We got up early and felt a chill in the air. We turned on the fireplace to warm things up a bit. The sun was out and it was calm, so it didn’t take long for it to warm up. We readied ourselves to make a trip out to Put-In-Bay for the day with our bikes. We put together a backpack with water, hats, snacks, and a map for our day on South Bass Island and Put-In-Bay. We arrived at Miller’s Ferry parking lot around 9:30. We off-loaded the folding bikes and rode them back 2 blocks to the ferry dock and ticket office.
We bought 2 round trip tickets for $7.50 each and spent $2.50 each for the bikes for a total of $38. Cheap at half the price. We had a short wait for the 10:00 ferry and it arrived shortly before 10:00.
After unloading the ferry arriving from Put-In-Bay, the waiting cars and pedestrians were loaded.
Within 10 minutes, we were fully loaded and on our way.
What a difference in weather compared to yesterday. Today we had clear, blue cloudless skies, a light breeze, and temps in the low 70’s. The short ferry ride of 20 minutes was smooth. As we neared the island, I could get a clearer view of Perry’s Peace Memorial.
On the southwest end of the island, we could see large homes perched along the rocky cliffs.
Bob loves to check out the bridge on any boat and watched the captain as he brought the ferry into the dock.
We also got a glimpse of the South Bass Island Lighthouse.
We eased into the ferry dock and disembarked. We had arrived!
We took the short ride to the lighthouse which is owned by Ohio State University.
It wasn’t open for viewing, but it was interesting to walk around the grounds.
There was quite a bit of boat traffic on the lake this morning on such a gorgeous day.
From there, we rode the 2 easy, flat miles to downtown and the center of the island.
We were the only bikers on our ferry, along with 7 vehicles, and lots of pedestrians. Most everyone made a beeline to the golf cart rental office to rent carts, but there were a few walkers. We were already on our way to Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial.
We forgot to bring our Senior Passes along with us to the island which would have allowed us to go up into the tower for free. We didn’t know that it was a national monument or that you could even go up into the tower. Next time, we’ll be prepared. The tower was impressive and we could see people at the top!
The tower commemorates the Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812 and those that died there. It is the third highest national park monument in the USA. It celebrates the peace between Britain, Canada, and the U.S. The memorial, a huge column rising 352 feet over Lake Erie, sits 5 miles from the longest undefended border in the world. Inside the monument are the remains of 3 Americans and 3 British officers killed in the battle. It was quite an amazing structure inside and out!
We rode the short distance into downtown from there. Riding along the water’s edge, we got a view of all the marinas in town which were not very full. One of the store owners told us that now that the kids are back in school, tourism has dropped off quite a bit and now it’s just busy on the weekends. We love to travel at this time of year for that very reason.
The town was pretty quiet for 11:00 in the morning. Some establishments were not open yet and there weren’t many people wandering around town. We locked our bikes to a bike rack in the park and made our way around the square.
There were lots of restaurants, bars, and shops to check out. It was like a mini-Mackinaw Island.
The Historic Round House Bar and the Park Hotel were very unique buildings.
The Round House Bar is known for its great live entertainment.
We heard music coming from somewhere, so we had to investigate. We discovered that it was coming from Kimberly’s Carrousel. It is an original Allan Herschell carrousel built in N. Tonawanda, NY in 1912. It is one of only 100 carrousels with wooden horses remaining in the U.S.
In the center of the town square is a beautiful park with this awesome carved wooden statue.
We walked through the park to get to the Boardwalk–a multi-level dining destination.
Overlooking the harbor, the upper deck has a 180 degree panoramic view of the harbor.
We sat up there to enjoy their famous Lobster Bisque in a sourdough bread bowl and to get a view of the boats that started to arrive in the harbor. The Boardwalk is considered the Lobster Bisque Capital of Ohio! It was scrumptious! Lots of lobster with delicious sourdough bread.
From there, we hopped on our bikes to ride along the northern shore of the island to Oak Point State Park. From the park, we got a great view of Perry’s Monument across the harbor.
We rode back into town for a stop at the Put-In-Bay Surf Shop for a couple of souvenir t-shirts. Our last stop was at the Beer Barrel Saloon.
Its claim to fame is being listed in the Guinness Book of Records for having the world’s longest permanent bar of a 405 foot, 10 inch-long counter built in 1989. This place was HUGE.
By this time of day, the golf carts were lined up and down the street. They were everywhere!
Put-In-Bay was busy with activity now. People were riding bikes, scooters, mopeds, golf carts, and walking around everywhere. After a beer at the Beer Barrel Saloon, we rode our bikes back to the ferry dock–a 15 minute ride. We arrived in time to catch the 2:30 ferry with a few minutes to spare, so after a quick look in the gift shop, we boarded the ferry for the ride back.
We arrived back on the mainland around 3:00 and returned to the campground. A few more campers had arrived while we were gone today, but others had left. Bob put the folding bikes away while Auggie and I sat outdoors enjoying the quiet. Bob grilled some swordfish steaks and we had a great dinner. It was an awesome day! We have really enjoyed our stay here on Catawba Island and our visit to Put-In-Bay. Auggie and I took our last walk around the campground tonight. Tomorrow, we head east with an overnight stop in Pennsylvania and then on to the Finger Lakes in New York.