Add Cedar Point to zoo and rock ‘n’ roll for a super summer

The amusement park and beach make Cedar Point in northwestern Ohio a summer destination

The amusement park and beach make Cedar Point in northwestern Ohio a summer destination

When school is out the three “Rs” mean roller coasters, rock and roll and rainforest when on a family summer getaway in northern Ohio.

Think “high” to “aggressive” rated thrill roller coasters in Cedar Point, Ohio, where shows and a beach make the place on Lake Erie near Toledo a destination by itself. The amusement park reopens for the season May 11, 2013.

However, the Cleveland Zoo’s Elephant Crossing, Rainforest and giraffe feeding stations and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and its museum of Beatles, Elvis, U2 and other famed musicians’ exhibits arguably put Cleveland into the best-kept-secret vacation destination.

Cedar Point

A 364 acre amusement park on Lake Erie west of Sandusky, Cedar Point has enough thrill and family rides, shows and a museum to make it an overnight stop.

Stay at the century-old Breakersfor its beach, historic atmosphere and early entry into the amusement park.  Breakers’ guests get to enter the park an hour before it opens to the public.

Even if you don't stay at the Breakers at Cedar Point, stop at the hotel's ice cream parlor of yummy break and mid last century memorabilia

Even if you don’t stay at the Breakers at Cedar Point, stop at the hotel’s ice cream parlor of yummy break and mid last century memorabilia

The Breakers’ early admission to the park is a chance to try out the “Gatekeeper.” The newest ride, the Gatekeeper is a “wing” coaster that has riders feeling as if they are flying. Seats are suspended from a car on the track so nothing but gawkers are below the seats. The ride, located over the gate, does six inversions and rolls through the two keyholes.

Take a mid-afternoon break from rides to relax on the beach and lick a yummy cone or sundae in the Breakers’ 1950s-style ice cream parlor. Then, return to the park to do the rides at night.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/Museum

If going to Cleveland from Cedar Point take Ohio Highway 2 until it joins scenic United States Highway 6 or further east when it joins Interstate 90. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/ Museum is on the city’s Lake Erie waterfront at North Harbor,  downtown.

No matter how much time you leave for the place you will need more or want to return. The building is a photo op but wait until you see all the spectacular collections inside.

Outside the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame is awesome architecture. Inside, there is so much to see it is hard to know where to look first.

Outside the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is awesome architecture. Inside, there is so much to see it is hard to know where to look first.

Around every corner is another music icon with instruments, costumes, history and Grammy info. There’s Michael Jackson’s story behind his “Thriller album,” nearly 70 Beatle’s artifacts, a historic look at Elvis including TV appearances and Bono’s first guitar.

A Rolling Stones exhibit opens here May 24, 2013

Also look for Rock and Roll’s music roots at the R&B, Gospel, Country Folk/Bluegrass and Blues exhibits. In addition, there are interactive stations and films.

Of course Elvis, Perkins, Cash and Lewis have their own displays but the "Million Dollar Quartet" that showed up to jam at Sun Studios in Memphis has to be mentioned

Of course Elvis, Perkins, Cash and Lewis have their own displays but the “Million Dollar Quartet” that showed up to jam at Sun Studios in Memphis has to be mentioned

You can find a convenient downtown place to stay and save some vacation dollars with a Hall of Fame package at Preferred Hotels.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Get up close but not personal with elephants at the Elephant Crossing. Opened in 2011, the 5-acre elephant habitat has glass windows. While in Africa, check giraffe feeding times at the African Savanna. You might have a chance to feed a Giraffe at its eye level between Memorial and Labor Day.

To experience a tropical forest, stop in at the two-story Rainforest building where a 25 foot waterfall greets visitors near the entrance and orangutans watch visitors, upstairs.

Visit Australia’s “Outback” by the Boomerang train. Then, stop to see the zoo’s annual animatronic dinosaurs that return May 9.

At the Cleveland Zoo visitors sometimes have a chance to feed the giraffs from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend

At the Cleveland Zoo visitors sometimes have a chance to feed the giraffs from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend

The Cleveland Zoo is south of downtown between I90 and Interstate 480.

For more Cleveland info visit Positively Cleveland

 

 

 

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