12 Fun Things To Do At Put-in-Bay (and they are NOT all for kids!)

On South Bass Island, home to the tiny village on the island called Put-in-Bay lies a vacation destination with a wide variety of Things To Do that you might not have thought to be in the great State of Ohio. The Village is important for its historical background, as it served as a base of operations for the US Naval Commander, Oliver Hazard Perry during the War of 1812. You can find information about the island in our bubble life profile.

The village is now a popular summer vacation spot with resorts and recreational activities the main attraction. To get to Put-in-Bay, you can take an airplane and land at the local Put-in-Bay Airport. Or you can ride one of the two ferries that service the island. The Jet Express Ferry can also take you to Kelleys Island, Sandusky, Port Clinton, and Catawba Island. With many so many things to do on the island, it is worth a visit to learn and experience history. You can easily find map directions to Put-in-Bay here. 

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial – One of the Most Popular Things To Do At Put-in-Bay

The Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was built to commemorate peace after the War of 1812. The Battle of Lake Erie happened right next to South Bass Island. The memorial represents peace between Britain, Canada and the United States of America. Likewise, to order honor the soldiers who died during the Battle of Lake Erie. The memorial opens at 10 am and closes at 5 or 6 pm depending on the season. It is five USD. You can go to the top of the memorial and look out over the bay seeing ships come in. On a clear day, you can see Cedar Point and other mainland attractions.

The Bass Islands

South Bass Island is a small island in western Lake Erie in Put-in-Bay, Ohio. With there being three Bass Islands, South Bass island is the most southernmost and the third-largest island among the islands of Lake Erie. On the island, there is a park located on the top of the white cliffs. It is popular for recreation and is very popular with locals and visitors. During the summer you can picnic, camp, boat, fish and even go swimming. During the winter, you can ice fish and ice skate. Middle Bass Island also features a new marina and Ohio’s Newest State Park. North Bass Island, the least inhabited, still to this day grows grapes used to make Lake Erie’s famous wines.

 The Wineries Of Put-in-Bay – Tourists Flock To These Popular Things To do At Put-in-Bay

The Put-in-Bay Wineries invite you to learn about the grapes that make the wine in detail. Right from the moment the seed is sowed, through its growth cycle to being bottled and then to wine tasting. For those who enjoy wine, it is very interesting to learn all about the wine-making process. As a recommended attraction, you can enjoy a tour of the winery with a complimentary sample glass of wine. Relax here, enjoying wine and watching the Put-in-Bay harbor.

The Butterfly House

While you visit Put-in-Bay, you can visit the Butterfly House that is part of the Perry’s Cave Entertainment complex. Walk among hundreds of butterflies that have been brought to the island from Costa Rica and Malaysia. The butterflies enjoy their tropical home that was created to replicate the tropical climates they are found in originally.

When you enter, you can watch a short film giving details of a butterfly’s life cycle, showing the caterpillar hatching from a small egg before transforming into a butterfly inside a chrysalis. Watching the videos helps you appreciate and understand the butterflies and their life cycle. The Butterfly House is open from May through September, all days of the week from 10 am until 6 pm.

During October it is open on the weekend from 10 am to 5 pm. You can purchase combo tickets that allow you to check out the other 6 attractions at Perry’s Cave, such as the cave itself, the mini-golf course, a Rockwall, and Fort Amaze’n. The combo ticket costs 26 USD per person but individual tickets are also available; you can find further prices on their official website.

Perry’s Cave & Family Fun Center

On South Bass Island, there is a cave you can visit, called the Perry’s Cave. It is a registered Natural Landmark in Ohio, making it very important. It is a natural limestone cave that is an important part of history. The cave lies 52 feet (15.8 meters) below the surface of this Lake Erie Island South Bass Island. while touring the cave you will not only see stalagmites and stalactites but also the cave pearls on the walls. It is a favorite for Ohio Friends & Family to visit due to its war-related history.

The cave’s ceiling and the floor have an unusual appearance because of how it was created by a thick coating of calcium carbonate deposits over time, caused by water dripping from the ceiling. A rare underground lake was discovered in the cave and the temperature inside remains around 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) at all times during the year.

The Cave is open from May to September, seven days of the week 10 am to 6 pm, and during October is it open on the weekends from 10 am to 5 pm. You can buy the combo tickets that include the Butterfly House and the six other attractions all located on-site. For things to do at Put-in-bay this stop has the most options in one location.

 The South Bass Island Lighthouse – One Of The Most Popular Things To Do at Put-in-Bay

South Bass Island Light is the lighthouse located on the southern end of South Bass Island. The lighthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Built-in 1892, it is located on the rocky shoreline and is three-stories tall. It was built to help the growing number of traveling ships bringing tourists to the island safe. But the lighthouse is a sight for many tragedies, such as the suicide of the first lighthouse keeper. It is owned by the Ohio State University and is thought to be the only lighthouse in the United States to be owned by a university. Today, visitors are allowed to view the lighthouse only on specially arranged tours.

 The Chocolate Cafe & Museum – One of the Sweetest Things To Do At Put-in-Bay

The Chocolate Museum in Put-in-Bay is a must to visit for any person with a sweet tooth. Here you can learn about the history of chocolate, from where the cocoa beans grow, how it is made, and lots of other interesting information regarding chocolate. You can buy chocolate right at the museum, as well as some roasted coffee. Buy something for your family who has a sweet tooth that they are sure to enjoy. The museum is open from 8 am to 9 pm on weekdays, and 7 am to 9 pm on the weekends.

Rattlesnake Island An Island of Mystery

Rattlesnake Island is a large island located on Lake Erie near Put-in-Bay. It is one of the several islands that is part of the Lake Erie Islands, however, despite its large size, it is actually one of the smallest islands in the group. The island got its name for it is said that there are actual rattlesnakes that used to inhabit the island. But also of how it is shaped may have played a part in the naming process because it looks like a rattlesnake’s rattle. It is a peaceful and quiet place where bobwhites and seagulls outnumber humans. This private island is claimed to have a mysterious past with it’s groups of private owners.

 Gibraltar Island

Gibraltar Island, or the “Gem of Lake Erie,” is another island located in Lake Erie. Smaller in size, it is just offshore of South Bass Island. It is named after the Rock of Gibraltar in Europe because of how rocky it is. The island houses many historic buildings and research facilities. Tours of the island are available.

Lake Erie Islands Historical Association

The Lake Erie Islands Historical Society and Museum is located in downtown Put-in-Bay. There you can learn interesting information and history of the different islands of Lake Erie and their importance. As you visit, you can see important artifacts from Naval Officer Commander Perry’s Life, as well as many several other special items from Perry’s victory during the War of 1812. This museum is open every day from June to August and opens on the weekends during May and September. It is recommended to call before visiting during other times during the year. The fee for entering the museum is 3 USD for adults and 5 USD per family.

The Hiking Trails Of Put-in-Bay

On South Bass Island, there is a secret hiking trail right in Put-in-Bay. This short trail provides a pleasant walk that clocks in around 40 minutes through the woodland area. Birds and butterflies can be spotted here and this trail also leads to a  few small secluded beaches. It is shady and cool making it one of the best things to do at Put-in-Bay on a hot day.

There are two benches on the trail where you can rest and watch the wildlife. If you want you can bike the trail in about 20 minutes. It is recommended to spray yourself to ward off the bugs, and to take some water and a few snacks for a pleasant hike. With numerous trails and lengths, hiking offers many pleasant and unique things to do at Put-in-Bay.

The Aquatic Research Center

Put-in-Bay’s Aquatic Resource Center is an amazing place to learn all about the aquatic life and watersheds around the area. The kids can tag alone here as they can fish from the dock as the equipment is provided. It covers the history of the hatcheries that were operated on the island and when it became part of the Ohio University research unit. It is an interesting stop that removes you from the busy aspects of the island and lets you look at interesting fish and displays. You can also spot birds here and have fun feeding the fishes. The center is free to enter.

 Overall the island may appear to be a small village, but it is jam-packed with an interesting history and things to do at Put-in-Bay. Some funding for the expansion of island attractions was provided by The Call Up Contact people.

You can visit historical landmarks, go to wineries, and even learn while being there. You can visit the surrounding islands easily, and there is enough here to make nature-lovers happy. It is a special place to visit while traveling to Ohio. So, start making your plans to visit. You can read more about the author in my Yellow Pages profile