Filled with history and island charm, Put-in-Bay is a great place to enjoy a day getaway or a week of relaxation. This seasonal island boasts attractions, unique restaurants, outdoor adventures, a glimpse of American history and so much more.
Things to do on Put-in-Bay
Aquatic Visitor’s Center
878 Bayview Dr., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
Open mid June thru mid August | 10am-5pm
The center offers guided tours of the historic fish hatchery. Learn about Lake Erie, view live fish, and for kids 16 yrs. and under there is an opportunity to fish.
Butterfly House at Put-in-Bay
979 Catawba Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.2446 | website
Admission: Adults $10 | Children 6 to 12 $6 (2021 prices)
Open Memorial – Labor Day
Step inside the 4000 sq. ft. aviary and enjoy over 50 different types of exotic butterflies as they take flight around you. The Butterfly House also offers an additional area for shopping. If you love butterflies, this is your store.
Chocolate Cafe & Museum
Catawba Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.734.7114 | website
If you are in need of a chocolate fix, this is the place. Fine chocolates, coffee, desserts, and a selection of ice creams are available. The museum offers free tours in the chocolate museum.
Heineman Winery & Crystal Cave
978 Catawba Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.2811 | website
Heineman’s Winery has been producing wines since 1888. Their selections include red, white, sparkling, desert wine, and even grape juice. So if you are bringing the kids along there is something for them too. The winery offers tastings, and a cheese plate to enjoy with your wine. There is indoor seating and outdoor seating in their wine garden. The winery is also home to Crystal Cave. (see above for information about the cave)
Crystal Cave is the world’s largest geode and is about 12 to 15,000 years old. The cave is covered in celestite crystals. The tour includes history of the cave and an explanation of how the crystals were formed. To view a video about the cave click here.
Kayak the Bay
Bay View Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.967.0796 | website
Seasonal and weather permitting.
They offer sit inside or sit on top kayaks. Guided tours are offered. See their website for additional information. If you hit the water, make sure you check out the Benson Ford Ship House.
Kimberly’s Carousel *
160 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.2212 | website
Built in 1917, and restored to it’s glory by Islander George Stoiber, this Herschel carousel is the country’s oldest original carousel. Tickets can be purchased at the Carriage House next door.
Lake Erie Islands Historical Society Museum
411 Catawba Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.2804 | website
The museum showcases island history. The museum also has a resale and thrift shop.
Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center
255 Meechen Rd., Put-in-Bay. OH 43456
419.285.3037 | website
Self-guided or narrated tours are offered of this indoor collection of over 240 North American fish, mammals, and birds. Located also on the grounds is a butterfly garden, frog pond, and nature trail.
Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center
Catawba Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.2283 | website
Open May through mid-October | 10am-5pm
Go down under and view a natural limestone cave 52 feet below the surface, then take in a little rock climbing, go gemstone mining, play a round of 18-hole miniature golf, or find your way out of the giant maze. There is even an Antique Car Museum. The perfect place to take kids.
Additional admission required for other attractions. You can purchase combo and super combo tickets which are all-inclusive and include The Butterfly House. See their website for more details.
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
Managed by the National Park Service
93 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456
419.285.2184 | website
Admission: Free of charge to the visitor center.
The visitor center offers a wealth of information about the war and about the monument. Throughout the summer season the National Park Service employees put on demonstrations, special tours, and special events.
329 Bayview Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.3343 | website
Open April – October – weather permitting
Located in the historic Valentine Doller Estate, this winery offers wine tasting, and beautiful views of the harbor from the front porch and front patio area. There selection of wines include a variety of dry and sweet wines.
South Bass Island Lighthouse
878 Bayview Dr., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.1800 | website
Tours: Check website for dates.
Catawba Ave., just west of Concord Ave.
Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
If you are looking for a nice area to take a hike, Cooper’s Woods offers hiking trails through its 18-acre park.
Oak Point State Park
Western end of Put-in-Bay Harbor, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.32112 | website
Oak Point State Park is the smallest of Ohio’s State Parks. It is however a great place to enjoy a picnic and take in the views. Public restrooms are available. The park also offers facilities for boaters to dock their boats at a daily rate.
South Bass Island State Park
1523 Catawba Ave., Put-in-Bay. OH
Park Office: 419.285.2112 (seasonal) | East Harbor: 419.734.4424
Reservations for camping: 866.644.6727
Not only can you view beautiful sunsets from the State Park, you also take a photo next to the new Put-in-Bay sign located in the park. The perfect spot to grab a sunset selfie photo.
Village of Put-in-Bay Beach
East end of Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
This park overlooks the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. If you want to enjoy a little toe time in the water, at this sandy beach you will find access to the water and a picnic area.
Additional outdoor island areas include:
- Jane Coates Wildflower Trail
- Massie Cliffside Preserve
- Scheef East Point Preserve
- Dodge Woods StoryWalk Trail
- DeRivera Park – Downtown
5174 E. Water St., Port Clinton, OH 43452
419.285.2421 or 800.500.2421 | millerferry.com
Passenger/ Car ferry service to the Lake Erie Island of Put-in-Bay (South Bass) and Middle Bass Island, Ohio depart from Catawba, the tip of Rt. 53 N. off Rt. 2. Enjoy an 18 minute ride to Put-in-Bay, ferries depart every half hour in summer, we offer free parking, plus children 5 years and younger ride free.
Transportation: Put-in-Bay (South Bass) and Middle Bass Island
Docks: Port Clinton and Sandusky
419.732.2800 | website
Getting around the island:
E’s Put-in-Bay Golf Carts
2190 Langram Rd., Put-in-Bay, OH
419.285.5553 | website
Visit their website for pricing information and requirements. Note: They do offer a Miller Ferry/Golf Cart Combo.
Erie Island Carts
1961 Langram Rd. and Put-in-Bay Airport, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456
419.285.5278 | website
Island Transportation Train Depot & Bus Stop
154 Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay, OH
419.285.4855 | website
Open Memorial Day (5/29/2021) through Labor Day
The train offers a one-hour narrated, historical tour. Stop-off privileges are available at various locations. Visit their website for tour prices.
Island Club Taxi Service
419.285.5466 | website
Boathouse Cart and Bike Rental
Hartford Avenue, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456
419.285.2113 | website
READ OUR MY OHIO FUN ROAD TRIP NOTES:
Escape During the Week to Put-in-Bay
“When is the best time to visit Put-in-Bay?”
Weekdays! I especially like the middle of the week. There are plenty of things to do and you avoid the weekend crowds. Allowing for more relaxing days of #islandtime.
CLICK HERE to read more.