Antique Car Museum
The Aquatic Visitor Center, a historic former state fish hatchery, is operated by Ohio Sea Grant & Stone Laboratory in partnership with the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Activities include inspecting Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through hands-on displays, observing and identifying live fish in aquaria, and discovering current research to protect Lake Erie. Children under 16 can fish for free off the dock. The AVC is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays, June 21-September 9, 2017. Guided group tours and school field trips are also offered May through October by appointment at a cost of $4 per person. For more information visit: go.osu.edu/aquatic
Aquatic Resources Center
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources operates the state’s Aquatic Resources Visitor Center. There are live fish exhibits and hands on aquatic displays. The center offers a free fishing program for kids, including free bait and tackle. Kids have the opportunity to try their hand at fishing from the center’s large pier that overlooks the downtown harbor and Gibraltar Island. Admission to the center is free 10 am to 5 pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Tour groups should call ahead to make an appointment.
AQUATIC RESOURCE CENTER
Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
Island Map 1
Put-in-Bay’s Butterfly House at the Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center offers visitors a unique viewing experience of hundreds of different exotic butterflies in their beautiful atrium filled with plants, fountains and sculptures. The butterflies on display are not native to the United States and precautions are used so they cannot escape their home in the atrium. Visitors walk amongst the butterflies. The Butterfly House also has a movie on butterflies and butterfly specimens can be purchased.
Crystal Cave, the world’s largest recorded geode, is located on Catawba Avenue directly beneath Heineman Winery. A tour of the cave is included with a tour of the winery. The walls of Crystal Cave are covered in celestite crystals, used in the manufacturing of fireworks. The cave was discovered in 1897 by workers digging a well for the winery. Tours of the cave and winery are given from the first of May through the end of September, beginning at 11:15 and ending at 5 pm Monday through Saturday, and from 12:15 to 5 pm on Sundays.
& Put-in-Bay Winery
Situated on the water, directly across from Gibraltar Island, the Put-in-Bay Winery offers tours, tastings, and snacks with a view of Put-in-Bay’s harbor. Schedule a tour of the Dollar House and Put-in-Bay Winery and taste five of the wineries offerings varying from dry to sweet or create your own flight of Put-in-Bay Wines, Pelee Island wines, West Coast or other featured wines to create the ultimate experience. The winery offers a 10% discount on 6-bottle purchases and 20% discount on 12-bottle purchases.
Gibraltar Island Tours
The tiny 6.5 acre island in the middle of Put-in-Bay is home to The Ohio State University’s Biological Field Station, F.T. Stone Laboratory. Visitors take a guided walking tour of the island including stops at Perry’s Lookout, the glacial grooves and historic Cooke Castle before learning more about the research being conducted at Stone Lab. Tours are available from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 21-August 9, 2017. Adults $10, children (6-12) $5. Visitors should meet at the Boardwalk water taxi at 10:45 a.m. Round trip water taxi transportation is $6 per person, payable to boat driver. One tour each Wednesday. First come, first served. Maximum 70 people. For more information visit: go.osu.edu/gibtours
Gibraltar Island Tours
Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
Heineman’s Winery was established in 1888 by Gustav Heineman. Gustav’s grandson, Louis, great-grandson, Edward and great-great-grandson, Dustin, continue to operate Heineman’s Winery today. A combined tour of the winery and Crystal Cave are given daily from the first of May to the end of September. A complimentary sample of wine or grape juice is given after the tour. Wine and juice is sold by the glass or by the bottle. You can enjoy a glass of wine, and a platter of cheese, fruit, and crackers in Heineman’s wine garden. Heineman’s wines are made from grapes grown on the island, and have consistently won awards in many categories. They currently produce more than 21 different wines, including an ice wine.
Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum
The Lake Erie Islands Historical Society offers a glimpse into Put-in-Bay’s past. More than 6,000 square feet of display area features the original sprawling resort hotels such as the Hotel Victory, wine making, a movie on the island’s history, and artifacts from the old Put in Bay Car Races. You’ll also find examples of island memorabilia (Put-in-Bay souvenirs), and I-LYA (Inter-Lake Yachting Association) artifacts. Located off Catawba Avenue behind the Put-in-Bay Town Hall on Town Hall Lane. Watch a free history film and view a collection of model ships and ferries, some made by island craftsmen. Adult admission is $5. Seniors $4, Groups $4 each Veterans and Children free. Open daily 11-5pm from the first of May through September.
Helicopter Tours by Paratus Air
Looking for a way to enhance your visit to Put in Bay? Choose from one of two options to see the islands in a truly unique way! Put in Bay helicopter tours are open from the second weekend of May through the end of September! Please call our office at 914-FLY-HELI to schedule your helicopter tour today. The “Put-in-Bay Tour” shown above takes you on a trip around South Bass Island. You’ll see gorgeous, bird’s-eye views of Cedar Point, Port Clinton and, of course, the beautiful Put-in-Bay itself. $39.99 Per Person, Minimum 2 Passengers, Maximum 3 Passengers Per Trip
Put-in-Bay Port Authority Airport
1494 Langram Rd
Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center
The Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center opened in 2008. Formerly the Alaskan Bird House Wildlife Museum, this facility features a variety of animal and water fowl mounts that are native to the islands and Ohio. The center also features a nature trail filled with native plants, that offers an excellent vantage point for bird watching. There are also activities for kids.
Historical documents show that men under the command of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry discovered this limestone cave 40 feet underground during their occupation of the island in 1813. Perry used the underground stream in Perry’s Cave for drinking water during the hot summer prior to the “Battle of Lake Erie”, fought on September 10, 1813. This pivotal naval engagement was fought during the War of 1812. The water in the stream is a consistent 50 degrees year-round. Narrated cave tour is $7.50 for adults, $4.00 for kids 6-12. Children 5 & under free (with an adult).
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is a symbol of the long-lasting peace enjoyed by the United States, Great Britain, and Canada. The 352-foot Doric column has an observation platform that offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding islands and mainland.
The Perry Memorial Visitor Center, located on the grounds, offers a 15-minute free movie on the War of 1812 and Battle of Lake Erie. The visitor center also has a display of artifacts, including a British musket, a scale model of the US Brig Lawrence–Perry’s flagship–and a large flat hull diorama of the Battle of Lake Erie as Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry crossed through cannon fire to reach the US Brig Niagara and change the course of the battle.
Stonehenge Historic Home Tour
“The Stonehenge Estate Tour takes visitors on a trip down memory lane to enjoy a true taste of island living from yesterday and today. Quite possibly the best kept secret on Put-in-Bay, Stonehenge Estate is an excellent example of family farms and wineries that prospered on the island in the mid to late 1800’s. This family preservation project is a “must see” that has been open to the public for over 20 years . Both the Stone Farmhouse & Wine Press Cottage are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Self-guided audio tours take visitors inside both buildings (each filled with antiques, photographs and island memorabilia) as well as the beautiful grounds and unique outdoor displays. Stonehenge Estate offers a true taste of island living from yesterday and today.
South Bass Island Lighthouse
Owned and operated by Ohio Sea Grant, visitors to the South Bass Island Lighthouse can climb the tower for a beautiful view and learn about the history of this national historic place. Free and open for tours 11 a.m-5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays from June 19-July 18, 2017 or by appointment (groups of 10 or more, $3 pp). The grounds are open dawn from dusk most days, but are occasionally closed for private events. For more information visit: go.osu.edu/lighthouse
SOUTH BASS ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
First time visitors to the island will find the Put-in-Bay Tour Train is one of the best ways to learn about Put-in-Bay’s past, and a great way to see the island aboard an open-air tram. Enjoy the ride & a 55-minute narrated tour that stops at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, Heineman Winery, and Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. Adults, $10 and kids, 6-11, $3. Download and print a $1 discount coupon for every adult in your group on their website. The Tour Train is also available for groups, and is part of the Family Fun Pack available from Island Transportation.