Location. Location. Location. The whereabouts of property is paramount in real estate, but it matters for vacation destinations too. Maybe that’s why I’ve always liked Sawmill Creek Resort. The 235-acre resort sits along Lake Erie and is easily accessible from the main road – U.S. 6 – that runs along the center of Ohio’s lakeshore.
Yet even though Sawmill is close to major attractions like Cedar Point amusement park and the Marblehead Lighthouse, it feels secluded because the resort’s facilities are tucked away from the area’s summertime hustle and bustle. Sawmill reminds me of a blue-green oasis
where I can relax with family and friends and enjoy pleasures that range from a lake breeze to a game of golf on a Tom Fazio course to a sunset cruise on the old-school ferry boat to breakfasting on properly poached eggs and country ham at the resort’s Salmon Run restaurant.
In addition to its prime spot on Lake Erie, Sawmill Creek Resort borders Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve. That means guests get to enjoy walks through a rare coastal woods and wetlands (tip: Sheldon Marsh is famous for its elegant great blue herons and eye-popping cardinal wildflowers) as well as the resort’s private beach. Situated in a shallow cove, the natural sand beach is a fine place to picnic, go swimming, or simply chill out while the waves lap against your feet.
Sawmill’s Lodge also boasts two swimming pools – an outdoor one edged by a tree-shaded patio
and an indoor one that features a Woodland Indians mural and faux clouds that “rain” on the swimmers.
When Sawmill’s president Greg Hill was creating the resort in the 1970s, he wanted it to reflect both the nature of Lake Erie and Ohio’s history, especially that of North American Woodland tribes like the Huron, Shawnee, and Wyandot who first inhabited the state.
As a result, the Lodge not only has a rustic décor – think log walls and stone fireplaces – but also doubles as a museum because of its specially commissioned artwork, images of indigenous animals, and exhibits of Native American artifacts such as arrowheads, tools, weapons, pottery, and pictographs. “The Lodge’s displays are big deal for us,” says Hill, “because they tell the Ohio story.”
With his strong sense of history, Hill even preserved an 1887 barn that was part of a farm that once occupied the resort’s property. It now houses the Shops at Sawmill Creek, a collection of boutiques that carry upscale cookware, jewelry, clothing, and home and garden décor.
A private beach, perfectly poached eggs, two pools, a golf pro, plenty of shopping, and a extraordinary sense of place. What more do you need for a Lake Erie getaway?
Sawmill Creek Resort, 400 Sawmill Creek Drive, Huron/Sandusky, OH 44839. 800-729-6455; www.sawmillcreekresort.com