Have you ever found yourself sailing across the waters of Lake Erie on a double deck ferry, wind in your hair, headed for a little island called Put-in-Bay? Well, if you have or if you haven’t already been to the island, today’s post is all about why you should plan a trip to Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Plus, we’re sharing tons of Put-in-Bay activities that everyone can enjoy, so plan to bring the kids along too!
Many people say Put-in-Bay Island is just for adults, but families love it too!
If you’re not yet familiar with Put-in-Bay Island (also known as South Bass Island), it is an entertainment-filled travel destination just off the coast of Port Clinton, Ohio. Accessible only by boat, the Miller Ferry is a fun way to get your family and your car over to the island. However, while vehicles are allowed on the streets of Put-in-Bay, the most popular (and fun) way to get around the island is by golf cart! We rented our cart from E’s Put-in-Bay Carts and used it for a full day of exploration and mobility!
Be prepared for a full day of fun and discovery!
Fun attractions aren’t the only things you’ll find on Put-in-Bay Island, there are also beautiful waterfront views, photo-worthy food stops, gorgeous natural landscapes, and eclectic shopping experiences. It easily makes a whole day (or weekend) of fun!
While it’s true that the island atmosphere does lean itself towards the makings of a great adults-only getaway with wineries and sand-bottom bars, we found that our family fit right in during the day-time or weekday hours.
Play, Stay, Eat!
Planning ahead for our visit, I utilized the information on VisitPutInBay.com and created a list of everything we wanted to explore during our one day on the island. Below I have listed only the things that we were able to experience and enjoyed during our trip. If you have other places or things to add, please leave your suggestions for others in the comments!
Top Put-in-Bay Activities for Families
- Explore Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial
- This location is free to explore outside and in the lobby. However, tickets may be purchased to go further inside on a guided tour.
- Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center
- We spent most of our time playing at Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center! Here you can take a cave tour, climb a rock wall, play put-put, explore vintage automobiles, and wander a butterfly house! Each of these activities does require a purchased ticket, but family bundles are available!
- DeRivera Park
- Located in the shopping district, DeRivera Park is just a nice place to sit and enjoy the wave crashing in or for younger kids, there is a playground available.
- Maybe it’s just because I have older kids, but walking the stores along the boardwalk was high on everyone’s list! In fact, we spent a good portion of our day simply wandering the shops and seeing who could find the best Put-in-Bay souvenir!
- Take a Ride on the Golf Cart
- After we spent the morning walking around and having fun, the rented golf cart from E’s turned into the perfect level of entertainment! We buckled everyone in and took off on an exploration of the island, driving tree covered roads and finding beautiful lake-shore homes and campsites! In doing this, we found that the island has a very peaceful and natural element to it…
Put-in-Bay Food: Top Picks
Finding good food options is usually high on my priority list. Mainly because we have vegetarians in our family and because I’m super picky when it comes to quality! Therefore, these were our top picks from our visit:
- The Forge
- We chose this location because it was trendy, offered vegetarian options, and had an out-of-this world looking crepe menu! Our recommendation, get the S’mores crepe as dessert!
- The Candy Bar
- This is a fun, old-timey type candy store that is perfect for grabbing a few treats to take home! Just imagine walls of rock candy and some candies you may have never heard of before… that’s The Candy Bar!
Where to Stay: Family-Friendly Hotels near Put-in-Bay
We have yet to spend the night over on the island, and so far have chosen hotels in the neighboring city of Port Clinton, Ohio.
- Fairfield Inn & Suite Port Clinton Waterfront.
- Holiday Inn Express Port Clinton.
Nearby Ohio Adventures
Even more fun places to explore in nearby Ohio:
- Cedar Point Amusement Park
- Port Clinton, Ohio: 6 Fun Things to Do with Kids
- Castaway Bay Indoor Waterpark Resort
- Cleveland, Ohio: 5 Iconic Places to Take a Photo
Put-In-Bay Souvenirs: Send Someone a Little Love from Ohio!
We love these Put-in-Bay souvenirs! Plus, Amazon makes it easy to send someone you love a keepsake or reminder of their visit to the Island! Yes, these are Amazon affiliate links and if you click the link and make a purchase, you are helping to fund our next adventure and content! Thank you for your continued support! We cant do it without you!
Disclosure: This post includes some hosted activities to which we were provided free access. All opinions are our own.