Put-in-Bay battles for "Coolest Small Town" title

Temperatures at Put-in-Bay Tuesday were close to zero degrees. But on an Internet travel site, interest in the town is heating up.
Tom Jackson
Jan 28, 2013


Put-in-Bay is battling 14 other small communities in the U.S. in Budgettravel.com’s “America’s Coolest Small Towns 2013” contest. To win, Put-in-Bay will have to edge past competitors such as Lititz, Pa., and Elkhart Lake, Wisc.

The Register caught up with Maggie Beckford, executive director of the Put-in-Bay Chamber of Commerce, to see if she has any suggestions on which town to vote for.

“I’m thinking Put-in-Bay,” said Beckford, adding that north-central Ohio residents can vote once a day at budgettravel.com until the contest ends.

“Vote daily,” she said.

Last week, Put-in-Bay was in fourth place among the 15 competitors, with 7.3 percent of the vote. But there’s some work ahead if Put-in-Bay wants to catch up to first-place Lititz, which thus far has 21.8 percent.

This year’s bicentennial celebration of the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812 makes Put-in-Bay cooler than ever, Beckford said. Still, every year the town has attractions for all ages, including restaurants and bars featuring plenty of live entertainment.

“Some people call us the Key West of the North,” she said.

The chamber is using social media to campaign for votes, posting announcements on Facebook and Twitter, she said.

Lake Erie Shores and Islands is also trying to aid the campaign, said Larry Fletcher, executive director in Ottawa County.

“That’s pretty exciting,” Fletcher said. “With the social networking and the number of folks who follow our Twitter feed, and Facebook and Wordpress and all of the other sites we’ve been on, word will get out pretty quickly.

“We’re attending a lot of trade shows now, so we can talk it up,” he said.


The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I'll see if I can get my community to vote for this it is good to know there is a place nearby up for this distinction! If they win it is good for them and the rest of Erie County. Go PiB!

Phil Packer



Wow, "Coolest small town".....$6.00 for A beer.....Not much for kids under 21 YOA to do.....$39.00 round trip on Jet Express, in 2012, from Sandusky(for one person)

Take the Miller Ferry you say?? Take a taxi to the Miller Ferry from Sandusky, cause you are responsible, and it will cost you more than $39.00.....Not cool!

Get beat by a wanna be MMA fighter and lose you life.........Definitely not cool!!!!


It used to be cool. Now it's nothing more than a glitzy tourist trap.


Hero, it's part of Ottawa County, not Erie.

Well said Big Sexy. Let's not forget about all the cocaine and other hard core drugs on the island, as well as the other debauchery that takes place.

Ellis dee

That's the best part the drugs

Rod Farva

I think Sandusky should get it


I don't know why the residents on South Bass put up with PIB always trying to encourage more and more of this "Key West" lifestyle. The people who own the businesses on PIB mostly live on the mainland and get to go home to their quiet neighborhoods, while the island residents have to run the drunks out of their backyards all summer long.


That is bold faced lie. Name 2 owners that do not live there in the summer time. Right now.....name their businesses if you know so damn much. Put in Bay is a great place. The drunken shenanigans mostly take place downtown, not in the residential areas. There is numerous places on that island where you would have no clue it was a party island. Put in Bay dies.....alot of other businesses go with them. Do you think the parents are mad that due to the high level of income of the island, their kids get a top notch education? They have more money per kid than any other school in Ohio(I heard, not a fact. But it makes sense). Not to mention, 90% of the people who live there rely on those drunks to pay their bills. It's only a bad place if you think of it that way. If you cant open your eyes and see what it does for our area then I cant help you. You cant fix stupid I guess.


Uhhh, you're right, you can't fix stupid. Thanks for missing the point and inserting your own bizarre logic instead.


Yes it's true that in the sumnmer the owners live on the island,keeps them closer to their money, it's winter when they go to Ft. Meyers, Ft,Myers Beach, and Naples. RR2 please advise me where on the island you can't find drunks in the summer. The biggest partiers are the locals and workers with their Sunday Fundays and Martini Mondays and numerous parties throughout the year. So I guess you could say is that they pay for themselves in a way.Business has been down for a couple of years so anything to keep the owners in money are ploys like the voting and press releases. You will now here that everybody has had a record year, but one thing to remember, if you had a bad year, will you admit it? The island won't admit the deaths of tourists every year!!!


The owners bust their butts all year to be able to enjoy a couple months off to relax. Its not a crime to leave in the winter is it? Put in Bay has 1 restaraunt, and 1 grocery store open after Halloween. What exactly are they missing? If you go anywhere but downtown and The Island Club(where people get killed) you will find normal, sober people. My grandfather(who is 87 yrs old) loves to come to PIB. I just get him out of there before dark. Its a wonderful place with wonderful history, but that doesnt put money in anyones pocket. But booze does.


BTW.....Sunday Fundays are awesome. Experienced 8 yrs worth


Completely missed the point!!!!!
The Island Club(where people get killed) you will find normal, sober people. LMAO Maybe in Winter!!!!!!!