• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Growing up my family visited Put-In-Bay every few years during the summer. As a kid, it felt like a magical place full of golf carts and bikes. You took a ferry over to the island. The whole experience felt surreal. As an adult, it still feels magical, but from a different viewpoint. I now see the drinking and bars whereas I didn’t before. The island felt like a giant play area as a child.

We went this past summer for the first time in four years. My daughter, who is six, got to experience the magic that I felt as a kid. We went putting around the island on our golf cart. On our first day we ate at the Irish Pub. They have one of the best Reuben sandwiches I’ve ever had and I look forward to it every time that we go. 

If you have a chance to visit Put-In-Bay I would highly recommend it. There are things to do as an adult as well as a wholesome family vacation. One of my favorite things, besides riding around in a golf cart, is the Heineman Winery. You can try locally grown wine and they have meat and cheese trays. On-site there is also a cave tour. But my favorite cave tour is across the street at Perry’s Cave. Not only is there an interesting cave tour that everyone can enjoy, there is also put-put golf, gem mining, and the butterfly house.

The butterfly house is one of my favorite places to visit. As soon as we walked inside we were greeted by Kim. She told my daughter, “Make sure you don’t touch the butterflies wings or it will impair their ability to fly in the future.” They had over 200 hundred butterflies in the greenhouse. My daughter and I sat very still and a few of them even landed on us. 

Outside was a maze, rock climbing wall, and the put-put. We passed on that activities this trip. But we did enjoy mining for gems. Inside the gift shop you pick out a different sized bag that includes different varieties of gems. We picked ours out and headed outside to the water station. You get a sifting tray with your bag. It works perfectly for letting the water rush over and wash away the dirt from your precious gems. At the end we put them in a bag and got to bring them home with us.

Another great place to visit is the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. It is the tall monument on the island. We first saw walked the little museum inside and then watched a five minute video on the history of Put-In-Bay and how we defeated the British forces to keep it. After we were finished, we went up over 300 feet in an elevator to the top of the monument. The views are extraordinary. You can even see Canada in the distance. We learned from one of the rangers that there is a plan to add even more to the memorial site over the next few years. 

Overall, there are a lot of things to enjoy at Put-In-Bay and that doesn’t even include all of the best restaurants. A few of my favorites are The Boardwalk, The Keys, Mossbacks, Hooligans Irish Pub, and Frostys Bar. I would highly recommend checking out the island for yourself and seeing what your favorite thing to do is.

Jaime Herzog

Associate Editor