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7 Fun Things To Do On A Weekend Getaway To Kelleys Island

If you’re on the hunt for a place that offers a perfect blend of history, nature, and peace, then I’d like you to point your eyes in the direction of Kelleys Island.

This quaint island in Lake Erie isn’t just a spot on the map; it’s a portal to the past, a haven for wildlife, and a slice of paradise for those looking to unwind. Ready to explore? Here’s your friendly guide to enjoying all that Kelleys Island has to offer.

The History of the island

glacial grooves at kelleys island
The Glacial Grooves at Kelleys Island.

Kelleys Island, often referred to as Lake Erie’s Emerald Isle, has a deep history that dates back to its days as a sacred site for the indigenous peoples. Archaeological finds show that Native Americans valued this island for thousands of years before European settlers turned it into a hub for quarrying by the 19th century. As you wander the island today, you’re truly walking through history, with each step telling a story of times long past.

Arriving and Getting Around

ferry to kelleys island
via Facebook

Your adventure begins with a scenic ferry ride from Marblehead or Sandusky, offering breathtaking views of Lake Erie as you approach the island. Once you dock, the pace slows down—most visitors love exploring by rented golf carts, bicycles, or simply by strolling around. It’s the best way to soak in the island’s serene atmosphere and charming landscapes.

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Must-Visit Spots on Kelleys Island

kelleys island
Inscription Rock on Kelleys Island.

1. Glacial Grooves State Memorial
These fascinating geological formations are a must-see. The grooves are natural records of glacial movements, deeply carved into limestone and offering a unique glimpse into the island’s ice age history.

2. Kelleys Island State Park
This is your go-to for a day of relaxation or exploration. Whether it’s hiking, swimming, or bird-watching, the park’s diverse environments make it a favorite among all visitors.

3. Charles Herndon Sculpture Garden
Immerse yourself in the local art scene with a visit to this outdoor gallery, where sculptures blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings.

4. Kelleys Island Historical Association
Delve into the island’s layered history here, from prehistoric times to the present day. It’s a treasure trove for history buffs!

5. Scheele Preserve
A serene spot for nature lovers, this preserve is ideal for observing the island’s flora and fauna, especially during the migratory bird seasons.

6. Quarry Rim Trail Loop
Take a leisurely hike around an old limestone quarry. The trail is not only a great way to stretch your legs but also offers educational stops that illustrate the island’s quarrying days.

7. Inscription Rock Petroglyphs
Check out these ancient artworks etched into limestone by Native American tribes, providing an incredible connection to the island’s earliest inhabitants.

Where to Stay

west manor kelleys island
West Manor, via Facebook

Kelleys Island Venture Resort offers comfortable accommodations and easy access to the island’s main attractions. For a more rustic experience, Kelleys Island State Park Campground lets you sleep under the stars. Looking for something cozy? Waters Edge Retreat and West Manor provide charming options for a relaxing stay.

Why Visit Kelleys Island?

kelleys island lake erie
via Facebook

Every corner of Kelleys Island is imbued with charm, from its historical roots to its peaceful natural settings. Whether you’re seeking a quiet weekend away or an active holiday filled with hiking and history, Kelleys Island is such a welcoming spot. So, why wait? Kelleys Island is just a ferry ride away, ready to be explored by you!