I love island hopping and when I have a full day of adventure ahead I try to plan out a bit of the day and let the rest just be gifted. Discovering each place we travel to is the gift of the day. In fact, sometimes we will see things that catch our attention and of course it gets placed on the ‘To-See’ list that day.
A great adventure begins knowing you are headed to a destination, the secondary part of traveling is looking at all the offerings of the area. Sometime I find it can get downright overwhelming to plan what to do before we get there, so I seek out top attraction lists.
Our trip to Put-In-Bay had me on overdrive as I looked at all the options for the day and then wheedled it down to what I consider to be the top attractions for Put In Bay. Lavishly live travel out loud, take a quick peek at some fun and historical travel options while you are on South Bass Island and in the village of Put-In-Bay.
Let’s just start at the beginning, our transportation was provided by Jet Express. We left from Port Clinton. We parked for free in a large parking lot because we were not staying overnight at Put-In-Bay. We headed to the Jet Express Guest Relations booth, got out tickets, and boarded a 45 minutes ferry ride to Put-In-Bay.
Along the way we stopped at Cedar Point to drop people off and we also headed to Kelley’s Island to pick up more passengers. All-in-all it was about 45-50 minutes. A few of my family sat below deck, my daughter and I sat up top to capture the fresh air and tons of photos!
Arrival Put In Bay
It’s simply gorgeous at Put-In-Bay and if you do nothing more than walk the island you will love your day, but that was not our plan. We cut through DeRivera Park, enjoying the hanging baskets and the essence of the village. I want to thank the Boardwalk, Reel Bar, Park Hotel, Heineman’s Winery, and Perry’s Cave for a fabulous day!
Our first destination was the Best Golf Cart Rental in Put In Bay, at the Park Hotel. You might remember from previous article we picked up our day transportation there. The golf cart makes it easy to get around the Island and it is the fastest way to get it all done and you can get to the top attractions in Put In Bay by driving your golf cart all around.
Top Attractions for Put In Bay
There is plenty to do on the island, in fact an over-night get away might be the best way to conquer it all at a leisurely pace. We literally took it head-on and moved it for the day. Getting there by 10:30 or so, grabbing the Golf Cart, figuring out what to do first, and then getting situated with the lay-of-the-land are all kind of are kill-times for the fun! My decision to post is to help each of you get good times out of your journey.
You can head to Put In Bay just to party, and I hear that weekends are all about this (sorry had the kids with me and did not get to experience that), or you can head over as a family, explore for the day and head back to your original destination.
While I was in line at the Jet Express, one local from Kelley Island advised to not bring children on the weekends as you ‘might have a lot of explaining to do’ – During the week, the vibe is eat, drink and be merry, and tourist it up! It is a fun experience and I would go again, the kids had fun, I enjoyed myself and it is so pretty and laid back!
Attraction: Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
If you just got off the Jet Express, and want to walk here, you get off, walk towards the village and hang a left. You won’t be able to miss this memorial as it stands Topinto the air and was kind of my marker all day long as I navigated the island. Touch either photo to see the Top of the awe-inspiring scenery we shot from the tippy top.
Photo opportunities here are amazing and I highly suggest tilting those phones from the ground up to get some fabu photos!. If you are a daredevil who loves heights, head to the top for a nominal fee of $5. We did! The view you will see is crazy wonderful and on a clear day, as we experienced you can see: Pelee Island in Canada, Kelley’s Island, North Bass Island, Middle Bass Island and even the Marblehead Peninsula.
If you just want to walk around the Memorial, on the steps, and inside the attraction is completely free. Don’t worry about parking, if there are not spaces, pull curbside, you will see many others doing this.
Background on Memorial
Time To Eat
We headed to the Best Food and Bar in Put In Bay as they are allergen friendly, have live entertainment (scheduled) and Perch Tacos to make your knees weak. After a meal it is time to go again and capture more of the Island and village.
Drive just a bit more on the same Avenue as the Reel Bar and head for 978 Catawba Avenue, Put-In-Bay, OH! Your destination a winery. Your tour cost to the Crystal Cave (which is a set of very steep stairs with a lovely cavern at the base) includes a token for wine crafted by the winery and a tour of the winery.
In Case You Are Curious
Overall the cave tour is about 5 minutes (once assembled) and the winery tour is about 10 – 15 minutes (if no one asks questions). Your longest wait may be for the tour to fill, or if the tour is filled and you have to wait for another. Our time spend there, outside of purchasing wine, and hanging a bit was about 1 hour. Please note we were here on a Tuesday and traffic is much lighter on the Island during the week as opposed to weekends. Times may vary, this was based on my experience.
It is a cool, crisp 52 degrees Fahrenheit in the cave, and tours seem to depart as they fill. We waited about 30 minutes between tours. After the Crystal Cave Tour, we visited the winery portion which offered us a look at the process of wine making and storage. The winery was not making wine that day so it was more of a tour of looking that a tour of seeing wine in progress.
At the conclusion of the tour you are given these tokens to cash in on wine samples and the opportunity to purchase wine. Did someone say purchase wine? The nice part of this is that they actually port the wine to your departing dock so you don’t have to tote it with you (do not leave wine in golf carts)! Mine was taken to the Jet Express dock area and when I got to the dock area, I went to guest relations and picked it up.
Right across from the winery is Perry’s Cave, so, if your kids are old enough, I might make the suggestion of bringing them there, providing them with passes to go crazy at the Butterfly house, War of 18 Holes of Miniature Golf, find their way out of Fort aMaze’n, Climb the Rock Wall or go Gem Mining.
Why? So you can enjoy your time at the winery and your wine tasting while they enjoy themselves in the perfect kid-friendly, family atmosphere.
Shop The Boardwalk
Head on over to the Boardwalk, where you can shop, drink, dine!
We shopped, because my daughter was looking for a particular shirt and she found it!
Don’t Forget Ice Cream
A few alleys away from the Park Hotel (where we got our Golf Cart Rental) you will find a fabulous Ice Cream stop. 4 Huge cones, 4 bottles of water, Under $20 and allergen friendly. Sorry I don’t know the name, but they are the only Ice Cream place there and you can’t miss it!
Make it to the docks about 15 minutes before your departure, IF you are ticketed already, and if you are not get there ahead of that by about 30 minutes. Enjoy your ride back to your original destination! Jet Express runs on time so we enjoyed this experience because we had to be somewhere after returning to Port Clinton! Lavishly live travel out loud and enjoy the Top Attractions for Put In Bay.