Looking for a fun adventure to take the kids on that’s not too far from home? A place to explore, to learn, swim, & tool around in a golf cart? Kelleys Island is the perfect family day trip, overnight, or extended weekend destination!
Though the destination is epic, for this adventure the excitement begins with the journey. Located in the western basin of Lake Erie, just 4 miles from Marblehead, means the only way to access this beautiful island is by water or air. And if you can afford the latter, more props to you, but the majority of us are probably in the same boat, the Ferry boat. The kids are sure to get a kick out of the journey across the Lake.
Kelleys Island Ferry Boat Line offers a smooth, enjoyable, 20 minute ride across Lake Erie, from Marblehead to Kelleys Island every half hour, (see schedule and rates below), automobiles, campers, motorcycles, etc. are also welcomed.
Once you’re on the Ferry take a deep breath, relax your shoulders, and allow those negative ions from the water to envelop your body with positive vibes. The effects the island has on us mainland dwellers is really therapeutic, and exploring the island gets those endorphins firing for our mental health.
Once you arrive on the Island, if you haven’t taken your vehicle with you, or your bikes, no worries. Kelleys Island has your transportation covered with opportunities to rent bicycles and golf carts throughout the day. And if the kids thought the Ferry was a blast, wait till they get to tool around an island on a golf cart. Here’s a list of Golf Cart Rental locations on the island. We opted for Maggie Magoos because they had a golf cart that would accommodate our group and their hours were later than the other rental locations. Savvy Tip, if you do plan on renting a golf cart by the hour you’ll want to eat, drink & shop first. Otherwise it just seems silly to pay for a golf cart that is just going to be parked for an hour while you eat, shop, or checkout one of the wineries or the distillery. (For those budgeting the trip…if renting a golf cart, I’d recommend 3-4 hours)
There is a nice variety of places to eat and snack on the island. We opted for Captains Corner because our latest food obsession is Greek salads, lol! The salads were perfect, they were fresh, crisp, delicious, and not too heavy…so there was still room for ice cream & fudge.
Dining not necessarily in your budget? No worries, you can pack a picnic or grab food for a picnic at the Island Market. Then rent your golf cart and head out for the perfect spot to picnic, there is no shortage of gorgeous views on the island!
Fun Things to do on Kelleys Island
There’s no shortage of fun on the island!
- Scuba Diving
- Wine Tasting
- Ice Cream
- Amazing views…perfect for pics
The Largest Glacier Grooves in the WORLD!
You CANNOT leave the island before visiting the largest glacier grooves in the WORLD! The fact that ice, water, and debris made this miraculous form is just mind boggling. (Bring a lock to lock in your experience forever!)
The signage does a magnificent job of explaining what exactly you’re looking at, how it was excavated, formed, and uses glacial landform terminology, (yes, the kids will be learning, but it looks so cool that they won’t even realize it, lol!).
Inscription Rock Petroglyphs
Another MUST-SEE while you are on the island is this National Register of Historic Places, the Inscription Rock Petroglyphs which is believed to have been created between A.D. 1200 and 1600. Or, as the kids said, the original emojis.
Island Rentals, Bed and Breakfasts, & More!
Looking for the perfect place to meetup with long time friends, have that family reunion, or just enjoy a family vacation? Kelleys Island has a variety of lovely rentals that are sure to accommodate your gathering needs and the amenities are spot on…Wi-Fi, firepits, 3 seasons room, lake views, laundry room, some also have heated pools, decks, docks…omg, yall just gotta check these out!
Kelleys Island should come with a warning, it’s hard to leave! Between the negative ions of the lake helping to release those positive vibes, the endless hours of fun, activities, experiences, local islander’s hospitality, laughter, and quality time together as a family you will literally find it hard to leave. But the best part about leaving is knowing you’ll be back. Why not make this a annual or semi annual visit!?
If you’re traveling with kids be sure to stop off at the Lake Erie Shores & Island Welcome Center on your way to the Ferry. They offer clean restrooms for everyone to use, a fun area for kids, and maps and the latest island happenings you’ll definitely what to check out!
Lake Erie Shores & Island Welcome Center