We may be a little biased, but here at Put-in-Bay Online, we think you should come and spend some time at beautiful Put-in-Bay Ohio. And if you’ve found your way here to this page, you’re already thinking about it. But you may be wondering what exactly there is to do at Put-in-Bay. You can find things down low in Perry’s Cave or up high on Perry’s Victory Memorial.
What makes this place worth spending your precious vacation time? Well, aside from the nightlife, famous all over the Midwest. And the acres and acres of incredible green spaces for the public to enjoy. And the calendar full of exciting Put-in-Bay upcoming events. Well if somehow those things aren’t enough for you, just read below about all of the amazing things to do at Put-in-Bay!
The Aquatic Visitors Center is made possible via the Ohio Sea Grant. This freshwater field laboratory is owned by The Ohio State University. Guests can expect an informative visit at this Put-in-Bay attraction. Learning and having fun together.
Aquatic Center History
Here, the State of Ohio used to use this building as a Fish Hatchery. This occurred between 1907 through 1988. Consequently, this is part of the oldest freshwater field station in the United States. Stone Lab operates in with this center. It is located on Gibraltar Island. Over the 80 years, the hatchery raised many fish species. Walleye, whitefish, herring, perch, steel head, chinook salmon and coho salmon were among the varieties.read more
760 Bayview Avenue, The Ohio State University Stone Laboratory Peach Point Campus, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, USA
The Butterfly House on Put-in-Bay is a magical place for the whole family. Step inside and get surrounded by butterflies. Also, take in the lovely grounds inside this favorite island attraction.
Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center is home to the Butterfly House. Furthermore, this complex includes many other great activities on Put-in-Bay. Moreover, guests can opt to purchase a package to do several in one visit. Also, the Put-in-Bay Tour Train makes stops here. The tour train is a great way to see a large portion of the island. Most importantly, the guides tell guests about island life. Also, they expand upon the rich history of the Lake Erie Islands. So, the Tour Train is worth checking out. Choose from other great activities at Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center. Below is a list of other fun options.read more
979 Catawba Ave, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, United States
The Chocolate Cafe and Museum is one of the tastiest attractions on Put-in-Bay. Here, guests can learn about the process of making this favorite treat. Also, guests can browse the antique memorabilia inside the store. Moreover, exhibits and displays are quite interesting. Indulge in tasty chocolate and gain knowledge on the process of production.
Crystal Cave is a geological treasure on Put-in-Bay. It is home to the World’s largest geode. Strontium sulfate lines the walls of this beloved cave. The site is surely one not to miss out on.
Originally, workers discovered the cave while digging above in 1897. They were working 40 feet above when the Earth fell into the cavern. Today, the cavern is much larger than what these men discovered. The crystals were once harvested to aid in the production of fireworks. Consequently, the cave grew in size. Now, the crystals in the cave range from 8 to 14 inches.
An interesting aspect of Crystal Cave is how it prevented Heineman’s Winery from closing. During Prohibition, it became increasingly difficult to stay open. Fortunately, the Crystal Cave tours helped to keep the business afloat. Interestingly, there were many more wineries on the island prior to Prohibition. However, they did not have a tourist attraction like this to aid them. Consequently, the other wineries were forced to close. Thankfully, the great island tradition of wine making continues with the Heineman family.read more
978 Catawba Avenue, Put-in-Bay, Ohio 43456, United States
Fort Amaze’n is a challenging maze located at Perry’s Family Fun Center. Here, guests can try their best to make it through the maze in good time.
Fort Amaze’n Location
This fun Put-in-Bay Attraction is on Catawba Avenue. Heineman’s Winery and Crystal Cave is right across the street. There are several other great things to do at this location. Moreover, Perry’s Family Fun Center has activities for all ages. Options include Perry’s Cave, the Butterfly House and Gem Stone Mining. Moreover, families can opt to purchase a combination pack of attractions. This affords the opportunity to participate in several activities for one low price.read more
979 Catawba Ave, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, United States
Become a Put-in-Bay prospector at Gemstone Mining. After purchasing a bag of rough mix, guests can sift through to find treasures. Inside, there are real gems and fossils. So, dig right into this fun thing to do in Put-in-Bay.
Gem Stone Mining Location
Finding this location is a breeze. This attraction and several others are located at Perry’s Family Fun Center. Here, guests can choose from a variety of fun attractions. The Butterfly House is onsite and teeming with a large assortment of creatures. Fort Amaze’n is ready to challenge the best of navigators. Go underground to Perry’s Cave and see where Oliver Hazard Perry gathered water for his men. Regardless, much fun is to be had.read more
979 Catawba Ave, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, United States
The Lake Erie Islands Historical Museum aims to preserve the history and traditions of Put-in-Bay and other islands. They strive to educate and enrich the community. Moreover, donations completely fund their efforts. So, come and learn about the Lake Erie Islands and help a great cause.
Historical Museum Location
The downtown Put-in-Bay area is home to this museum. The location is on Catawba Avenue. The Put-in-Bay Police Department and Town Hall are in the front of the property. Additionally, the Put-in-Bay Brewing Co. and Old Forge Restaurant are directly in front of the museum. The vast majority of Put-in-Bay Restaurants, Attractions and Shopping are just a short walk away.read more
Heineman Winery is a Put-in-Bay island tradition dating back over 125 years. Here, guests can get a taste of the Lake Erie Islands. Heineman’s is the only winery on the island that makes the wine they sell.
Heineman Winery History
An immigrant from Baden, Germany, Gustav Heineman founded the winery in 1888. The optimal soil conditions made South Bass Island a hotbed for grape growing and wine production. Moreover, at this time there were many wineries on the island. In fact, by 1900, there were 17 wine producers. However, change was on the horizon. After the passage of the Volstead Act, the sweeping reforms of Prohibition hit the wineries hard. Fortunately, Heineman Winery was able to survive. They did so by offering tours of Crystal Cave, located under the winery. This cave boasts the World’s largest geode. Here, guests can tour the cave. Interestingly, the crystals were once harvested for firework production. Consequently, the size of the cave grew over the years. Additionally, the family sold grape juice and provided taxi service to Crystal Cave.read more
978 Catawba Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, United States
The location of this activity is on Bayview Avenue, near Oak Point State Park. So, just head North down Catawba Avenue and turn left at the Boardwalk Restaurant. After passing the Put-In-Bay Winery, Crew’s Nest and Miller Marina, the kayaks are just around the corner.
There are both sit in and sit atop kayaks available for rental. Also, the company has a large number of vessels, so groups are welcome and encouraged to take part. They will even setup a guided tour. This will ensure your group will get the most of the experience. Furthermore, the guides will point out areas of interest during the paddle. There are many beautiful sights to see from the perspective of Lake Erie. The limestone cliffs of Gibraltar Island are sure to delight. The Ohio State University owns this island. Here, they conduct freshwater research that aids in preserving the Great Lakes for future generations.read more
Kimberlys Carousel on Put-In-Bay is a lovely fixture of the downtown area. Here, guests can enjoy a ride on one of the few remaining carousels of its kind. The joyful music resonating from this Put-In-Bay attraction is iconic.
Kimberlys Carousel Location
The location of this attraction is prime. Delaware Avenue is home. Furthermore, from the Jet Express boat terminal this attraction is a short walk. Also, the lovely DeRivera Park is just across the street. This park was bestowed to the island by it’s founder, Jose DeRivera. Multiple play areas, picnic tables, fountains and more highlight this space. Lastly, the Candy Bar is next door.read more
160-196 Delaware Avenue, Put-in-Bay, OH 43456, USA
When it comes to things to do at Put-in-Bay, the only problem you will have is how to get as many as possible into your vacation time! There’s so many different attractions for so many different hobbies. You could check out a history museum, play a round of golf, visit a park. Whatever your interests, and however you like to spend your free time, Put-in-Bay doesn’t just have one thing for you, it has scores! What are the top things to do in Put-in-Bay? Every attraction in Put-in-Bay is a great thing to do!
Visitors come from all over the United States, but most come for a local staycation. You can make it a multi-stop vacation as you explore Toledo, Port Clinton, Catawba Island, and Cleveland either before or after your island visit. Many families also stop at Cedar Point Amusement Park for a day of roller coaster fun and thrill ride adrenaline!
Shopping at Put-in-Bay
Put-in-Bay shopping is incredible. You can literally shop until you drop! The main street downtown is loaded with all kinds of unique shops where you can buy gifts for your friends and family back home. Or just scoop up a bunch of stuff for yourself! We’re not here to judge. The island stores have a little something for everyone.
From nautical themed decorations, to Put-in-Bay branded novelty clothing, and even wine that is made, from vine to bottle, at Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island, you won’t believe all of the things that you’ll find in this shoppers’ paradise! Del Sol is famous for their line of clothing, jewelry, and nail polishes that change colors in the sun. Also try out the new Local Color shop down by the Jet Express and Keys.
Pool Bars: A Put-in-Bay Classic
One of the things Put-in-Bay is most famous for is its pool bars. Nowhere else in the northern half of America is more synonymous with the pool bar. When you swim up and order a cold beverage to enjoy without even leaving the pool, you’ll think you’re hanging out on South Padre Island, not in the middle of Lake Erie! This is of course for adults only, but if you are an adult, even if you aren’t a big partier, we recommend you check a pool bar out, if only for a minute, because it’s a totally unique experience you’ll likely never get again!
Are there public swimming pools on the island? Yes, all hotel and resort pools on the island are open to the public. A notable exception is the Crews Nest pool and kids complex, but that is a private members-only club. Bring a towel and your bathing suit; you will have fun. Call a Put-in-Bay Taxi to get you from your rental home to downtown quickly.
Family Fun at the Bay!
But Put-in-Bay isn’t all about the party scene, far from it. During the week Put-in-Bay is a relaxing haven for vacationers of all ages to kick back and decompress for a few days. And Put-in-Bay has all of the family activities needed to fill the time, and then some. You can also filter our attractions to only family/all-ages attractions. Grab an ice cream cone at the Chocolate Museum or explore the world’s largest geode in the Crystal Cave.
Kids will spend lots of time at Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, one of the hottest Put-in-Bay attractions. Here they can climb a rock wall, go down in a cave, and do some gemstone mining. More mellow kids can tour the Butterfly House, check out the antique car museum, and play a round of putt putt mini golf (aka miniature golf). No trip to this center would be complete with challenging yourself in Fort Amaze’n.
The one thing that every Put-in-Bay visitor of any age should do is visit the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and National Park Visitor Center. This is Put-in-Bay’s most famous landmark and with good reason! You can learn about Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, the War of 1812, and the Battle of Lake Erie while having fun. Come during Pyrate Fest for some awesome reenactments!
Beautiful Lake Erie Ohio
This is all leaving out perhaps the greatest draw of Put-in-Bay Ohio, its beautiful surrounding waters. The harbors are filled with boats, and you can join them out on the water on a jet ski, or in a paddleboard to explore the Lake Erie Islands. You can also sail high above them all while parasailing!
Or you can hop onto a downtown Put-in-Bay charter and enjoy some of Put-in-Bay’s incredible fishing out on the lake. Put-in-Bay attracts hoards of professional and amateur anglers in the spring for the Walleye spawn, which is the most abundant in the world. You can even catch great fish from the pier out at the South Bass Island State Park. The catch remains great all year long so don’t fret if you’re joining us in the fall!
What to Ride at the Bay
There are so many things to do in Put-in-Bay, all over the island that you will need to get there somehow. So how do you get here? Take a Put-in-Bay ferry! Boat to the island on the Miller Ferry or Jet Express. Easily call a Put-in-Bay taxi to get you to and from (419-285-5466). Get a Put-in-Bay golf cart rental for sightseeing. Leisurely explore Put-in-Bay island on the tour train. Go kayaking to Gibraltar Island downtown in a kayak rental. Jet Ski out from Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rentals at the State Park. Go round and round riding the carousel. Ride high at the Put-in-Bay Airport. Float aloft while parasailing over Put in Bay harbor. Do it all!
Our favorite Put-in-Bay Resorts are the Island Club and Bird’s Nest Resort. Our Favorite Put-in-Bay Hotels are the Commodore and the Grand Islander. We also have Condos and Bed and Breakfast’s. The best B&B is “Peace and Quiet” while the best condos are the Put-in-Bay Waterfront Condos
Put-in-Bay Has It All!
The wonderful thing about Put-in-Bay is how much variety is squeezed into our tiny little slice of heaven. Whether you’re coming to have a party, to have a relaxing getaway, to soak up the sun, catch some waves, or land the big one, Put-in-Bay is the perfect place for your summer vacation!
What is the best Put-in-Bay Attraction? That really depends on what you like to do. Send us a note and tell us what YOU think is the best Put-in-Bay attraction! Your vote will help in choosing this year’s Best of the Bay award winner.