Bayfield, WI Travel Guide
Updated: Jul 21, 2022
I spent four magical days in Bayfield and I'm still in awe at how much fun we had. I got to explore with my sister, Haley, and we crammed as much as we could into those four days. Bayfield is Wisconsin’s smallest city, the state’s berry capital, and the gateway to the Apostle Islands.
There are lots of inns in Bayfield, but we chose to camp at Apostle Island Area Campground. It was very reasonably priced, but there are only a few tent sites accompanying their fun cabins. The bathrooms were always clean, and they have the cutest camp store. One night we stayed in this incredible covered wagon! There was a queen bed, full bath, refrigerator, and even a coffee maker. It was such a unique experience!
As always, we tried to drink locally. Adventure Club Brewing was right by our campsite, it’s connected to a cool adventure store, and it has fun sour beers. Their patio is dog-friendly and great for calming down in the evening after a day of exploring. We also made a stop at Bayfield Winery & Blue Ox Cider. This winery/cidery combo is set on the most beautiful, serene property. They have another dog-friendly patio where we got to sit and enjoy a flight of their unique wines and the snack plate and take in the orchard views. Highly recommend the dry cider!
My favorite meal was at the Pickled Herring Lounge at Pier Plaza- great supper club vibes here. They have an awesome breaded fish fry, a huge dessert selection, and fun Old Fashioneds. (I recommend the Black Cherry one!) We dined at the bar and the bartender Frank was fantastic. We met the sweetest local couple, Lynn & Mike, who filled us in on some local history and a bunch of places to add to our list to explore. Big shout out to Lynn and Mike!- they really made us feel right at home in Bayfield.
Where else to eat? If you're looking for a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere, Manny Penny Bistro* had really great thin crust pizza. The best lunch spot was Beach Club on Madeline Island. I had the Lake Superior whitefish breaded fish fry. They have a gorgeous outdoor dining area right on the water of Lake Superior. Wonderstate Coffee* was the coffee shop of the trip- good vibes and even better bagels made in house!
Of course there is so much to see and hike in this area, but I highly recommend Meyers Beach Sea Caves hike. It's about 4 miles total out and back. You walk out to look down at the gorgeous sea caves that make this area famous. The colors were fantastic! This trail is on the Apostle Island National Lakeshore and there is a small fee per car.
A highlight of our trip was definitely Lost Creek Falls. This is an easy 2 mile round trip out and back hike and you can go behind the falls! It was amazing.
My splurge on this trip was a 5.5 hour private charter with Dreamcatcher Sailing. My research told me that spring was a challenging time to take a kayak tour of the islands, so I opted to sail them instead. Captain Bronte was so much fun and let us choose our own adventure by picking which islands we wanted to sail to. We got to help with the sails and steer the boat while looking out at eagles and beautiful shorelines. Highly recommend this adventure to get out into the Islands! They are even dog-friendly.
Last but not least, Madeline Island! Take the Madeline Island Ferry over from Bayfield for the day. You can take your car on the ferry, but we rented mopeds from Motion To Go once we got on the island and had a blast bopping around! Travel up to Big Bay State Park and hike 2.75 miles on Point Loop Trail to get some great water views. Next, make your way to Big Bay Town Park and walk the beautiful boardwalk along the lagoon.
This area is so dog-friendly! The places mentioned that are not dog-friendly are marked with a * (there are only 2!) You and pup can enjoy adventures (like sailing!) and dine on these patios!