Geauga County Becomes Shore Excursion…Really!

Geauga County has always been a great destination for people taking a driving trip, biking through the countryside, or even flying small private planes into the Geauga County Airport. Now Geauga County Tourism has partnered with Discover My Cleveland to offer Geauga County to one more unique audience; those arriving by cruise ship..really!

Blount Small Ship Adventures are designed for small ports and big adventures. Luther Blount was a prolific inventor and shipbuilder. His innovative designs featured things like ships with bow ramps, and retractable pilot houses, ships totally unlike anything else in cruising. He could take people deep into the nooks and crannies of the world, and along the way, discovered adventure in the places big cruises couldn’t sail, like “landlocked Geauga County”.


On August 15, the Grand Caribe left Navy Pier in Chicago with 88 passengers. They came from all over the US, many from the New England states, others from as far away as Florida and Texas, to sail Lake Michigan, with a stop on Mackinac Island. A full day of sailing on Lake Huron to Wyandotte, MI on the Detroit River, brought them to Lake Erie where they docked in Cleveland and many chose to take the “City to Country” Shore Excursion with Discover My Cleveland.

They spent time in downtown Cleveland visiting locations like the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and the West Side Market. In the late afternoon they traveled by motor coach to Middlefield Cheese where they were welcomed by Lynda Nemeth, Geauga County Tourism Director. They had the opportunity to sample cheese, learn about how the business began, and of course do a little shopping.

This was a second venture into Ohio Amish Country for passenger Elaine Smith from Canyon Lake Texas, a town about an hour north of the Alamo, which is near a strong Mennonite community where some of them also use buggies. The lovely Amish crafts and handwork was her reason to join the excursion.

Don Hetherington from Connecticut was traveling with his wife, and the couple was surprised to see they would also be traveling with one woman they had met on a river cruise in Europe years ago. He said the group on the 184-foot boat was small and friendly.

After shopping, the group boarded their motor coach with Nemeth for a narrated tour of some picturesque backroads as they ventured just over the county borders to The End of the Commons for a step back in time and a little history of the area. From there they were treated to dinner in an Amish home with several courses of wonderful home cooked food and pie.

“Everyone in your area is just so nice to work with!” said Dixie Neuhaus, the Discover My Cleveland guide that accompanied the group as she stated examples of extra hospitality that was thrown in along the way from various stops. “Well, that’s just how it works here in Geauga County,” says Nemeth. “Spread the word.”

The group left Geauga County a little late, but definitely happy! They will now venture to Erie, PA and Buffalo, NY, then transit the Welland Canal and Lake Ontario. Here they will watch the ship lower its retractable pilot house to sail beneath the low bridges of the Erie Canal. Visit the Hudson River Maritime Museum in Kingston, NY, admire the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor, and sail through rugged Narragansett Bay before concluding their voyage in Warren, RI.

If all this makes you feel up for adventure, you can learn more about Cleveland tours or Small Ship Adventures. Or if you’d like to find fun things to do close to home contact Geauga County Tourism 440-632-1538; 800-775-8687. You can also “Like” Geauga Co. Tourism on Facebook to keep up on all the details, of visit our website for more details.

Geauga News
Author: Geauga News