Explore the Island Getaway in Your Backyard: Put-in-Bay Ohio


A big thanks to Miller Ferry, E’s Golf Cart Rental and Perry’s Cave and Family Fun Center for this great family trip to your backyard island getaway, Put-In-Bay Ohio.

Boardwalk PIB

Visit Your Backyard Island Getaway

There is no need for a passport for your island getaway, when you have a beautiful island like Put-In-Bay.  It is located in Ottawa County, Ohio. You can catch the Miller Ferry from Catawba, Ohio.

The ferry ride to the island takes about 20 minutes.  You do have the option to take your vehicle with you on Miller Ferry’s.  You can also take your bike as well. There is a great observation area you can climb up and take your photos from, so check into this.

miller ferry cars taking to put in bay island

What Is Put In Bay Like?

Being from Michigan, we find Put-In-Bay to be a mix of 3 Michigan attractions: Mackinaw Island, Leland and the Suttons Bay area all rolled into one island.  All these areas in Michigan are located in the Northern part of Michigan’s lower peninsula.

This means that there are a lot of shops that you can visit and get your souvenirs.  You can find delicious food, wineries and many things to see for everyone.

Getting Around The Island

golf carts on the island getting awayOnce you arrive, you walk up the hill (or request assistance to be drove up the hill) and it’s time to get your golf cart (unless your drove or brought a bike). It’s a long walk to get into town.  Rent a golf cart. You could take a taxi, but I find it’s more convenient to have a golf cart to drive around at my leisure and see everything.  Up the hill and around the corner to the right is E’s Golf Cart Rental.  They take reservations online.  I had receive a confirmation about my cart reservation, which makes the rental process quick and easy.  You do need to be 18 to drive a golf cart and show your valid driver’s license.  I find it easier to rent a golf cart, than drive a vehicle on the island.  Look for golf only parking.

What To Do on The Island

There are many things to do on the island.  Make a plan of what you want to do in advance and write it down or put a list of must do in your phone.  In the Summer time, Put-In-Bay has something going on just about every weekend, so pick the ones that work for you and plan your getaway.

We have a list of things we’ve done, you can check out as well.

If you have younger kids, you can let the blow off steam at the the DeRivera Park downtown.  There is a small swing set and green space you can have the run around. There is also a larger playground at the South Bass Island State Park that you can go to, without entering the park.

Joseph DeRivera in Derivera park

Tour At Your Own Pace

We went to Perry’s Cave and Family Center.  This place works well for my kids (ages 10 & 12) and we enjoy visiting every time we are here.  This time we went exploring in Perry’s Cave.  This is a 20 minute tour underground.  I recommend tennis shoes as it can be went walking and  you will want traction on your feet.  The tour was very interesting and we learned a lot about the limestone cave.  My kids came up from the tour and wanted to buy everything in the shop, so bring money, there are a lot of cool things in the shop to take home as souvenirs. And now we own all the geodes.

inside perrys cave

We divided an concurred the rest of the family center, exploring the Fort A’Maze’n and miniature golf.  We came back together and went and saw the butterflies in the garden.  This is one of our favorite things to see.  My son was disappointed no butterflies landed on him, but they were releasing new butterflies in the garden and they let my kids help release butterflies (they were super happy about this experience).

releasing butterflies

We toured and shopped down near the boardwalk.  There are lots of shops to get your souvenirs at and lots of delicious food to eat. There is even a shop for chocolate!

If you are interested in helicopter rides, they have that on the island as well as plane ride and many accommodations to stay on the island, including some fun bed and breakfasts.

downtown PIB

What is your favorite thing to see at this backyard island getaway? What do you want to see on your visit to Put-In-Bay? Get your #LakeErieLove on!

You don't have to travel far to find an Island getaway. in Ohio, Put-In-Bay is your backyard island getaway with lots to see and do.


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