My first trip to Cedar Point Amusement Park was a summer vacation with my family when I was about 15 years old. I was long overdue for a return visit when we decided to take our family road tripping to Cedar Point Amusement Park.
Located in Sandusky, OH, Cedar Point Amusement Park is the oldest operating theme park in the US. The park boasts 18 dollar coasters and 71 rides – which is a world record for most rides – on over 334 acres.
Inside the Roller Coaster Capital
Nicknamed the Roller Coaster Capital of the World, the park does not disappoint when it comes to thrill rides. The 18 roller coasters within Cedar Point are some of the highest and fastest around. In fact, it’s the only amusement park in the world with six coasters that are at least 200 feet high.
The Magnum XL-200 was the first hyper-coaster and first ever coaster to top 200 feet. At 205 feet, it reaches a top speed of 72 MPH. My seven-year old niece talked her dad into riding the Steel Vengeance coaster with her. After her trip on the 205 foot high, 74 MPH mixed wood and metal coaster, she stuck to the kiddie rides for the rest of the trip. She’s a champ for doing it though!
On my first trip years ago, I did brave the Corkscrew and the Raptor coasters. Neither myself, husband or kids are really into thrill rides these days.
Plenty for the Littles Too
It’s not all thrill rides at Cedar Point. There is plenty for the littles too. We took our time making our way through the Camp Snoopy area, a section with many “Peanuts” themed rides. There are plenty of kid and family friendly options. Closer to the main entrance, many of the old school kids rides are front and center. The slower paced motorcycles, police cars and dune buggies that take it easy on the little ones who prefer slow speeds.
In addition to the rides, access to Cedar Point Beach is included in park admission. If ripping through water slides is more your speed, the Cedar Point Shores Water Park hits you with all of the splishy-splashy summer fun you can take.
Travel to Cedar Point
Leaving from our home base of Rochester, NY, the drive to Sandusky is about 5 hours. From western NY to northern Ohio, the route on I-90 West cuts right through Cleveland and travels along the shores of Lake Erie.
On this visit it was me, my husband, our two kids, my parents and cousin in our rented Chrysler Pacifica mini van. In a separate van my sister, niece, nephew and great niece and nephew. My sister and her crew actually left a day early and stopped in Cleveland for a look around and quick trip to the Cleveland Zoo. Once we arrived, we didn’t need to use our car for the duration of our trip.
For travelers who fly in, the closest major airport in Cleveland Hopkins International airport about 55 miles away. Another option would be the Toledo Express Airport, 65 miles away but with limited flight selection.
Places to Stay at Cedar Point
Hotel Breakers and the Lighthouse Point campground are located onsite with walking access to the waterpark, beach and amusement park. Nearby you will find the Express Hotel and Castaway Cay accessible via shuttle service or car. Although Express and Castaway are not onsite, they still qualify for the vacation package discounts and are Cedar Point properties. Guests staying at Cedar Point properties get one-hour early entry into the park, complimentary parking and ticket discounts.
Hotel Breakers is a recently renovated beachfront resort with 669 guest rooms and suites. My sister and her crew reerved at suite at Hotel Breakers. They had a great view of the water, enclosed balcony, bedroom with 2 queen beds, and a pull out sofa bed. In addition there was a microwave and small fridge in the room. One of the best benefits is that you are just steps away from the beach. The easy access to to the water, day or evening gives more opportunities to create memories. There are evening activites on the beach including fireworks, parasaililng and jet ski rentals.
In addition to the awesome location, Hotel Breakers has five onsite restaurants: Perkins, TOMO Hibachi Grill, Surf Lunge, TGIFriday’s and a Starbucks.
Tiny House Living at Lighthouse Point
The cabins at Lighthouse Point are essentially tiny houses. After many episodes of Tiny House Hunters, the husband and I were probably too eager to give it a shot. There are multiple floor plan options available to choose from with the 156 cottages & cabins.
Water-front cabins can sleep up to six, family cabins up to eight and the Deluxe cabins can accommodate up to 10 people. For my group of seven, we chose a Deluxe cabin. The determining factor for us was having two bathrooms.
The two-level Deluxe loft cabin consists of a 42” flat screen, two futons, a bedroom (queen size bed with TV), two full bathrooms with tub/shower combos a kitchenette with a sink, microwave and small fridge, all on the first level. When you travel up to the second floor loft space, there are two separate sleeping places, each with a queen sized bed and two televisions. Complimentary wi-fi is included.
Linens and toiletries are included in the room. Another thing that sold us on the cabin experience was the outdoor patio space for each tiny home that includes a picnic table and charcoal grill.
My favorite part of the trip might have just been the cabin itself. It felt so cozy and comfortable. I loved the wood! The cabins was also very clean.
We spent a good portion of one evening at the Lighthouse Point pool. In addition to the swimming pool, the kids splash pad had many cool sprinkler additions to it. Our visit took place in late August when many schools were already back in session. Schools in NY start after Labor Day so we always have the chance to do late trips, when crowds have thinned out.
Camping at Lighthouse Point
The cabins are located in the RV park that also has 145 full hook-up campsites. As aspiring RV owners, walking through the campsite, checking out the set ups and RV styles always gives us ideas of what we are working towards.
Cedar Point was actually one of the first trips we took in our family RV trailer all those years ago when I was a teenager. On that trip, my parents, my best friend and I spent three days camping at Lighthouse Point. We had an 18-foot Real-Lite travel trailer that was comfortable enough for the four of us. I remember the comfort and convinces of coming and going from the park to the RV and waking up to the smells of my mom making breakfast in the camper.
While you can hear the occasional screams from the nearest roller coster, the campgrounds were otherwise peaceful getaway from the excitement of the parks. The cottages are lake front, the cabins are in a section that surround small man-made lake and he RV hook up sites are all in the middle.
What to eat at the park
Inside of Cedar Point you will find all of your amusement park favorites, from Auntie-Anne’s/Cinnabon to Chick-Fil-A, Dippin-Dot’s to Dominos. When eating with the kids we stuck to the basics of pizza, fries and burgers.
Since this family road trip also dubbed as an anniversary trip for the husband and I, we ditched the kids for a nice meal at over at Hotel Breakers at TOMO Sushi and Hibachi. We failed to realize how busy it would be and didn’t make a reservations. Since I was hungry and didn’t want to wait an hour, we happily opted for a table were we could order from the menu. I’ve been to enough hibachi restaurants so I wasn’t too particular about needing to be at the table with the show.
Our food was fast, tasty and filling. Very similar vibe to an upscale hibachi places that I’ve eaten at in other places.
The morning before our departure we all met for breakfast in Hotel Breakers at Perkins. Perkins is a breakfast place similar to an IHop or a Cracker Barrel. You can get breakfast anytime of day and they have the most awesome pancakes! We no longer have a Perkins location in upstate NY so we were pretty excited to see an old familiar face in breakfast that didn’t disappointment.
Going back again
We will be going back again to Cedar Point. The short drive from upstate NY, the reasonable ticket prices and the campground make you feel as though you are getting multiple vacations in one.