May's referencing McGarvey's Landing — a 320-foot single-sided public port nestled near Quaker Steak & Lube offering direct access into the Vermilion River and Lake Erie.
"We consider it a great place to dock," May said. "We go to Vermilion just to go or eat lunch."
May, who travels with his wife Bonnie from Columbus, has docked at McGarvey's Landing at least once each season during the past few summers.
"They usually have room for us, and we can reserve a dock for a few hours, a weekend, overnight or whatever," May said.
The transient, or short-term docking, marina is maintained by Vermilion Port Authority officials, who collaborate with the city on operations.
Port authority officials, who paid $985,000 to purchase the property in 2000 from the previous owners of the marina, kept the name "McGarvey's" for preservation purposes. An Ohio Historical Marker located on the marina's property indicates McGarvey's Restaurant, a boat drive-in eatery, operated there from 1929 until 2000.
"Originally known as Helfrich's Cafe and Boathouse, it was purchased by 'Charlie' McGarvey in 1938 and later renamed "McGarvey's Restaurant," the marker states. "After McGarvey's death in 1944, Charles Solomon purchased the riverside cafe and, with his wife Regina and son Eddie, successfully made it into one of the most unique and visited restaurants on the southern coast of Lake Erie."
But the property fell victim to blight after years later after years of neglect.
"It was in real bad shape," port authority operations manager Bill McCarthy said. "The sidewalks were starting to collapse. The break wall needed to be redone."
Since then, the port authority has remedied the eyesores by completely overhauling and razing the property.
Today, McGarvey's Landing is a majestic scene, complete with vibrant planters, comfortable benches, large picnic tables and a boardwalk ideal to catch sunsets.
"McGarvey's Landing is now a boating destination," Vermilion Mayor Eileen Bulan said. "The Vermilion Port Authority has made wonderful improvements to the marina, and it is the most popular spot to dock for the day, weekend or even longer."
What: A 320-foot public transient marina.
Where: Next to Quaker Steak & Lube, 5150 Liberty Ave., Vermilion
When: Docking is available now through November.
Price: Day rate for up to 4 hours:
• 20 feet and under: $5
• 21 feet to 30 feet: $10
• 31 feet to 40 feet: $15
• 41 feet or more: $20
Overnight rate is $1.75 per linear foot.
Amenities: Private showers and restrooms for overnight guests; pump out available; picnic area with tables and pavilion; bulkhead dockage or floating docks available; 30 and 50 amp shore power service
Call: Reservations are recommended but not required. Call 440-967-7087 or 440-759-2977.