Things to Do in Bayfield WI: A Guide to Local Attractions and Activities

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Bayfield, Wisconsin is a charming town located on the southern shore of Lake Superior. It is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant arts and culture scene. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, culinary experiences, or cultural immersion, you will be amazed at all the things to do in Bayfield WI for all ages.

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One of the main draws of Bayfield is its historical sites. Visitors can explore the town’s rich history by visiting the Bayfield Heritage Center, the Bayfield Maritime Museum, and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. These sites offer a glimpse into Bayfield’s past and provide a deeper understanding of the town’s unique character.

Key Takeaways

  • Bayfield, Wisconsin is a charming town located on the southern shore of Lake Superior that offers something for everyone.
  • Visitors can explore Bayfield’s rich history by visiting the town’s historical sites, including the Bayfield Heritage Center, the Bayfield Maritime Museum, and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
  • Bayfield also offers a variety of outdoor activities, culinary experiences, arts and culture, accommodation options, and events and festivals for visitors to enjoy.

Bayfield’s Historical Sites

Bayfield, Wisconsin is a town steeped in history, and there are several historical sites that visitors can explore. Here are two of the most notable:

Old Bayfield County Courthouse

The Old Bayfield County Courthouse is a must-see for history buffs. Built in 1867, the courthouse served as the seat of government for Bayfield County until 1975. Today, the building has been restored and turned into a museum. Visitors can take a guided tour of the courthouse and learn about the history of the area. The museum features exhibits on the Ojibwe people, the fur trade, and the history of Bayfield County.

Things to Do in Bayfield WI Apostle Islands

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a group of 22 islands located off the coast of Bayfield. The islands are known for their stunning natural beauty and rich history. Visitors to the national lakeshore can explore historic lighthouses, hiking trails, and beaches. The islands are also home to several historic buildings, including the Raspberry Island Lighthouse and the Sand Island Light Station. Visitors can take a guided tour of these historic sites and learn about the history of the area.

Overall, Bayfield’s historical sites offer a fascinating glimpse into the area’s rich history. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for something to do, these sites are well worth a visit.

Outdoor Activities and Things to Do in Bayfield WI

Bayfield, WI, is a great place for outdoor enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, including Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands, and the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Here are some of the best outdoor activities in Bayfield:

Trail NameDistanceDifficultyFeatures
Meyers Beach Sea Caves Trail4 miles round tripModerateSea caves, Lake Superior views
Lost Creek Falls Trail1.5 miles round tripEasyWaterfalls, forest
Brownstone Trail1.5 miles one wayEasyLake Superior views, historic brownstone quarry

Hiking Trails

Bayfield has a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels. Some of the most popular trails include:

Water Sports

Bayfield is located on the shores of Lake Superior and is the gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. There are many water sports to enjoy in the area, including:

  • Kayaking: Rent a kayak and explore the sea caves or paddle to one of the Apostle Islands.
  • Sailing: Take a sailing tour of the Apostle Islands or charter your own sailboat.
  • Fishing: Lake Superior is known for its trout and salmon fishing.
  • Swimming: There are several beaches in the area, including Little Sand Bay and Bayview Beach.

Whether you’re a hiker or a water sports enthusiast, Bayfield has something for everyone.

Culinary Experiences

Bayfield, Wisconsin is known for its culinary experiences that offer a taste of the local culture. Here are some must-visit culinary destinations in Bayfield.

Local Farm Markets

Bayfield is home to several local farm markets where you can find fresh produce, baked goods, and other artisanal products. The Bayfield Farmers Market is a great place to start. It is open every Saturday from May through October and features local farmers and artisans selling fresh produce, baked goods, crafts, and more.

Another must-visit farm market is the Bayfield Apple Company. They offer a wide variety of apple-based products, including apple cider, apple butter, and apple pies. You can also pick your own apples during the fall season.

Things to Do in Bayfield WI wineries

Winery and Cider Tours

Bayfield is home to several wineries and cideries that offer tours and tastings. One of the most popular is the Bayfield Winery, which produces a variety of fruit wines, including raspberry, cherry, and blueberry. They offer tastings, tours, and a gift shop where you can purchase their wines.

Another popular destination is the Hauser’s Superior View Farm, which produces a variety of ciders, including apple, cherry, and pear. They offer tours of their orchard and cider house, as well as tastings of their ciders.

Overall, Bayfield offers a unique culinary experience that showcases the best of the local culture. Whether you’re looking for fresh produce, artisanal products, or locally produced wines and ciders, the things to do in Bayfield WI are limitless.

Arts and Culture

Bayfield, WI is known for its thriving arts and culture scene that draws visitors from all over the world. From painters, jewelers, and sculptors to woodworkers and performers, Bayfield’s high-quality art scene is a year-round destination.

Bayfield Heritage Museum

One must-visit location for art and culture enthusiasts is the Bayfield Heritage Museum. This museum features exhibits that showcase the history and culture of Bayfield, including its Native American roots, fishing industry, and maritime history. Visitors can also learn about the town’s famous apple orchards and the role they played in the local economy.

Local Art Galleries

Bayfield is home to several art galleries that showcase the work of local artists. The Apostle Islands Area Arts Council Gallery features a rotating selection of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and pottery. The gallery also hosts regular events, such as artist talks and workshops.

Another popular art gallery in Bayfield is the Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery. This gallery features the work of local artists, including pottery, jewelry, and textiles. Visitors can also watch the artists at work in the studio and learn about the techniques they use to create their pieces.

Overall, Bayfield’s arts and culture scene is a must-see for anyone visiting the area. From museums to galleries, there is something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.

Things to Do in Bayfield WI Inn on Madeline Island

Accommodation Options

If you’re planning a trip to Bayfield, WI, you’ll need to find a place to stay. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from cozy bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts.

Bed and Breakfasts

Bayfield is home to several charming bed and breakfasts that offer a cozy and comfortable place to stay. Many of these properties are located in historic homes and offer a unique and personalized experience. Some popular options include:

  • Old Rittenhouse Inn: This elegant Victorian-style inn is located in the heart of Bayfield and features 20 guest rooms and suites, each with its own unique decor. Guests can enjoy a gourmet breakfast each morning and a five-course dinner in the evening.
  • Pinehurst Inn: This eco-friendly bed and breakfast is housed in a beautifully restored 1885 Queen Anne Victorian home. The property features seven guest rooms, each with its own private bathroom, and guests can enjoy a hearty breakfast each morning made with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Arbor Hill Inn: This charming inn is located in the nearby town of La Pointe on Madeline Island and offers four cozy guest rooms. Guests can enjoy a full breakfast each morning and relax on the property’s spacious front porch.

Luxury Resorts

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, Bayfield has several high-end resorts that offer top-notch amenities and services. Some popular options include:

  • The Inn on Madeline Island: This luxurious resort is located on Madeline Island and offers 12 spacious and well-appointed guest rooms. Guests can enjoy a private beach, a fitness center, and a full-service spa.
  • Legendary Waters Resort & Casino: This resort is located on the shores of Lake Superior and offers 47 guest rooms and suites, each with stunning lake views. Guests can enjoy a variety of amenities, including a full-service spa, a fitness center, and an on-site casino.
  • Apostle Islands Area Campground: This campground offers a variety of accommodations, including cabins, yurts, and RV sites. Guests can enjoy access to a private beach, a playground, and a camp store.

Events and Festivals

Bayfield, Wisconsin is home to many exciting events and festivals throughout the year. No matter what time of year you visit, there is always something happening in this charming town.

Apple Festival

One of the most popular events in Bayfield is the Apple Festival, held annually in late September. This festival celebrates the apple harvest and features a variety of apple-themed activities, including an apple pie contest, apple cider pressing, and apple tastings. Visitors can also enjoy live music, arts and crafts vendors, and a parade. The festival draws thousands of visitors each year and is a must-see event for anyone visiting Bayfield in the fall.

Winter Fest

Bayfield’s Winter Fest is another event that draws visitors from all over the region. Held in early March, this festival celebrates all things winter and features a variety of outdoor activities, including ice skating, snowshoeing, and dog sledding. There are also indoor activities, such as the chili cook-off and the winter wine tasting. The festival culminates in the popular “Polar Bear Plunge,” where brave souls jump into the icy waters of Lake Superior.

Whether you’re a fan of apples or winter sports, Bayfield’s festivals and events offer something for everyone. Be sure to check the schedule and plan your visit accordingly to make the most of your time in this beautiful town.

Field of Flowers North Farm
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Frequently Asked Questions about Things to Do in Bayfield WI

What are some popular attractions in Bayfield, WI?

Bayfield is home to many popular attractions, including the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which is a must-see for nature lovers. Visitors can enjoy hiking, kayaking, and exploring the beautiful islands. The Bayfield Maritime Museum is also a popular attraction, where visitors can learn about the area’s maritime history.

What are some outdoor activities to do in Bayfield, WI?

Bayfield is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing in the summer months. In the winter, there are opportunities for skiing, snowshoeing, and ice fishing. The area is also home to many beautiful parks and beaches.

What are some popular events in Bayfield, WI?

Bayfield is known for its many festivals and events, including the Bayfield Apple Festival, which takes place in October and celebrates the fall harvest. The Bayfield Festival of Arts is another popular event, featuring the work of over 80 artists. The Bayfield Concert Series also brings in many talented musicians throughout the year.

What are some good restaurants in Bayfield, WI?

Bayfield has many great restaurants to choose from. Some popular options include the Bayfield Inn, which offers a variety of dishes made with local ingredients, and Wild Rice Restaurant, which specializes in Northwoods cuisine. Visitors can also enjoy pizza at Ethel’s at 250 and ice cream at Big Water Coffee Roasters.

How long is the ferry ride to Madeline Island?

The ferry ride to Madeline Island takes approximately 20-25 minutes each way. The ferry runs year-round, with more frequent trips in the summer months.

Can you walk around Madeline Island?

Yes, visitors can walk around Madeline Island. The island is home to many beautiful beaches and hiking trails, as well as historic sites like the Madeline Island Museum. Visitors can also rent bikes or mopeds to explore the island.


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