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Everyone From Ohio Should Take This One Awesome Vacation Before They Die

Ohio has island life, and you need to experience it.

The Lake Erie Islands are truly incredible. One of our favorites in particular is South Bass Island, often called the “Secret Midwest Playground” and home to the small town of Put-In-Bay—which has plenty to  do and see.

The activities on South Bass Island are seemingly endless. In addition to boating and fishing, watercraft rentals such as jet skis, jet boats, power boats and kayaks are available. (There’s always something to do out on the water here.) You can also camp at South Bass Island State Park or explore the woodlands, museums and caves of the Lake Erie Islands Nature & Wildlife Center, if you’d prefer an outdoor activity out of water.

Golf cart, moped and bicycle rentals are popular ways to get around the island. An Island Tour Train is also available, costing $10 per person and $4 for kids. (Children 6 and under are free.)

Other popular locations and attractions to check out are The Butterfly House, Adventure Bay Amusement Park, the Antique Car Museum, the Chocolate Museum, Put-In-Bay Winery and Kimberly’s Carousel.

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial and Visitors Center is a popular destination on the island. Admission to the center is free, and admission to get to the top of the monument is $3. The monument honors Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry, who won one of the biggest victories in the War of 1812. This 352-ft. memorial became part of the National Park System in 1936 and was declared a National Monument by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Perry’s Cave is another one of Put-In-Bay’s most well known historical landmarks. The cave was discovered by Master Commandant Oliver Hazard Perry during the war of 1812, and the underground lake in the cave provide him and his men drinking water. Visitors can take 20-minute tours of the limestone cave. Admission is $8 and $4.50 for kids. Other amenities near the cave include The Butterfly House, miniature golf, rock wall climbing, laser tag, gem stone mining and a human maze race.

For even more history, visit the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society Museum, where you’ll learn all about the rich history of the Lake Erie Islands. The beautiful three-building museum features a Transportation Building filled with boats and models of some of the greatest ships to sail Lake Erie. Admission to the museum is $2.

In addition to motels and bungalows, the island features several beautiful inns, bed and breakfasts and guest houses that will charm you with their history and architecture. Some favorites are Ashley’s Island House, English Pines Bed & Breakfast and Harriet’s House. For more information, click here.

To get an idea of what vacationing on the island is like, check out the video below showcasing a gulf cart ride around the island:

What do you think of this island? Have you been here before? What did you enjoy most about it? Share your experiences and any photos you may have with us on our Facebook page!

April Dray
Ohio staff writer for Only in Your State, freelance journalist and blogger. Written word is my zeal. I love my cat and she tolerates me.