February 18, 2016

Geauga Lake is an area of many functions: first, a picnicking destination when it was founded in 1887; a baseball field for a short time in 1888; and an official amusement park (with a wide range of owners) starting in 1889. Flash forward to 1970, when SeaWorld built a maritime wildlife park across the lake, turning the area into a destination for locals and tourists alike. For 30 years, these separate attractions were friendly neighbors, drawing visitors near and far. In 2000, the park was bought by Six Flags, who soon after also purchased the nearby SeaWorld park. One last sale occurred in 2004 when Cedar Fair purchased the property for $145 million. Oktoberfest was held at the park in 2007 and served as the attraction's last hurrah. 

Today, you won't find much fanfare around the Geauga Lake, which is located just outside of Cleveland, Ohio in a small township called Aurora. Instead, you'll find remnants of fun-filled days past—drained lazy rivers and deteriorating roller coasters, silently existing alongside a busy town road. While you may not be able to take in the park views from atop the 'Skyscraper'—one of the most popular rides in 1972—you can check it out via drone footage, although the scene is sure to be entirely different. Give it a watch above.

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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