But once you get there, this village on Lake Erie’s South Bass Island is like in a different world.
There’s a little for everybody to see and do, but one thing that tops the list for some people is food.
And thanks to the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, you can enjoy a journey through some of the island’s hidden gems with the Put-in-Bay Foodie Trail.
From shoreline and inland hangouts to dive bars and elegant porch dining, Put-in-Bay has it all.
There are 24 stops on the Foodie Trail. Make your way through at least eight of them Sunday through Thursday, getting your card stamped at each destination, and you can receive a free foodie trail swag bag filled with goodies and coupons at the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. For more information call 419-285-2832 or log onto firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a look at the 24 locations on the Put-in-Bay Foodie Trail:
• Chicken Patio — Voted the best barbecue in Put-in-Bay, the patio has been serving chicken with its secret wine-basted barbecue recipe for more than 50 years.
• Joe’s Bar & Restaurant — It may look like a dive bar, but the menu features everything from half-pound Angus burgers to quarter-pound hot dogs, wings, Cuban sandwiches and more.
• The Forge — Opened in 2012, The Forge specializes in coffee, Crépes and drinks using locally-sourced ingredients.
• The Keys — Find a little bit of the Florida flair here. The waterfront restaurant and bar is the perfect island destination for friends and family alike.
• Pasquale’s Cafe — The lunch and dinner menu is filled with Italian and American dishes. But what makes this place a local hit is the availability of all-day breakfast foods.
• T&J’s SmokeHouse — As Put-in-Bay’s only country bar/restaurant, patrons enjoy everything from crushed peanut shells on the floor to live entertainment featuring the area’s best country bands and dueling piano acts.
• Mossbacks/The Fishbowl — Classic décor made of rich, dark woodwork highlights Mossbacks’ upscale, yet casual atmosphere. The Fishbowl, celebrating its 20th anniversary, offers guests friendly service and an extensive drink menu. The restaurant is known for its Lake Erie perch and walleye sandwiches along with its burgers.
• Holligans — This Irish restaurant brings to Put-in-Bay the fundamental style of a true public house, with its own modern flare. Specialties include fish ’n chips, shepherd’s pie and its own Guinness Burger.
• The Goat, Soup & Whiskey — Home to the original perch taco, this restaurant also features three soups made daily from scratch as well as three on-site gardens that ensure menu items are made with fresh, local produce.
• Mojito Bay Tiki Bar — Located in the heart of downtown, this is a place to kick back, relax and enjoy a mojito, including the original, raspberry, pomegranate or the ultimate high octane.
• Frosty Bar — Serving its famous pizza baked fresh to order has been a tradition for 60 years. Add some peanuts and a frosty beer, and you’ll see why this is so popular.
• Cameo Pizza — From the mainland to the island, Cameo Pizza offers a large menu with late-night service — something that comes in handy after a long day checking out all of the watering holes in town.
• Heineman’s Winery — Visit the tasting room and wine garden and sample award-winning sips before touring Crystal Cave, the world’s largest celestite geode.
• The Crew’s Nest — Welcome to the island’s premier boat club and resort — a popular spot featuring unmatched lakeside views and gourmet lunch and dinner menus.
• Red Moon — Take a step back into time at Red Moon inside the legendary Park Hotel. The island’s only speakeasy, it is known for its specialty drinks, including its award-winning, hand-muddled cocktails.
• Put-in-Bay Brewery & Distillery — Open since 1996, it is the island’s first brewery and legal distillery making rum and vodka. Thrown in a hand-tossed brewery pizza and you’ve got it all.
• Reel Bar — Opened in 2014, it’s a “reel new bar in a reel old place.” Burgers, sandwiches and 16 draft beers are a highlight of this stop on the island.
• Boathouse Bar & Grill — Two bars and a loaded menu with sandwiches, burgers and salads have made this an island favorite for more than 50 years.
• Put-in-Bay Pizza Co. — Featuring thin- and thick-crust pizzas, you also can find stromboli, grinders and large salads on the menu.
• Round House Bar — Celebrating 145 years of fun, the island’s oldest tavern is a staple of downtown. You can’t stop here without getting a bucket of beer.
• Dairy Isle — Located down the street from Perry’s Monument and International Peace Memorial, this is a magnet for hundreds of visitors each day looking for a fast and affordable meal.
• Put-in-Bay Winery — Enjoy a glass of wine relaxing in the wine garden on the front porch of the Doller Estate with its perfect view of Put-in-Bay Harbor. Mouthwatering finger foods, including a variety of cheese plates, help round out the offerings.
• Dan Dee’s Snack Shack — Just like Perry’s Cave Family Fun Center, Dan Dee’s Snack Shack offers something for everyone. If you like a quick bite, this is the place to stop.
• The Boardwalk — This is a destination that offers a memorable experience with service that keeps guests returning for more. Don’t leave here without trying the lobster bisque.