#BookDirect – Learn how to save when traveling!

Are you overpaying by 5% to 20% every time you travel?

Join Island Club Rentals, Put-in-Bay Condos, and the rest of the vacation rental industry for #BookDirect Day on February 7th, 2019. It’s time to get your summer vacation plans in order and join the movement to make a FEE-FREE vacation rental booking. Read more to discover why it is always less expensive to book direct with your lodging

In recent years, there has been a huge growth of online listing and travel sites (such as AirBNB, VRBO, HomeAway, FlipKey, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com) who are inserting themselves between you – the guest – and us, the vacation rental manager. The industry term for the online middlemen is “Online Travel Agency” (OTA). There are key differences.


1- Did you know that Airbnb, Booking.com, VRBO, HomeAway and TripAdvisor can add hundreds of dollars of fees to your booking total? That’s how they make their profit!

2- Do you want to know if there is a propane grill, jet ski rental, 24/7 taxi service, a grocery store close by? The big OTAs don’t live on Put-in-Bay so they can’t tell you!

#BookDirect to get the best price and advice!

3- Is there a concert coming up at Put-in-Bay? What kids’ events are happening during your reservation period? Once again, the big OTAs don’t know the area and don’t have important information!

“The Island Club office always puts me in the best house each summer for my family. This will be our fifth year in a row returning.” -Liz R. (Columbus, OH)

4- Are there any special offers available or multi-night discounts? The answer is yes, but the big OTAs will never tell you that!


A guest is more likely to have a better vacation experience if they #bookdirect. Not only will the best price be guaranteed but guests are also likely to find the best special offers, the most flexibility, and the most informative communication if they book directly with the Island Club or Put-in-Bay Condos.

Put-in-Bay Things to Do Top 10

Put-in-Bay Ohio has so many great attractions.  High energy fun like parasailing to more relaxing time spent sipping on some island wine.  Regardless, there truly is something for everyone.  We’ve come up with the 10 Best Things to Do on Put in Bay.  Do you have a suggestion for the list?  Feel free to share your thoughts.

Here’s our Top Then Things to Do on Put-in-Bay:

10. Take a Taxi

Island Club Taxi

This may not seem like a thing to do.  Think again! There are countless stories of fun times had on Put-in-Bay Taxis.  Furthermore, sharing the ride with others will make new friends fast!  Furthermore, the Best Taxi Service on Put-in-Bay is Island Club Taxi.  Their drivers are fun, personable and make sure you have fun.  So, look for them in the white vans with palm trees or call 419-285-5466.

9. Rent a Kayak

Put-in-Bay Kayaks

Rent a kayak from Kayak the Bay.  So, take in the incredible vantage point from on top of Lake Erie.  Breath taking views of Perry’s Monument and the downtown Put-in-Bay Harbor are incredible.  Also, see the famous Benson Ford Ship House, once owned by the Henry Ford Family.

8. Take a Hike

Take a Hike on Put-in-Bay

The beautiful natural setting of Put-in-Bay cannot be overlooked.  So, take a leisurely walk at one of the many nature preserves.  The Scheef Point Preserve, pictured above, offers a gorgeous lakefront setting.  Also, groomed trails greet guests with cozy benches along the way.

7. Jet Ski on Lake Erie

Put-in-Bay Jet Ski

Rip across the water on a Jet Ski.  Then, feel the mist of Lake Erie while taking in the scenery.  Put-in-Bay Watercraft Rental has jet skis, power boats and kayaks for rent.  So, find them near South Bass Island State Park for some water filled fun!

6. Eat Local

Boardwalk Put-in-Bay

With so many things to do, an appetite will surely surface.  Put-in-Bay has only one national chain dining option on the island.  Otherwise, the rest are unique to the island.  So, grab a bowl of Lobster Bisque at the Boardwalk Restaurant.  Oh, so good!

5. Go Parasailing

Put-in-Bay Parasailing

Strap in for an unforgettable ride.  Put-in-Bay Parasailing has been providing service to the island since the early 1990’s.  Float among the clouds taking in amazing views of Perry’s Monument.

4. Drink Island Wine

Put-in-Bay Winery

Get a real taste of the islands.  Grape growing and wine making have been a part of Putin Bay since the islands humble beginnings.  Furthermore,  Heineman’s Winery has been doing so since 1888.  So, stop in for their signature selection: Pink Catawba.  Sweet and fruity, the taste is pure Summer!

3. Take a Bi-Plane Ride

Bi-Plane Put-in-Bay

Planes have been a part of the island for generations.  This lifeline provides transportation in the Winter months.  So, see the island from far above with a ride with a Put-in-Bay Bi-Plane.  Take in spectacular views of the Lake Erie Islands.

2. Rent a Golf Cart

Put-in-Bay Golf Cart

One of the most striking things about Put in-Bay is golf carts!  They seem to be everywhere and they are.  So, renting a golf cart is the best way to see all of the island.  Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Depot has you covered downtown, and Island Club Golf Cart Rentals has rentals onsite for guests.

1. Relax


There certainly is something special about the island of Put-in-Bay.  Worries seem to flee and enjoyment ensues when the clock is set to island time.  So, if you haven’t experienced a feeling quite like this, what are you waiting for?  Put your mind at ease and set course for PIB!

Thanks for Reading!

We hope you’ve enjoyed the Put-in-Bay Things to Do Top 10.  Please, stay tuned for more great lists like this!  Also, your suggestions are encouraged.  What do you want to hear more about?  Tell us!  Cheers, see you at the Bay!

Put-in-Bay Memorial Day Weekend Island Specials

This Memorial Day Weekend, the Put-in-Bay community honors the service of our US Veterans and all Active Duty Service Personnel with Island Specials.

The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce members and businesses of South Bass Island are sharing these special offers for our active duty police/fire/EMS/military and veterans of our Armed Forces. Please check with the individual business to confirm discounts.


chicken patio
Chicken Patio Grill

  • Boardwalk Main & Upper Deck – 10% off any food item (does not include alcohol).
  • Cameo Pizza – $2.00 off a large and $1.00 off a medium pizza.
  • Chicken Patio – $5.00 off a chicken dinner.
  • Dairy Isle – 10% off any food item.
  • Hooligan’s – 10% off any food item (does not include alcohol).
  • J.F. Walleye’s (Middle Bass Island) – 50% off vacation rentals, golf cart rental and breakfast buffet.
  • Mossbacks Restaurant – 50% off for veterans and active duty military on Memorial Day.
  • Pasquale’s Cafe – 25% off meal (does not include alcohol).
  • Put-in-Bay Brewing Company – Free souvenir pint glass with any purchase.
  • Reel Bar – 20% off total food bill (does not include alcohol).
  • T & J’s Smokehouse – 15% total off food bill (does not include alcohol).
  • The Keys – 10% off any food item (does not include alcohol).


Put In Bay Shopping
Country House Gift Shop

  • Candy Bar – 10% discount.
  • Country House Gifts – 10% discount.
  • Freshwater Remedies Gift Shop – 20% off merchandise.
  • Put-in-Bay Surf Shop – 25% discount.
  • The Bucket Shop – 10% discount.


Put in Bay Condos Pool
Put in Bay Condos Pool

  • Condo and House Rental Golf Carts – $20 extra discount off the already discounted weekend rates! (Put-in-Bay Condos and Island Club guests only)
  • E’s Golf Carts – $10 off of the daily rate for active and military veterans police, firefighters, and EMS with a valid military ID.
  • Island Bike & Cart Rental – $5.00 off daily golf cart rental.
  • Island Club – Memorial Day Triple Bonus Weekend Special: #1 Bonus: Saturday Booking Restrictions lifted! Memorial Weekend Only! #2- Double Bonus: Get an extra night FREE at ANY home booked for Memorial Day Weekend! 3- Triple Bonus: Book a golf cart for Memorial Day Weekend, and get an EXTRA $20 off! Based on availability. New reservations only. Discounts can not be combined. Call 216-898-9951 to book.
  • Jet-Express – $2 off/person Military Discount (up to 6 people per military ID).
  • Miller Ferry – free transportation to Put-in-Bay or Middle Bass Island.
  • Park Hotel Golf Cart Rental – $5.00 off cart rental (day rate only).
  • Put-in-Bay Condos – $100 off any Memorial Day stay (2 night minimum).


Heinemans Winery
Heinemans Winery

  • Heineman’s Winery – 50% off combo tours. Pay only $4.00 for a winery tour, cave tour and a glass of wine or juice.
  • Island Club Taxi Service – $3/pp rides anywhere on the island. Kids 3 and under ride free!
  • Lime Kiln Bus – free transportation & $1.00 off for adult family members.
  • Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center – free admission to Perry’s Cave & $1.00 off for adult family members.
  • Put-in-Bay Condos Taxi Shuttle – $3 taxi rides, per person. Newest and friendliest fleet of taxis on the island.
  • Put-in-Bay Tour Train – free tour & $1.00 off for adult family members.
  • The Butterfly House – free admission & $1.00 off for adult family members.

The Fine Print: Each business is privately owned and operated and discounts are subject to change without notice.

Put-in-Bay on HGTV: Tune in 1/28!

Put-In-Bay on HGTV!  The island  was recently cast into the National spotlight with a feature on the popular HGTV show, Island Life. The first airing was Sunday January 28th at 10:30 PM and featured a couple interesting in buying a vacation home on Put-In-Bay.  So, join in to see our little island on the big stage!

Put-In-Bay on HGTV Airing Information

What: Island Life

When: Sunday January 28th, 2018

Time: 10:30 PM EST

Channel: HGTV (229 DirecTV, 30 Spectrum)

Reruns if you miss it on Sunday : http://www.hgtv.com/shows/island-life/episodes/wedding-location-becomes-home-on-south-bass-island

About Island Life on HGTV

put-in-bay on hgtv
Put-In-Bay on HGTV

Many people only dream about owning a home on an island.  This show follows those who wish to make this dream a reality.  So, the buyers are paired with a real estate agent who shows them three or four properties.  The show follows them as they browse and try to narrow down their choices to one property.  Lastly, the buyers select their dream property to live the Island Life.

The island of Put-In-Bay is an excellent choice for this show.  Boasting exceptional restaurants, attractions and shopping options, it’s no wonder that HGTV came to the island last summer.  Furthermore, the legendary nightlife cannot be overlooked either!

You Can Live the Island Life!

So, all of this sounds great!  Do you want to set your watch to Island Time?  You’re in luck.  The Put-In-Bay Condos has just 3 condos left for purchase.  So, what are you waiting for?

Imagine, sitting on your lakefront patio enjoying the stunning views of Lake Erie.

put-in-bay on hgtv
PIB Condo Lake Deck

Spending time with your whole family in a comfortable and spacious 4 bedroom, 2 bath condo.

put-in-bay on hgtv
PIB Condo Kitchen

Also, taking a refreshing dip in the onsite pool.

PIB Condo Pool

Be close to all of the best Things to Do on Put-In-Bay, while far enough away to have your own slice of the island.

put-in-bay on hgtv
Downtown PIB

So, ACT NOW as these great properties won’t last long!  Furthermore, having your very own piece of Put-In-Bay is truly special.

For more information or to schedule a showing of the Put-In-Bay Condos, simply Email:  office@islandclub.com



Toby Keith Concert Update

The Toby Keith Concert planning is down to the fine tuning stage. The Put-in-Bay Port Authority held a meeting today August 15th to discuss the details. Here’s a list in no special order of items discussed:

– The concert will generate $30K of non-aviation income for the PIB Port Authority.
– Additionally another $12-14k could be generated in alcohol related sales.
– The concert promoter predicts that there will be 10,500-11,000 tickets sold.
– Tickets can still be purchased on-line at Etix.com and will be sold the day of the concert if not sold out.
– This will be a rain or shine event. The Franklin County Command Center will be utilized with a direct link to NOAA for up to date information about any thunder or lightning warning or concert holds. A plan is in place for sheltering.
– There will be no “In and out” allowed. Once in the venue, if you leave you will not be readmitted.
– No open containers will be permitted upon exit of the venue.
– Golf Cart Parking will be handled by the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center. 100% of the $5 Parking fee will be a donation to LEINWC. 1500-2000 golf carts are anticipated.
– DeRivera “B” dock estimates that gross receipts for the same week last year was $7K this year it should be $12-14K “B” Dock has reserved space for a group of 20 boats all others will be first come first served.
– Port Authority mooring buoys are also first-come, first served.
– No one from the Village A and C docks were present. Standard procedure is no reservations accepted.
– Miller Marina and Crews Nest docks are all reserved at this time.
– Langram Road from Put-in-Bay Road (The twine shanty) to Meechen will be closed to all traffic except cabs and buses from 3pm on the day of the concert.
– Island Transportation will be providing 5 buses and 7 tour trains to shuttle people from the airport to the Downtown Depot for those leaving on the Jet Express.
– The Jet Express estimates that they can move 1000 people an hour. The Miller Ferry estimates 1900 people per hour.
– The Port Authority said that based on figures provided by Lake Erie Shores and Islands, 6,500 people could potentially stay on the island 8/31.
– Lake Erie Shores and Islands will be on hand to assist concert-goers with last minute lodging requests.
– There will be three gates into and out of the concert venue. The North Gate (North east side of the Port Authority building) is where buses and tour trains will load and unload. The VIP/Handicapped gate will be at the Heli-pad entrance, and the South Gate will be off of Airport Road where all golf carts will be parked.
– 2 miles of temporary fence will be installed to control the concert parameter. There will be no concert equipment or seating north of the Airport building.
– Absolutely no parking will be allowed on either side of Langram from Airport Road to Cessna Rd.
– There will be between 140-170 security personnel on site in the concert venue.
– The Ottawa County Sherriff’s department is taking over the Put-in-Bay Township.
– 10-15 Mounted police will be on hand to patrol.
– 50 officers from the Ottawa County Sheriffs department will be here. 20 will be inside the venue.
– 5-8 bomb sniffing dog teams will be brought in prior to the event to check out all buildings and people in the concert area.
– US Coast Guard will be on hand to manage boats trying to anchor along the shoreline.
– The temporary fence on the south side of the venue will be patrolled by armed deputies.
– The Ohio State Highway Patrol will mange traffic flow on the mainland, the Sherriff’s department will handle the traffic on the island.
– Airline Road will be closed to traffic during the concert and reopened for golf carts to exit after the concert.
– There will be 10 portable light towers that will be in place to provide lighting for concert-goers exiting the venue.
– Concert-goers that came over on the Miller Ferry will channeled down Langram to Lime Kiln. Sherriff Department personnel will be in place to manage the exiting crowd.
– There won’t be any pressure to have the audience leave, water and food stations will remain open after the concert is over.
– Crisis Management will be assisted by a team from the FBI.
– Patrick Meyers, former member of the port authority board will be the spokes person for all information related to the Port Authority and its venue.
– For more information and concert details go to www.bashonthebay.com where additional information is added daily.
– The Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce is also available to answer other questions at 419-285-2832

History – The Battle of Lake Erie

The United States Brig Niagara in Erie, Pennsylvania is a reconstruction of an early 19th century warship of the United States Navy involved in the Battle of Lake Erie. On September 10, 1813, nine small ships defeated a British squadron of six vessels in the Battle of Lake Erie. This pivotal event in the War of 1812 secured the Northwest Territory, opened supply lines and lifted the nation’s morale.

Six vessels in Perry’s Fleet, including Niagara were constructed in Erie. Building of the American squadron was a remarkable feat, given Erie’s mere five hundred inhabitants and remote location. Shipwrights, blockmakers, blacksmiths, caulkers, boat builders, and laborers were recruited from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. Materials to construct the vessels were imported from other regions of Pennsylvania including iron from Meadville and Pittsburgh; canvas for sails from Philadelphia; rigging, cannon shot and anchors crafted in Pittsburgh. The cannon were brought from Washington, D.C. and Sacketts Harbor N.Y. Because there were no sawmills, the lumber had to be cut, hewed, and squared by hand.

Daniel Dobbins, a Great Lakes shipmaster living in Erie, was assigned by the Navy to direct construction until experienced builders arrived. In February 1813, Commodore Isaac Chauncey, Great Lakes Naval Commander, hired Noah Brown, a New York shipbuilder to complete the six vessels. Brown also designed two of the four schooners and the two brigs, Lawrence and Niagara.

In March 1813, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry took command. By late July, Perry completed the vessels and raised volunteers to augment his sailors.

A significant number of the skilled sailors were free blacks, many landsmen and soldiers were also enlisted due to a shortage of men.

On August 1, the British squadron withdrew its blockade and the American ships emerged from Erie harbor. For the next month Perry trained his crews and watched the British squadron at Fort Malden, Ontario (Amherstburg, near the mouth of the Detroit River).

On September 10, the British under Commodore Robert Heriot Barclay and the Americans under Perry met in battle near Put-in-Bay, Ohio. Perry’s flagship Lawrence engaged her counterpart, while Niagara, for unknown reasons, did not close the enemy. Nevertheless, the Lawrence held fast and continued a heavy bombardment. After she was completely disabled, with most of her crew wounded or killed, Perry transferred by boat to the undamaged Niagara, sailed her into close action, broke the British battle line, and forced Barclay to surrender. In the aftermath, Commodore Perry wrote his famous report to General William Henry Harrison: ” We have met the enemy and they are ours: two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop.”

After the war, Niagara served as a station ship in Erie until 1820, then was scuttled there in Misery Bay. To celebrate the centennial of the battle in 1913, Erie citizens raised the hulk and rebuilt her, using many of the old timbers. Niagara, towed by the USS Wolverine, visited Great Lakes ports and participated in ceremonies at Put-in-Bay on September 10, 1913.

Following the commemoration, Niagara returned to Erie. In 1931, the state took custody of her and began a major restoration that was delayed by the Great Depression. Her hull was completed in 1943; masts and rigging were finally installed in 1963.

By the early 1980s the Niagara was again severely decayed. International Historic Watercraft Society was contracted to design and build a reconstruction of the Niagara. The present ship is a new vessel, incorporating both known and conjectural design features. Some original timber is installed in non-structural places.

On September 10, 1988, the Niagara was launched in Erie ceremonies marking 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie and the ensuing peace between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Why I Love Put-in-Bay

Recently, we asked our guests what they liked most about Put-in-Bay. Answers ranged from short to long and covered just about every attraction and event at Put-in-Bay. Some loved the ferry rides, some loved Christmas in July, and some just enjoyed thinking about youthful summer island vacations. Here are three of our favorite Put-in-Bay stories that we think you will enjoy.

1 – People Watching

The wondrous island of Put-in-Bay is teeming with attractions. Those with historical significance like Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial commemorating the Battle of Lake Erie, to those with nearly mythical auras like the Roundhouse Bar. Still, there is something that I enjoy the most while spending time on intriguing PIB.

The attraction that I like most at Put-in-Bay is the World-Class people watching. Folks from all walks, regions and nationalities descend upon PIB each Summer. From guests to employees, there are many interesting people to meet and watch. There is an endless supply of entertainment sitting on a bench in DeRivera Park on any given day. Multiply the previous statement by a thousand if that day happens to fall on a Friday or Saturday. The overwhelming joy and elation from the thousands of revelers creates an environment that is truly electric. This energy, this force, is the very factor that keeps many guests and workers coming back year after year to basque in this crazy, enigmatic place called Put-in-Bay. I love to meet people who have never been to the island. I love to plant the seed in their minds that they will most certainly return at some point, likely sooner than they could have even imagined to this beautiful island! The draw to PIB is certainly magnetic, with some of the groups touting ten and even twenty years plus of annual trips to the rock. This remarkable attraction extends beyond the downtown area. Hop on a golf cart, the preferred mode of travel on Put-in-Bay, and continue your exploration of the people watching capital of the Midwest. As you leave your bench in the park, head West down Delaware Ave. A string of eclectic watering holes, shops and restaurants flank the street, beckoning revelers to come and seize the day. Turing left on Catawba Road will bring you by Put-in-Bay Town Hall where the PIB Police are stationed. Heading south, you may witness a loving couple completing their nuptials at one of two churches. Stop by South Bass Island State Park and witness a kid skipping rocks off the beautiful Lake Erie shore or a group heading out on Jet Skis in the Summer sun. Continue down Meechen Road towards the airport. Gaze in amazement as planes and helicopters take off and land at 3Whiskey2, the aptly given moniker for the Put-in-Bay Airport. Turning left onto Langram Road, you can peer to the right and see the stunning new Put-in-Bay Condos. Expansive, panoramic views await at the premier vacation rentals on the island on prime Lake Erie waterfront property. The people watching continues as one heads due North down Langram, heading towards the fabled downtown Put-in-Bay area.

Although it may sound strange to pick people watching as my favorite attraction, once you experience it for yourself, you too will understand my choice. There are few places on this planet that harness the power to immediately put people in such a carefree, relaxed state just by merely stepping foot on its soil.

2 – Butterfly House

The attraction I most enjoy on the island is the Butterfly House. The Butterfly House imports thousands of exotic butterflies each year from South America. You walk through an enclosed habitat that houses these butterflies and as you walk, the butterflies land on your arms and hands. My nieces enjoy this attraction because they love seeing the beautiful butterflies of all different colors, sizes, and species. When you leave the butterfly house, there is a reasonably priced gift shop that features anything and everything butterfly related. You can’t visit the island without also exploring the Butterfly House!

3 – The Whole Island Experience

Just about an hour from my home, lies what I believe to be one of the best kept secrets in the USA, Put-in-Bay. I’m not the only one who thinks this small town located on South Bass Island off the Ohio shoreline is pretty great. This Lake Erie island town was recently nominated as one of America’s Coolest Small Towns by Budget Travel magazine.

I could tell you everything that I think is great about Put-in-Bay, but it would be as long as a book! Here are some quick snippets which help sum up the island experience.

Put-in-Bay is known for its wineries and many festivals that it holds throughout the year. Three years ago, it was confirmed that Johnny Depp even made an appearance for the annual Put-in-Bay Pirate Fest, though that wasn’t public information until after the event was over. Does anyone want to venture a guess as to which pirate he decided to impersonate? Yep. None other than Jack Sparrow. I’m sure there was more than one person who said to him, “Wow! Has anyone ever said you look just like…”.

Don’t let the parties scare you off. Some festivals create an adult atmosphere and if you’re looking for a family friendly weekend, you may not want to visit during that time. But most of the time, you’ll find the island is big enough for everyone and makes the perfect spot for a quick getaway, romantic escape, family reunion, corporate event or family friendly vacation. My tip, visit during the week in early September and stay in a waterfront condo, bed and breakfast or cottage away from downtown. It’s not at all crowded, it’s quiet, the weather is perfect, and most importantly… rates drop after Labor Day.

Downtown Put-in-Bay is dotted with charming buildings and some of them even have a pretty colorful history, which you’ll enjoy learning about during your visit. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll definitely want to stop at the Original Bay Fudge shop (aka The Candy Bar). We even bought a chocolate covered Twinkie. Yum.

There are wonderful places to relax and grab a bite to eat both in town and on the water. If you try the Conch Fritters at The Keys while taking in a gorgeous Lake Erie view, you just may forget that you’re still in Ohio.

Do YOU have a favorite island experience or memory to share? We would love to hear from you! Send us an email via the contact form and tell us all about it!