Our family has vacationed along the Lake Erie shore for years and in that time we have explored a lot of what the Lake Erie shores and islands have to offer. One of our favorite places to explore is Kelleys Island!
Kelleys Island is the second largest of the Lake Erie islands and it is home to a ton of beautiful outdoor experiences, the glacial grooves, a fun little downtown with restaurants, gift shops, and fun family activities.
It is a great place to go spend the day, just a quick ferry ride will get you there, or the island is home to several bed & breakfasts, rental cottages, and campgrounds it is the perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation enjoying the Lake Erie island life.
So because we love Kelleys Island so much, I wanted to share with you the low-down on all the details of how to get there, what to see, and how to get the most out of your time on the island!
Getting to the Island
Obviously being an island you’ll need to hop on a ferry to get there! Our
Getting around on Kelleys Island-
By far the best way to get around Kelleys Island is with a golf cart! (bikes are another great way to travel) There are several places on the island to rent a golf cart the one I recommend is Portside Marina. They are located just steps away from the Jet Express dock, have a wide selection of golf carts and are incredibly helpful! Not only did they get us quickly set up with a golf cart but they also gave us a map of the island and took the time to go over the “must see” stops and helped us plan out our day! If you are looking for the most helpful Kelleys Island golf cart rental make sure to check them out!
Things to se-
Glacial grooves- One of the things that Kelleys Island is most famous for is the glacial grooves. These grooves are an amazing reminder of the power of the glaciers that formed the great lakes. A National Natural Landmark, the Glacial Grooves on the north side of Kelleys Island are the largest easily accessible such grooves in the world. You can explore the area around them and get a great view from the footbridge that runs across them
Quarry– If you love to explore the outdoors you will love the quarry and horseshoe lake. There are miles of trails and a spectacular view of the surrounding natural beauty. A small walk down a forest path opens up onto a beautiful part of the island. This is a place to hang out and explore and soak in the natural beauty!
Beaches & Parks – We can’t talk about Kelleys Island without discussing its beautiful beaches and parks. The state park beach is kid friendly and a great place to spend the day! If you have little ones there is a great play ground to run and play and hiking trails to further explore the natural beauty!
Kelleys Island Historical Museum– If you want a glimpse into the history of the island this museum is the place to be! The museum houses photographs and artifacts from the islands past. Everything from tools used in the quarry to bathing suits from a byegone era. It is amazing to learn how people used to live and how life on the island evolved.
Charles Herndon Art Gallery & Sculpture Garden– Spend some time wondering throught the scuplpre gardens full of beautiful works inspired by Kelleys Island and its geological history. Many of the works are made from the granite of the island and the park like feel of the garden makes it a great place to wonder around and discover all that it has to offer.
Resteraunts beer & wine- During a full day of exploring the island you are bound to get hungry! Luckily Kelleys Island is not only home to several wonderful resteraunts but also boasts it’s own winery and brewery! You can find an resteraunt to have a full sit down meal, or just grab a snack and ice cream cone! Whatever your appetite you’ll find the perfect place!