• Sheena Striker

Adventures at Put-in-Bay

Back in June a friend of mine and I decided to take a day trip to Put-in-Bay. I’d never been there before so I was unsure what to expect. I’m always up for something new so I was excited to go. From Kenton to the ferry (more on that in a minute) it was about an hour and forty minute drive. To get to the island you have to take a ferry across. There are a couple of options. You can take the Jet Express which is just a passenger ferry and gets you there in good time. Because the weather was rainy that day and we were unsure of how accessible things would be on the island in terms of walking and getting around, we decided to take my van across. The cost for the vehicle and two people was around $70. We were able to drive right on the ferry with my van and the trip was about 20 minutes or so. Now I’m going to be honest, I am not a huge fan of boats or ferries for that matter. I’m terrifies of open water so I was not sure how this was going to go. Because I was able to stay in my van and go across I felt a little more secure and made it across and back without incident.

Once we got on the island, we drove around for a little bit just getting the lay of the land. We knew there was a museum on the island, that was actually the purpose of our visit so we were looking for it. The museum is tucked back in an alley behind a couple restaurants so it took us asking someone to find it. We were able to find a parking spot in front of one of the restaurants. Most people on the island use golf carts to get around which really isn’t an option for someone in a wheelchair so walking it was.

We found the museum. It was about $14 for the two of us. The museum is a good size collection of artifacts from the island, telling the history of Put-in-Bay and the hotels and restaurants that are there. There was also a 15 minute video giving a history of the island. While we were looking around the sky decided to let loose and it poured rain. Because of that we spent more time in the museum than we normally would have. I would say you could see everything in the museum in an hour or so. The museum also offered a nice gift shop area with history books and other items.

After the museum we decided to grab some lunch. We headed over to the boardwalk and ate at a restaurant called The Upper Deck. To get to the restaurant there is a flight of stairs, but there is also an elevator. The restaurant had great food and an excellent view of the lake. Unfortunately for us, it was still raining so there weren’t many boats out. The menu was mostly seafood which was delicious! I highly recommend stopping.

After lunch, we finally got a break in the weather so we headed over to Perry’s Monument. The Battle of Lake Erie was fought during the War of 1812 and this monument was built in honor of those who fought and died. You can take an elevator to the top, but because of COVID-19, it was closed. When we walked up there was a park ranger giving a talk on the battle and she did a demonstration of how the loaded and fired their muskets. The unfortunate part of the monument is that there is no ramp up to the monument itself. It is surrounded by stairs. Close to the monument is a visitors center owned by the National Park Service. Inside was a small museum telling about the War of 1812 and the Battle of Lake Erie. There was also a small gift shop and they had a short video about the battle and its importance to American history.

Put-In-Bay has a lot of bars and restaurants on the island, many of them with a different theme. If enjoying adult beverages is your thing, you will not be disappointed. We ended up in a bar called Topsy Turvy for a bit just to sit and chat and to get out of the rain. One of the main features of the bar is the dollars bills all over the walls and ceiling. We asked the bartender if she knew how much money there was and she said they guessed around $5,000! That’s a lot of ones! After the bar, we decided to head back. We were on the ferry by 4 and on our way back to Kenton by 4:30-5. The signs at the ferry stated that cars needed to be in line for the last ferry by 6.

All in all it was a fun day. The weather could have been better, but it was what it was. While we were there they were having their Pirate festival so many of the people walking around were dressed accordingly. I was impressed with the accessibility of the majority of the places. There were ramps to get into the restaurants that had stairs or there were elevators. The museum was all one floor so that was not an issues. I was disappointed that the monument itself was not accessible. It was a fun day none the less and while I may not go there on a regular basis, it is some place I would visit again.

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