If you are spending your vacation on Lake Erie this year, make sure not to miss out on a trip to Put-in-Bay.
Having been a summer resort for over a hundred years now, South Bass Island, or Put-in-Bay as it is more popularly known, has had plenty of practice satisfying its visitors, whether they want a quiet weekend getaway or an activity-filled family vacation – and we all know how practice makes perfect. The tiny two-by-four-mile island at the western end of Lake Erie packs a surprising number of activities and events for everyone into its small area
Even the trip to this tiny island is a pleasure. You can either fly into Put-in-Bay’s airport and be wowed by the amazing aerial view of all the Bass Islands, or take a quick ferry ride from Port Clinton or Catawba Island.
Once on the island, you could walk, cycle, take a taxi or do it the Put-in-Bay way and rent a golf cart for the day. While walking and cycling have their advantages, travelling by golf cart is the easiest and most fun way for people of all ages to get around.
This historical Lake Erie Island was the base of operations for Oliver Hazard Perry when he defeated the British fleet in the war of 1812. Celebrating not only the victory in that naval battle but over 150 years of peace, Put-in-Bay is home to a beautiful Greek Doric column. At 352 feet, the granite column known as the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial is the nation’s third tallest monument and definitely worth a visit. While there, do take the elevator up to the observation deck at 317 feet and take in the spectacular view of the Lake Erie Islands as well as the shores of Michigan, Ohio and Ontario
In Spring, Put-in-Bay Ohio - the walleye capital of the world, is the perfect fishing destination for smallmouth bass, rock bass, yellow perch, crappie, catfish – and of course – walleye. The fishing doesn’t end in winter either, with fishermen from all over the United States testing their skills at ice-fishing.
If fishing’s not your sport, never fear, the fun’s just beginning. The adventurous types can try out a jet-ski, take a kayak around the bay, or enjoy a bird’s eye view by going parasailing. Also, South Bass Island State Park has something for everyone, a great camping location, a stone beach, a playground, and for your inner explorer, the ruins of Hotel Victory. While you’re here make the most of the picturesque view and don’t miss the stunning sight of the sun setting over Lake Erie.
The location of the nation’s oldest freshwater biological field station, the Stone Laboratory Field House, Put-in-Bay has lots to offer a nature lover. Crystal Cave, the world’s largest geode is an awe-inspiring sight and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There’s also Perry’s Cave, a limestone cave with an underground fresh-water lake and The Butterfly House with its variety of colourful inhabitants.
Get in touch with the past. Stroll through Stonehenge Estate’s beautifully landscaped grounds, charming farmhouse and winepress cottage and watch the past come to life. Visit the island’s very own Antique Car Museum or the Historical Society Museum for a look at the good old days, or get on board the Island Tour Train for an informative one-hour trip through Put-in-Bay with stops at many of the islands attractions.
A great family vacation spot, the island is filled with cool stuff for the whole family to do. Take the kids for a spin on Kimberley’s Carousel, one of the country’s last merry-go-rounds. Or go fishing at the Aquatic Visitors Center and learn more about the marine life in Ohio through hands-on exhibits and displays of live fish. Visit the beautiful DiRivera Park for a picnic lunch where you can relax and enjoy the view of the lake. The memorials and statues around the park are a great way to learn more about Put-in-Bay’s eventful history, while the cannons and the playground will keep little adventurers busy for hours. Another attraction for kids of all ages is the Put-in-Bay Raceway, where remote controlled cars on a special track never fail to get anyone into a competitive mood. At 50 miles per hour, these small cars can put up an incredible fight to the finish. If the Raceway gets you in the mood for a more hands-on competition, try out the electric go cart track at Tailfins Amusement Center. With its awesome rides, simulators, water wars and video games, be prepared to find it difficult to leave the amusement center.
Golfing enthusiasts aren’t left out of the fun either… Put-in-Bay boasts the 9-hole Saunders Golf Course for a par three and four test of skill. Then again, you could take the whole family over to the War of 18 Holes for a quick battle on the miniature golf course.
If you feel like shopping, you should check out Ohio’s only Del Sol store where everything you buy changes color in sunlight. Choose between color-changing hats, t-shirts, toys and even nail polish. Other places to see include Bay Designsxxxfor its nautical gold jewellery and the Blue Cottage Gallery where, if you drop in on a Saturday you can watch while local artists create their masterpieces or take a class and become one yourself.
Hungry? The island is full of great places to eat with plenty of fresh fish to go around! The historical wine industry also contributed the development of some delicious home-made wine-based sauces and traditional dishes that satisfy even the pickiest eater.
They say good things come in small packages, and this is definitely true of Put-in-Bay. When you’re planning a visit, don’t forget to check out their events calendar at www.putinbay.com so you don’t miss out on activities unique to this amazing little island.
Fun for the whole family
Especially for Couples
Tasting, shopping & more
Enjoy delicious dining