Kelleys Island, OH, USA

Kelleys Island, OH, USA

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Find the best place to stay — Kelleys Island

It's all about birds, beer and beautiful bays on Kelleys Island

At 4 square miles, Kelleys Island is the largest American island in Lake Erie. Moments from the Canadian border, this quirky vacation island packs a real punch when it comes to natural attractions and is best known for its lake beaches, abundance of wildlife and old-fashioned charm. Get your Lake Erie adventure off to the right start by booking a Kelleys Island vacation rental near the beach. Rent a bike or a golf cart and go fishing off North Bay, or birdwatching in Kelleys Island State Park, and enjoy a beer or two from the island's only brewery.

Kelleys Island reels you in with its fabulous fishing

Kelleys Island is like taking a step back in time. With few cars on the island, most residents get around on foot, bike or by golf cart. There are plenty of beaches to explore, including Sandy Beach, the island's most popular swimming beach. Kelleys Island attracts shoals of keen anglers, who come to fish in the 'Walleye Capital of the world'. Pick up a fishing licence and tackle in the island shop and go reel in a whopper! The crystal clear waters of Lake Erie are great for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, and sunken 18th-century shipwrecks are not uncommon.

Go Native on Lake Erie's largest US island

Once an Indian hunting ground, the south shore of Kelleys Island has the Inscription Rock State Memorial, a huge rock with 400-year old inscriptions carved by Erie Indians. Learn more about the island's Native American history at the Kelleys Island Historical Association museum on Division Street. Or take a peek into Kelleys Mansion, a beautiful clapboard stately home built by one of the island founders in 1860. Book a Kelleys Island vacation rental near Sandy Beach, and you'll find the island's kid-friendly attractions; mini-golf, horseshoe courts and playgrounds within easy reach.

It's all about fun in the sun on Kelleys Island

There's plenty of flux when it comes to the climate on Kelleys Island. It has very distinct seasons; summers are bright and sunny, and feature peak highs of 80°F in July. In winter, the temperature drops to a brisk 20°F with a high chance of snow. Peak season is between June and August, when the sun is at its most consistent. The best Kelleys Island vacation rentals are often reserved far in advance, so it's advisable to book early. The shoulder seasons of May and October are still pleasant, but rain is a frequent visitor, so pack wisely.

Twitchers go cuckoo over the birdlife on Kelleys Island

Perched in the western basin of Lake Erie, Kelleys Island is a 20-minute ferry ride from Marblehead. Kelleys Island State Park is a 600-acre park and nature area on the North Bay, close to the island's famed 400-feet-long Glacial Grooves. The island is a twitcher's paradise and home to a variety of birdlife, from cuckoos to peregrine falcons. Visit in spring to see birds nestling, including warblers, double-crested cormorants and red-tailed hawks. There are various bird walks throughout the year, organized by Kelleys Island Audubon Club.