Top 10 Lake Erie Cottages where to stay when the calendar reads vacation

Memorial weekend is upon us. That means time to make a break for Lake Erie Vacation Land, soak up some sun, and all of the nostalgia that defines Ohio’s coastline.

“Just imagine if you could still have a cocktail in the park. Put-In-Bay is still a hot spot even though that part is now restricted. You’re safe. You don’t have to worry about anyone hurting you out on the islands,” Theresa Jeremy associate at the Waterline Store for Miller Boat Line supplies the synopsis of what’s to come for Summer 2016.

For many, the time has come in life where crashing out at 3 am on a boat docked across the park from the Frosty Bar isn’t an option.

Prior booking, reservation and a room key is a must before boarding the Jet Express, Miller Ferry, or the Kelley’s Island Boat Line.

A tour through Port Clinton, Catawba Island, Marblehead, Lakeside, Kelley’s Island, South Bass Island (PIB), Middle Bass Island, North Bass Island, Pelee and Rattlesnake Island reveals: making reservations is rough.

North Bass is mostly owned by the State of Ohio. Paramount Distillers still cultivates vineyards on the island. There are less than two dozen islanders who live here year-round. There aren’t any public facilities on the island – not even a general store. Gibraltar Island doesn’t have overnight accommodations but you can take a water taxi from Put-In-Bay for a day trip to see the Cook Castle. Right now that property has a $4 M price tag attached to the restoration.

No wonder crashing on a watercraft is how most locals initially experience these idyllic islands. In 2016 Put-In-Bay still remains number one for fun. Not just on Lake Erie but the entire Great Lakes system.

10.) Coastal Floating Homes

Be ON the water with a boat dock outside of the door. Coastal Floating Homes are located at 545 West Lakeshore Drive in Port Clinton. A minimum two-night stay is required. Sleeps six guests. There’s a heated pool and guests are within walking distance to downtown Port Clinton and the Jet Express.

 9.) Catawba Island Chalet

Lemon-colored walls and a sleeping loft with twin beds covered in fish-patterned bedspreads plus a highchair have earned this chalet on Catawba Point the theme of “Family-friendly.” Children are welcome at this completely refurbished Chalet-style home located on Catawba Point. This is a one-bedroom home that has a sleeping loft and pull-out couch to accommodate even more guests. Nicely equipped with cable, internet and linens and priced right around $200.

8.) Island View Cottages at PIB 

Jump off of the Miller Boat Line Ferry, start walking towards the boardwalk and right past the golf cart rentals find Island View Cottages. Each sleeps six and the canoe decor will have guests swooning before they even reach the winery. The grounds are secluded and there isn’t anywhere on the website discouraging bachelor and bachelorette parties. Bring marshmallows. There is a fire pit. Call 419-285-RENT for prices.


7.) Middle Bass Historic Home 

Touted as having “The best sunsets north of Key West” this five-bedroom B&B is available to rent in its entirety. Whether celebrating a wedding or hosting a family reunion the views are so extravagant even politicians would brag about the features. One can take in two countries and five islands from the 110′ porch. The Middle Bass Ferry makes round trips to Put-In-Bay. Play horseshoes or wander on over to the Lonz Winery to sip on a glass of White Catawba all for less than $500 a night.

6.) Marblehead Sunset Villa

Relax in 2,500 square feet of style. Professionally decorated guests age five to seventy will enjoy the luxurious four-bedroom with an added upstairs family-room. This villa is located near Sandy Beach overlooking Cedar Point. Nicely furnished with marble and granite throughout and priced under $600 per night.

 5.) The Castle at Lakeside

Why stay in a cottage when booking a castle is a possibility! Located in the gated community of Lakeside near the tennis courts guests can play shuffleboard, relax in an armchair upholstered in bird fabric and head off into the water on a canoe to explore. This 2,200 square foot romancer seats ten people around the dining room table and has its own library. $245 per night.

 4.) The Old Nest at Kelleys Island 

The Adirondack chairs are inviting guests now to come, sit back with a glass of Kelleys Island Sunset Pink and enjoy the views of Lake Erie from this historic cottage. For $400 per night The Old Nest is on a private, nine-acre estate that has been in the family for over 100 years. Enjoy exclusive waterfront access. Inside find a rustic nautical theme throughout this five-bedroom escape.

3.) Moonrest Cottage, Pelee Island

Cute, cute, cute and more Canadian cuteness! Pelee Island is part of the Lake Erie Island system and the lowest appellation of Canada. Explorers can relax knowing there is this three-bedroom on the island’s east shore priced at $220 per night. The front door is steps away from Sandy Beach. Right now there is only one week in June and one week in July to claim this cottage on an island only inhabited by 150 people. Visit the Pelee Winery, go sailing, take in the shipwrecks in the surrounding waters; or….the intriguing exhibit on Al Capone and his Rum Runners who used Pelee Island as a point of embarkation to Ohio during the years of Prohibition. Moonrest sleeps six.

2.) Rattlesnake Island Club

Ohio’s largest country club on a private island. What happens at Rattlesnake Island stays at Rattlesnake Island. Island is owned by 65 businessmen. Want to mix business with pleasure? Do your research. Inquire about becoming a member here. Accessible via helicopter.

1.) Put-In-Bay Party Palace

Why sleep on a boat when for $1635.00 you can crash here. Check out these views from the eat-in kitchen. This 5,000 square-foot Lake House nestled ever-so-nicely on South Bass Island (Put-In-Bay) is going to entitle whomever has the key as King of the Great Lakes. Has several balconies and IS available this weekend. Grab your Jet Express pass and at least 13 of your best friends. Catering is available at this 5,200 square-foot PIB Estate.


Josie is an award-winning journalist and former TV anchorwoman. She grew up on Coastal Ohio and knows many of the nooks and crannies which make the region so spectacular.
Josie is an award-winning journalist and former TV anchorwoman. She grew up on Coastal Ohio and knows many of the nooks and crannies which make the region so spectacular.
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