Put-in-Bay: More Than You Imagined
By Amanda Williams

Put-in-Bay: More Than You Imagined

If you live in Ohio, chances are you’ve heard of Put-in-Bay. You know, the town located on South Bass Island on Lake Erie where golf carts outnumber cars and thousands of people visit each summer to party and relax. But, while you might just associate this island village with good times and strong drinks, that’s definitely not all Put-in-Bay has to offer!

For example, did you know that Put-in-Bay is home to a cave covered in what looks like crystals? Or that there’s a chocolate cafe/museum? Or that you can ride a carousel that was built in 1917? Or that there are state parks to enjoy?

Put-in-Bay is so much more than you probably realized.

Here are 3 family-friendly things to do in Put-in-Bay:

Perry’s Victory monument

Did you know that a key battle during the War of 1812 was fought on Lake Erie, within sight of where Put-in-Bay sits today? You can learn about this battle at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, which is operated by the National Park Service. You can also go up to the top of the 352-foot monument for some great views out over Lake Erie. On a clear day, you can see all the way to Canada.

Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center

(Yes, there are lots of things on this island named after Commodore Perry…) Here you’ll find Perry’s Cave (a natural limestone cave complete with underground lake), a mini-golf course, a butterfly house, and an antique car museum, among other attractions. You could easily spend a whole day here with the entire family.

Kayaking Lake Erie 

If the great outdoors call to you, Put-in-Bay can satisfy that, too. You can rent kayaks at Kayak the Bay, located on Bayview Avenue at Squaw Harbor. They have single and double sit-on-top kayaks, which you can take out to some nearby cliffs, or, if you’re really ambitious, see if you can circle the whole island.

Other essential info 

Getting there

Catch the Miller Ferry from Catawba Point to Put-in-Bay, or catch the Jet Express from Port Clinton or Sandusky.

Getting around

You can take your car over to Put-in-Bay by ferry, but the island is small enough that you really don’t need to. You can rent a golf cart or bike on the island, or simply get around on foot. Most places within the main part of town are within walking distance.

Food and drink

Food: Have some lobster chowder at the Boardwalk. Try the perch tacos at The Goat. And don’t miss The Old Forge Cafe and Creperie for breakfast crepes.

Drinks: Head to Mojito Bay tiki bar for a fun atmosphere and swings in place of bar stools. Visit Topsy Turvey’s for a more local vibe. And check out the Beer Barrel Saloon, which boasts the longest bar in the world.


Have YOU been to Put-in-Bay? What’s your favorite thing about it?

About the Author