One of the perks of living on the “North Coast” is that we have islands and beaches nearby. For those not located in the Midwest, the “North Coast” is Lake Erie, or whichever of the Great Lakes you happen to find yourself south of. And if you have never actually seen the Great Lakes, you would likely be surprised to find that the view of these lakes could easily be mistaken for an ocean. They are, as Ari would say, GINORMOUS.
I recently jumped at an opportunity to visit one of the islands on our great ‘North Coast,’ Put-in-Bay! In all fairness and honesty, I had only visited once before this. I was young and I don’t remember much except that there are very few (if any?) cars on the island. That’s literally all I remember from my experience as a child. As an adult, my images of Put-in-Bay are all of college friends (and work colleagues) partying in a pool, drinking out of fishbowls. That? That has absolutely zero appeal to me.
But kayaking, biking, and wine tasting?? That. That is right up my alley!
So my friend Olivia and I met up at the Jet Express in Port Clinton. The Jet Express ferry shuttled us the 14 miles from Port Clinton (on the ‘mainland’) to Put-in-Bay island in just 45 minutes!
We arrived in PIB (Put-in-Bay) at about 9:45 on a Sunday morning — basically while everyone on the island was still asleep from
PS. I say that like it was easy — but did you know that even if you cycle on a stationary bike 3x per week an actual pedal bicycle is totally weird and difficult?? True story.
After leaving the marina and bike rental, we did some exploring — and with a quick stop at Perry’s Victory + Peace Memorial — we headed to Old Forge Café for breakfast!
It turns out they’re a creperie and have amazing mimosas. I mean, this prosciutto crêpe was aaaaaaamazing. No joke.
Post-crêpes and mimosas, we ventured to South Bass Island State Park to take in the sights. Pretty much everyone was still asleep, but we were able to bask in the quiet and enjoy the waves.
After taking in the scenery we ventured to Perry’s Cave where we legit KILLED the maze (under two minutes, ya’ll!) and learned all about the the limestone cave and it’s historical impact on the creation of what we know to be our United States!
Then we ventured to Heineman Winery for a tour and tasting. I’ll say this — PLEASE don’t try the dry wine. Please. I beg you. From my experience, Ohio wines are not, by any means, dry wines. They are sweet. So don’t go for the dry reds. Lesson learned.
But the sweet red? Delish. Absolutely DEEElish.
Once we were done with our wine and cave adventures we ventured for more food. Yep, we hit up the Upper Deck at the Boardwalk. We were still a bit full from our crêpes, so we decided to get the ahi tuna nachos as an appetizer and a side of fries.
Guys — we legit tried to GIVE away the leftovers from our ahi tuna nachos!! There were so many nachos that it looked like we barely made a dent (for the record, we made a serious dent — it just didn’t appear that way).
After we filled up on nachos we went to the Put-in-Bay Brewery and Distillery. I wish I would have tried something other than the Double IPA, but it was delicious! I’m just so predictable!
Post-brewery, we headed back down to South Bass Island State Park for a kayaking adventure. The double kayak was totally fun, but I was a tad bit hesitant about leaving my phone on land; and because of that, I was also more than a teeny bit nervous about dropping it in the water. So we cut our kayaking short to head back to the Jet Express.
It was such a jam-packed day. I would absolutely recommend doing the Kayas and Caves adventure through the Jet Express, but make a weekend of it for sure! I really wish I would have stayed the night.
partying the night before. But we rented our bicycles and went on our merry way.
If you’ve visited Put-in-Bay, what was your favorite thing to see/do!?
Disclosure: I received a complimentary Jet Express Kayak + Cave package for two in exchange for this post. As always, all opinions herein are my own.