The South Bass Island Lighthouse greets visitors arriving on the southern point of the island from the Put in Bay ferry. First lit in 1897, this important part of Put-in-Bay’s history is much the same as it was when it was first built.
One of the many things to do in Put in Bay includes touring the lighthouse. However, with its location on the very southern tip of the island, there are not many other Put in Bay attractions close by. If you plan on touring the lighthouse, a golf cart is a good way to get there. After your tour, grab a drink at Joe’s Pub or a full gourmet meal at Goat Soup and Whiskey. The South Bass Island State Park is another popular attraction to check out. The famous Put-in-Bay sign is found there.
South Bass Island Lighthouse Tours
Besides alerting ships to the presence of South Bass Island, the lighthouse is also open for tours on select dates from June to October. Contact the Stone Lab Bayview office to schedule groups tours available from April to November. The lighthouse is operated by the Ohio Sea Grant.
Visitors learn about the area’s history, the ecology of the surrounding area, and the story of the lighthouse. They then head up the stairs to the top of the lighthouse to take in stunning views of Lake Erie and the surrounding region.
The grounds are open to the public from dawn to dusk. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the lighthouse is occasionally closed for private events.
The Ohio Sea Grant operates the lighthouse. This vital organization also runs the Aquatic Visitors Center, Gibraltar Island, and Cooke’s Castle, which is also located on Gibraltar.
They also lead the way in the important research conducted at Stone Laboratory where students from Ohio University study in fields such as oceanography and biology during the summer.
The History of the South Bass Island Lighthouse
The history of the South Bass Island Lighthouse is indeed fascinating. Originally planned for the northern tip of the island, Lieutenant Charles T. Platt made the decision the southern tip would be much more effective. He even carved “LH” into a tree at the site.
Funds were requested in 1890 by the United State Lighthouse Board but it took almost seven years to raise the necessary funds of $8600. The design of the lighthouse is somewhat unusual. It consists of a two-story, red brick building attached to the twelve-foot square tower. It stands forty-five feet tall and topped with a fourth-order L. Sautter & Cie., Fresnel lens that produces a fixed red light by using a ruby chimney in its lamp.
The lighthouse, which opened to the public in 2007, is now home to home to OSU research and academic staff.
Your Welcome To The Bay
The South Bass Island Lighthouse is one of the landmarks of the southern tip of the island, which, if you take the Miller Ferry, will be your gateway to the Bay. You will also be able to see the Put-in-Bay Waterfront Condos, and of course, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial towering above it all! It’s a perfect way to say hello to Put-in-Bay, and we hope to see you there soon!
If you plan on staying overnight here at the island, don’t delay, because our Put in Bay resorts, condos, and rentals fill up fast. There are plenty of Put-in-Bay hotels and vacation rentals to choose from. One of the best options is the Island Club. These rental homes are perfect for all group sizes. They also offer golf cart rentals which is very convenient. Check out the lodging options and take a ferry to visit Put in Bay today!
Other Put-in-Bay Attractions and Things to Do
Getting to your Put-in-Bay vacation destination is extremely easy. There are two Put-in-Bay ferries that come and go from the island. The Jet Express has ports the disembark from Port Clinton and Sandusky. The other option is the Miller Ferry which disembarks from Catawba Island. Make sure to grab a island guide as leave the ferry. There will be Put-in-Bay golf cart rentals and Put-in-Bay taxis available once you arrive.
There are so many upcoming events on Put-in-Bay Island that there is something for everyone. Whether you are visiting for a family getaway or bachelorette party, South Bass Island has what you are looking for. One of the more popular Put-in-Bay events of the summer are the Civil War reenactments. Make sure to stop by the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society after to learn about Oliver Hazard Perry and the Battle of Lake Erie.
Perry’s Family Fun Center is must for all families visiting the island. Make sure to check out their mini golf course. Once done there head across the street to Perry’s Cave and collect geodes. The Butterfly House is another family favorite. The Put-in-Bay Airport is another great destination. Take a helicopter tour where you can see Kelleys Island, Cedar Point and even Cleveland from the air.
There is a reason why Put-in-Bay is called the Key West of the North. The island has some of the best food and nightlife in the Midwest. To find the best Put-in-Bay restaurants and bars just head downtown Put-in-Bay Ohio. You will find plenty of options all found around Derivera Park within walking distance. Make sure to check out the Boardwalk which offers some great food options. Enjoy the outdoor seating while watching the boaters come and go from the Great Lakes. You can even see Middle Bass Island off in the distance. Put-in-Bay opens April 1st every year and we can not wait to see you there!