During the peak season on South Bass Island, more than 750,000 tourists visit between May and September! This number was threatened due to the restrictions on tourism in Put-in-Bay. Ohioans stuck together and stayed at home to stop the spread of COVID-19. When it was safe, leaders of this Lake Erie Island came together to see if opening up was a possibility.
In 2020, Put-in-Bay, Ohio saw challenges that no one could’ve imagined. To keep guests safe and make this season possible, Put-in-Bay business owners and officials had to work together. Many businesses were relying on tourism coming back to the island to stay afloat and ensure jobs for their employees.
Road to Opening Put-in-Bay
As many remember, on March 15th, Bars and Restaurants were closed on Put-in-Bay island. This brought challenges like figuring out to-go and delivery only options on the island. This closure of non-essential businesses was hard on businesses but allowed for the hope that the island may open. We will never see a season like the one we say this year. We are so thankful for everyone’s efforts to slow the spread.
When it was deemed safe, the Jet Express and Miller Ferry began bringing visitors to the island. All of Put-in-Bay Bay lodging put safety measures in place. This ensured visitors could have the getaway they deserve. Put-in-Bay Hotels and Resorts prepared to obey new guidelines and social distancing. We are so appreciative that these moving pieces came together!
While enjoying restaurants and a few bars, visitors had to follow guidelines that have been in place to keep all patrons safe. While at restaurants and bars, tables are 6 feet apart and the maximum per table is 10 people and live entertainment was not allowed.
Some of the favorite events on the island had to be canceled this year but the island became a very safe place to vacation. The Historical Society welcomed tourists to soak up the history of the island safely.
Although almost all upcoming events were canceled for 2020, we know that they will take place when visitors can enjoy them safely. If events in 2021 are possible, we can’t wait for tourists to come experience Pyrate Fest reenactments, Bachelorette parties, St. Patrick’s Day, and everyone’s favorite Bash on the Bay! This vacation destination adapted and overcame challenges that at times seemed impossible.
Looking forward to Winter on Put-in-Bay
As tourism season comes to end, we reflect on an eventful year. We are thankful for the tourists who safely visited the beautiful Lake Erie. Guests were still able to experience the nature of South Bass Island. Perry’s Victory International Peace Memorial and State Parks were very popular because of their sprawling outdoor spaces. Bay restaurants became the perfect family-friendly and safe space to enjoy the summer breezes off Lake Erie.
As the leaves finish falling and as holidays approach, this Lake Erie Island begins to prepare for winter. Hotels, resorts, restaurants close for the season. Don’t worry businesses stay open for the 100 something year-round residence of Put-in-Bay, Ohio. There are a few daring people who participate in ice fishing on the frozen Lake Erie during the winter season.
Note that Griffing Flying Service is the only way to get to the island during the winter months. Lake Erie freezes and the ferries shut down during this down season. If anyone wants to visit the island during the frigid months, they will have to travel by air.
Do not worry because those cold and snowy months will pass and Spring will be here before we know it. New blooms and warmer temperature brings the opening of Put-in-Bay, Ohio closer every day! April 1st is the season opened for South Bass Island. This means restaurants, bars, hotels, resorts, and ferries all open to serve the visitors of this great island.
Opening for the Season
April 1st will come up fast. Make sure you book your lodging well in advance because visitors are already planning their bay vacation. Put-in-Bay Lodging has so many options that will meet all of your needs. Whether you are looking to work from the island or bringing the whole family for a family fun vacation, the island has rental homes, waterfront condos, bay condos, vacation rentals, and more that will make your trip!
This destination is popular with many boaters and adventurers. If you are visiting and would like to try your hand at watersports, jet skis and other water toy rentals are available on the island. No matter what you are looking to do on your getaway, Lake Erie is yours to explore! Golf carts are a favorite among tourists. You can zip around the island to discover quaint shops, breweries, and so much more! Visiting Perry’s Cave and learning about Oliver Hazard Perry are must-dos. There are so many Put-in-Bay attractions to choose from, you will have a hard time choosing!
Perfect location on Lake Erie
The great news is that Put-in-Bay, Ohio is a short journey away from Port Clinton, Toledo, Catawba, Sandusky, Cleveland, and the Midwest. This destination is the perfect distance to come and spend a week in the sun! Downtown Put-in-Bay is waiting to be explored by visitors again. We cannot wait to have you back on the island and attend some of our favorite Put-in-Bay upcoming events! Come see why Put-in-Bay is called the Key West of the North.
Upcoming Events to look forward to:
Bachelorette Weekend #1 – April 2nd – 3rd
Mr. Ed’s Classic Pajama Party – April 17th
Put-in-Bay Ohio Cinco de Mayo Party – May 5th
Invitational Mills Trophy Sailing Race – June 11th – 12th
Founder’s Day Jose DeRivera Celebration – June 11th – 13th
Put-in-Bay Bash on the Bay 5 – August 25th – 26th
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