The Holidays at Sawmill Creek


Published: 11/12/2012

by Mimi Vanderhaven


Editor’s Note: In April 2012, we introduced Sawmill Creek Resort to our readers as an ideal way to enjoy the Lake Erie Shores and Islands region during spring and summer. Here we explore all of the fun families and couples can enjoy during the fall, winter and holiday season.


When it comes to summer vacations, the Lake Erie Shores and Islands region is the number one most visited area of Ohio, and Sawmill Creek Resort is one of the top vacation destinations within the region. Families come from all over the Midwest and beyond to enjoy its lake views, swimming pool, sandy beach, deep-water marina, award-winning golf course, and more.


But those of us lucky enough to live within a 45- to 90-minute drive of Sawmill Creek view the resort not only as a week-long vacation destination, but also as a brief twoor three-day getaway, especially in fall and winter. Because Sawmill Creek is the only private resort on the lake between Buffalo and Chicago, it’s an ideal destination for a long weekend or a sudden inclination to be romantically spontaneous.


During the upcoming holiday season, many Northeast Ohio families are making the short drive to Sawmill Creek for hayrides, the popular Festival of Lights, and the fabulous shopping. And there is nothing more romantic for couples looking to recharge than the warmth of the spacious, deluxe king rooms (featuring optional Jacuzzi tubs), fine dining, and a roaring fireplace.


“Sawmill Creek is a completely different experience in fall and winter,” explains Greg Hill, the resort’s president of Sawmill Creek. “The focus is on warmth—the lodge, the lights, the fireplace, the shopping.”


The Festival of Lights


The Festival of Lights at Sawmill Creek Resort runs every night, from the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve (November 23, 2012 through December 31, 2012). On select nights, visitors can enjoy hayrides through the light displays with priority given to resort guests. In 2012, hayrides are scheduled for Friday, November 23, plus the Saturdays of November 24 and December 1, 8 and 15.


The hayride begins at the Grainery, which is decorated by Mrs. Claus herself. Kids and adults can enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and a fireside chat with Mrs. Claus while she explains all about Santa Clause. Then take your hot cocoa with you on the hayride through 32 spectacular light displays. Whether you’re enjoying the hayride or the comfort of your own car, the drive-through display ends at the Candy Cane House at the marina where kids can hand their gift list to Santa right through their car window. This way, you and your family can enjoy the entire Festival of Lights from the comfort of your vehicle—in any weather conditions.


The Festival of Lights begins November 23, 2012 with the Ringing Swinging Silent Auction, a non-profit fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. featuring appetizers, a cash bar, and 20 different vacation trips being given away, including a grand prize trip to Los Cabos, Mexico. 


Guest Rooms


The accommodations at Sawmill Creek include diverse guest rooms, each featuring whitewashed, knotty pine accent walls made of logs cut and milled in Ohio’s Amish Country. Amish craftsmen handled the finishing details, which accentuate options like 5-jet Jacuzzi tubs, easy-start gas log fireplaces, and flat screen televisions.


The resort is highly accommodating with wheelchair access throughout, in-room hard-wired internet access, and Wi-Fi in Big Sky Lobby.


The overall feel of the resort was designed to reflect the community. “We wanted to tell the story of Ohio,” Greg explains, “including the North American Woodland Indians who were here before us—like the Huron, Shawnee and Wyandot. You’ll find these influences throughout the resort.”


Dining at Sawmill Creek


Sawmill Creek Resort’s Salmon Run offers upscale dining, including its famous Sunday brunch. The chef, Gerard Bertschy, hails from Sweden and has headed up the resort’s kitchen for 26 years. For dinner, try the Ginger Soy Salmon. It’s an eight-ounce fresh Atlantic salmon filet marinated and grill glazed in soy, brown sugar, and pickled ginger. The fish is then topped with caramelized onions and accompanied with wild rice and vegetable of the day, $19.00. You’ll also find half-pound burgers starting at just $8.00. Black Bear Saloon is a casual bar and grille featuring food, spirits and dancing.


Group Events


From October to April, Sawmill Creek is a hot spot for events, trade shows, family reunions, and corporate retreats. The exhibition halls are top notch and easily adaptable for large or small events. It’s a hassle-free, affordable, and effective way for regional companies to gather their managers and staff for some serious recharging and creative brainstorming.


One of the easiest and most affordable ways to enjoy Sawmill Creek Resort for any reason is by purchasing one of their many diverse packages. Better yet, Mimi is offering a half-price package voucher at Find the details in the sidebar on the right side of this page.


Sawmill Creek Resort is located at 400 Sawmill Creek Drive West in Huron, Ohio minutes from Cedar Point. For more information or to make reservations, call 419-433-3800 or visit Find your $139 resort voucher at