See the Light
The Lorain Lighthouse Sunset Wine Dinner will be offered every Tuesday through Sept. 13. The trip starts at Jackalope Lakeside in Lorain, where you’ll board a boat headed for the Lorain Lighthouse. Once there, you’ll take a guided tour of the structure, finished in 1917, and enjoy a four-course dinner catered by Jackalope, featuring short ribs, garlic mashed potatoes and wine with each course.
If it’s a nice day, dinner is served on the paved area at the base of the lighthouse. If not, it’s moved inside the structure, which has been furnished to look as it would have in the 1950s.
The tour takes you through the entire lighthouse and ends at the turret. “It’s an absolutely gorgeous place to watch the sun set,” says Carolyn Sipkovsky, who serves on the lighthouse’s board and also runs the gift shop during tours.
A little background: The original “light” was just a lard oil-powered lantern hanging on a pole at the water’s edge. The first wooden structure was built in 1837, and Lorain’s first lighthouse keeper, James Connolly, went on duty in 1899. In 1965, the lighthouse was automated. The lighthouse was slated for demolition, until a group of citizens banded together and formed a committee to save it.
The cost for the Lorain Lighthouse Sunset Wine Dinner is $125 per person.
A special Fireworks Picnic also will be held at the lighthouse on July 3. Tickets for that event, which includes ribs, chicken wings, mini hot dogs, sides, beer and wine, are $100 per person.
Lastly, $20 tours of the lighthouse are offered on Wednesdays and Saturdays. All proceeds go toward the lighthouse restoration, which is about 85 percent complete.
Call 440-984-1012 for reservations for any of the tours.
More Places to Picnic
The Pine Tree Picnic Area in French Creek Reservation offers a large pavilion, several groves of pine trees and a playground. Burn off your meal with a hike on the two trails that link to the park — Sugar Creek and Big Woods. 4530 Colorado Ave., Sheffield Village, 440-949-5200, metroparks.cc/french_creek.php
Head north to Veterans Memorial Park where you can walk along the boardwalk, swim or just enjoy a picnic with a view of Lake Erie. 32756 Lake Road, Avon Lake, 440-930-4130, avonlake.org
Relive your college days by grabbing takeout at one of the restaurants in downtown Oberlin and heading for Tappan Square, which is both a public park and National Historic Landmark. According to legend, Oberlin’s founders, Presbyterian ministers John Shipherd and Philo Stewart, stopped at an elm tree in the southeast corner, prayed, and decided that it was the place to build their community. Oberlin, oberlin.edu