official tourism bureau

Eat, Stay, Play. Put-in-Bay Vacation Guide


So this year you have decided on a Put in Bay vacation. We think you have made a great choice!

Whether this is your first time vacationing in Put in Bay, or you are a return visitor, we hope you will find our guide below handy for all things Put in Bay. Most people know us as Put-in-Bay, but we actually reside on South Bass Island. So don’t be confused they are the same place. Getting here is easy. No matter where you are coming from, Detroit, Toledo, Fort Wayne, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland or Pittsburg. We’re between Sandusky and Toledo Ohio in what’s known as the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

How to get to Put in Bay

All you need to do is find your way to Ohio’s State Route 2 and then Rt 53 North. We are on an island so you have to take a put in bay ferry to get here. To get to the Miller Ferry just use this address: 5174 E Water St., Port Clinton, OH 43452 and to get to the Jet Express use 49 Jackson St, Port Clinton, OH 43452. If you want you can even buy your ferry tickets on line, before your leave home so there’s no waiting at the ticket booth. Both Put in Bay Ferry’s have lots of parking that is walking distance from the ferry and they provide special access for mobility and handicapped passengers. So there’s no reason to not visit. And if you need a to bring a cooler, bike or a car, that’s possible too. Just give the ferry companies a call to get info on Handicap access, vehicle and luggage options.

What to do in Put in bay?

You’re set to visit, parked your car and ready to board the ferry. Now you might wonder, what things to do in Put-in-Bay? First the ferry trip is amazing with beautiful sights on the way like the South Bass Island Lighthouse. Don’t miss the opportunity to take some selfies on the way. By the way, that really tall column you see, its not a light house, it’s a national monument called Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial run by the National Park Service and you can go to the top for a view that is beyond amazing. But to get there, we need to pick a mode of island transportation. After you land, you will see cabs, buses and golf cart rental companies. Lots of people love to rent a golf cart or bike when the get here to Put-in-Bay. There’s a dozen put in bay golf cart rental companies. It’s life in the slow lane. Since the island is only 3.5 miles long by 1.5 miles at the widest point you could walk to most places with ease once you’re here but golf carts are sure fun. Don’t worry if a cart is not needed, we have taxi cabs that will take you anywhere on the island for just $3 a person.

Put-in-Bay Family Fun

Getting around the island is fun enough alone, but there are numerous put in bay family vacation things to do including the Tour Train, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial, Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center, Butterfly House, Crystal Cave (at Heineman Winery), Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wild Life Center, the Aquatic Visitors Center and Adventure Bay’s go cart and indoor arcade. There’s not enough time in a day to do it all.

Put-in-Bay Recreation

Put in Bay fishing and getting out on the water are top reasons people love to visit here. For the adventurous, we have Jet Skis, power boats, parasailing, kayaking and put in bay charter boat fishing all available. But if getting a tan is more the speed you want to travel, there are several pools that have music and invite the public including the Sand Bar, Buckeye Tiki Bar, Splash, Blue Marlin and Mist.

Put-in-Bay Shopping

Maybe shopping is your passion. From fine clothing to funny hats, you can find many great shops here in Put-in-Bay. Check out the Lobster Trap at the Boardwalk for fine gifts, local artisans sell their handcrafted gifts and art at Local Color next to the Keys and at Bayview Gifts next to the Miller Marina. There’s Mariners Locker with amazing summer clothing, Shoppes at Compass Pointe, Ontko Organics, Put-in-Bay Surf Shop with beach wear and Misty Bay for nice array of women’s clothing. And that’s just the itinerary for the morning!

Put-in-Bay Restaurants

We have the Put-in-By Foodie Trail featuring 24 great put in bay restaurants all with in walking distance from the downtown. Italian, French, Creole, classic American, Caribbean, you name it we can point you in the right direction. Want to be on the water or perhaps in a secluded garden? Maybe it’s the porch of an old winery or the warm wood interior of an Irish Pub. No matter what your hungry for check out the Put-in-Bay Foodie Trail on our website for the lowdown on great eating island style.

Live Entertainment

Music alone does not make the island sing, but great venues make the island memorable. Live music can be found all over the island. From dive bars like Joes Bar to the famous Round House Bar, there are over a fifteen places were there are either DJs or live music scheduled regularly in season and comedy too. Get set to have an evening our with great music, dancing and friends. Check out the Reel Bar, Mojito Bay, Fish Bowl, Topsy Turvy, The Boardwalk, The Keys, Boathouse Bar, Margaritas on the Rock, T&Js Smoke House, Frosty’s Bar, Mr. Eds, Beer Barrel and Level 2 to find your island music venue.

Where to stay?

After a great day of island fun you may be interested in staying the night, check out our wonderful lodging options. During the season many places require a two-night minimum. From luxury put in bay hotels and resorts to Bed and Breakfasts, cottages to condos, inns and guesthouses, to camping in the wilderness, you can find it all on our website.