Headlands Beach State Park is located in the North Eastern corner of Ohio. It is a pretty mile-long sand beach that borders Lake Eerie. The beach / park features plenty of parking, hiking trails, some picnic tables, changing booths, concession areas, and some restrooms. We easily spent an entire morning just playing in the sand and surf. If your plans bring you anywhere near Painesville, Fairport, Grand River, or Mentor; don't miss this Ohio Jewel.
We didn't have to travel far for great food either! About a half of a mile south of Headlands Beach State Park is a placed called Pickle Bills. If you want a place with plenty of local flavor and yummy food, this is a must visit.
As for lodging, we stayed at the Quail Hollow Resort in Painesville. We didn't spend much time at our hotel, but I thought the rooms and lobby were quite nice. Plus, the hotel offered an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a couple golf courses.
Our next college stop had us heading back towards Cleveland and while my husband and son were on a campus tour, I took the rest of the kids to see the Cleveland Children's Museum. It was a fun way alternative to driving around Cleveland aimlessly for a couple hours. The kid's favorites including a climbing structure, the water play area, and the pretend weather broadcast area.