Lake Erie Islands

“Vacationland” haven on the lake where residents enjoy a relaxed lifestyle year-round.

Welcome to Lake Erie Islands

“Vacationland” haven on the lake where residents enjoy a relaxed lifestyle year-round
Geologically-speaking, the Lake Erie Islands are a series of archipelagic islands that range in size, some without population at all. However, the larger islands such as South Bass Island (Put-In-Bay), Middle and North Bass Islands, and Kelley’s Island combine with several notable shoreline communities—Port Clinton, Catawba Island, Lakeside, Sandusky, and Marblehead—to fall under the umbrella known to many as, “Vacationland.” 
While all of these islands and cities each have their own unique, defining characteristics, they do all share the beauty of Lake Erie and the laid-back, coastal lifestyle of living on the waters. Many of these neighborhoods and towns had historical significance throughout the War of 1812, and in most cases, settlement can be traced back to those early days. Modern-day residents of Lake Erie Islands and shore communities are just a ferry ride or a short drive away from magnificent natural scenery, waterfront activities, one of the best amusement parks in the nation, incredible commercial districts, and resorts. 
On Kelley’s Island and Put-In-Bay, you can easily find inviting cedar lodges, sweeping mid-century, single-family homes, newer builds perfect for big families, and even condo units for those who want a summer-time vacation home. Along the shores, you can choose from pricier houses, whose grandiosity and historic grace make them popular choices among the elite and prominent public figures.

What to Love

  • Resort-feel on the lake with ample activity
  • Ultra-luxury clubs and resorts like the Catawba Island Club
  • Architectural variety ranging from historic to luxe condos
  • Incredible commercial availability thanks to the tourist crowds 
  • Scenic Marblehead Lighthouse State Park

People & Lifestyle

Residents under this vacationland umbrella enjoy a lively summer season, where thousands of visitors grace their community to boost the economy and take part in the lakeside fun. They get the benefit of being near the plentiful dining, shopping, and commercial district areas that have been built to accommodate the tourism crowd and yet also have the luxury of living at a slower, quieter pace in the cooler months. The area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, and year-round options for hiking and sightseeing ensure that residents are never bored.

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping

Thanks to its status as a tourism hot spot, the Lake Erie Islands area is teeming with exciting retail and dining opportunities. Whether you want to browse local island gift shops or hit the name-brand stores at the Sandusky Mall, you won’t be disappointed in the commercial offerings of these stunning locations. 
Diversity and coastal cuisine are the two stars of the Lake Erie Islands culinary scenes. Relish the fresh European twist on classic American fare at Ørchard Bar & Table on Catawba Island in Port Clinton, where the heavenly charcuterie boards and sumptuous desserts will make a seasoned visitor out of you in no time. Another popular mix of cultures, Twin Oast Brewery in Port Clinton dishes out German-American cuisine and craft beers that never fail to impress. 
There’s not much else in the world that could be better than a wine tasting right next to serene lakeshores, and Gideon Owen Wine Company in Port Clinton is the place to go for locally grown and cultivated wines. While these are just some of the examples of the variety of dining in the Lake Erie Islands, each of the island and shoreline community has its own bevy of restaurants, some of the most notable of which include:

Things to Do

Entertainment in the Lake Erie Islands area depends greatly on which location or city you’ve landed in. For instance, Sandusky is the mecca for all things amusement park and family-fun related, home to Cedar Point (which features a world-record of 71 rides), Kalahari Water Resort, and Great Wolf Lodge Water Park. Port Clinton, meanwhile, is well known for its Walleye Festival and great food. 
At Put-In-Bay, visitors can: join The Crew’s Nest marina for an abundance of water activities; take the Miller Ferry, Jet Express, or their own private boats to and from the island; and visit popular sight-seeing spots like Perry’s Monument, Butterfly House, and Perry’s Cave. Put-In-Bay hosts beloved yearly events, including the annual Oktoberfest, and is replete with excellent wineries such as Heineman Winery. Several fundraising events are held around the communities, such as the Coast to the Oast bike ride in Port Clinton and the Bike to the Bay event for MS.


The Lake Erie Islands are home to several excellent schools. Top educational opportunities include:
  • Bataan Memorial Primary School, PK-2, well-rated public primary school
  • Danbury Elementary School, PK-4, well-rated public elementary school
  • Put-In-Bay Elementary, PK-6, well-rated public elementary school
  • Bataan Memorial Intermediate School, 3-5, well-rated public intermediate school
  • Danbury Middle School, 5-8, well-rated public middle school
  • Port Clinton Middle School, 6-8, well-rated public middle school
  • Sandusky Middle School, 7-8, well-rated public middle school
  • Put-In-Bay High School, 7-12, well-rated public high school
  • Port Clinton High School, 9-12, well-rated public high school
  • Sandusky High School, 9-12, well-rated public high school
  • Danbury High School, 9-12, well-rated public high school 
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