The Drive: Lakeside, Ohio
Slice of Life: The Oct. 6 Fall Festival is a family-focused event, with games, hayrides, street performers, musical acts and a pie contest.
A family of four sits at a picnic table painting rocks. “Could you do this at Hilton Head for a dollar?” the mother asks, waving her paintbrush.
Well, no. But would you want to? Your answer should determine if Lakeside, a God-fearing, teetotaling resort village 90 minutes west of downtown, is your idea of fun. It was established by the Methodists in 1873 as one of the first Chautauquas in the country (its more famous New York cousin wasn’t founded till the following year.)
Programs run the gamut from religious to educational to cultural. The week we were there, seminars included “An Exploration of World War II” and “All About Herbs.” The next week, Captain von Trapp’s great-grandchildren put on a show. There’s the daily God Squad for children, sailing lessons, quilt shows, symphonies, art classes and ice cream socials.
The backdrop is classic Americana: a square-mile of Victorian cottages and Craftsmen bungalows, screened-in porches bumping up to narrow streets. Hollyhocks grow in profusion. There are more places to buy ice cream (eight) than food (seven). Everything’s so close, it’s silly to drive (though renting a golf cart is fun).
Summer is definitely peak season. But it’s also kind of nice — in a quieter, cheaper way — to go after Labor Day, while the weather’s still warm, but the crowds are gone. You can check the forecast and head out for some impromptu Indian-summer fun. 1-866-9LAKESIDE, www.lakesideohio.com