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“Quiet place to relax” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kelleys Island

Kelleys Island
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Ranked #544 of 1,040 attractions in Ohio
Type: Islands
Activities: Viewing wildlife, Scuba diving
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Measuring more than four square miles and located in the western basin of Lake Erie, this scenic island boasts historical attractions and a myriad of outdoor sports.
Jackson, Michigan
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Quiet place to relax”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

Kelleys Island is just a couple of miles from Put-in-Bay, but couldn't be more different. PIB has a huge party scene, while KI is very laid-back. I've always camped at the state park on the north end of the island, which has nice showers and a sandy swimming beach. The "village" has a few bar/restaurant places, most with decent food. Nothing 5-star, but it's not that kind of island. Love to bicycle the island -- it's mostly flat with few cars, but lots of lake vistas and a few historic old buildings. If you don't bring a bike it's worth renting a golf cart and exploring the place. An hour or two should be sufficient.

It's not cheap to get out there, so not the best choice for a day-trip. Cell service is limited beyond the village area on the south side of the island -- so you have an excuse to (mostly) unplug and enjoy nature here.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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25 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Explore with kids”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2013

Nice day trip during the week with kids. Ferry across, rent golf cart. $10 parking at Ferry plus $50++ for ferry. $50+ for a golf cart min. Have perch at the island pump

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
73 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Camping at State Park”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

We have camped at the Kelleys Island State Park for the past three years, most recently this past week. It takes a bit of expense to take the ferry to the island, but that's all part of the experience. We access the ferry from Marblehead, although you can come from Sandusky also. The state park is on the north side of the island facing an inlet. There is a swimming beach and many boats come into the inlet to anchor and swim also. The state park is nice, but if you want to get a site that is alongside the water you will likely need to make reservations in advance (I believe you can reserve up to 6 months in advance). Be sure to bring bikes as that is the main way to get around, plus golf carts that you can rent in town. There are a number of restaurants in town, and food is OK, but nothing to write home about. There are also a number of homes where you can rent a room, plus a hotel (Venture Hotel) if camping isn't for you. We've had family come to visit us while we are camping and they park their car on the Marblehead side, take the ferry, and rent a golf cart or we pick them up. You can also bring your bikes with you on the ferry when you park your car at Marblehead and just tour the island via your own bikes. When we camp we usually take a day trip over to Put in Bay for a change of scenery. You can ride the Jet Express ferry and be over there in 20 minutes. The ferry drops you off at the main town, so no need to rent a golf cart unless you want to see more of the island. There are more shops and restaurants at South Bass/Put in Bay then on Kelleys Island. We've enjoyed our past three years visiting Kelleys Island, but I think next year we will try a new location. All Ohioans should visit Kelleys Island at least once; it's a great day or weekend excursion.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Weekend at Kelley's”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

For as long as I can remember, my family and I have traveled from our home in Cincinnati north to Kelley's Island, Ohio, to spend a weekend with friends. It was and is one of my favorite trips we take. The drive from my house is only about four hours, and a half hour ferry ride. Lake Erie is a little rough, but the island is worth the trip. There are local islanders, summer-home owners, house renters, and weekend visitors like ourselves. We rent a house on the north side of the island, where most of the residential areas are. Although small, the island offers a wide variety of activities that a person of any age would love. There are small beaches and public beaches all over the island, most of which are very fun to swim and play in. The "Sandy Beach" is my favorite however. As it's name says, it is sandy, and one of the only sandy beaches on the island (most others are rocky). This beach is very popular and always enjoyable. Kelley's main town has many local restaurants, shops, and a fun park that includes putt-putt golf and a maze. Since the island is small, many people walk or ride bikes to get around. The locals however love to ride golf-carts, and there is even a golf-cart rental shop for visitors. We always rent golf carts and have races around the island. My favorite thing to do on the island however, is to sit around a campfire near the house we rent, and have a good time with my friends and family. This island is part of some of my favorite childhood memories. Everything about the island is family friendly and fun, and I've had some of the best days of my life staying there!

Visited August 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waynesville, Ohio
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Relaxing afternoon”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

Spent a relaxing afternoon walking around the Island. The ferry over was nice but a bit expensive ($19 each plus $10 to park in the ferry lot) We probably should have spent the extra money to bring the car as we did not get to see as much since we were on foot. Still had a nice afternoon walking to the Glacial Grooves (45 minutes walk from the ferry),spent some time walking on the beach at the State Park, then walked back to the ferry. We had a nice fall day and the weather was great, but since we were on foot we did not have time to see much more. Golf carts were rather expensive as well $14/hr and up. We were there in the off season so not a lot going on.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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