Lake Erie islands, including the various ones with Bass Island in the name, have been hosting vacationers for generations. In the past, people stepped aboard steamships to get from the mainland to these scenic getaways. Today's Lake Erie island cruises are quicker and more comfortable. If you want to make an afternoon out of it or a whole week, you can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the Great Lakes and the beautiful views that come with leaving the mainland behind.
With a trip to Pelee Island or any of the other Lake Erie islands, you'll find a vacation that suits your plans, budgets, and your tastes. You can pack whatever things to do that suit your fancy into your trip, whether you're looking for adventure, a quiet getaway, or something in between. While many of the islands are privately owned, Kelleys Island along with Bass Island and Pelee Island welcome visitors to come and explore on Great Lakes vacations.
These island vacation destinations are accessible by boat or air. You can hop aboard some of the Lake Erie Island cruises in the mainland town of Cawtaba, halfway between Cleveland and Toledo. This peninsula town is just minutes from South Bass Island, also known as Put-in-Bay. Packed with interesting attractions, the island is a popular place for a day trip. You can step aboard the trolley to see many of the attractions, including Perry's Monument and International Peace Memorial, a butterfly habitat, and a winery. The ferry also continues to Middle Bass Island, its quieter neighbor. Both of these Lake Erie islands are favorite places for outdoor recreation, especially hiking and kayaking.
Lake Erie Islands cruises also bring passengers from the mainland to Kelleys Island. A four-season destination just a few miles from Sandusky, it is a favorite place for Great Lakes fishing, lounging on the beach, and enjoying the slower pace of the islands. An array of Lake Erie rentals provide a place to stay throughout this lovely place, close to the dive shops, restaurants, and the hiking trails. While you're out and about on Kelleys Island, you'll find glacial grooves, carved right in the limestone. This example of ancient geology is now a National Natural Landmark and something amazing to see.
While the vast majority of the islands are part of Ohio, Pelee Island is located just across the US/Canadian border. A straight shot north of Kelleys Island, this small island is also accessible by boat or short flights from many mainland locations. This charming little island is known and loved for its nature preserve and fantastic bird-watching opportunities. You'll also have the chance to enjoy typical island pursuits such as boating and sandy beaches.