If you only have 48 hours to spare but want something that feels like a vacation, Vermilion should be your destination.

We have plenty of “nothing to do”— the kind of nothing that involves a weekend lounging on a beach and reading a book, riding a bike to get anywhere (whenever you feel like getting there), sitting under a shady tree and watching the boats set their sails on the lake and then waiting patiently until the sun dips into the horizon at the end of the day.

Or maybe you want to fill every minute of your visit with experiences that are genuinely Vermilion—delightful, unique, true small town pleasures. For that we have a menu of fun and entertaining activities that can fill every minute of a 2-day visit.


Day 1: Saturday

Rise and Shine
Wake up with coffee and a made-to-order breakfast at Granny Joe’s the historic yellow funeral home turned ice cream parlor.

Vermilion Farmers Market
Pick up fresh, seasonal produce and mingle with the locals at Main Street Vermilion’s Farmers Market. There’s a special event every weekend at the Market, which runs Saturdays from June 24–September 9, 2017, 10:00am–2:00pm.

Shop Downtown Vermilion
After you've shopped the Farmers Market, give your wallet a workout as you stroll the shops and meet the merchants. Be sure to put Plain JaneSwan Creek Candle and Vermilion’s sweet spot, Brummer's Chocolates among the must-see shops.

Late Lunch
Big Ed’s Soda Grill is really keen! Old fashioned soda bar, booth seating and a menu that pleases everyone. Eat in or grab-and-go, turn left or right out the door and a park with benches or tables is near.

Putt-Putt is a sport
Bring the kids {or don’t) because who said you have to be a kid to enjoy miniature golf? Romp’s Putter Port is a local favorite featuring 36 holes, music…and when it’s over, loser buys at Romp’s Dairy Dock, a short sprint across the field.

Get on the water
There are plenty of opportunities to be on the water without owning a boat. The Don Parson’s Mystic Belle is a narrated cruise throughout the Vermilion Lagoons or pilot your own Duffy electric boat that seats 10 from Moe’s Marine, about 1-½ hours of juice before you need to get back to the dock.

Add some beach time
There are three public beaches, each one unique by nature’s design. Main Street Beach is Vermilion's largest public beach with beach chair rental and concessions courtesy of Shore Thing. It's sandy, lively and the lighthouse keeps guard over the shore. Sherod Park is a short drive west out of town and an excellent spot for beach glass collecting. The park, with benches, picnic tables, playground and plenty of field overlooks the beach, Then there's Linwood Park, a short walk east of downtown. There is a gate fee at Linwood but 2-hour visits are free in this lakeside community. You’ll find playgrounds, a snack stand, gift shop, a pristine beach and a view that’s terrific.

Dining out
Locals know to get to the Wine Vault at least 20 minutes before the doors open to score a seat in this cozy bistro where great wines and craft beers flow. Or slip on your flip-flops and go down to Rudy’s Bar & Grill for sports, suds and a Rudy Burger. The locals who didn’t get a seat at the Wine Vault might be here.

It shines!
Stop by the Vermilion Lighthouse at the foot of Main Street any time of the day, but for some real local ambiance, be there when the sun goes down. Listen to the waves lapping at the shore and enjoy the light that shines from the tower. It’s romantic, if you’re into that kind of stuff.


Day 2: Sunday

Rise & Shine
Stretch your legs to the other side of town and join the locals for breakfast at Martino’s International Café. Crowded and lively, this is where you can start a conversation with anyone and find out what’s happening in and around town.

Paddle faster
West River Paddling Company will put you on the water in a kayak, canoe or a paddleboard. Paddle north to the lagoons and into the lake, weather permitting, or south through marinas and into Mill Hollow.

Birders
Catch a few species of shorebirds and ducks from the shore, but we’re a nearby hub to reach some of the best birding locations around the Lake Erie Shore. In less than an hour you can find yourself at Magee Marsh, Lorain County Metropark’s Sandy Ridge and Mill Hollow and the Spitzer Marine in Lorain.

All aboard!
The Main Line Rail platform is a great place to sit for a few minutes, or even hours and get a close up view of high speed trains. Some days up to 100 trains reportedly cross the Norfolk and Southern tracks here. (This is a spotting platform for beginners and seasoned train enthusiasts. No, there are no train rides. We get asked every day!)

Lunch
Walk down to Route 6 Pub for a burger, fried pickles, pulled pork and a brew. Patio seating is in the back and friendly people are inside. Talk sports—or don’t. 

More shopping
Why? Because you can! Stop by the Olive Scene, Poppin’ Around, Cheryl’s Fashion Boutique and the Vermilion Arts Guild Gallery. Each one is a fun place to knock around and part with some of your disposable income.

Print Museum
Hugely entertaining at a small town price, the Vermilion News Print Shop Museum is a quirky look at a place that once printed the local newspaper, posters and more. Packed with small town memorabilia, it’s a delightful look back at the way we were.

Toast your visit
Before you leave, raise one more glass to a weekend done well. Touché, the sister restaurant to Chez Francois, has prime seating above the Vermilion River. Watch the boat head into the harbor, or out for one last spin, raise a glass and promise to come back. Cheers!