Kelleys Island is a small island spanning just over four square miles on Lake Erie, situated at the northern edge of Ohio near the Canadian border. The spectacular scenery, small-town ambiance, effusive hospitality, and numerous attractions make Kelleys Island a popular holiday destination. Nearby many Kelleys Island vacation rentals are endless opportunities for kayaking, mountain biking, fishing, and wine tasting. Here are the top things to do on Kelleys Island.

marsh boardwalk kelleys island
Source: Flickr/Roy Luck

1. Putter Around on a Golf Cart With a Rental From Village Peddler

Although Kelleys Island has roads and allows cars, most people find them unnecessary and prefer to get around in safer, quieter, more environmentally friendly golf carts. Among the first things to do on the island is to rent a golf cart for your transportation needs at Village Peddler on Division Street. While you’re there, peruse the wide selection of clothing, novelty items, and souvenirs at this unusual and eclectic shop.

2. Explore the Island on Mountain Bike With Island AdvenTours

Kelleys Island has a number of roads and trails that are best explored by mountain bike. To assist you, Island AdvenTours organizes guided tours to some of the island’s unique locations. The Quarry Quest tour begins at Kelleys Island State Park and takes you to the historical ruins at North Quarry and East Quarry. You also get a look at the famous Glacial Grooves, a natural wonder carved millennia ago by the huge glacier that created the Great Lakes. After a stop for lunch, journey onward to the Huntley-Beatty Preserve, a site of ancient fossils, and then you get a look at the active West Quarry before returning to the state park. The Winery Ruins tour involves less strenuous cycling, taking you to the ruins of defunct wineries and then for a relaxing ride along the beautiful lakeshore.

3. Explore the Shorelines with a Rental From Kelleys Island Kayak Rentals

Kayaking is a great way to explore the 17 miles of shoreline around Kelleys Island. Kelleys Island Kayak Rentals at the sandy beach in Kelleys Island State Park is the perfect place to get started. Enjoy a cool, quiet paddle around the island while you take in the magnificent scenery and possibly catch a glimpse of some shorebirds and other wildlife. The facility also rents paddle boats that can fit the whole family.

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4. Shop and Play at Caddy Shack Square

For some tremendously entertaining shopping and fun, head for Caddy Shack Square, one of Kelleys Island’s most popular attractions. In this one-of-a-kind amusement complex, shop for beachwear, hats, jewelry, gems, and fossils. Shoot 18 holes at the old-fashioned putt-putt mini-golf course, mine for gems at the gem mining station, and play a variety of games at the video arcade. The Little Healing Room is a small spa that provides massage therapy, essential oils, and nutritional supplements. When you get hungry, head to the Caddy Shack Restaurant and Bar for pizza or subs and then to Dipper’s Dan Ice Cream Stand for dessert.

5. Find the Catch of the Day With Lake Erie Fishing Charters

The waters of Lake Erie provide splendid opportunities for fishing, and Captain Park’s Kelleys Island Lake Erie Fishing Charters takes you straight to the prime angling locations. The company supplies the rods, bait, lures, and tackle so you can catch trophy-sized bass, walleye, and perch. This is a family-friendly charter service that does its utmost to make your children’s fishing experience an unforgettable one.

6. Discover Local History at the Historical Association Gift Shop and Museum

Find an unusual gift or souvenir and learn about some of Kelleys Island’s fascinating local history at the same time. The Historical Association Gift Shop on Division Street features books on island history and a large selection of unique island-themed souvenirs. The museum has photos, posters, household items, and other memorabilia that helps bring island history to life. The Historical Association also oversees the island’s historic Old Stone Church, which is open for viewing.

7. Belly Up to the Bar at Kelleys Island Brewery and Scavenger Hunt

Kelleys Island Brewery, set in a beautiful location by the lakeside, invites you to sample the only craft beers made on the island. The selection varies from light ales to dark stouts, and the brewery has a wide selection of sandwiches and desserts to accompany the brew. Take a tour of the brewery to learn more about how the beer is made. Join a brewery scavenger hunt, a fun group activity that takes you to various spots around the island.

8. Enjoy an Excursion to Put-in-Bay Riding the Jet Express

Put-in-Bay is a village on diminutive South Bass Island, which lies just a few miles northwest of Kelleys Island. Jet Express offers swift inter-island ferry service between the two islands aboard a luxury cruiser. Explore South Bass Island, which has a number of unique sights, including the 19th Century Stonehenge Estate and Crystal Cave, a fascinating cavern under a winery that is full of immense limestone crystals. Afterwards, enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Erie and Kelleys Island as you race back aboard the Jet Express Cruiser.

9. Indulge Your Love of Art at the Charles Herndon Galleries and Sculpture Garden

The renowned artist Charles Herndon works out of studios on Kelleys Island, one devoted to sculpture and another for painting and photography. At his two-story main gallery, you can peruse the extensive collection and purchase examples of his work. Items for sale include prints and stone sculptures. Don’t miss strolling through the sculpture garden, which is a 10-acre area around the gallery.

10. Enjoy a Wine Tasting at the Kelleys Island Wine Co.

The only winery on the island, Kelleys Island Wine Co. offers wine tastings, a winery viewing area, and a restaurant featuring pizzas, flatbreads, and cheese platters. This family-friendly facility has the island’s largest outdoor recreational area and invites guests to take advantage of the picnic tables, volleyball court, horseshoe pits, and children’s play area.

 
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