About Put-in-Bay Island

Put-in-Bay Ohio offers adults, families, and conventions many options for a relaxing vacation. Put-in-Bay’s most frequently asked questions may be found along with answers at putinbaylodging.com. If your questions are not answered here just e-mail us at our contact form.


Frequent Put-in-Bay Questions

How far in advance should I make lodging reservations for a Put-in-Bay resort, hotel, rental, or condo?

It is suggested that you make your reservations very early in the year, especially if your stay involves a weekend. Hotel rooms are limited on the Island and booking early will help ensure you get the dates you want. You may book online by visiting our Put-in-Bay Hotels Lodging page and selecting the hotel of your choice or stop by our Put-in-Bay Cottage Rentals page for a home rental of your choice.

How do I get to Put-in-Bay?

Put-in-Bay has one high-speed passenger ferry (Jet Express) that services South Bass Island and lands downtown. The Jet Express link may be found on our transportation section.

There is also a vehicle ferry (Miller Ferry) to Put-in-Bay that lands back by the lighthouse. The Miller Ferry is the lowest price ferry and runs all year round, weather depending.

What is the weather like?

The weather at Put-in-Bay is much like all of northern Ohio’s coastal communities. In spring and fall, a light jacket our sweatshirt is recommended for evenings. Island dress is casual. Current weather and a 10-day forecast may be found in our weather section. On bad-weather days, call a Put-in-Bay Taxi to get you around and stay dry. Just remember, it NEVER rains in our great restaurants and bars!

Do your hotels have a minimum stay?

On weekends our hotels require a two-night minimum. On holiday weekends there is a three-night minimum. There is no minimum stay requirement Sunday through Thursday nights, where Sundays are not on a holiday weekend.

For home and condo rentals, there is a minimum 2 night stay all season long, but never a 3-night requirement.

Can I bring alcohol to my hotel room?

Yes, all of the hotels featured on www.putinbayreservations.com permit you to bring your own beverages to the privacy of your own room or rental home. You may not bring your alcoholic beverages into any of our bars or poolside bars as they are considered part of the liquor permit premises.

There is no need to bother bringing beer and wine from the mainland as we have carry-outs here on the island with prices comparable with those on the mainland. There is no State liquor store on the Island.

Do I need a drivers license to rent a golf cart?

Yes! Golf carts are treated as licensed motor vehicles on the island. All traffic laws apply including open container laws as well as drinking and driving. Put-in-Bay Golf Cart Depot and Island Club Golf Carts both rent to licensed drivers over the age of 18 (see our Transportation page for more info). For those under 18 but holding a valid license, a parent or guardian may rent a golf cart for your use.

Can I walk from bar to bar with a drink?

NO! This is not Las Vegas or Key West, you’re still in Ohio. As anywhere in the State of Ohio, we have an open container law. No alcoholic beverages may leave a liquor permit establishment. This is strictly enforced and the police are not shy about enforcing this law.

Do the docks take reservations?

The city docks are on a first come first serve basis for boat dockage. The later you arrive, the further out you have to raft off of other boats. Park Place Boat Club accepts occasional reservations, and they may be made by calling 419-285-6183. There are also private docks down by the Crews Nest and the Yacht Club, on the other side of the Boardwalk.

What if I miss the last ferry?

This is not recommended! Trying to find a last-minute hotel room or rental home late in the evening can be difficult if not impossible. On weekends, check the Jet Express schedule for their last scheduled ferry trips, which are usually around midnight.

Do I need advance reservations for the ferry boats?

No! Our ferry boat services can transport as many as 300 people per trip and have numerous boats. Arrive early for your trip to Put-in-Bay!

What time do the bars close?

As a general rule, most downtown bars close around 1:30 am. There are two late-night bars on the island: Mr. Ed’s Bar & Grille and the Brewery. (back in the old days, the two late-nighters were The Skyway Lounge and Dailey’s Tavern).

What bands are playing?

Put-in-Bay has live entertainment almost every night during the summer, with at least a half dozen bands every weekend night at the various downtown bars. Check out our Put-in-Bay entertainment calendar page for your favorite entertainer!

Do I need my car on the Island?

The bottom line is no, you do not NEED your car on the island. We recommend you do NOT bring a car to the island for short two night stays. Aside from the expense associated with transporting your vehicle, parking is very limited on the Island and near impossible to find downtown on weekends.

Wait times to get a car on or off the island can run as long as four hours on popular turnover days. Hotels located on the lodging page of this site are located in town and just a short walk from most Put-in-Bay attractions. Golf carts and taxis may be reserved on our island transportation page and are readily available.

Does Put-in-Bay have a school?

Yes! Put-in-Bay has a K-12 school that is located in the downtown area. Students come from the surrounding islands by boat and plane. The average graduating class is from 4 to 8 students.

Is there a grocery and a place to buy beer and wine?

Yes! There is a full-service general store on the island, downtown on Catawba Avenue. A drive-through with beer and wine is located next to the Boathouse Bar and Grill on Hartford Avenue. There is also a hidden gem called Duffs Workshop back near the State Park that sells carryout beer.

What is your operating season?

The Put-in-Bay tourist season starts on April 1st and lasts through Halloween weekend, which is usually the last weekend in October. Off-season activities include walleye and perch ice fishing. Local residents live on the island year round.

How do you get back and forth from the Island in the winter?

When the ferries stop running, there are several charter airlines that fly in and out of Put-in-Bay. When there is a cold winter, a few brave soles drive their vehicles, snowmobiles and four-wheelers across the ice to the mainland.

How old do I have to be to rent a moped?

You must be 18 years of age to rent or operate a moped. The legal age to sign a contract in Ohio is 18. Please note: you must have a valid driver’s license in order to ride a moped in the streets of Put-in-Bay.

How far are you from Cedar Point?

Both Put-in-Bay ferry docks can be reached from Cedar Point, and vice versa, in about 20 minutes. Cedar Point is a great add-on to your Lake Erie islands vacation at Put-in-Bay!

Where is the best place to eat?

That is a tough one! There are a wide variety of great dining choices on the island that serve an even wider variety of food. While touring the island, stop in and look over the menus to determine your choice! You can preview the dining option on our Dining page before you visit.

How many people live on the Island in the winter?

The population of Put-in-Bay is about 250 people. These are all full-time residents on the island. There is also a large “snowbird” contingent that winters down in Ft Myers Florida and elsewhere. They return in the summer to enjoy the beautiful Lake Erie majesty.