Free (or Nearly Free) Things to Do near Cedar Point

Visiting Cedar Point, one of America's favorite amusement parks, can get expensive. However, Ohio's north central region--and Sandusky--offer a number of fun and interesting things to do that are free or nearly free. These are our favorites:

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    ••• Bob Stefko/Getty Images
    These remnants of the Ice Age are the largest accessible such grooves in the world. Carved into the native limestone by receding glaciers more 18,000 years ago, the grooves, located on the north side of Kelleys Island, are viewable from a visitors stairs and walkway.
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    ••• Douglas Sacha/Getty Images

    More than 9000 Confederate prisoners of war were once housed on Johnson's Island, a small piece of land just off the south coast of Marblehead, near the ferry docks and the Cedar Point Causeway. Between 206 and 267 of these soldiers are buried at the Johnson's Island Confederate Officers Prison Cemetery there.

    Today, the site is looked after by the U.S. Veteran's Administration and visitors are welcome year-round from dusk to dawn. A causeway connects the island to the mainland and carries a $1 toll each way. No other remnants of the POW camp remain on the island.

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    The central Ohio Lake Erie coastline and Lake Erie Islands offer excellent soil and climate for growing wine grapes. During the summer, the lake keeps the temperature mild while in the winter, the lake and the snow it brings, acts as a blanket to protect crops.

    Most wineries offer tastings for the state required minimum of $1 each. Many also offer free winery tours.
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    ••• Barrett & MacKay/Getty Images
    In addition to the beach at Cedar Point, central Ohio's Lake Erie coastline boasts a number of public access beaches. Among these are the 1500-foot stretch of sand at East Harbor State Park and the dog-friendly beach at Catawba Island State Park.