Discover the Top 14 Things to Do in Bayfield, WI: Family Fun & Adventure Awaits!

Looking for the best things to do in Bayfield, WI? Our concise guide cuts straight to the chase, offering you a glimpse into the heart of Bayfield’s charm. From the tranquil beauty of the Apostle Islands to the vibrant streets of downtown, experience family-friendly activities, outdoor thrills, and indulgent dining that await in this quaint lakeside town.

Table of Contents

Apostle Islands Exploration

Let’s start our adventure with the Apostle Islands – a breathtaking archipelago of 22 islands, each one possessing its unique charm. Famed for their historical significance and natural beauty, these islands offer an exquisite blend of exploration and adventure.

Shall we begin?

Boat Tours

Imagine cruising the crystal-clear waters of the Apostle Islands, each wave whispering tales of the past. The boat tours here offer an engaging narrative of the islands’ history, showcasing landmarks such as lighthouses and sea caves at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

With a captain who is not only a skilled navigator but also a captivating storyteller, every moment on the boat becomes an adventure to remember, as you glide past the stunning vistas and historical treasures of the Apostle Islands.

Sea Kayaking

Ever dreamt of paddling your way through clear waters, exploring sea caves along the way? In the Apostle Islands, this dream can be a reality! Sea kayaking here offers an immersive journey through the islands’ pristine waters of the inland sea, with the added thrill of venturing into the sea caves. But remember, safety comes first!

Authorized kayak outfitters provide necessary training and equipment to ensure a safe and enjoyable kayaking experience.

Historic Lighthouses

Let’s step back in time and visit the historical lighthouses that once guided mariners through the treacherous waters of Lake Superior. The Apostle Islands Cruises offer guided tours to Raspberry Island and Michigan Island Lighthouses, providing a peek into the islands’ maritime history.

With a climb up a 120-foot tower and photo opportunities aplenty, these lighthouse tours promise an educational journey filled with stunning vistas.

Madeline Island Adventure

Our next stop is the captivating Madeline Island – the largest of the Apostle Islands. Accessible via a scenic ferry ride, the island offers:

  • A unique blend of natural beauty and quaint charm
  • Stunning beaches and hiking trails
  • Historic sites and museums
  • Delicious local cuisine
  • Opportunities for water sports and outdoor activities

Madeline Island is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and those seeking a peaceful getaway, and the Madeline Island Ferry is the perfect way to reach this beautiful location.

Let’s delve deeper into what this island has to offer.

La Pointe

As we step ashore Madeline Island, we’re greeted by the charming town of La Pointe. With its unique local shops, art galleries, and a delightful array of dining experiences, La Pointe is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Big Bay State Park

Next, we head to Big Bay State Park, a haven for nature lovers. With over 7 miles of hiking trails and a serene sandy beach, this park offers a tranquil retreat amid nature’s splendor, perfect for those who love sandy beaches.

The scenic boardwalk leading to the park’s beach is a sight to behold, offering picturesque outlooks of Lake Superior.

Big Bay Town Park

Our Madeline Island adventure wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Big Bay Town Park. Offering stunning views of the Big Bay Lagoon and family-friendly campground facilities, this park is perfect for both adventure and relaxation.

Outdoor Activities in Bayfield

Stepping back onto the mainland, let’s dive into the plethora of outdoor activities that Bayfield has to offer. From serene hiking trails to thrilling biking adventures and abundant wildlife watching opportunities, Bayfield is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts.

Hiking Trails

Bayfield is a paradise for hikers, boasting diverse trails that meander through scenic landscapes. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, there’s a trail that’s just right for you.

The Meyers Beach Sea Cave Trail, for instance, offers a moderate difficulty hike with stunning views of the Mainland Sea Caves.

Biking Adventures

If biking is more your speed, Bayfield won’t disappoint. With the scenic Brownstone Trail and the extensive Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) trail system, biking adventures are just a pedal stroke away in Bayfield.

Wildlife Watching

For wildlife enthusiasts, Bayfield offers a treasure trove of opportunities. From bird watching at Big Bay State Park to observing native flora and fauna at Frog Bay Tribal National Park, there’s a vibrant ecosystem waiting to be discovered.

Fruit Loop Tour: Exploring Local Orchards

After all the adventure, how about a delightful exploration of the local food culture? Welcome to Bayfield’s Fruit Loop – a trail that takes you through family-run orchards and berry farms, offering a taste of the local bounty.

Bayfield Maritime Museum

Let’s take a break from the outdoor adventures and step into the Bayfield Maritime Museum. Here, you can embark on an interactive journey through the maritime history of the Apostle Islands and learn about the region’s boat-building heritage.

Culinary Delights in Bayfield

After feeding your curiosity, let’s move on to satiate your taste buds. Bayfield offers a diverse culinary scene, from casual beachfront cafes to restaurants specializing in fresh local cuisine.

Unique Bayfield Experiences

Of course, Bayfield’s charm extends beyond its natural beauty and culinary delights. The town also offers unique experiences like Big Top Chautauqua performances and crafted cocktails at Copper Crow Distillery.

Family-Friendly Activities

Bayfield is a destination the whole family can enjoy. With a range of family-friendly activities, from playgrounds and parks to kid-friendly dining options, there’s something to keep everyone entertained and engaged.

Relaxation and Accommodation

After a day filled with adventure, it’s time to unwind. Bayfield offers luxurious accommodations for those looking to relax in comfort and elegance. Whether you prefer the charm of the Old Rittenhouse Inn or the quaint setting of Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast, a peaceful retreat awaits you.

Shopping in Downtown Bayfield

A visit to Bayfield wouldn’t be complete without exploring its shopping scene. Downtown Bayfield is home to a variety of local shops, art galleries, and specialty stores, offering a delightful shopping experience.

Beaches of Bayfield County

The beauty of Bayfield extends to its pristine beaches. From the serene Big Bay Town Park to the picturesque Meyer’s Beach, the beaches of Bayfield County offer a perfect spot for relaxation and beach activities.

Winter Wonderland: Bayfield in the Snow

Did you think the adventure ends with the summer? Think again! Bayfield transforms into a winter wonderland, offering unique experiences like snowshoeing, ice road adventures, and frozen waterfall hikes.

Art and Culture in Bayfield

Bayfield isn’t just about natural beauty and outdoor adventures, it also boasts a vibrant arts scene. From local galleries and studios to cultural events, there’s a world of creativity waiting to be explored.

Howl Adventure Center and Brewery

As we wrap up our journey, let’s make a stop at Howl Adventure Center and Brewery. Here, you can gear up for mountain biking, try paddleboarding, or simply relax with a craft beer.


So there you have it – a whirlwind tour of Bayfield, WI! From natural beauty and outdoor adventures to culinary delights and cultural experiences, Bayfield truly has something for everyone. Ready to embark on your own adventure?

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to take a ferry to Madeline Island?

Yes, you can take a ferry to Madeline Island from the northeast end of Bayfield. Enjoy your trip!

Are the Apostle Islands worth seeing?

Yes, the Apostle Islands are definitely worth seeing, with their famous red sandstone sea caves, crystal clear Lake Superior waters, and beautiful greenery. The islands are a unique destination and can be reached by boat or sea kayak.

How long is the ferry ride to the Apostle Islands?

The ferry ride to the Apostle Islands from Bayfield with the Madeline Island Ferry Line takes approximately 20 minutes, offering a scenic experience.

Are the ice caves open in Bayfield Wisconsin?

The ice caves in Bayfield, Wisconsin are currently inaccessible due to unstable ice conditions. This includes areas accessible from Meyers Beach Road, and the last time the ice caves were accessible was in 2015.

How can I explore the Apostle Islands?

You can explore the Apostle Islands through boat tours, sea kayaking, and visiting historic lighthouses, providing you with historical insights and breathtaking views. Enjoy an immersive experience in the crystal-clear waters and sea caves while learning about the maritime history of the islands.