
room, indoor pool and gift shop. The Lodge entrance is located one mile north
of Geneva State Park, on the left. For room reservations, call 866-442-9765 or
www.thelodgeatgeneva.com. For Horizons
reservations, call (440) 466-7100, then
The Lodge is located in Geneva State Park, which encompasses 698 acres featuring 1.6 miles of Lake Erie shoreline as well as a beach and new bathhouse, six-lane boat ramp and marina, hiking, picnic areas and more.
The Lodge experience begins as one enters the lobby. A dramatic fireplace spans the height of the four-story entrance.
Inviting, upscale décor in public areas, guest rooms and conference facilities features rich, warm colors and comfortably stylish furnishings. Areas that rim the lobby provide an ideal place to share a private conversation or rendezvous between activities or meetings.
Guest room furnishings are reminiscent of a comfortable stay in a romantic inn. Most guest rooms offer a lake view, more than half have a balcony or patio, and all have high-speed Internet access. Pine post beds, bold check spreads and pine armoires appoint the rooms. A variety of guest room options are available including whirlpool rooms; family rooms with bunk beds that sleep six; king-size rooms; ADA accessible rooms; two-room suites; along with standard and standard deluxe rooms. Rollaway beds and cribs are also available.
Horizons, the Lodge's glass-enclosed octagonal restaurant overlooking Lake Erie, offers one of the finest dining experiences along the Lake Erie shore. Chef de Cuisine Christopher Packer, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, has created a menu featuring refined American cuisine, using fresh ingredients that showcase the natural, subtle flavors of the food. Dinner entrees offer wine pairing suggestions, featuring the region’s top wineries.
Ashtabula County covered bridge scenes can be found in guest rooms. A variety of Ohio products are in the Lodge's gift shop, including a selection of Ohio wines.
In warmer weather, guests can also enjoy lighter fare and beverages on the outdoor patio.
Excerpt from a previous edition of OhioTraveler Magazine
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