Two-Day Getaway to Bayfield | Midwest Living

Two-Day Getaway to Bayfield

Looking out at the Apostle Islands, one of the region’s most attractive small towns makes a great base for walking, biking and sailing as well as touring the plentiful fruit orchards on Wisconsin’s Lake Superior shore.
The marina in Bayfield
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Brownstone Trail
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Egg Toss Bakery Cafe
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Blue Vista Farm
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Old Rittenhouse Inn
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Day 1

Experience Bayfield on two wheels by renting bikes by the hour or day at Bayfield Bike Route; the 5-mile (round-trip) Brownstone Trail follows the glittering water of Lake Superior.

Locals love Egg Toss Bakery Cafe for the Crabby Benny, an eggs Benedict-type dish made using crab cakes.

The history of the town and the characters who settled it come alive on Bayfield Heritage Tours; reservations recommended.

Stone’s Throw is a combination art gallery and home decor and gift shop opening to a courtyard brimming with garden accents.

Joanne’s sells all things Scandinavian.

Stop into the Wild Rice Restaurant for a five-star dining experience; the prosciutto-wrapped beef with mascarpone mashed potatoes is a favorite.

Snuggle under duvets in rooms with whirlpools at the newly renovated Bayfield Inn, which has great views of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (from $170).

Day 2

Known for its rugged hiking trails, lighthouses and sea caves, the 21-island archipelago Apostle Islands National Lakeshore draws hikers and kayakers.

Visitors can get to Madeline Island via ferry or take the Superior Princess on Glass Bottom Boat Tours to view shipwrecks and underwater artifacts.

The Bayfield Special pizza, topped with thinly sliced apples and diced Canadian bacon, hits the spot at Ethel’s at 250.

Full-size boats and nautical artifacts tell stories of life on an inland sea at Bayfield Maritime Museum, where for a donation, guests can ring a ship’s bell.

Add a day

Tasting rooms at 14 orchards outside of town produce fresh-pressed cider, homemade jams, warm doughnuts and country-cute gifts.

Hauser’s Superior View Farm also sells beautiful flower baskets; Bayfield Apple Company’s farm store stocks souvenir-worthy apple-cranberry cider; and Blue Vista Farm has a U-pick area. 

More information: (800) 447-4094;

Meal you’ll remember

We love the posh rooms at the Old Rittenhouse Inn, but even travelers staying elsewhere should stop in for dinner. Splurge on the five-course gourmet meal, or order the Lake Superior chowder, smoked whitefish salad, steak Bercy and sinful flourless chocolate torte. (800) 779-2129;


Big Top Chautauqua Mid-June through the second week of September, Chautauquas—or culture under the tent—fill one of the Midwest’s most beloved outdoor venues as they have since before WWI. Original productions, regional artists and national headliners, including The Beach Boys, Lyle Lovett and The Indigo Girls, pack the tent on Mt. Ashwabay. (888) 244-8368;

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