Western Lake Erie is dotted with numerous islands. The largest of them, Pelee Island, is in Canada, but the others are in Ohio waters. The most touristic of the islands is South Bass Island.
Ferry boats depart from Sandusky and Port Clinton for South Bass. Most visitors leave their cars on the mainland, and explore the island on foot, or by bicycle or golf cart. Boaters sail their craft to one of the island's marinas.
The ferry boats dock at the only community on the island, the little village of Put-In-Bay.
Put-In-Bay is picturesque and has a number of lovely Victorian homes.
Put-In-Bay only has 138 year round residents, but the population swells in the summer. Numerous hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops cater to the influx of visitors.
One of the most important battles of the War of 1812 took place near this island. The Battle of Lake Erie was fought on September 10, 1813. Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry commanded six U.S. navy vessels and defeated a British squadron. After his victory, he sent the famous message... "We have met the enemy, and they are ours."
To commemorate the centennial of the battle, and to honor the subsequent years of friendship between the United States, Britain and Canada, the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial was built.
The monument, operated by the National Park Service, is 352 feet tall. It is the largest Doric column in the world. It is taller than the Statue of Liberty, and is the fourth tallest monument in the United States.
Visitors can ascend to the top of the monument for a splendid view of the lake and the islands.