Kelleys Island Vs Put in Bay – 4 Key Aspects of Vacation Reviewed

Which is better – Kelleys Island Vs Put in Bay? Put in Bay offers a bustling nightlife scene, while Kelleys Island provides a more peaceful environment with lovely seashores, nature trails, and wineries to discover.

Dailey’s infectious tune at the Beer Barrel Saloon gets everyone moving, yet Kelleys wasn’t always so lively; once upon a time it was Cunningham Island before Cleveland’s entrepreneurial Kelley brothers started buying up chunks of land.


Kelleys Island on Lake Erie provides the ideal combination of fun family-oriented activities and nostalgic throwbacks, making it the ideal destination for spending a weekend or week-long trip with your loved ones. There’s something here for everyone in this Ohio gem!

Put-in-Bay or Kelleys Island can be visited any time of year; the best time will depend on your preferences for weather and crowds. Since both destinations tend to get overrun during their busier summer season months, visiting during one of the shoulder seasons might be preferable.

Traveling with kids? Be sure to stop at the Island Arcade and Meg’s Makeshop for lots of entertainment. Take a golf cart tour around Kelleys Island for breathtaking sights like classic red barns, an inviting harbor and more! Plus learn all about Kelleys Island history at its Historical Museum!

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Explore ancient pictographs and inscriptions at Inscription Rock. While its surface may have been damaged by weather over the centuries, you can still read some inscriptions if you look closely enough.


Put-in-Bay is famous for its lively nightlife scene and celebratory atmosphere; Kelleys Island provides a more relaxing environment with stunning seashores, hiking trails, wineries, and vineyards to discover. Furthermore, visitors to Kelleys Island can learn about its rich history at the Kelleys Island Historical Association Museum.

Kelleys Island offers plenty of outdoor activities during the warmest part of summer, making for the ideal visit. However, travelers should remember this is peak tourist season so the island may become congested quickly; to experience a quieter experience or for reduced crowding it may be wiser to visit in May or September shoulder seasons instead.

Kelleys Island’s celebrated bars and eateries provide live music, karaoke nights, leisure, and leisurely dining experiences. Notable dining destinations on Kelleys Island include Roundhouse Bar, Beer Barrel Saloon, Dockers Waterfront Restaurant and Bar as well as its signature Put-in-Bay Music Festival in June and the Pyrate Fest in August.

Put-in-Bay is famed for its vibrant nightlife, as well as its numerous beaches that provide ideal conditions for swimming and sunbathing. South Bay Beach stands out as a standout among them – featuring clear blue water with soft sand; other well-known spots include Perry’s Monument Beach, Boardwalk Park Beach, and South Shore Park Beach.


Kelleys Island offers something for everyone! Whether it be exploring Perry’s Cave below the ground or climbing high up Perry’s Victory Memorial on top, you’re sure to find something exciting here!

Inscription Rock is a beloved attraction where ancient pictographs and inscriptions from antiquity can still be seen today, though their effects have faded over time. Still, taking in this piece of history is always enjoyable!

kelleys island vs put in bay

Glacial Grooves Geological Preserve is another must-see stop on the island for nature enthusiasts. These natural grooves were formed when glaciers moved through Ohio and is truly breathtaking to witness!

Charles Herndon Gallery and Sculpture Garden should be part of any culture-hungry traveler’s itinerary! Situated on the east side of the island, visitors will need a vehicle (car, golf cart or bike) to reach this unique locale that will surely leave them impressed and smiling.

On top of the island attractions, there’s also plenty to do away from the island! Visitors can take advantage of Lake Erie by renting jet skis, paddle boards and kayaks; fishing for walleye and yellow perch is another activity visitors can do; put-in-Bay parasailing is another fantastic way for guests to take in its beauty without leaving Put-in-Bay Island!

Food & Drink

Kelleys Island boasts an abundance of food and beverage establishments for visitors to enjoy, ranging from Italian and Mexican restaurants, pub food, seafood pubs, casual island-style eateries, as well as stunning waterfront views – such as Pasquales Cafe with stunning views over Put in Bay harbor and downtown, offering family friendly breakfast and lunch services.

Put in Bay is best visited during its summer season when weather and nightlife activities are at their height, but May and September also make great times to visit, with smaller crowds and lower prices than during other times of year.

Put-in-Bay is known for its bustling nightlife scene, offering many bars and clubs with live music to choose from. Enjoying these nights out is the perfect way to unwind after an exhausting day or simply having some fun with friends! Plus, its crowd is often younger than Kelleys Island, making Put-in-Bay an attractive choice for young adults looking for an exciting atmosphere!

The Village Pump is one of the premier drinking spots on Put inBay, boasting an outdoor bar and seating area as well as offering an affordable $10 bucket of Rum Punches. Their food offerings include delicious burgers, chicken wraps, flatbreads and giant soft pretzels; Old School Island Fudge Shop in downtown is another fantastic venue where visitors can grab a bite to eat before treating themselves to some sweet fudge!