One of my favorite things to do is explore new places. I have no idea why it took me so long to realize that we don’t need to travel far to have a great time. Lake Erie Shores and Islands is chock full of fun family activities.
Last week I wrote a post sharing my family’s experience riding The Jet Express over to Kelleys Island and today I am excited to share all about our day on the island. Kelleys Island is the largest American island in Lake Erie measuring more than four square miles. It is 12 miles from Sandusky and only a few miles North is the Canadian border.
When The Jet Express docked we found ourselves at the edge of the popular downtown district that is full of shops, entertainment, and some really great restaurants. I decided to ask a local what they would suggest for the best dining experience with children in tow on the island and that is what led us to The Village Pump. Upon being seated my kiddos were given an entire basket of toys to keep them occupied until our food arrived which really impressed me. I love when restaurants cater to families. When it was time to order my sister and I both decided on their famous Lake Erie Perch – being right on Lake Erie I knew it couldn’t get much fresher and oh my goodness was it delicious! I devoured my basket as did my sister. So yummy!
Once our bellies were full it was time to start exploring the island. The most common way to get around is by either bike or golf cart and so we walked across the street to a golf cart rental shop. We were set up with a six-seater and reminded that a golf cart is just like an automobile which means all Ohio traffic laws must be obeyed while cruising around the island.
Once we were all loaded and buckled up we drove around enjoying a bit of the seventeen miles of beautiful coastline. Absolutely gorgeous.
Then it was time for a bit of history. Our first stop was the Glacial Grooves State Memorial which is the largest and most spectacular example of glacial grooves left in the entire world. We were able to walk around the perimeter and view a 400 foot by 35 foot wide gash of prehistoric glacial grooves which were scoured into the native limestone bedrock by the advancement of the Wisconsin glacier 30,000 years ago. So amazing that a huge piece of ice could do this – one of the coolest things I have ever seen.
Another interesting piece of history found on the island is Inscription Rock State Memorial. This is a flat-topped limestone boulder on the south shore of Kelleys Island with faint pictographs of men, birds and animals carved by the Erie Indians 300-400 years ago. I just love when fun trips can be combined with learning experiences.
Kelleys Island is also home to 600 acres of state park lands, nature trails, a fossil-filled quarry, wetlands, lakefront campground and sandy beach. I wish the day we visited would have been a bit more summer activity friendly, but that just gives us a reason to make another visit to this gorgeous island.
I absolutely loved the laid back vibe I had the whole time we were on Kelleys Island. It was such a relaxing and calm atmosphere and so full of history. I can’t wait to go back and explore some more!