How far in advance should I make lodging reservations?
We suggest that you make your reservations very early in the year especially if your stay involves a weekend. Hotel rooms at Put-in-Bay are limited and booking early will help ensure that you get the dates you want. You may book online by visiting our lodging page and selecting the hotel or home rental of your choice. We have many to choose from!
Can I bring alcohol to my hotel room?
Of Course! All of the hotels featured on www.putinbayonline.com permit you to bring your own beverages to the privacy of your own room or rental home. You cannot bring your alcoholic beverages into any bars or poolside bars, however, as they are considered part of the liquor permit premises (kind of like a BW3’s outdoor patio).
ALWAYS be sure to ask your reservation agent when you book your room… as some hotels on the island do not allow you to bring alcoholic beverages on to their property. It’s better to ask BEFORE you book than to arrive and be disappointed (and have to dump out all of your alcohol).
There is no liquor store on the island but we do have the Park Drive Thru located next to the Boathouse on Hartford Avenue where beer and wine is generally the same state-minimum price as on the mainland.
What hotels on your website have pools?
ALL of the featured hotels have pools and tiki bars onsite, except for the Edgewater. The Put-in-Bay Condos is the island’s newest Condo-Hotel and newest pool. The Put-in-Bay Resort features the world’s largest Jacuzzi attached to a heated pool with a swim up bar. The Bay Lodging Resort features a Buckeye themed pool and bar. The Commodore Resort has the great MIST pool and cabana rentals. Guests of the Edgewater Hotel are welcome to use any of these facilities. Island Club Rentals guests also have their own pool located in the center of the community.
How do I get to Put-in-Bay?
The Jet Express departs from Port Clinton and Sandusky Ohio and offers high speed passenger ferry service directly into downtown Put-in-Bay Ohio. Children under 5 ride free with an adult. The ferry is handicap-accessible.
Should I bring a car to the Island?
Parking on the island is very limited and we do not recommend that you bring your car. In some cases you may wait as long as three hours in line to get a car on or off the island in peak season. All hotels and lodging featured on PutinBayonline.com are located close to or in the downtown area, where the fun is just a short walk away. Golf Carts, bicycles and mopeds are the primary means of transportation on the island and we rent them daily or hourly. You may reserve one for your trip by visiting our transportation page.
What time do the Put-in-Bay bars close?
Generally, most downtown bars close around 1:30 am to 2:00 am, just like the rest of Ohio. Bars on South Bass Island are licensed by the State of Ohio and all rules apply as elsewhere in Ohio. Underage drinking is strictly monitored.
Is a driver’s license needed to rent or operate a moped or a golf cart?
Yes! Golf Carts and mopeds are treated as licensed motor vehicles on the island. All State of Ohio traffic laws apply. This means you must have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance to operate any rented vehicle. Open container laws as well as driving under the influence laws are enforced by the local police quite strictly! Delaware Carts rents to licensed drivers over the age of 18. For those under 18 but holding a valid license, a parent or guardian may rent a golf cart for your use.
Do your hotels have a minimum stay?
On weekends, hotels require a two-night minimum. On holiday weekends such as Memorial Day , July 4th, Christmas in July, and Labor Day weekend there is a three-night minimum. Friday and Saturdays are considered weekend nights. There is no minimum stay requirement Sunday thru Thursday nights when Sundays are not on a holiday weekend. There are often discounts available for renting homes for multiple nights.
What is your weather like?
The weather at Put-in-Bay Ohio is like all of northern Ohio coastal communities. In Spring and Fall, a light jacket or sweatshirt is recommended for evenings. Dress is casual on the island so don’t worry about bringing a suit and tie. Current weather may be found online at www.weather.com. In the event you need a jacket or forgot a clothing item, our shopping page offers many local choices to buy what you may need and maybe find a new treasure.
May I walk from bar to bar with a drink?
No! Put-in-Bay is part of Ohio and all the same rules apply on the island as they do on the mainland. Open container violations are enforced and you may not possess any open alcoholic beverages outside of the establishment where it was purchased. Don’t ruin your vacation by getting arrested and having to come back for a court date.
What happens if I miss the last ferry?
Hotel rooms on the island can be difficult, if not impossible, to find at the last minute so this is not recommended! Be sure to check with your ferry boat operator as to their schedule and final departure of the day. Sleeping in the park is no longer allowed so make sure to give yourself plenty of time.
Do I need Ferry boat reservations?
It is not necessary to make advance reservations for the ferries. The boats can take over 300 people per trip if needed and both ferry operators operate several boats. The Jet Express does require a time ticket to board the ferry, so if you purchase a round-trip ticket please make sure to visit the ticket booth and turn in your voucher stub for a time ticket. Popular departure times in the late morning do sell out due to capacity control.
How do you get on and off the Island in the winter?
Put-in-Bay Ohio has an airport that is serviced by several commercial light aviation companies from both Sandusky and Port Clinton that fly into Put-in-Bay. They are able to transport between 1 and 15 people depending on the aircraft, as well as freight. The island is also serviced by airboats that move across water and ice. Four-wheeling across the ice is not recommended, but does happen when the ice is good.
How old do I have to be to rent a moped or golf cart?
You must be 18 years of age to rent or operate a moped. You must be 18 to rent a golf cart. You must be a licensed driver to operate a golf cart. These are the policies of Delaware Cart & Bike Rentals which adheres to Ohio State Law.
How far are you from Cedar Point?
Both ferry boat lines’ mainland terminals can be reached from Cedar Point in about 20 minutes. The Jet-Express offers ferry boat service from downtown Sandusky to downtown Put-in-Bay. There used to be a shuttle to Cedar Point from the Jet Express but it no longer runs.
When is Put-in-Bay open?
Put-in-Bay is open year round! However, our tourist season starts April 1st and our last big weekend is the Halloween weekend on the last weekend in October. In the off-season, activities include walleye and perch ice fishing. There is only one hotel open during the winter and that is the Bay Lodging Resort.
Are there schools on the island?
Yes there is! The school is grades K-12 and services students from South, North, and Middle Bass Islands. The graduating class varies between 4 and 12 students on average.
How can I find out what bands are playing on the island and when?
We have a comprehensive entertainment schedule posted HERE.
Can I walk from bar to bar with a drink?
NO! As anywhere in Ohio, we have an open container law. No alcoholic beverages may leave a liquor permit establishment. This is strictly enforced. It may feel like Key West or New Orleans, but it is still Ohio.
Do the docks take reservations?
The city docks downtown are on a first come, first served, basis for boat dockage. Park Place Marina accepts reservations for non-members on Sunday-Thursday.
Is there a grocery and a place to buy beer and wine?
Yes! There is a full service grocery and beer store on the island on Catawba Avenue. There is a drive thru with beer and wine located next to the Boathouse Bar and Grill on Hartford Avenue.
Where is the best place to eat?
That is a tough one! There are a wide variety of great dining choices on the Island that serve an even wider variety of food. While touring the island, stop in and look over the menus to determine your choice! Also, check out our Restaurants page to preview some of your dining choices.
How many people live on the Island in the winter?
There are about 480 full time residents on the Island.