Monday, April 23, 2012

Put-In-Bay Getaway!

Photos by OHventures

Why bother planning a Spring Break trip or a summertime vacation to far off places like Florida or Mexico, when you can take a getaway to Ohio's own Put-In-Bay? Put-In-Bay is an extremely popular tourist destination in Ohio that thrives during the months of April-October, which is prime season for outdoor activities like fishing, kayaking and swimming. It is located on South Bass Island in Western Lake Erie, and is a part of Ottawa County. The island is 12 miles from the Ohio mainland, and is the third largest Ohio island. Only about 150 people actually live on the small island, but many tens of thousands visit annually!

I recommend booking a hotel and staying at least one night so you can fully enjoy the nightlife and the true Put-In-Bay experience! Below is a list of 10 Things to do on a Put-In-Bay Getaway!

1. Ride The Ferry!: This is sort of a given! Since you cannot drive directly to Put-In-Bay, you will have to plan ahead and park your car on shore (or pay to have delivered on the ferry). The Jet Express Ferry leaves from both Sandusky and Port Clinton and is always a memorable ride! I have been to Put-In-Bay numerous times, and the ferry ride is always a highlight! However, the real fun begins when you arrive!

2. Rent a Golf Cart!: Renting a golf cart is the easiest, most fun and most popular way to get around the island. Odds are you did not pay to have your car delivered on the ferry, and that’s OK! Island goers (adults and children alike) are encouraged to travel by golf cart on Put in Bay. Not only do they get you from place-to-place, but you get to enjoy a different sort of transportation that is fun for everyone you’re with!


3. Climb Perry's Victory & International Peace Memorial: Perry's Memorial was erected in 1936 to commemorate one of the most significant events in the War of 1812, the Battle of Lake Erie. It is named after Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry who led the victory of the battle. This enormous memorial is a column stretching 352 feet into the sky, making it the tallest "Doric" column in the entire world, and fourth tallest monument in the United States. As of April 30, renovations will be completed and visitors will once again be able to climb to the top of the observation deck!

4. Taste Some Wine: The Heineman Winery at Put-In-Bay has got to be my favorite winery I have been to in Ohio. The fantastic wine offerings are due to Put-In-Bay's rich island soil that helps grow some of the highest quality grapes in the state. Daily tours are offered 11AM - 5PM in which you get complimentary samples of wine. The Pink Catawba is one of the most popular wines. I suggest you get a bottle of that and some of the others to stock up on, since getting to Put-In-Bay is not the easiest of trips.

5. Explore Crystal Cave: As its name suggests, it is a cave full of "crystals" (really, a blueish mineral called celestite) and is the largest geode (a rock cavity with crystals inside) in the WORLD. Most geodes you cannot even put your hand inside, yet this one you can WALK inside. You can get tours of this while also touring the Heineman Winery. This is truly one of the most unique attractions in the whole state!

6. Go Parasailing!: A lot of people are not aware of the opportunities that lay within Ohio for parasailing, but one of the only two locations in the state to do this commercially is right in downtown Put-In-Bay! For approximately $75, you can take part in this exhilarating activity that's both low risk and (relatively) low cost.

7. Kayak The Bay: Kayaking on the shores of Put-In-Bay is an activity that's fun for the whole family. You can rent a single or double kayak that can provide great exercise, great views, and an all around great time! Other floats and rafts are also available.

8. Imbibe at Beer Barrel Saloon: This fine facility features a 405 foot long bar, 160 bar stools, 56 beer taps and a seating capacity of 1200. It is known for being home to “The Longest Bar in the WORLD.” It winds and twists around continuously throughout the building, but still saves room for a fun dance floor and live entertainment. One of my personal favorite parts of any visit to PIB!

8. Mist Pool Bar: If the longest bar in the world isn't enough for you, you can also throw on your bathing suit and hop in the water to swim to the Mist Pool Bar. Complete with waterfalls, a DJ, cabanas, and live bands, this makes you feel like you're on a true spring break!

9. Dine on Some Fresh Fish!: While there are plenty of fantastic restaurants on the island, the best in my opinion is the Boathouse Bar & Grill, which has freshly caught Lake Erie fish! The perch sandwich, walleye chowder, and fish & chips are the absolute best around! The patio is also a great way to enjoy the breeze. There is also a great kid's menu available..

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