Island time - spending a day at Put-in-Bay

Last weekend we boarded the Miller Ferry and headed over to Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island. If you've never (1) taken the Miller Ferry, or (2) visited Put-in-Bay, or (3) all of the above, what in the world are you waiting for?

Each summer for the last few years we've tried to visit the island with the girls. It's a perfect day trip and a way to "escape the city." And, even though you're in the middle of Lake Erie - and not on some tropical shoreline - you do feel that vibe of "island life."

welcome to Put-in-Bay!
The ride on the Miller Ferry was a short, relaxing, and VERY breezy trip. Once we arrived on the island, we walked up a small hill and found the Island Transportation for our golf cart rental. This is a must when you're visiting Put-in-Bay - you need to rent a golf cart. (Yes, you CAN take your car to the island on the Miller Ferry...but golf carts are the best mode of transportation in my opinion). If you're going during the busy summer months, be sure to reserve a golf cart before your visit - or get there early.

the view from the top!
Our first stop was at the newly renovated (and recently reopened) Perry's Monument - also referred to as Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial. It's a long way up to the top and thankfully there's an elevator to get you up there. Kids ages 15 and under are FREE and adults cost $3 per person (cash only!). Once you get to the top, the view is amazing! We could see downtown Cleveland on our visit. (A fun note: I'm a distant relative of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry).

Mining for gems
After our view from the top, we headed back down to Earth and decided to spend some time at Perry's Cave area. If you have kids you could spend an entire afternoon here. The girls decided to "mine" for gemstones first. Then we went 52 feet underground to Perry's Cave. This a really fun tour, but if you're claustrophobic you might want to sit this one out! And then, we hung out in the Butterfly House for a bit. And we ended our visit in Fort aMAZE'n - and got very lost for a time!

underground in Perrys' Cave
The Perry's Cave area is one of our favorite places to hang out when we're on the island. But after all the cave exploration and maze walking we were starving for lunch! Emma wanted perch (who can blame her?!?) and someone recommended The Goat Soup and Whiskey Tavern because they have the best perch tacos on the island. Well, we didn't try the perch tacos...but the perch bites (on the appetizer menu) were amazing! Oh and the "beer plate" from the appetizer menu was more than enough food for the grown ups (it was loaded with cheeses, olives, salami, crackers, and the most amazing mustard....I'm hungry just thinking about it!)

one of the butterflies
After lunch and some more "exploring" in the golf cart, the girls wanted to head back to "town" and ride the merry-go-round and play in the park. I have to say it was very relaxing to just sit and watch them play. I think my favorite part of this trip was the fact that the island wasn't crowded. There are times during the summer when you visit and it the crowds are huge and you have to battle it out for a parking space for the golf cart - but on our visit it was just perfect. The weather was lovely for late summer and the island almost had a sleepy feel to it - as if summer was winding down and fall was on its way.

Eventually the girls got tired and so we piled into the golf cart for one more ride around the island. Then we headed back to the docks and boarded the ferry for our ride back to the mainland. All in all it was the perfect day on Put-in-Bay.

Disclaimer: Miller Boat Lines provided me with tickets for the ferry, the fun folks at Perry's Cave provided us with tickets for the attractions, and Island Transportation provided our golf cart. I was not required to blog about our trip. All opinions are mine.

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