Although everyone may think of Put-in-Bay as a summer locale, Fall is my favorite time to visit the island.
Island life is a little less hectic. The ferry trip on the lake’s choppier waters is its very own thrill ride. And the tree-lined streets are absolutely gorgeous — all of that red, yellow, orange, and green against the backdrop of Lake Erie.
Earlier this month, two of our friends from college visited us for a weekend of Northeast Ohio winery hopping, with our first stop being the Island Wine Festival on Put-in-Bay.
Throughout the afternoon, we sampled from more than 400 wines, including ones from Heineman and other Ohio wineries. Old Forge was also on hand serving up their delicious crepes. In my opinion, nothing pairs better with sweet wine on a Fall day than a prosciutto, brie and apple drizzled with honey.
While Scott and I didn’t bring home any wine from the festival, we did win a Put-in-Bay history basket from the Lake Erie Islands Historical Society’s silent auction. The cloth Hotel Victory napkin, early 1900s island postcards, and signs were pretty cool, but my favorite find was the vintage tea cup featuring my birthday bud Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry.
After enjoying a couple hours at the wine festival, a break was needed so we hopped back in our golf cart and puttered around the island.
The wonderful thing about any visit to Put-in-Bay is that if you need a break from whatever activity you came for, there are plenty of other ways to spend your time. We spent the afternoon spelunking in Perry’s Cave, braving the winds atop Perry’s Monument, and grabbing some of the Candy Bar’s chocolate-covered bacon to enjoy at home.
Scott and I even took in another tour of the Put-in-Bay Winery. After my third tour, I can say it’s the only place I’ve taken a tour of more than twice and still enjoyed myself. (The wine you get to sample throughout the Doller House’s buildings doesn’t hurt.)
I love being able to show off Put-in-Bay. Over four bowls of the Boardwalk’s hearty and delicious Lobster Bisque, I was happy to hear that our guests are just as enamored as we are with this little getaway.
You have one more chance to enjoy Put-in-Bay’s Fall festivities this year. Today through tomorrow is the annual Halloween Boo Bash at the Bay.
For Ohio’s largest island Halloween Party, Put-in-Bay’s downtown bars and taverns will be decked out in halloween decorations and live entertainment throughout the two days. Come in costume and you could win a cash prize in one of the island’s costume contests (the Miller Ferry blog has some great island-themed costume ideas). Many of the island’s stores will also be offering end-of-season discounts on some of their wares.
If you need one final Put-in-Bay fix before the long winter, check it out.
You can keep up with Put-in-Bay’s other upcoming events at millerferry.com/events/put-in-bay and find out what’s currently open on the island at millerferry.com/events/put-in-bay/2014/10/open412.html.
Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Island Wine Festival and received 4 tickets for the Miller Ferry, 1 ticket to the festival, and a golf cart to use throughout the day. We had already been planning a trip to the island, though, and opinions here are 100% my own.