We are lucky to have so many fun, dog-friendly places within a short drive of Cleveland. One that I have been wanting to hit up for a while with the dogs is Put-in-Bay island. Located on South Bass Island in Lake Erie, Put-in-Bay is a popular summer destination for those looking for an Island party scene, but is also a great place to take your dog for patios, fun walks and sight-seeing.
I decided to plan my trip in September, thinking it would be less crowded, and less hot. I was right on one point, it was definitely not crowded. Unfortunately though, it was also one of the hottest days this summer. The heat definitely impacted our options with the dogs since Hunter is very heat averse, but we decided to make the best of it anyways.
Here is a rundown of what we did if you are looking to plan a trip to Put-in-Bay with your dogs.
How to get there
Both Jet Express and Miller’s Ferry allow dogs to travel on their boats over to the island. Just be sure to check the schedule if you are going in the off season. We didn’t plan ahead well and got to Jet Express only to find out that it doesn’t run on weekdays after Sept. 9. Luckily, Miller’s Ferry still runs on Fridays in September and is not too far from the Jet Express, so we were able to drive over there to pick up the ferry. They do have more limited hours and don’t take cars roundtrip on certain days during the off season, so read the site carefully when planning a trip in the off-season.
On Miller’s Ferry, dogs can ride on the lower level with the cars. Although it doesn’t drop you off as centrally on the island and is a more cargo-like experience than Jet Express, it’s still an easy option for getting to the island with your dogs. If you take Miller’s Ferry, you will want to rent a golf cart since it’s a farther walk to the main area of the island from where they drop you off. There is a golf cart rental place right next to where Miller’s Ferry drops off.
What to do
Put-in-Bay has a number of parks, and even recently opened a dog park on the island. There are a lot of fun areas to walk with your dog on the Island. You can walk around the Main Street to see the shops or take more scenic walks through the parks and along the lakeside. Most of the shops on the Island are dog-friendly, although it’s always a good idea to ask before bringing in your dog.
South Bass Island State Park is a great spot for a dog hike if you go on a less hot day. We couldn’t add it to the agenda knowing our dogs would barely make it a half mile, but from my research it looks like a good option for a nice Island walk. The park offers scenic views of Lake Erie as well as beach access.
And if you can’t get much of a walk in, there are a lot of great photo opportunities around the island for your dogs!
For a little history, you can walk around the grounds of the Perry’s Victory & International Peace Memorial.
The new dog park, Island Paws Dog Park, on the island is located very close to where the Miller’s Ferry drops off. The park just opened this past May and provides a large space for dogs to roam and play. It didn’t look to have beach access to me, but it was hard to tell based on our visit when no other dogs or people were there.
For the more adventurous pup, you can also rent kayaks at Kayak the Bay near Oak Point to take your dog out on the water. http://kayakthebay.net/additional-information/
We didn’t rent kayaks, but we did get some cool pics on the jet skis at the ice cream place 🙂
Where to eat
We stopped at the Reel Inn to find some shade and water for the pups after arriving on the island. The patio out front isn’t too large, but was able to accommodate the four dogs we had with us since it wasn’t crowded. The service and food was very good, so I would definitely recommend making a stop there if you visit.
And of course, there’s nothing better than ice cream on a hot day!
Other recommended dog-friendly patio options are: Goat, Boardwalk, The Keys, Chicken Patio, Hooligan’s.
The storm clouds started to move in toward the end of the day, but thankfully the weather held up and it only began to pour on us as we got to the parking lot on our way home. Some of the dogs were not too pleased with us for the long walk we had to make in the rain to get to the car. (Sorry Roscoe!)
Have you been to Put-in-Bay with your dogs? What was your favorite thing you did?