Put-in-Bay, Ohio is a quaint village located on South Bass Island in Put-in-Bay Township, Ottawa County, Ohio, United States. There are numerous islands in Lake Erie with Put-in-Bay being the most popular for tourism. Many people believe that the name originates from some early maps of South Bass Island that showed the main harbor being named Pudding Bay, probably because it was shaped like a pudding sack used by sailors.
The official population of Put-in-Bay was 128 as of the 2010 census although the summer population is well into the thousands. Put-in-Bay played a significant role in the War of 1812 as the location of the squadron of U.S. naval commander Oliver Hazard Perry, who sailed from the port on September 10, 1813, to engage a British naval squadron just north of the island in the famous Battle of Lake Erie. For those that are interested in more detailed information about Put-in-Bay History click here.
Put-in-Bay is a popular summer resort and recreational destination. Two Ferry services connect the community with Catawba Island, Kelleys Island, Port Clinton, Lorain, and Sandusky, Ohio. The Jet Express Ferry arrives in the downtown area and offers the only late-night service to Put-in-Bay. The Miller Ferry to Put-in-Bay is our primary fright service to the island and the only way to transport a vehicle that is not recommended or needed on your vacation. Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Put-in-Bay Each year with a season that runs from early April until Halloween weekend, typically the last big weekend at Put-in-Bay. Special events occur almost every weekend and a schedule is available at our Put-in-Bay Events page.
Visitors to Put-in-Bay, Ohio take a step back in time with Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to learn about the Battle of Lake Erie at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial Visitors Center and the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society Museum. Vacation with us and explore the world’s largest geode at Heineman’s Crystal Cave or discover South Bass Island’s underground river, lake and tour at Perry’s Cave Amusement Complex.
Honeymooners and romantics take in the magnificence of our island sunsets while strolling along the walks and pathways of our beautiful downtown harbor and DeRivera park area. Weekday and weekend boaters can dock in the heart of it all at a number of public and private docks and are just steps away from fabulous boutiques and shopping, a wide variety of excellent restaurants, live entertainment, and spirited taverns with a vibrant nightlife.
Families and visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of other attractions including Heineman’s winery, The Butterfly House, putt-putt golf, historical homes & tours, the Chocolate Museum, wildlife museum, an antique carousel, a nine-hole par-3 golf course, multiple jet-ski rentals, boat rentals, parasailing, kayaking, and the island’s premier resort, the Put-in-Bay Resort & Convention Center. Rarely will you find a vacation destination with so many attractions and experiences all within a 5-minute golf cart ride from each venue, Truly an opportunity to enjoy a vacation destination with something for everyone of all ages!
And speaking of a step back in time, Put-in-Bay is the small town we grew up in, no stoplights, a relaxed pace, ice cream shops, candy bars & merry-go-rounds are just part of the experience families will enjoy. You can picnic at the park, kayak the bay or just stargaze on a summer night away from the bright lights of the city. A place where the local shopkeeper actually has the time to share and interact with their customers and you can be as mild or wild as your heart desires.