Getaway to the Lake Erie Islands!

If summertime has you craving a tropical getaway, you don’t have to look very far from home to find one!

The Lake Erie islands of Put-in-Bay and Kelley’s Island offer everything you need to feel like you’re miles away from home, while still in Northeast Ohio.

So hop on board the Jet Express or Miller Ferry and take a quick boat ride to an island getaway!


Put-in-Bay has the reputation of being the “party island.” The main street of Put-in-Bay has a huge selection of fun bars to hop through with tiki drinks, beer, live music, and island debauchery. My personal favorite is Mojito Bay, with sand, island cocktails, and Jimmy Buffet tunes that sweep you away from Northeast Ohio without ever leaving the area.

But there is something for everyone on Put-in-Bay. For adults looking to escape the “bar scene,” there are wineries, including the more secluded and award-winning Heieneman’s Winery.

Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center offers everything from a tour of a limestone cave to a butterfly house to miniature golf to a rock wall. Kimberly’s Carousel will keep the young and young at heart happy too!

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial offers a piece of history in your island getaway.


You can also rent a kayak or Jet Ski for some water-based entertainment. Speaking of rentals, rent a golf cart and cruise around the island way!

Put-in-Bay has a lot of fun festivals and events, too, including Christmas in July and Pyrate Fest. Check out the complete calendar here.

Kelley’s Island

Known as the quieter island, Kelley’s Island is less raucous than Put-in-Bay and offers a more relaxed island getaway. There are restaurants ranging from fine dining to casual seaside fare and shopping from candy to antiques and souvenirs.

Kelley’s Island hosts events like Island Fest and the Kelly Miller Circus (see a complete event list here) that are sure to keep families happy! You can also explore glacial grooves, play miniature golf, swim, fish, kayak, bike, and even SCUBA dive!

Whether Put-in-Bay or Kelley’s Island is your scene, or you island-hop between the two, the Lake Erie Islands offer a slice of Caribbean, seaside life right here in Northeast Ohio!

Jen Rome
Jen Rome

Jen Rome is the author of Why CLE?, a lifestyle blog that is continually providing readers with new answers to why living in Cleveland is so wonderful.

Jen is a born and raise Clevelander who has lived in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado, but always come back home by choice, not by chance.