How To Get To Put-in-Bay
One of the questions we are asked the most is How Do I Get To Put-in-Bay or what is the best way to get to the Lake Erie Islands. Well, there are 5 principal methods and all involve water or air travel as Put-in-Bay is a true island with no inbound roads. Each method has different schedules, departure points, and features. Read along and learn what you need to plan your Put-in-Bay Vacation!
The Jet Express Ferry
The Jet Express was established in 1988 to create an innovative high-speed ferry service to the Lake Erie islands. It would be the first and only ferry that arrived right in the downtown area that also offered late-night service. The Jet Express is located in Port Clinton Ohio and runs from early morning until as late as 11:00 PM in peak season. The Jet Express is a passenger-only ferry. You do not need a car on the island as Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Rentals are the primary method of transportation on the island.
It is the only regularly operating ferry that offers arrival in the popular downtown area. When arriving on the Jet Express there is no need to taxi or bus into town and back again to enjoy the island. With late-night service, your transportation dollars offer the best value as you have a much longer day to explore Put-in-Bay. The ride over on the Jet Express is educational with a narrated tour and is a comfortable enclosed cabin in the event of inclement weather.
The Jet Express is the fastest ferry boat line on the Great Lakes with speeds in excess of 40 knots. Over the years, The Jet Express has become known as one of the premier family-oriented travel attractions in Ohio, offering safe, fun, fast, and comfortable passage across Lake Erie. There is ample parking for your car and loading and unloading zones for your luggage. Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket window. Reservations are not required although online sales may sell a boat out for a particular time.
The Jet Express also offers interisland service from Put-in-Bay to Kellys Island and Cedar Point. If you are planning on spending the night at Put-in-Bay (recommended), be sure you have made reservations with one of our Put-in-Bay Hotels as there are only a few of them and they tend to sell out daily in peak seasons and every weekend. The Jet Express can be reached by calling 888-742-7829
The Miller Ferry
The Miller Ferry departs from Catawba Island near Port Clinton Ohio at the very end of State Route 53 North. It’s how to get to Put-in-Bay if you MUST bring a car as it is the only ferry that can transport vehicles to the island but as we said, you won’t need one! In peak season the Miller Ferry offers scheduled service every 30 minutes to and from Put-in-Bay. There is ample pay and free parking at the departure point for your car.
The Miller Ferry has limited seating inside, outside seating and you can also ride on the main deck of the ferry. When you arrive at Put-in-Bay, you will be on the west side of the island. There will be a bus that you can ride into town, or you can take a Put-in-Bay Taxi for about $3.00 per person to get into town. Very early and late in the season, it is the only option for how to get to Put-in-Bay. The Miller Ferry can be reached by calling 1-800-500-2423
The Good Time Ferry
The Goodtime I Ferry is a family-owned business, providing cruises from Sandusky Bay to Put-in-Bay and Kelleys Island. They offer island-hopping excursions with stops at Kellys Island and Put-in-Bay. There are several types of cruises from family-friendly to adult-only party cruises, and even youth-only cruises!
Their operating season runs May thru October, with the heart of the season being mid-June thru the last week of August. They depart from Sandusky Ohio 109 West Shoreline Drive. Advance tickets can be purchased online and are suggested. The Good Time Ferry can be reached by calling 419-625-9692
Put-in-Bay By Airplane
Another option for how to get to Put-in-Bay is by air. There are two commercial providers of passenger flights to and from the Put-in-Bay Airport. Both operate out of the Port Clinton Erie Ottawa airport just off State Route 53 and State Route 2. There is ample parking for you to leave your vehicle at the Port Clinton departure. Both airlines are only permitted to fly in our out of Put-in-Bay during the daytime hours as there are no runway lights at the island airport. Flights last about 7 minutes making it one of the fastest options how to get to Put-in-Bay!
Griffings Island Airlines – is a family-owned airline that has been serving the Lake Erie Islands for over 80 years. They transport people as well as freight and are the lifeline to the island in the winter months where there is no ferry service. Griffings operates planes that seat 4 to 10 people. Reservations are suggested and they may be reached at 419-734-5400
Island Air Taxi – Pilot Dustin operates a Piper Cherokee Six Seat with Club Style Seating which can carry luggage and up to five passengers. He has been a commercial pilot for over 14 years and is an aircraft mechanic as well. Year-round service is offered, flights depart and arrive from dawn to dusk, seven days a week. Call or text for information or reservations 419.573.2960
How To Get To Put-in-Bay By Private Boat
Another VERY popular way to get to Put-in-Bay is by your own boat or better yet a friend’s boat! There are several Put-in-Bay Docks & Marinas that offer modern utilities, daily and overnight dockage, and are located right in the heart of the downtown nightlife and entertainment district. When departing from the mainland near Port Clinton there are numerous public and private boat ramps for you to launch your boat. Many have parking for your trailer.
It is best to approach from the western side of the island as there is a reef known as Starve Island that has grounded many a vessel on the easterly side of the island. There are marker cans that designate safe passage and you can always follow the Jet Express into port if in doubt. Docks are mandatory rafting and first come first serve. Reservations are accepted at some of the private marinas with membership.
Fees for docking vary but are generally price by the foot near the 2.00 range for overnight. Some docks offer day passes for those who are just coming for a day trip. Now you know all your options how to get to Put-in-Bay so what are you waiting for? Plan that Ohio Vacation getaway today and come visit us!