Hotel at a Glance: Put-in-Bay Resort & Conference Center
Thatched umbrellas surround a pool with a swim-up bar at this South Bass Island resort. While listening to the splash of a waterfall from a poolside lounge chair, you might feel like you're staying on a far-off isle in the Caribbean—but this island is anchored in the waters of Lake Erie.
- Free breakfast including belgian waffles and biscuits and gravy
- Golf carts you can use to cruise down to the shore
- Go-karts and arcade games at Adventure Bay Fun Center next door
- 40-person hot tub stays at a balmy 104 degrees
- Tee off at nearby Saunders Golf Course
- Distance from Main Street: one block
Put-in-Bay, Ohio: World's Largest Geode on South Bass Island
The tiny village of Put-in-Bay has roughly 150 permanent residents, but each spring, the population booms as vacationers hit the shores. The village occupies a stretch of beachfront on South Bass Island, where kayakers come to navigate Lake Erie and fishermen cast out for perch and walleye (the lake's been called the walleye capital of the world).
Put-in-Bay is barely a speck on the map, but it's home to the biggest geode on earth, Crystal Cave. Tour the underground cave to see iridescent blue crystals hanging from the ceiling. The cavern was uncovered more than a century ago when workers began building Heineman's Winery, which still bottles its own wine and champagne upstairs. Other eclectic attractions in town include a wooden carousel that's nearly 100 years old and a chocolate museum that serves up heaping scoops of locally made ice cream.
At Perry's Family Fun Center, kids can mine for gemstones and stand amid fluttering butterflies in the butterfly house. The main attraction here is Perry's Cave, named after Commodore Perry, who fought pivotal battles on Lake Erie during the War of 1812.