This is my 200th post on my website and how fitting that it is from my home state of Wisconsin. As a native to Wisconsin I had heard of the Apostle Islands but had never made it that far north before. I decided to explore the natural beauty of this area and the 21 Apostle Islands.
I like to think no matter how much you have travelled and where you have been in the world it is always good to explore your own backyard. That is what I did when I drove four hours north to the Bayfield area.
There is a lot to do and see in the area but the main attraction is the Apostle Islands and the sea caves on Lake Superior. This area is known as the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Visit Madeline Island
On our first day we drove to Bayfield and then took a ferry to Madeline Island. Madeline Island is the largest of the islands although not part of the national lakeshore. The ferry is a quick 20 minute ride and leaves every half hour in the summer. We decided to take the car so we could explore as much of the area as possible.
We arrived in La Pointe, the largest city, and stopped at the local food truck for some tacos as a snack before heading to Big Bay State Park which has lots of easy hiking trails and the top attraction of brownstone cliffs above Lake Superior.
We also went to Big Bay Town Park to check out the beautiful beach and scenic overlook.
There are lots of cute shops and galleries and restaurants to explore along with the museum which talks about the history of the island.
Kayak to the Sea Caves
The next day we had booked a kayak trip to the sea caves with Living Adventure. The day started off very windy and we knew there was a chance we wouldn’t make it to the sea caves. After all, the lake is the boss in these parts and with high winds you have lots of waves and it wouldn’t be safe to kayak into the caves.
Even if you haven’t kayaked before this trip would be suitable for beginners. You will be using a sea kayak and the instructors will show you how to use it along with all the equipment.
So we went to Meyer Beach and checked out the situation. We found that two other groups that had gone out earlier were on their way back. SO the sea caves were a no go for the day.
Instead we went to a lagoon and checked out the wildlife where we saw baby ducks and then had lunch at a sand bar before heading back in.
It was a lovely day out and I’ll have to go back again to make it to the sea caves.
Apostle Islands Cruise
After the kayak trip we decided to go on a cruise through the Apostle Islands all the way out to the Devils Island lighthouse.
We went with Apostle Island Cruise Line on a three hour sunset cruise to visit the sea caves on Devils Islands and two lighthouses. Along the way we learned about the history of this area.
Explore the Fruit Loop
Bayfield is surrounded by 15 berry farms and orchards and even a few wineries. THe area has a unique microclimate perfect for fruit and berries. I was especially interested in picking up some cherries and raspberries but they also have loads of blueberries (which we also grow at home).
Where to eat
So many great places to eat while in Bayfield. Here are a few that we checked out.
Big Water Coffee Roasters – this was a must every morning for me. The vanilla honey latte is delicious!
Maggies – a tropical theme in the north Maggies has great food and flamingoes.
Bayfield Inn Restaurant – great views and good food. I had the scallops there and they were delicious.
Manypenny Bistro – great food and pizzas
Where to stay
I stayed at the Bayfield Inn which has several properties around town. Our room was called the Crow’s Nest and it was more like an apartment with a kitchen and a lounge area.
If you are looking for more information on the area and what to do check out www.bayfield.org
I want to thank the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce for making this trip possible, as always all opinions are my own.