Kelleys Island is a delightful destination on Lake Erie. Accessible by the Kelleys Island Ferry from Marblehead, the island features state parks, restaurants and wineries, scenic hikes, historic sites, and much more. Here are some of the best things to do on Kelleys Island!
1. Rent a Golf Cart
One of the best ways to explore Kelleys Island is to take the ferry over and rent a golf cart in the village. This lets you tool around the island easily while getting a close-up view of everything. And they’re easier to park than a car.
2. Sip Wine Slushies at Monarch Winery
Monarch Winery is a colorful little enclave that specializes in wine slushies. They offer a variety of sweet fruit wines, and you can sample them in a wine slushie flight! After you shop their retail store, take your slushies to the front porch or the lush enclosed garden out back.
For more info: monarchki.com
3. Play Putt Putt at Caddy Shake Square
Located at the heart of the village, Caddy Shack Square features miniature golf, gem mining, and more fun. In the center of the square is a fun mini golf course that poses some exciting challenges. Surrounding the greens are restaurants, a bar, coffee shop, retail shops, an arcade.
For more info: caddyshacksquare.com
4. Relax at Kelleys Island State Park
One of the signature stops on the island is the state park. It covers nearly 700 acres with campgrounds, a swimming beach, hiking trails, fishing spots, picnic areas, and much more.
5. Explore Old Mining Ruins
Kelleys Island – named for the brothers who purchased the island in 1840 – was once a hub of mining operations, and you can still see the quarry remnants today. Around the island you’ll find a variety of abandoned buildings you can explore. Just be cautious, and avoid any structures that are on private land.
6. Hike the Quarry Trails & Horseshoe Lake
Kelleys Island is full of great hiking trails long and short. Many of them explore the old quarries, and one of our favorites is Horseshoe Lake. The beautifully clear lake offers stunning views, fishing, even a little swimming.
7. Flatbreads and Tacos at Kelleys Island Wine Co.
One of our favorite lunch stops is Kelleys Island Wine Co. The winery features a sit-down restaurant, small cantina, and lots of patio space. Kids can play games in the yard or say hi to the goats and chickens. In addition to their house wines, you can taste everything from flatbreads and sandwiches from the restaurant to tacos, fresh salsa, and margaritas at the cantina.
For more info: kelleysislandwineco.com
8. Visit the Charles Herndon Sculpture Garden
The Charles Herndon Galleries and Sculpture Garden make for an out-of-the-way cultural excursion. You can visit his studio and galleries or walk through the sculpture garden throughout the grounds.
For more info: charlesherndon.com/gardens.html
9. Enjoy Sweets at the Island Fudge Shop
The old school Island Fudge Shop downtown serves a variety of sweets and treats, and their house-made fudge is always a winner. Just remember that the shop is cash only!
For more info: kelleysisland.com/listing/island-fudge-shoppe
10. Fried Perch and Brandy Alexanders at The Village Pump
The Village Pump is one of Kelleys Island most famous eateries. Housed in an historic building, the restaurant is best known for its fried perch and its Brandy Alexander cocktails. Order the fried perch (or another Lake Erie signature, walleye!) in baskets, sandwiches, and tacos. The Brandy Alexander is a refreshing iced concoction made with brandy, shaved ice, ice cream, and other flavorings.
For more info: villagepumpkioh.com
11. Explore the Glacial Grooves
The Glacial Grooves, a series of limestone grooves carved by glaciers centuries ago, sit next to Kelleys Island State Park. They’re wonderfully preserved, and the paths and signage around them we recently refurbished to give you even better views.
12. Go Kayaking
Hitting the water is one of the best ways to experience Kelleys Island. Kelleys Island Kayak is located in the state park, and offers kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.
For more info: kelleysisland.info
For more info, visit kelleysisland.com or kelleysislandchamber.com, or shoresandislands.com/communities/islands/kelleys-island.
You can also read The Best Things To Do at the Shores & Islands of Lake Erie or consult my Shores & Islands Ohio guide.