Put-in-Bay located in the shallow western end of Lake Erie amongst a group of 20 or more islands. Put-in-Bay or South Bass Island, as it is also called, served as the base of operations for Oliver Hazard Perry. It was from the harbor called Put-in-Bay that Perry sailed to defeat the British fleet under Robert H. Barclay in a fierce battle on the water during the war of 1812.
The American victory in the battle of Lake Erie gave the country and the United States Navy a memorable slogan of positive accomplishments, “We have met the enemy and they are ours…” Today there stands at Put-in-Bay a beautiful Greek Doric column, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. This 352-foot granite shaft commemorates not only a naval battle but a peace that has lasted for more than 150 years of Put-in-Bay history.
The 3,987-mile boundary between the United States and Canada is the longest unguarded international border in the world. The Monument is open for visitors and features an elevator that takes visitors to the top where an observation deck affords spectacular views of Lake Erie and on a clear day the Skylines of Detroit and Toledo.
The brigs, ships, and sloops with their long guns and carronades that once graced Put-in-Bay are gone.
Their place has been taken by yachts and sailboats. Many captains of these pleasure craft plot a course for South Bass Island seeking relaxation from the tensions of the city. Others — yachtless landlubbers — board, the Put-in-Bay Ferry or airplanes for their trip to an island in Ohio’s Lake Erie vacationland, Urban and rural tourists, have been coming to the Put-in-Bay for over 100 years. They tour the island on Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Rentals which serve as the principal method of getting around on the island.
From the top of the Perry Memorial, visitors can observe the site of the Battle of Lake Erie. They can also probe the depths of the caves, bicycle around the island, or sip locally produced wine or grape juice.
In the late 1800s, large steamships brought tourists to Put-in-Bay
In its heyday, around the 1850s to the 1900s, several steamships, some holding up to 1.500 passengers, serviced the island regularly. Tourists were treated to a variety of hotels, including 300 x 600-foot Hotel Victory with 625 guest rooms, at that time the largest resort hotel in America featuring the first coed swimming pool. Elaborate ceremonies were planned for the laying of the cornerstone of The Victory.
Seven steamboats brought over 8,000 people to the island. The Beebe house with a wide hall running 500 feet through the center had a dining room that could seat nearly a thousand diners. The hotel alone could house over 800 persons.
South Bass Island has been a summer resort for more than 100 years. Today Put-in-Bay is a vibrant tourist resort complete with bars, restaurants, boating, fishing, a monument, caves, and much more. Modern Put-in-Bay Hotels and Resorts offer visitors comfortable lodging accommodations, with some featuring popular swim-up bars and Caribbean themes. For more information on Put-in-Bay, we suggest you visit the Put-in-Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau website. For information on getting to the Put-in-Bay Ferry, The Jet Express, please visit our maps page
Additional information about the How to Get To Put-in-Bay The Jet Express, our history, and Ferry Boats can be found here
For a photo tour of our vessels and Put-in-Bay, be sure to stop by our Put-in-Bay Photos page. If you need further assistance, please contact us for answers to your questions about Put-in-Bay!
Top 5 Tips For Visiting Put-in-Bay
Be sure to book your golf cart rental online before arriving as most rentals are sold out daily.
Pack lightly, there is a grocery store, carry out, hardware store, and many more options should need something.
Pack a Jacket in the Spring & Fall months. It can be chilly in the morning & evening.
Book your Put-in-Bay Hotel Reservations far in advance by calling 888-742-7829
Relax & Enjoy!