Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cedar Point: Put-in-Bay/Wine tour

After spending a full day at Cedar Point, you may want to take a break and visit some of the other sites in the area. My favorite non-Cedar Point day trip was spent visiting the local wineries and taking the ferry to Put-in-Bay Island. The Put-in-Bay Island is advertised as being a night time hot-spot but honestly, I’ve never tried it for the late night bar scene. When we went it was during the day and boy did we have fun.

We started on the mainland and picked up brochures for the local wineries at the diner we had breakfast at. It doesn’t matter where you start, all of the wine sucks but it was still fun to see the wineries and take the tours. Most of the wineries had deals where you could pay less than ten dollars and try a selection of the different wines. If sweet is your thing, then Ohio wineries will be a great experience. For the more educated palate, get ready to drink a lot of fancy grape juice.

Among the wineries we toured were the Firelands Winery, the Mon Ami Restaurant and Historic Winery, the Sand Hill Winery, and the Heineman Winery. The Heineman Winery is located on Put-in-Bay Island and is also the home of the World’s Largest Geode which you can tour for $7 per person. Along with your ticket to the geode you get a complementary glass of wine. When my friend and I went, we didn’t feel that the tour was worth $7 but when we decided against going the management insisted that we take the tour for free since we had traveled so far. If standing in a big rock for a few minutes and drinking a small glass of sickeningly sweet grape juice is your bag, then by all means, pay for the tour. Otherwise, pretend like you are leaving and maybe you will get to go for free!

I should rewind a bit and tell you how to get to Put-in-Bay. There are two ferries available to get you from the mainland to the islands. The Jet Express is the best advertised and incredibly expensive. To get from Sandusky to Put-in-Bay and back on the Jet Express, you will pay an astounding $32 per person. Don’t be duped! The ferry that you want to take leaves from Catawba which is quite close to Sandusky. Miller Ferry is the ferry that the natives who live on the islands use. It costs just $12 per person for a round trip! With that kind of savings you can afford to rent a golf cart once you reach the island, a plan that I highly recommend.

Aside from the World’s Largest Geode and the Heineman Winery, Put-in-Bay also has the World’s Longest Bar! There are other small bars, ice cream joints and at least one brewery mixed in among the tourist traps and souvenir shops. The thing that was great about having a golf cart was that there are no (or very few) cars on the island. We drove all over Put-in-Bay, visited some of the bars and restaurants, went to a baseball game, and generally just had a great time. It might have been all that grape juice we drank, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

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