Visitors to South Bass Island this summer have the chance to explore Put-in-Bay Attractions including the South Bass Island Lighthouse, Aquatic Visitors Center and Gibraltar Island, which all open for tours this week. South Bass Island Lighthouse, which was completed in 1897, is located at the southwest tip of the island and was in operation until 1962. The lighthouse grounds are open to the public dawn to dusk free of charge unless otherwise posted. Free tours will be offered from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays from June 19 through July 18, 2017. Visitors can climb the lighthouse stairs to take in the view from the top of the tower. Tours for groups of 10 or more may be scheduled April through November by calling 419-285-1800.
The Put-in-Bay Aquatic Visitors Center served as the State Fish Hatchery at Put-in-Bay from 1907 through 1988 and still displays artifacts from those days. Now the facility is an educational center and one of the most popular Put-in-Bay Attractions, giving visitors of all ages the chance to explore Lake Erie’s complex ecosystem through hands-on activities and aquaria containing live Lake Erie fish. Children ages 15 and younger can borrow fishing gear and fish for free off the 100-foot pier. A limited number of free life jackets, provided by the BoatUS Foundation are available for loan. Put-in-Bay Aquatic Visitors Center tours are free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays June 21 through September 9, 2017. Group tour reservations are available mid-May through October at a cost of $4 per person by calling 419-285-1800.
A science and history tour of Gibraltar Island just off Put-in-Bay Island is offered each Wednesday now through August 9, 2017. Groups tour the island, including Perry’s Lookout and the glacial grooves and see the outside of Cooke Castle before learning more about Stone Lab research. Tours can accommodate up to 70 people and are first-come, first served. To attend, meet at 10:45 a.m. at the Boardwalk Restaurant dock, 341 Bayview Ave. in Put-in-Bay. Tours are $10 per person, $5 for children ages 6-12, plus $6 for the round-trip fare to Gibraltar Island, payable to the water taxi driver.