What I love about summertime is the ability to travel and visit places you’ve never been before. Especially around your own area.
My youngest daughter is the only one who was born in Toledo Ohio. The rest of us, we’re all transplants… Chicago, Muncie Indiana and Ontario Canada…and although we’ve now been in Toledo for about 8 years now, we don’t really do much, or see much in the Ohio area.. This year has been an exception.
Every summer I hear about visiting Put-In-Bay and how fun it is, but we’ve never been, we’ve now crossed that off our list…
We drove out to Catawaba, Ohio and parked our car (free parking) to be able t board the Miller Boat Line Ferry and head to the island for a day of fun. I’ve been on a ferry a few times, my husband and the girls, this was a first for them, and although my oldest was a little concerned and scared at first, she absolutely loved it!
The ferry was quite full but we all had a seat, in fact at the front (rear?) of the boat, so we could see the water and watch the ferry approach the island as well, there are also restrooms located on the upper level thankfully, because when you’re traveling anywhere with kids, you know you always have to know where the nearest restroom is!
The Miller Ferry takes off from Catawaba and docks into Put-In-Bay. It takes about 20 minutes or so, and the ride is beautiful, it’s nice to travel with the breeze from the lake. One docked they let the vehicles off first and then those of us on foot. We decided to go on foot and leave our vehicle behind in the parking lot, so that we could travel the island in style!! With a rented golf cart!!
Once we got off the ferry we had to walk up a hill and pick up our cart from the Island Bike & Cart Rental, which is right on the top of the hill, no way to miss it. A golf cart seemed like a fun adventure to start our day with, the girls had never been on one of those either, and parents, no worries there are some seat belts to keep everyone safe and strapped in. You do share the roads with cars, but most of them are pretty good at keeping a look out for the carts and passing them cautiously on the road when need be. You can reserve your carts in advance which I highly recommend especially during the summer months and on the weekends, they get booked up fairly quickly.We were given a map of the island which tells you where everything is, so our first stop for the day, we decided to visit Perry’s International Peace Memorial and Visitors Center. This monument not only is huge, but honors those who fought in the war of 1812. My oldest just learned about this war in school, and myself being Canadian love when I can jump into something that involves my heritage as well.
This year is the bicentennial celebration of the war of 1812, my oldest was very intrigued with going to the monument, until we told her we were going up to the very top! At $3 per adult, it’s a must! You walk up a few stairs to an elevator, where a guide will take you up to the top of the monument. Be prepared for windy situations!! You’re approximately 317 feet high above Lake Erie.
Unfortunately it wasn’t a super clear day, I was hoping to see Canada and show the girls, but we couldn’t see it very well with the haze. I did point out to them where it was though, and we could see one of the Canadian Islands (maybe Peele Island, I’m not sure). The guide told us that on a really clear day you can sometimes see not only Canada, but also Detroit and Cleveland.
One we traveled around the top, we decided to head back down and head out on our way to the village area, where you’ll find a TON of different restaurants, bars etc. We parked our golf cart and took a walk to see what we could find…
My girls first spotted The Candy Bar which is FILLED with fudge, chocolate, candy, and lots of delights, we decided that would be a visit just before we decided to head back home. There’s also a carousal beside it, and an ice cream shop behind it. Great spot to head with the kids!
During our walk, the girls played at the park for a while, we found a beautiful fountain, a few gift shops (where I found shirts for the kids for just 98 cents a piece!) and then finally our lunch spot for the day Frosty’s. Pizza for lunch it was. Once side of Frosty’s is called Frosty’s Pizza and the attached side is Frosty’s bar. We decided to head to the pizza side, which it doesn’t make much of a difference, they’re attached you walk through the bar to get to the outside patio or to the restrooms, it’s just easier/better seating for eating at the pizza place.
The pizza was great, a little overpriced in my opinion but it was good none the less. You order at the counter, and they give you a pager/buzzer when your pizza is ready, you head back to the counter to pick it up and bring it to your table.
We walked around the village a little more after we ate, and the headed back to the golf cart to head to Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center. This is where the fun would begin!
We decided to start by going to Perry’s Cave itself. The tour guide walked us down the narrow stairway (watch your head and walk carefully) It was so hot outside, but once we were in the cave, it was ahhhh so wonderfully cold! The cave has lights positioned so you can see things, and see where your going, but it is wet down there, it is cold, and it is slippery. My dress wearing wasn’t very appropriate for a cave, but I made it without falling. Perry’s Cave is a natural limestone cave and an Ohio Natural Landmark, it’s really neat inside, no bats or weird insects just rock and water. It was a nice learning experience for the kids, and us adults. It’s just a short tour, you don’t go very far, but it’s a nice place to cool off!
After we visited the cave, we decided to head over to The Butterfly House. Which, I wasn’t too thrilled with, I don’t like butterflies, especially ones that can fly around and land on me at any point, and its HOT in there, SO HOT and SO HUMID!! But we braved it, and got some beautiful shots while we were in there.
We decided to try out the Maze called Fort aMAZE’n before you head in they give you a card, and you’re supposed to find the punch holes around the maze to clip each letter off, and then you get a prize at the end… Me and hubby thought it would take only a few minutes… WRONG! It took us forever, we almost decided to give up looking for the 1 last letter we needed, but we found it and the girls thought it was hilarious getting lost in the maze a million times…
After the maze it was time to play mini golf at the War of 18 Holes Miniature Golf. I almost wish we had waited until it got a bit cooler in the day to do all this outdoors stuff because it was HOT, and mini golf was fun, but man, we were sweating up a storm, and by the 9th hole the girls were just getting hot we wizzed through the next 9.
We took a little tour of the island our self in the golf cart after that, not knowing where we were going, but it was fun and the golf cart allowed us to rest with a cool breeze hitting us. It was however starting to get dark, and cloudy and we could hear rumbles of thunder.
It was time to head back to the Candy Bar and get some ice cream, and some candy to take back home with us.
We had such a great time at Put-In-Bay we’re already planning another trip out there, maybe for a weekend or night, with hotels to stay at there right on the island, I think it would be such a fun trip! You don’t have to go far from home to have an awesome vacation!The last ferry was I think around 9pm, we decided to head back around 7pm to beat the rush, and just as we got off the ferry it started to rain, which was kind of refreshing!
July 24, 2013 – 6:15 PM - | Posted in Ohio, Reviews, travel | 13 Comments »