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Getting out of town for a waterfront island vacation doesn’t mean that you have to leave Ohio.
Put-in-Bay is one of the most beautiful regions in the entire state, offering water sports, outdoor adventures, historical tours, and of course, some good beach vibes. Located on South Bass Island, Put-in-Bay is just five miles south of the Canadian Border. There are several islands in the area, including Kelleys Island, which is also an incredible vacation destination.
When traveling up north to Put-in-Bay, what we’ll be affectionally calling PIB from here on out, you have two ways of getting to the island. One, you can drive your car to the Miller Ferry which departs from Catawba Island. It’s a quick ride to the ferry dock at PIB plus you can get great views of Lake Erie on your journey over by popping up to the top deck.
If you aren’t bringing a car, you can book a passage on the Jet Express. This passenger ferry leaves from Port Clinton and Sandusky and departs every 45 minutes.
Now that you know where you’re going and how to get there, let’s get into what you should do once you arrive in PIB.
Visit The Butterfly House
The Butterfly House at Put-in-Bay opened back in 2004, and it’s been wowing visitors ever since. The 4,000-square-foot aviary is home to over 50 different types of exotic butterflies from around the world. The flowers and bushes inside the aviary provide a lovely, fragrant environment for the butterflies to thrive. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a visit to the Butterfly House will cost you $10 for adults, $6 for kids ages 6-12, and kids 5 and under are free.
Kayak or paddle board your way around the bay
If you need to make a little time just for yourself and the lake, it’s worth it to rent a kayak or paddleboard and head out onto the water. At Put-In-Bay Watercraft Rentals, you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, jet skis, and even powerboats. They even have a Mammoth stand-up paddleboard that holds up to 7 people with a weight limit of 1200lbs! Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rental is open Memorial Day through Labor Day, and they tend to book up quickly, so don’t wait until the last minute.
Head to the top of Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial
Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is the 3rd tallest monument in the National Parks Service. Built in honor of those who fought in the Battle of Lake Erie, the monument has one of the best views in Ohio. Visiting the base of the monument is free, but if you want to head to the top, it’s $10.
Explore the Crystal Cave
Want to explore the world’s largest geode? Crystal Cave was discovered by workers in 1897 while they were digging a well for the winery above. The cave is much larger now than when it was first discovered, due to the harvesting of crystals for fireworks. Tours are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 6-11, and free for kids 5 and under. To view hours or buy tickets, click here.
Take to the skies at Put-in-Bay Parasail
If that sweeping view from the top of the monument wasn’t enough for you, then you may want to book a parasailing adventure. You’ll really be able to see PIB in a unique way, plus, you’ll get your adrenaline pumping.
Ready to get out there and explore Put-In-Bay? You can find a ton of additional info and resources at putinbay.com.
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