With every other vacation getting cancelled, I got to take the girlfriend to a location that I haven’t been to in about 15 years, and she (somehow) has never been to. The village of Put-In-Bay on South Bass Island, which is the third largest island in the Lake. The island itself is only about 3.5 miles by 1.5 miles, and about 3 miles from shore. It’s a popular vacation spot for people from Northern Ohio all the way over to the Eastern areas of Michigan.
The island is supported almost entirely by tourism, there’s less than 500 full time residents on the island. The tourism season is generally through April to October, and temporary workers are brought over to live on the island through the season. There are two active wineries on the island (including the oldest family owned one in Ohio), a brewery/distillery, and then quite a few bars and restaurants.
To get to the island, you’ll need a boat, a plane, or you can take one of the ferries that runs across. While you can take your car over to the island, it really isn’t recommended for visitors. Most of the people there navigate around on golf carts, bikes, or scooters. Now that all the boring stuff is out of the way, let’s get going to Put-In-Bay.
We left the Cleveland area Friday mid-morning, with plans to hit up a brewery on Catawba Island (actually a peninsula) for lunch. We got there, and were greeted by a large amount of open seating:
As you can see, they had no issue setting up tables with social distancing enforced. We did see some teenagers tossing a football around, and getting yelled at for not wearing a mask while doing so. Overall, this brewery (Twin Oast Brewing) does have a beautiful location:
They also have a winery license, and do meads and ciders. They’ve got several orchards set up and the peaches were just coming into ripeness).
After that, it was time to head up to get to Miller Ferry. This is the low cost, easy way to get over to South Bass Island ($7.50 per person each way). The Ferry takes about half an hour to get loaded up and across to the island.
At this point, you’re about two miles away from the Downtown Put-In-Bay area, you can either rent a golf cart ($40-$60 a day), walk it, or hire one of the taxis ($3 per person anywhere on the island). Once you get checked into your cottage/B&B/hotel/rental property, it’s time for the most common activity on the island, getting a beer (this one was the suggestion from the staff, a raspberry mocha stout):If you decided to rent a golf cart, you will find plenty of available parking for them (but be aware that you can and will get arrested with a DUI/OVI if you’ve been drinking).
Next time, I’ll talk about some of the history and family friendly things that you can do on the island, and I’ll leave you with this dapper statue.