Put-in-Bay, An Island Getaway in your Back Yard

By: Jacob Tumminello

Put-in-Bay is a small village located on South Bass Island just north of Sandusky, Ohio. The town was constructed in 1830 and originally named for only the bay in Lake Erie. Although the name may imply a man-made creation, the islands were naturally created by the geographic evolution of the earth. I had the privilege of exploring this strange little island getaway on a trip with my family and was surprised by how much there is to do in such a condensed place.

Sunset Put In Bay

After stepping off the ferry that took us from Sandusky to the island, my family and I were handed the keys to our golf carts, the preferred method of transportation for residents, and set off to explore this secluded little piece of land. During our stay, we experienced many of the same tourist attractions you would find visiting beaches in the south, and many were tied to the picturesque value of the landscape.

We rode wave runners on scenic routes around the Island traveling two miles off shore for stunning views. A lighthouse and observation building at the west end of the Island offered a beautiful, cliffside view out into the bay. Other ways to view the landscape included boat, helicopter, and plane rides as well as parasailing tours and guided hikes.

Put-in-Bay proudly displays a monument created to honor the island’s history. Standing 352 feet over Lake Erie sits Perry’s Victory, a monument constructed to honor three soldiers killed in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. As someone who fears heights, I watched in horror as workers scaled scaffolding to perform maintenance on the structure.

As a fisherman, I was excited to discover that Put-in-Bay is known as “Walleye Capital of the World”. Anglers from all over the world flock to the waters of Lake Erie and the coast of South Bass Island to search for the tasty and plentiful trophy fish.

I personally could only devote a small portion of my time to fishing and was restricted to a small pier outside our condo, but I saw catfish, drum, and plenty of baitfish swim by. Unable to reel in my own trophy catch, I took the time discuss the fishing scene with some locals and was politely informed that boats are the preferred method to fish the bay.

After the sun sets and night blankets the Island the downtown streets come alive. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and other shops and even a small boardwalk with many high-quality seafood eateries. We discovered that the town is a bustling music spot, with nearly every bar housing a stage, and performers ranging from full bands to solo open mic and karaoke performances. The town regularly holds music festivals and attracts big time names such as Toby Keith, who is set to perform at the airstrip on August 31.

Put In Bay Fishing

Although we planned only a brief three-day trip to Put-in-Bay, we were convinced that the island offers enough activities and attractions for at least a week-long adventure. It is truly an escape in the backyard of America, and those who decide to venture to the secluded spot may find it hard to believe that they’re in Ohio, and not on a tropical island.

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  • Getting To Know Our Staff: 12 Questions with Ian Brown

    December 12, 2017

    There’s a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into planning your favorite outdoor adventures! Our staff questionnaire series allows you to learn about those who work inside to get you outside.This week we’ve interviewed Ian Brown, our new Program Director.

    1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you go to school, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors? 

    Ian Brown Blog 1I grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio, located in the foothills of Southern Ohio. For those who don’t know, Chillicothe is home to the outdoor drama Tecumseh and was Ohio’s First Capital.  

     » Read more about: Getting To Know Our Staff: 12 Questions with Ian Brown  »

  • Expanding Your “Nature Zone”

    December 5, 2017

    By: Amy Camp
    Increasing your comfort levels in the great outdoors

    Life and career coaches, myself included, often work with their clients to recognize and expand their “comfort zones.” Imagine a comfort zone as being a small circle of activities and situations in which you feel safe or comfortable. It’s like a cozy little bubble that can be hard to step beyond. Our comfort zones can be expanded, however, and our lives will be enriched when we challenge ourselves to step out.

    Just beyond the comfort zone is another, larger circle – the “learning zone.” And beyond that is the “danger zone.” (And who wants to go there?

     » Read more about: Expanding Your “Nature Zone”  »

  • Behind the Scenes: Meet Grace

    November 28, 2017

    This week we’re happy to introduce another valuable member of our intern team, Grace Groeger! Grace is a senior at Slippery Rock University majoring in Public Relations.

    Grace Groeger1. What are you currently up to outside of Venture Outdoors? 

    Outside of Venture Outdoors, I’m currently on the big girl job hunt. It’s a scary place out there, but being able to see all the possibilities is so eye opening. Besides that I am preparing myself for a snowy winter to get out and snowboard.  

    2. What brought you to Venture Outdoors? 

    I came across Venture Outdoors just trolling through Indeed one day.

     » Read more about: Behind the Scenes: Meet Grace  »

  • In The Spirit of Thanksgiving

    November 21, 2017


    If you follow us on social media, you know that we’ve been participating in a #30DaysOfGratitude challenge. Every day for the last 21 days, we’ve posted about something or someone that we’re grateful for. What we’ve learned over these three weeks is that we would need an #InfiniteDaysOfGratitude challenge to showcase all that Venture Outdoors is thankful for.

    In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re continuing with our #30DaysOfGratitude by sharing what the Venture Outdoors staff is grateful for today.


    Sherry and Granddaughter


    “I’m thankful for this little baby doll right here.

     » Read more about: In The Spirit of Thanksgiving  »

  • Lakeside and Treetops

    November 14, 2017

    By: Chrissy Ludwikowski

    As the days become shorter (and the work days seemingly longer), it can be hard for families to make time to be together, and one’s mind doesn’t normally put colder days hand-in-hand with outdoor activities. Fortunately, we live in a city that has opportunities available year-round to invoke our sense of adventure, even during our daily grind (and don’t worry, these adventures will get your blood pumping to keep you mighty warm)!

    Thanks to Venture Outdoors and Kayak Pittsburgh, my family has adopted a love for everything that the outdoors has to offer,

     » Read more about: Lakeside and Treetops  »

Kayak Pittsburgh

Sunset Paddle

Thank you for another great season!
We’ll see you on the water in 2018!


Featured Outing

Friday Night Lights Hike

Friday Night Lights
Friday, December 15
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Join us for a 2-hour hike offering different vantage points of our City’s spectacular skyline. We’ll take in the city-scape while hiking at a moderate pace along sidewalks, up staircases and over bridges.