Three Michigan friends traveled 71 miles across Lake Erie, on their fourth trip stand-up paddleboarding across the Great Lakes. Kwin Morris, Joe Lorenz and Jeff Guy paddled for 24 hours, from Belle Isle in the Detroit River, to Catawba Island, facing major headwinds and up to 6-foot waves. They never touched a boat. And they…

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  Cleveland’s beaches are clean, and everyone has noticed. In 2013, the year the state handed Cleveland Metroparks control of the city’s lakefront parks, 702,000 people visited Edgewater Beach. The lakefront parks — Huntington, Edgewater, Whiskey Island, Wendy Park, Villa Angela, Wildwood and Euclid Beach — had more than 3.9 million visits in 2017. Edgewater…

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Crisp cotton pillows splashed with navigational coordinates, hand-lettered signs and vintage finds, beach glass jewelry and anchor accessories. The offerings at Avon Lake’s Summer Market all match the beach aesthetic of Erin Stack and Kristen Weeden, friends who founded the annual event in 2006. That was before the premiere of the Cleveland Flea, before so…

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Meet Joe Jalsevac, general manager of Margaritaville Cleveland in the Flats East Bank. Jalsevac, 37, has lived in Greater Cleveland his whole life, running a country club and then a restaurant. When he heard about plans for a revamped Flats East Bank, he was on board.  “My friends and I all had fake IDs. From…

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Meet Kristen Bergmann, a Bay Village mental health therapist who in the summer swims two miles in Lake Erie two or three times a week. A competitive swimmer since she was 5, Bergmann grew up in Peoria, Illinois, and swam freestyle and sprint backstroke for Miami University. Twenty-one years ago, she tried open water with…

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Meet Bill and Mame Drackett, who have spent summers at Lakeside Chautauqua for all 37 years of their marriage. That’s just the fourth generation, though. Bill’s family began coming in 1897. The 1-mile-square private community on the Marblehead peninsula was founded in 1873 during a series of rousing camp meetings organized by the Methodist Church.…

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Meet David VanZandt, a literal rocket scientist who founded Cleveland Underwater Explorers, a group of archaeologists who discover and dive shipwrecks in Lake Erie. VanZandt and his friend Kevin Magee, both contractors for NASA, created the group they call CLUE more than 15 years ago. They research shipwrecks, pare down their locations and use side-scan…

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Meet Frank Murphy, who runs the Fall Brawl walleye derby on Lake Erie each year. From now until December, you can find a fishing tournament every month, with prizes ranging from several hundred dollars to a tricked-out boat worth more than $100,000. The tournaments – which generally award prizes for the five biggest fish caught…

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Meet David Dress, a Put-in-Bay lifer who has been at the helm of Miller Boat Line ferries for nearly three decades. “It was a summer job that turned into a much, much longer,” said Dress, 52. Miller, the largest and most frequent ferry service on Lake Erie, started spring runs in March. It was originally…

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Meet Allison Lukacsy-Love: artist, community projects manager for the city of Euclid and member of Cleveland’s first Young Professionals Council of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Originally from New Jersey, Lukacsy-Love grew up wanting to live near the water. She moved to Cleveland in 2011 after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University to work for…

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