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The Group Travel Leader Going on Faith Select Traveler

Put-in-Bay’s got plenty of appeal

Where is Put-in-Bay, Ohio?

  • Put-in-Bay is on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, halfway between Toledo and Cleveland. The town of 400 swells to 25,000 in the summer.

How do I get there?

  • The Toledo and Cleveland airports are about an hour’s drive; there’s also the small Put-in-Bay Airport. Two ferries provide high-speed passage from Port Clinton, Sandusky and Loraine, Ohio, to downtown Put-in-Bay. On the island, groups often use North Coast Cab Co.’s 15-passenger vans.

What types of meetings best suit Put-in-Bay?

  • The qualities that make Put-in-Bay a popular summertime resort —750,000 people visit between April and October — appeal to meeting groups: shopping, historic at
    Island life is explored at the Island Life Museum in the Doller House,

    tractions and live music. 

Did you know?

  • South Bass Island is the largest of the three Bass islands. Most visitors drive rented golf carts instead of cars; the carts are more convenient and because they are electric, they cut down on emissions.
  • U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry sailed from Put-in-Bay in 1813 to capture six vessels of Great Britain’s Royal Navy in the Battle of Lake Erie. Put-in-Bay is the site of the 1915 Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial. It is the third-tallest monument in the country.

What’s new?

  • Bay Lodging Resort renovated its rooms, expanded its pool and added the Buckeye Bar and Grill this year. In 2010, the Put-in-Bay Resort and Conference Center will add 13 four-bedroom villas.
  • The Put-in-Bay Winery doesn’t produce its own wine, but visitors can sit on the front porch of the historic Doller House or in the wine garden to sample its regional wines.


Tell me about Put-in-Bay’s main meeting sites.

  • Opened in 2007, the Niagara Event Center embraces island living. Live palms reach up to the lobby’s ceiling; there’s also a waterfall. The 14,000-square-foot building, owned by the Island Inn and Grand Islander Hotel, handles events for up to 600. Meetings in search of a splash of adventure and fun can have a dinner for 75 swashbucklers on the center’s land-based Flaming Skull full-scale pirate ship. 
  • The Put-in-Bay Resort and Conference Center’s 70 rooms and villas are connected to 4,600 square feet of meeting space. The island theme emerges at a Caribbean-theme pool with swim-up bar and in the Tiki Bar and Grill.
  • Small meetings can check out Bay Lodging Resort, with 52 rooms and 2,600 square feet of meeting facilities.

Tell me about some interesting off-site venues.

  • A patio, a pavilion, a dining room or a clubhouse are among the options at the Crew’s Nest boating club. There’s room for 400 and views of the lake.
  • Once owned by one of Put-in-Bay’s wealthiest citizens, the 1885 Doller Mansion welcomes events for as many as 400 people to its lakeside gazebo. Also on the site, the Island Life Museum displays the last remaining island icehouse.
Visitors take a ferry to the Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island and then rent golf carts to tool around.

What are some sites worth seeing?

  • Taller than the Statue of Liberty, the 352-foot Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial reminds visitors of the peace between the United States, Great Britain and Canada. The Doric column has an observation platform with a 360-degree view of the surrounding islands.
  • While digging a well for a winery in 1897, workers hit a layer of crystal in what turned out to be the world’s largest recorded geode. Visitors can go 40 feet below the Heineman Winery to explore Crystal Cave and walk past walls of blue minerals and crystals 8 to 18 inches long. After touring the cave, the winery offers free samples and tours.

For a true taste of Put-in-Bay…

  • The 1871 Crescent Tavern not only boasts a Victorian atmosphere and classic seafood dishes, but is also said to house the ghost of Thomas Alexander, the deceased former owner. Tales of his sightings entertain guests as they dine on Crescent’s Italian and seafood cuisine.
  • Diners have a full view of Perry’s memorial from Axel and Harry’s on the downtown harbor. The seafood restaurant’s lobster bisque is a favorite and comes free with each entree.