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couple standing next to couple sitting in white adirondack chair with dog in between them looking out at beach at lake erie in ohio

Enjoy Island Time

Getaway to Ohio's shores and islands.

Lake Erie Shores & Islands

Enjoy Island Time

By Ohio.org Staff

Posted On: Mar 22, 2022

Along Ohio's coast, a set of islands beckon with warm breezes. The picturesque Shores & Islands provide endless adventure for your Lake Erie getaway. 

family sitting on the shore at marblehead lighthouse state park near lake erie ohio

Things To Do on Lake Erie's Shores

On the shore, the historic community of Lakeside Chautauqua features seasonal programming that's good for both the body and soul. Visit for the day or for a weekend trip, splash on the beach, take an art class and slide down the giant fiberglass flumes into the new Grindley Aquatic & Wellness Campus pool.

Don't forget to stop by Marblehead Lighthouse State Park. Enjoy the sights of the coastline or tour the lighthouse. It's the 200th anniversary of the Ohio landmark this year -- which was first lit on June 22, 1822. 

Before you leave Lake Erie's islands and shores, be sure to sample its bounty from smallmouth bass to yellow perch to walleye, available at area restaurants. Stop at local favorite Jolly Roger Seafood House in Port Clinton to feast on baskets of fried walleye and waffle fries.

Things To Do On Middle Bass Island

Middle Bass Island State Park is located on the southern tip of the island, with scenic shorelines and a 184-slip marina for avid boaters. After being closed to the public for nearly two decades, you can now check out the restored Lonz Winery. Spot the iconic, copper-topped tower and explore the historic cellars to see vintage winemaking equipment. For even more fun, discover the island's nooks and crannies by pedal or paddle (bike and kayaks are available for rent).

group of friends on ferry in put in bay ohio

Things To Do In Put-in-Bay

Once you've arrived in Put-in-Bay, it's time to begin your day with breakfast at The Old Forge. Located in an old blacksmith shop, the cafe features irresistible crepes filled with sweet and savory ingredients.

Then climb into Crystal Cave (one of the largest geodes) located under Heineman's Winery. There are several waterside venues for dining that provide expansive views of the harbor and nearby islands. And the main park in town is sprinkled with picnic tables and green space.

The island's most well-known sight is Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. The monument commemorates Oliver Hazzard Perry's triumph in the War of 1812 and the longstanding peace between Canada and the U.S. Going to the top of the Memorial by elevator gives a birds-eye view of the area with vistas of Canada on a clear day. 

Beyond the downtown area lays family recreation parks and the Dodge Wood Story Walk that children will enjoy. You can also trek the trails and enjoy a picnic at South Bass Island State Park.

Glacial Grooves at kelleys island in ohio

Things To Do on Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island has several natural areas, like the Glacial Grooves which illustrates the geological aspect of this much quarried island and shows the power of water over the ages. Several walking trails showcase that same power. Kelleys Island State Park, much like other area parks, offers camping. And the beach and boat launch are popular with families looking for summer fun.

Can you imagine a sculpture garden with great lake views and pieces using local rock? The Sculpture Garden and Gallery at the north end of the island illustrates the beauty of the local specimens and the talent of sculptor Charles Herndon. Scattered throughout the island, there are nature reserves, wineries and restaurants.

Getting To and Around the Islands

There are several ways to get around the islands. The Jet Express arrives in downtown Put-in-Bay after departing Port Clinton. Miller Ferry is the main line of transportation to Put-in-Bay & Middle Bass Island. They run run daily, and as frequently as every half hour to Put-in-Bay in the summer. You can also take the Kelleys Island Ferry from Marblehead, which can accommodate cars, and is a good alternative for exploring this larger island

Experience one of Ohio's inviting regions when you visit Shores & Islands Ohio

For more outdoor adventure and getaways, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org

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