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The shore along Lake Erie is one of the most visited destinations in Ohio. And while the shoreline stretches just over 200 miles from the Pennsylvania border to Michigan, there is one area that draws me back year after year. Since I was a little girl, I have loved to visit East Harbor State Park, the Marblehead Lighthouse and Port Clinton. Last year, I visited Put-in-Bay and discovered it also offers plenty of fun for the family and I was hooked, adding it to my list of favorite things to do in Ohio.
To aid you in planning your own trip to Put-in-Bay, I’ve answered some frequently asked questions.
Where is Put-in-Bay Ohio?
Put-in-Bay is located on South Bass Island in the Western basin of Lake Erie.
How do you get to Put-in-Bay?
The island is accessible by private boat, small planes (there is an airport on the island) or by taking a ferry to Put-in-Bay. You can hop on the Jet Express in Sandusky or Port Clinton or catch a ride with Miller Boat Line from Catawba.
The ride from Port Clinton to Put-in-Bay onboard the Jet Express takes about 22 minutes, while the ride from Sandusky takes 40, delivering you at the docks located in downtown Put-in-Bay.
Miller Boat lines run ferries every 30 minutes during the peak season, delivering you on the south side of the island. The ride takes about 20 minutes.
How do you get around on Put-in-Bay?
The island isn’t very big, but if you want to explore beyond downtown, you’ll need to either ferry your car across the lake (via Miller Boat Line) or rent a golf cart. There are many golf cart rental companies available, including several located near the docks.
If you opt to ride the Miller Ferry, a shuttle is also available to take you from the dock to downtown.
While having your own vehicle is convenient, it can be a bit tricky to find parking on the island during the busier summer season or during special events. Golf carts really do dominate the island, and are the preferred mode of transportation for my family.
Prices and requirements vary but you will need a drivers license and credit card (or debit card with logo). If you require a golf cart for 6 or more people, I’d suggest that you make arrangements to reserve one in advance as they can sell out during peek times and busy events.
What is there to do on Put-in-Bay?
Put-in-Bay offers something for everyone.
- Do you love history? Then don’t miss Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial or a tour of Gibraltar Island.
- Love nature? Hike along though the Scheef East Point Nature Preserve and visit the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center.
- Is adventure your thing? Kayak on the Bay, parasail, paddle board or rent a jet ski.
- Planning a night out with your friends? Downtown Put-in-Bay has you covered.
- Is family fun more your speed? Perry’s Cave and Family Adventure Center offers several activities the entire family will enjoy.
- Looking for a romantic getaway with your special someone? How about a stay at one of the bed and breakfasts on the island or a relaxing winery tour?