Whiskey Island floats at the edge of downtown, where the Cuyahoga River empties into Lake Erie. The area consists of a boat-filled marina, a raucous bar where free bands jam on the patio, and next-door Wendy Park with a beach where kayakers launch and volleyball teams spike balls over the nets. Weekends stoke the Margaritaville ambience, but there’s also good bird-watching when you move away from the crowds.

Be sure to walk out on the pier to the old coast guard station, a 1940 Art Moderne looker. Swell skyline views radiate from here.

Prepare for a crazy ride to reach the area. Whiskey Island Dr starts at the east end of Edgewater Park and then veers off past a sewage plant, a gravel plant and other barbed wire–enclosed industrial zones before depositing you beside the marina.