Kelley’s Island has a lot of fun stuff, it is a great 2-day exploration ground. If you are a camping kind of family you will love Kelley’s Island State Park and you will probably stay more than 2 days.
This teen loved spending a full day and a 1/2 on Kelley’s Island and I saw a lot! Today, I will share with you the best teen exploration tips for Kelley’s Island. Share them with your parents so you can get the most out of your time there. If you have a bike and friends there, you can see a lot of this via biking.
From Glacial Grooves to a rock with history, you won’t lack for Snapchat and IG stuff trust me. Biking, hiking, pool time and just hanging out are what happens here. Get here by ferry and you can bring your car or not, your choice.
Teen Exploration Tips For Kelley’s Island
So here is what I know, Kelley’s Island pretty much stops the party for you at about 9p. It is a family island the resort we were at is like lights out at 9p, including down by the sidewalks. Dinner in the main part of the village (where all the boats come in and out of) is done at 7p so if you have not eaten at the most popular pizza and wing place (where the mini golf is) by then you are not getting dinner.
Something else, I am never too happy in crowds and that restaurant was elbow to elbow people annoying. Just saying! Bring food from the landside across with you because the restaurants are NOT where it is at.
Since we are talking about night time, let me clue you in on the best sunsets. Since sunsets are a big deal on Snapchat and IG for us, you might as well know where the best view of the setting sun can be. Head over to the West Bay Inn, you can park in their lot and walk right across the street. It’s a thing and lots of people do. This is not far from the port, but it is far enough you need transportation. Since it is the night a car will be your friend.
Get Your Day Started
If it is hot I totally suggest heading to East Quarry Trail at Horseshoe Lake early on. The hiking is too warm otherwise.
Umm, snakes, there are snakes! Bees, you will see plenty. Take water with you, wear sturdy shoes, not stupid flip flops like my sister does and get ready for fun.
Now, we were here in August, the water was at an all-time low, this is NOT what Horseshoe Lake normally looks like.
Next Stop Get To The Glacial Activity
Well, these are the Glacial Grooves, really! You know how this happened? Glacial activity from over 18,000 years ago. So the result is limestone bedrock with tons of fossils and deep deep grooves. Total science lesson as you walk and read. Pretty cool photo opps, but no great angle to really hit it home. #BucketList
Limestone bedrock with fossils & deep grooves caused by glacial activity around 18,000 years ago.
Nothing Like A State Park
You are literally across the street from the Kelley’s Island State Park. We visited here during the day to see all the people swimming and having fun. Then at night, we came back, totally different scene. During the day it is active, and fun, at night, all the campers are set up, and it is oddly quiet. Almost scary. Do it the way we did, to see both ways. There’s also a road up from this that is freaky at night, like a forest that is alive!
My mom has this thing that everywhere we go we have to learn a little bit about the history. This rock was the history it is called Inscription rock. I think she was expecting something a bit bigger, but we were relieved that this was the only ‘history’ lesson of the day! The rock is said to have been created between A.D. 1200 and 1600 so a cool artifact right?
Light Her Up
If you read this blog, you know my mom is addicted to lighthouses, so it is fitting we came here 2x in one day. Meet Camp Patmos Lighthouse by day!
Now, this was tricky, my mom wanted a pic of the lighthouse before it got dark, and we also had to get a picture of the sunset. We did both and they are on pretty polar opposite sides of the island. The island is not huge, but you can not speed. There are bikers, walkers, and did I say COPS. We saw the police more than we have anywhere. THere’s an airstrip there too, so when you drive through here you are getting close to the lighthouse.
By Night – Camp Patmos
There were deer and all kinds of things moving around at night, freaky! Remember we were only here for one night so we had to get a lot done! Also when you drive forward it is hard to turn around, so just know this. All part of the trips, and all the fun that goes with it.
Yeah, this is how we got around by day. We visited the ‘hot spots’ in this for about 4 hours or so, then we used the car (with headlights and windows) at night. Seriously the bugs do bite, there is water everywhere.
I do love the island life. It is quiet here. Definitely different than Put-In-Bay which we love. The thing is, it is just all outdoor fun and a great time with our parents. We saw a lot, did a lot and enjoyed it. If you can get to the places I named here, you pretty much have the island knocked off your bucket-list. Think of the island as a big circle, no matter where you drive you will just be circling and there is NO way to get lost.
Just so you know, the ferry runs till late. You can take the Kelley’s Island Ferry (for cars and people) this one takes you back and forth to the Marblehead area, or you can take Jet Express (mom prefers that one), back to Port Clinton. You can go from Put-In-Bay to here, or from here to Put-In-Bay, and you can see land on clear days from island to land, etc. It’s cool trust me. No matter how you get here just come!
These are my teen exploration tips for Kelley’s Island. Make sure you read where to find the Best Allergen Friendly Ice cream on the island which also means the best ice cream for everyone.
I am Niko Vento a teen travel writer, who has severe food allergies. Follow more of my adventures on my mom’s site (on my Tab Niko Travels) and Travel and adventure run deep in my veins. I write to share my triumphs in dining out with allergies and to share adventures that teens need to experience too! Want me to visit you and really tell your story? email me through my mom, of course, I’m just a kid firstname.lastname@example.org – Hope to see you soon. I am a #TMSJuniors travel writer