Put-in-Bay’s longest-running attraction is hidden in plain sight.
The natural formations of Perry’s Cave, located fifty-two feet under the grounds of Perry’s Cave & Family Fun Center, has been attracting visitors ever since American troops first set foot into the caverns in 1813.
First used by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry during the Battle of Lake Erie to hide ammunition, the 208 feet long by 165 feet wide cave is not only a place to view stalactites (from the ceiling) and stalagmites (from the ground), but a place to see a rare underground lake. With the temperature of the cave staying in the area of fifty degrees year-round, the lake was a source of cool, clean water for Perry’s troops, and later by the Victory Hotel that stood above the cave in the early 1900’s.
Tourists today can explore the caves with the guided tours that the Family Fun Center provides. Ticketed tours are given multiple times a day, seven days a week, from Labor Day until October. Tours are generally fifteen to twenty minutes in length.
Beyond the famous cave, Perry’s has a Butterfly House containing thousands of beautiful butterflies, a gemstone mining sluice where kids can pan for gems and minerals, and an outdoor maze (called Fort aMAZE’n) where you win a prize for making it out under a fixed time. Need more to do? Check out the rock wall, the “War of 18 Holes” putt-putt golf course, or the free-of-charge antique car museum. If doing all that has made you hungry, you can stop by the DanDee Snack Shack for a bite to eat and a drink.
You can check out the schedules and ticket prices for all this and more at the Perry’s Cave & Family Fun Center website.
VIDEO BY CHRIS STABILE