5 Waterfront Towns in Central Ohio Perfect For Escaping The Heat

City Guide, Family Friendly, Seasonal, Things to Do


Written by Step Out Columbus

Published on June 19, 2024
Photo courtesy of Alum Creek State Park on Facebook

The dog days of summer are upon us. If you’re feeling burnt out (literally), then you need to head to one of these lakefront towns to reset!

Offering a little bit of everything, no matter what you’re looking for, these lakefront villages and towns are a surefire way to inject a little bit of fun and relaxation into your life.

There’s tons of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and lots more, you just gotta know where to look. That’s why we did all the looking for you. You can thank us later.

Here are 5 of our favorite lakefront destinations to escape to in Central Ohio.

Alum Creek Lake | Delaware, OH

3615 S Old State Road, Delaware, OH 43015

A lot of people seem to forget that Central Ohio has Alum Creek State Park just a short drive away, where you can do quintessential summer activities like tanning on the beach, swimming in the lake, fishing, boating, picnicking, and so much more. So if you’re sick of going to the local community pool where it’s crowded and loud, maybe give Alum Creek Lake a try.

Photo courtesy of Alum Creek State Park on Facebook

Buckeye Lake State Park | Buckeye Lake, OH

2871 Liebs Island Road, Millersport, OH 43046

Known as one of the best towns for a summer vacation in the entire country, Buckeye Lake has become a top destination to escape the heat and have a little summer fun for Central Ohioans. Featuring tons of boating, swimming, fishing, and picnicking, Buckeye Lake is the ideal destination for a quick day trip or a full weekend of fun. There are also tons of great bars and wineries that surround the lake (which I have been known to frequent on a hot summer day).

Photo courtesy of Karen L Romine Smith on Facebook

Apple Valley Lake | Howard, OH

113 Hasbrouck Circle, Howard, OH 43028

Apple Valley Lake has become somewhat of a haven for boaters in recent years, thanks to their very lenient no-wake rules. Boaters must only follow no-wake guidelines from sunset to sunrise. Otherwise, there’s no restrictions on horsepower, making it the perfect spot for boaters who have a need for speed. There are also multiple beaches, marinas, and dog parks, and lots more.

Photo courtesy of Apple Valley Lake Ohio on Facebook

Indian Lake | Lakeview, OH

13156 State Route 235 N, Lakeview, OH 43331

As the second-largest inland lake in Ohio (behind Alum Creek Lake), there’s no shortage of fun to be had at Indian Lake. Whether you’re looking to simply take a relaxing dip in the lake or are more into water sports like jet-skiing, boating, or kayaking, Indian Lake is the perfect place to do it all. Indian Lake also does not have a horsepower restriction on boating, so feel free to let ‘er rip!

Photo courtesy of Lindsey McNett on Facebook

Candlewood Lake | Mt. Gilead, OH

7045-, 7113 W Point-Galion Rd, Mt Gilead, OH 43338

This quiet and quaint lake town is a very neighborly area that, while located in a rural area, has the feel of city life thanks to the sense of community the lake and its residents provide. Common lake activities include boating, jet-skiing, swimming, fishing, and tubing, which sounds like the absolute perfect summer day in my book!

Photo courtesy of Candlewood Lake on Facebook

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