Put-in-Bay is legally open to travelers and vacationers in April until it closes in October. In these months, the place buzzes with excitement. During winter, the South Bass Island needs to adhere to protocols like waving when a car is coming.
The main reason is that after the last tourist leaves the island, life on Lake Erie’s tempo slows down and houses are winterized. Put-in-Bay goes quiet and as December arrives there is so much ice that ferry services are closed. Islanders go into hibernation, until Late March when the ice breaks.
The best time to plan a Put-in-Bay visit depends on how you wish to spend time in this fantastic destination. There are many accommodation options you will find on the Put-in-Bay Hotels official website.
What Does Put-in-Bay Look Like in winter?
- During ice months, several island personnel don’t leave the island. Surprisingly, these old-time islanders can survive without TV and even computers but they stock up with kitchen essentials, frozen food, and bathroom supplies before winter. Besides, some ice fishermen visit the island by sea or air, so they are not alone.
- At Tipper’s downtown, people drop by for dinner and brew or watch the winter football league matches. Some restaurants are open all winter like the Reel bar and Topsy Turvey, so the islanders residing nearby enjoy a place to socialize.
- In Put-in-Bay Island, there are 2 churches, a general store, a coffee shop, a gas station, and a hardware store that is open in winter. Bank opens for a few hours once a week. The post office opens, when newspapers and mail are flown in.
- During tourist months, Perry’s Monument and other attractions are jammed with tourists. On weekends, the place is a madhouse with lots of island hoppers visits.
- The island looks vibrant and energetic but during Thanksgiving, the place looks deserted. The playground equipment, picnic tables, gift shops, bars, and restaurants are all boarded up and piled for long winter months No one is on the streets, and at Christmas, a wine store, one restaurant, and the market is open for business.
- Nighttime silence is weird for people living in cities. People who are used to sleeping with the sounds of horns and sirens as lullabies will find the destination a little bizarre at night time. The skies at night are clear with an abundance of stars.
- The islanders that reside there all around the year know one another well. At times the fog is thick and snow is heavy, so the airplanes are grounded. The islanders have to wait for specially required items and mail.
- Put-in-Bay has no dentist, doctor, or pharmacy. During an emergency, a medical person places a call for a helicopter. During the tourist season, the sound of a helicopter taking off means there is a tourist involved in a golf cart incident, while in winter the islanders know it is someone they know.
From April to October, the islanders work hard to make a living. It is a tourist season and if you are planning a visit then browses Putinbay.org to book a golf cart and hotel.
Winter break is welcome because it is time to meet friends and socialize which is impossible during tourist season. There are plenty of peculiarities to an isolated life but islanders living there enjoy the winter!