About Put-in-Bay, Ohio

Put-in-Bay info helps you prepare for your summer bay vacation. We offer advice on the best hotels & Put-in-Bay resorts, vacation rental homes, restaurants & dining, and island attractions (including Things To Do & Shopping). Put-in-Bay is a quiet fishing village with a great entertainment scene located on South Bass Island in Ottawa County, Ohio, United States.

South Bass is just one of many Lake Erie Islands located in the western basin of Lake Erie. The Village of Put-in-Bay is by far the most popular island destination getaway for tourists. People, young and old, come from near and far to explore Put-in-Bay island. We are located halfway between Toledo and Cleveland.

Put-In-Bay Condos

Why Is It Called Put-in-Bay?

Most people agree that the name “Put-in-Bay” originated from the early nautical maps of South Bass Island. They showed the main harbor being named Pudding Bay because it was shaped like a pudding sack used by sailors. A pudding sack is exactly what it sounds like… a sack used to make puddings! Now THAT is some serious Put-in-Bay Info!

Put-in-Bay Historical Weekend

What is the Island Population?

The official year-round population of Put-in-Bay Ohio was 128 as of the 2010 census. The graduating class of Put-in-Bay School averages 4 students. However, once the weather gets nice, the summer population swells into the thousands, with weekends seeing even more guests at the popular Put-in-Bay lodgings and Put-in-Bay hotels. The Put in Bay ferries run extra boats to accommodate the huge influx of visitors who come for the bars, entertainment, and historical tourism. Put in Bay Golf Cart rentals and Island Taxis also abound.

Island Club Golf Cart

What is the Best Put-in-Bay Event?

Although events happen almost every weekend in Put-in-Bay, everyone has their own personal favorites. Some like historical events, others like active sports events, and yet others enjoy musical fun. However, there is one event that everyone agrees is a guest favorite… The official and original Put-in-Bay Spring Fling, held the first weekend of May every year at The Island Club. For almost 25 years, this event has brought thousands of people together for free food, free beer, free entertainment, and much much more. It is a can’t miss event for at least once in your life! There is a sister party called the Fall Ball in October for those who prefer to visit Put-in-Bay later in the year.

whiskey light

Brief History of Put-in-Bay Info

Put-in-Bay played a major role in the War of 1812 between the US and England. The waters around Put-in-Bay were the location of United States Navy commander Oliver Hazard Perry. He sailed from the port of Put-in-Bay with 10 vessels on September 10, 1813, to engage a British naval squadron of 6 vessels commanded by Captain Robert Heriot Barclay just north of South Bass Island in the “Battle of Lake Erie”.

Put-in-Bay Information tells us that after defeating the British, Perry ripped off the back of an envelope and wrote. “Dear Gen’l: — We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop. Yours with great respect and esteem, O.H. Perry.” Perry’s victory in the War of 1812 in the “Battle of Lake Erie” helped to secure the Northwest for the United States. Perry was also thrust into the spotlight of the American people and he was seen as a national hero. This all lead to his promotion to captain following his victory.

Many years after the war, Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial was constructed to celebrate the lasting peace between the United States, Canada, and  Britain. It was built between 1912 to 1915 “to inculcate the lessons of international peace by arbitration and disarmament.” Guests staying at the Put-in-Bay Waterfront Condos have a nice lakeside view of the monument from their private decks of the bay condos.

Perry'S Victory And Int'L Peace Memorial

Is It a Tourism Destination?

Put-in-Bay is the most popular summer resort and vacation destination in Lake Erie. With plenty of events, bars, nightlife, restaurants, and shops, there is plenty to do on Put-in-Bay for the whole family! Two ferry services connect the island with the mainland. In addition, boats also run between Kelleys Island, Port Clinton, Middle Bass Island, Lorain, and Sandusky, Ohio at Cedar Point. Hundreds of thousands of tourists make their way to the island every year and our Put-in-Bay Info helps out greatly!

Our main tourist season starts in early April when our fishermen friends arrive from as far away as North Dakota to fish for some fresh Walleye. This is also when the Put-in-Bay Taxis and the island ferries start running. Finally, the season ends on Halloween weekend with Ohio’s biggest Halloween Costume Contest at Mr. Ed’s. With so many Put-in-Bay attractions and other special events occurring every weekend, we’ve provided a Put-in-Bay event schedule and calendar available here on our website.

Put-in-Bay Miller Ferry & Jet Express Services

Vehicles Going to Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) from Catawba Island

  • Reservations are not required. Vehicles are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis on the Miller.
  • Vehicles can round trip within the same day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. However, because of heavier traffic, we are not able to round trip a vehicle within the same day on Saturday, Sunday, or a Holiday Monday.

Passengers Going to Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) from Catawba Island

  • Reservations are not required. Passengers are taken on a first-come, first-serve basis on both the Miller and the Jet.

Vehicles Leaving Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) to the Mainland

  • During Spring & Fall Schedules. Vehicles must be in line before 4:00 pm Monday through Saturday and in line before 3:00 pm on Sundays and Holiday Mondays in order to be guaranteed passage off Put-in-Bay.
  • During Summer Schedules. Vehicles must be in line before 6:00 pm Daily in order to be guaranteed passage off Put-in-Bay.

Passengers Leaving Put-in-Bay (South Bass Island) to the Mainland

  • Year-Round. Passengers may walk onto any return boat with no reservations required.


What is There To Do in Put-in-Bay?

Popular Seasonal Upcoming Events

  • Spring Fling Party Join over 1500 people for the season starting the party at the Island Club.
  • Pyrate Fest – Learn to speak like a pirate while the kids practice foam sword swashbuckling in Derivera Park, downtown Put-in-Bay.
  • Bachelorette Weekends – Almost every weekend sees a bachelorette party but some are special.
  • Boaters New Year – The Key West of the North offers up casino.
  • Historical Society Reenactments – Go back to the past on certain weekends like Founders Day, Historical Weekend, PyrateFest, and more.

Popular Put-in-Bay Restaurants and Bars

  • Mr. Ed’s Bar Always rated #1 as a favorite entertainment hot spot with 4 different bars.
  • The Boardwalk – If you haven’t tried the lobster bisque yet, this is the spot.
  • Round House Bar – A Put-in-Bay icon with an annual Whiskey Light party.
  • Heineman’s Winery – One of two big wineries on the island offering tours and samples.
  • Bed and Breakfasts – You will find some of the best breakfast fares here; try Ashley’s Island House.

Attractions and Fun Stuff To Do

  • Perry’s International Peace & Victory Monument – The true icon of the island, worth a visit. Reenactments by the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society.
  • Golf Cart Rentals – The second icon of the island, because everyone wants to ride one!
  • Jet Ski and Kayak rentals – Located at the State Park, get out on the water and have some fun in the sun on one of our Great Lakes!
  • Perry’s Family Fun Center – Perry’s Cave, the Butterfly House, mini-golf, gemstone mining, antique cars, and more!
  • Saunders Golf Course – 9 holes that challenge a few but are enjoyed by many.
  • Put-in-Bay Airport – Adventurous guests can go up in a biplane or helicopter to get a new view.
  • South Bass Island Lighthouse- located to the left of the Miller Ferry Island Drop off.
  • Camping- If you prefer to camp during your stay we recommend the beautiful South Bass Island State Park.

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