Saturday, July 14, 2012

Kelley's Island, Lake Erie

I joined up with a couple of my coworkers a few weeks ago to take a cruise of the Lake Erie Islands (yes, an archipelago in Ohio, who would have thought?).

There are several islands (some are privately owned) but the 2 main ones that people go to are Kelley's Island and South Bass Island (with the party hard village of Put-in-Bay).

I drove to Sandusky, which is about an hour away and where Cedar Point Amusement Park (aka the Roller Coaster Capital of the World) is located to catch the Good Time Cruise Ferry. There are direct ferries which are faster but this is more of a cruise complete with narrative history of the area and it goes A LOT slower. But there's a bar (which opened at 9:30 a.m. and had customers the whole day...there were a lot of singles and a bachelorette party on board).

Kelley's Island is known as being more family friendly and laid back than Put-in-Bay. It has about 400 full-time residents but thousands of tourists in the summer. It's also the only island in the US to be designated as a National Historic District.

When we landed, we only had an hour and a half before we had to be back on board, so we had arranged to rent a golf cart (you can do this on the boat) to tour the island. I especially wanted to see the glacial grooves which were left when a glacier receded over limestone during the last Ice Age. The Smithsonian took a big chunk of them, but there are still quite a lot left to see.

This island is great for bird-watching, hiking, biking or just relaxing (not like Put-in-Bay which is what I quickly learned)

We cruised around the island for about an hour and then decided to grab a quick drink before we boarded. My boss had recommended the "world famous" Brandy Alexander's at the Village Pump which sounded disgusting but apparently are fabulous. I know what a real Brandy Alexander is but they put ice cream in theirs which sounds weird but my boss and his wife have gained 10 pounds since learning the recipe and making them at home.

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