Not so well kept secrets of a Lake Erie island
It’s home to the 3rd tallest monument in the world. Any guesses?
It’s home to the 2nd tallest monument in the United States. Any ideas?
It’s home to the tallest Doric column in the world. Give up yet?
It’s located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, near Cedar Point. Hint!!! It’s pictured right here.
It’s the Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial – the only peace memorial in any of our National Parks.
The Visitors Center has an excellent display that explains just how Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry was able to encircle the British and win the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813. A park ranger expanded on the story with some very interesting details that made you wonder how he ever pulled off such a feat. Commodore Perry, you were one remarkable dude. We salute you.
A short walk away is the monument and an elevator will whisk you to the top. From here, you can see to China, well maybe just Canada, but you can see for a long way.
Walking around the monument, there are corner plaques on all four sides that identify the islands and shores you are seeing from this 352 foot high perch. Rangers do a good job of explaining what you are seeing and discussing places you might want to visit.[Read about the re-enactment of the battle held here in 2013]
One day – 3 Killer Meal locations:
Breakfast for champions can be found at a neat little new place (only three years old) called The Old Forge. This former blacksmith’s shop has been beautifully restored, using as much of the original materials as humanly possible. Inside are comfortable tables and booths. Outside there is a Key West-ish type garden bar.
But the star here is the breakfast menu – with to-die-for Pecan Waffles and Strawberry-Banana crepes. One taste and you’ll be back.
For lunch, there nothing better than the meal that brought me all the way back up to the islands – the Original Perch Taco served right here at The Goat Soup and Whiskey on Catawba Avenue. Start off with a Basil Strawberry Mojito, work into a Seafood Gumbo and then try to put away three Lake Erie Perch Tacos. Mmmm!!! Should have probably only ordered two, but they were sooooo good.
Dining is available inside or out. The other local favorite I haven’t tried yet is their Reuben Balls. Gotta get back soon and give them a try.
When it’s dinner time, trek up the stairs to the Upper Deck at the Boardwalk Complex. For seven years now, PIB’ers have been enjoying the view of the harbor and the great food here. Drinks are bountiful, and the appetizers are amazing. I enjoyed a South Bass Island Ice Tea and had to watch my step when it came time to leave. A Long Island Ice Tea doesn’t even come close.
The lobster bisque is renowned here, and can be had in a large bowl or a bread bowl. Cheese lovers will gravitate to their Lobster Mac & Cheese, but I couldn’t pass up two of Lake Erie’s finest – the Walleye and Lake Erie Perch combo.
Where to Stay:
One of life’s sinful pleasures is to watch The Ohio State Buckeye’s trounce their competition during fall football season. I’ve been enjoying the ride since the 60’s and it never gets old. The only thing better than watching the game is watching the game at an official Buckeye’s hangout spot. Luckily you can find one in about every state in the union.
I’m extremely lucky in that one of the finer Buckeye establishments is only an hour away from home. Bay Lodging is one part motel, one part Buckeye tiki-bar and 100% Ohio State fan-tastic. There’s both indoor and outdoor pools next to the tiki bar, and even a spa.
Tailgating aside, the motel is quite comfortable. Spent the night here in June, and it was quite spacious. I had two double beds, a worktable with two chairs and a decent size compact refrigerator. The bathroom was large as well. Wi-Fi worked, so I was a happy camper.
The hotel is located just a few blocks from downtown Put-In-Bay, so you are close to all the action but at the end of a quiet street. It’s really an ideal location. Staff are great and I really enjoyed the stay.
Getting to and fro
This is an island after all, so you won’t be driving or walking here. That’s where Miller Ferry comes in. Their ferry service will bring you, your bike, your car or your camper over in just about 15 minutes from the mainland at Catawba Island (which really isn’t an island – confusing, I know.) Once on the island, if you didn’t opt to bring your car, you can rent bikes or golf carts (the preferred vehicle of choice.)
Miller Ferry will also take you to the other Bass Islands (Middle Bass and North Bass) if you are interested. South Bass is the most popular, with the most activity however.
The ferry runs as long as the weather holds out, but check their schedule online so you don’t miss the last boat of the day.
For more information on Put-In-Bay: Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce