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Our Family’s Day Trip to Put-in-Bay

This post is sponsored by Miller Ferry. All opinions are my own.

family trip to put in bay

In about 2 weeks I will have lived in Northeast Ohio for 10 years! It’s been a busy 10 years what with getting married, changing jobs, and having 2 kids and I haven’t gotten to explore my “new” home nearly as much as I would like. I’ve visited some of the great parts of Ohio but there’s so much more that I want to do.

This past Saturday we visited Put-in-Bay which is one of those places I have yet to visit. Even my Ohio-born husband had never been so it was a new experience for us all. We began our trip at the Miller Ferry Dock in Catawba.

ferry terminal

My kids were so excited about this part of the trip. We don’t travel by boat very often so to my kids this was a special part of the adventure.

on ferry

Miller Boat Line has ferries that go to Put-in-Bay about every 30 minutes. You can ride over in your car or walk on to the ferry and ride on the inside or outside. It’s a pleasant ride that takes about 20 minutes.

looking at island

When we docked at Put-in-Bay we headed up the hill and got a golf-cart at E’s Carts. The island is fairly small and many people use golf-carts to get around. At the dock there is also a stand where you can catch the bus or a taxi to downtown.


Driving the cart around town was definitely another highlight for my boys. You wouldn’t think it would be such a big deal but they loved getting to take turns riding in the front and riding in the back.

driving golf cart

We loved driving around the island. It is beautiful. The views of the lake are fabulous and I loved see some of the older homes.


My kids were particularly impressed with DeRivera Park, which is located right in the middle of the village. It is right on the water and has great views. They playground equipment is amazing.


The downtown area of the village around the park has shops, restaurants, and a fun merry-go-round as well. We grabbed pizza for lunch at Frosty’s.


We also spent a lot of time at Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.


This is a National Park site with a welcome center and the tall memorial that you see in the picture above. The welcome center has a few exhibits about the war of 1812 and the building of the monument. There’s also a short film about the battle of Lake Erie.


You can even take the elevator to go to the top of the monument and take in the amazing views. It was raining the day we visited so we opted not to go to the top.

We were fortunate enough to be visiting on Founder’s Day. There were a whole lot of fun activities. There were animals on display and historical interpreters teaching about various subjects. There was also a demonstration and firing of the carronade (it’s kind of like a short cannon).


The kids also had the chance to learn about the issues facing lake Erie today like invasive species. This was actually part of the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Program and the kids all got badges.

park ranger

The Flagship Niagara was also in port for Founder’s Day and offering tours. It’s a replica of one of the ships from the Battle of Lake Erie.


There are more activities at Put-in-Bay but we did not have time to try them all. There are a lot of fun events throughout the summer as well such as the Pyrate Festival featuring costume contests, a 5K run, historic displays, and more this coming weekend and then Island Green Week August 3-14 featuring activities focused on nature, wildlife, and exploring the outdoors.

From what I have heard Put-in-Bay has somewhat of a reputation for being a party island but we had a very family friendly experience and enjoyed our day on the island.

Thank you to Miller Ferry for having us out for the day! Be sure to check their site for information on the ferry schedule, a map of the free parking, and helpful information about Put-In-Bay attractions and events.

Have you visited Put-in-Bay? Let me know in the comments below!

put in bay
Mary Martha Mama