Getting to Know the Bass Islands

Getting to Know the Bass Islands

Looking for an island getaway? You don’t need to travel far or spend a fortune to enjoy that much needed break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Ohio has your back!

Located in Ohio, the Bass Islands are three American islands in the western half of Lake Erie and each have their own unique attractions and characteristics that draw visitors from around the country. From local restaurants to state parks to historical sites, there is something for everyone at the Bass Islands. Join us as we dive deep into each of the three islands and all they have to offer!


South Bass Island

South Bass Island is the third largest island in the Lake Erie Islands and is home to Put-in-Bay, making it quite the tourist attraction. As part of Put-in-Bay township, South Bass Island welcomes many visitors throughout the year – over 750,000 to be exact.

South Bass is the most visited of the Bass Islands and singles, families, and groups are drawn to it for the adventure, education, and exploration that it provides. There is a ton to do at South Bass including shopping downtown, visiting one of its many historical sites, and indulging in the many bars and restaurants that cover the island. South Bass is also home to two wineries: Put-in-Bay Winery and Heineman Winery.


Middle Bass Island

The next Bass Islands is Middle Bass Island, an 805-acre island shaped like the big dipper. It’s known for being the quieter island to its neighbor, South Bass, and many visitors prefer it because of its relaxing atmosphere. Although not as rowdy, there is still quite the fun to be had at Middle Bass Island.

While on the island, make sure you check out its historic Civil War-era wineries and local eateries such as J. F. Walleyes, a microbrewery. If you’re looking to stay overnight, the island has several options as far as lodging including Roesch Cottage Rentals, the Middle Bass Island Inn, and St. Hazards Village on the Beach.


North Bass Island

North Bass Island is the most secluded island of the three and is known for its beautiful state park. Visitors to North Bass Island State Park can enjoy camping, hiking, fishing, and more. Because there is no boat or ferry service that goes to and from the island, visitors must use their own personal watercraft.

If you’re looking for a retreat with friends, family or that special someone, check out North Bass Island State Park Lake House. The four-bedroom, four-bathroom lodge has a full kitchen and can host up to 12 guests. The lodge also has a grill and patio area, making it the ideal spot for a fun and relaxing stay. For more information and to book your stay, click here.


Put-in-Bay Schools

Put-in-Bay Local School District is an above average, public school district located in Put-in-Bay, OH. It has 76 students in grades K-12 with a student-teacher ratio of 4 to 1. According to state test scores, 75% of students are at least proficient in math and 65% in reading. The commute for students who attend vocational school is not your normal type of transportation. For most of the school year, students hop on the local ferry and head over to the mainland. During the winter months, the local airport becomes the bus driver and students fly to and from school. This also includes school staff members who commute to and from the island.

Fun fact: There is only one high school in Put-in-Bay!


Miller Boat Line and Jet Express

So, you’re ready to experience the Bass Islands? Miller Boat Line and the Jet Express are ready to take you there! Both are premiere ferry services to the Lake Erie shores and islands region.

While they offer you a ride to and from the islands, they also provide great views of the surrounding area including Kelleys Island and Cedar Point. If you’re interested in booking a ride to the islands, make sure you do so in advance as the ferries tend to fill up fast!


State Parks

The Bass Islands feature beautiful state parks including South Bass Island State Park. South Bass Island State Park is located on the island’s western shore and offers a modern launch ramp, dockage, waterfront campsites, children’s play area, fishing pier and miles of rugged limestone and sandy shoreline for sunbathing and exploring.

Middle Bass Island State Park is another noteworthy state park within the Bass Islands. The park is open year-round and offers a beach, campground, and an on-site marina. The park is a perfect spot for boaters to spend the day picnicking and sightseeing around the island. Visitors are also able to rent bicycles, kayaks, and paddleboards, making for an unforgettable day at the park.


About Ottawa County It’s All Here

The Business Advisory Counsel of Ottawa County, Ohio is excited to continue our Ottawa County It’s All Here campaign. This campaign focuses on showcasing everything that our region has to offer, with the goal of promoting employment, local businesses, and economic development. The Villages of Ottawa County Campaign is part of this initiative to highlight the places that make our community special. You can learn more by visiting our about page.

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