Blake Walsh

22 Best Things to Do in Bayfield, WI

  • Published 2023/03/27

Although Bayfield is one of the smallest towns in Wisconsin, there’s a lot to explore and do here.

In fact, this town is as beautiful as many other places in the state and the US.

If you have two to three days in Bayfield, this town will not disappoint you.

Interested to know more about this place?

Here are the 22 best things you can do in Bayfield, Wisconsin:

Tour the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves

mattckaiser /

If you love nature and scenic beauty, this fantastic trip to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves must feature on your must-visit places.

This cruise among the beautiful waters promises to give you a lovely experience.

Please make sure to take some residents along with you who can guide you on these tours.

This will be an even better experience.

Inside view of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves

Bryan Neuswanger /

A stretch of the shoreline along Lake Superior, to the north of Wisconsin and consisting of 21 islands, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore trails past cliffs and sea caves.

These sea caves have intricately carved ice structures and are a visual delight.

The Apostle Islands National Lake Shore Ice Caves, which is a quick day trip from Bayfield, must feature on your to-explore list for Bayfield.

A man exploring the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Ice Caves

Bryan Neuswanger /

Take a Scenic Trek at Iron Bridge Trail

Iron Bridge Trail is an easy-to-access nature trail in the heart of Bayfield, along Washington Avenue.

Named after a historic iron bridge, this trail is surrounded by giant trees that become rich in foliage during fall.

It also goes along a creek, adding a certain serenity to the trail vibe.

This makes it a perfect spot for couples and families who want an intimate moment together.

Besides these, Iron Bridge Trail is also convenient as it’s close to another famous trail in Bayfield, Big Ravine Trail.

Kayak atMeyers Beach

Meyers Beach Sea Caves

melissamn /

The caves in Meyers Beach are some of the biggest and most crowd-pulling destinations.

You can also opt for the night tour, where you get to see the shores of Lake Superior in a completely relaxed environment.

The haunting glow of the sunken Fedora shipwreck will also be one memorable sight on this trip.

Hikers enjoying the view of the Meyers Beach

melissamn /

Check-In at Old Rittenhouse Inn

Exterior view of the Old Rittenhouse Inn

I, the copyright holder of this work, hereby publish it under the following license:, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to stay at a tourist attraction in itself during your visit to Bayfield, Old Rittenhouse Inn is for you.

Dating to 1890, this is a Queen Anne Victorian home that was once the summer residence of an elite family in Bayfield.

Today, you can experience the posh lifestyle at the Old Rittenhouse Inn as its interiors manage to preserve its rich 19th Century aesthetic.

The Old Rittenhouse Inn is also renowned for serving fantastic breakfast; it’s highly rated by many customers.

You can find this fantastic bed and breakfast along Rittenhouse Avenue.

Experience Live Music atLake Superior Big Top Chautauqua

Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua is a music venue and performing arts center in Bayfield, with a seating capacity of 900 people.

The beauty of this venue is that it is an all-canvas-tent theater.

This performing arts center is primarily operational in the summers and has been on the scene since the late 1980s.

It has hosted iconic musicians and is a star attraction to locals and tourists alike.

Learn Natural History atBayfield Maritime Museum

Bayfield Maritime Museum

Ken Schulze /

If you like the idea of a trip to the islands and caves, you will love visiting the Bayfield Maritime Museum.

This museum preserves the dynamic nautical history of the area.

The best part is that admission to this museum is free.

The volunteers entertain about 15000 guests in a season.

You can also have a virtual tour of the museum before coming here.

Take in the Views at Bayfield Pier

Another scenic spot for water lovers to visit is Bayfield Pier, located along the very end of Rittenhouse Avenue.

A beautiful pier extending far into Lake Superior, Bayfield Pier is as scenic as possible.

Plenty of aquatic birds can be found here, with gorgeous views of the waters glistening under a clear day.

Of course, you can also do some fishing if you’re feeling adventurous.

Tons of boats can also be seen at Bayfield Pier, making this a stimulating experience to see.

Get a Nice Drink at Copper Crow Distillery

What is a travel excursion without something nice to drink?

The best stop in Bayfield for this is the Copper Crow Distillery.

This place is your best bet for purchasing some of the finest brews and having a quick drink.

This place has bench-side seating, like picnics, where you can sit and enjoy your drinks.

The distillery is located among the woods and presents a perfect setting for a pleasant day with drinks.

The service is friendly and enjoyable.

Spend a Day at Hauser’s Superior View Farm

If visiting farms and orchards are on your planned itinerary, Hauser’s Superior View Farm is a must-visit place.

It is one of the best places to spend a day at.

The view from this orchard is more than superior; in fact, it is extraordinary.

You will have a good time exploring the fields and tasting the cider.

When you visit the place, please do not forget to take the “Apple Tour,” which promises great fun.

The staff here is well-trained and friendly.

They help you in tasting and then making an informed purchase.

Chow Down at Maypenny Bistro

Perhaps one of the most famous restaurants in Bayfield is the Maypenny Bistro, located along its namesake avenue.

Maypenny Bistro is known for its hip interiors and stellar food, making it common for tourists and visitors to have multiple meals here.

They have an extensive menu, but you might want to start with their famous breakfast plates and coffee.

Maypenny Bistro is also excellent at making pizzas—perfect for a late-night meal if you can’t decide what to order.

With a welcoming, clean, and vibrant interior, this is a great spot to meet locals or hang out with friends and family as well.

Go Camping at Dalrymple Park and Campground

Camping at Dalrymple Park and Campground is easily one of the best outdoor activities you can add to spice up your trip to Bayfield.

While located along the highway, this campside offers a private and primitive area along Lake Superior.

Allowing you to feel the rustic charm of lakeside camping truly, Dalrymple Park and Campground is a can’t-miss for avid outdoor enthusiasts.

The place has tons of trees for shade, too, so you can manage here with just a tent.

Complete with all the convenient amenities in camping, don’t miss out on trying this fantastic campground.

Take a Stroll at Brownstone Trail

If you have about two hours to explore, visit the Brownstone Trail.

This stretch is well-maintained and scenic and a paradise for nature lovers.

The wildflowers blooming sideways and the greenery of the woods promise a pleasant and relaxing trail.

Most of this trail is well-maintained except about 0.5 miles, which is closed due to landslides.

This Brownstone trail stretched from downtown to the Sea Gull Inn.

After this, there is a short six-minute detour o.

The view of the lake is excellent, and it is not too crowded.

Pick Blueberries atBlue Vista Farm

The Blue Vista Farm is a beautiful orchard.

The view of the barns and the gardens is quite pretty.

It is suitable for day activities.

Visitors can visit the farm and pick up blueberries.

The new owners of this place are amiable and enthusiastic.

You can expect to spend a quiet and enjoyable few hours if you are in Bayfield.

View the Art at Stone’s Throw Art Gallery

If you are one of those who love art, then the Stone’s Throw Art Gallery is a must-visit place.

It will take less than an hour to visit.

However, the visit promises to be a memorable one.

Tourists love this adorable little shop, and there’s much to browse.

The in-house artists can also make something cute for you while you browse.

This shop is much more than a regular souvenir shop and promises to bring back many fond memories.

Also, if you have many people to buy gifts for, this shop will not disappoint you with its beautiful collection of elegant art items on sale.

Some exciting things you can carry home as souvenirs include pottery and jewelry.

The staff members are incredibly patient and helpful and will go out of their way to customize items as per your budget.

Hike theBig Ravine Trail

Here is another option for nature lovers and hikers.

The Big Ravine Trail will take up about one to two hours of your time.

It promises to be an entertaining experience.

Interestingly, this trail has a geocache that promises to be a fun activity.

The trail is beautiful, and the natural beauty will be peaceful.

On this trail, you need to climb a big hill, and the view promises to be spectacular.

If you happen to visit Bayfield in autumn, please make sure not to miss this beautiful trail.

The autumn leaves and colors make up a fantastic sight.

And here’s one more tip.

Although a hike at dusk will be beautiful, be prepared to face mosquitoes.

This trail is primarily forested and offers beautiful views.

Hone Your Skills at Eckel’s Pottery and Finecrafts Gallery

If you want something artsy and clay pottery is your passion, check out Eckel’s Pottery and Fine Arts Gallery.

You will find pottery of clay and stoneware in all sizes and shapes.

You can use these items for home decor as well as functional pieces.

This store sources its products from local and national artists.

In addition to pottery, you can get handcrafted jewelry, woodwork, garden decor, etc.

As a visitor, one can also sit and observe every step of the process of making something out of clay.

That’s something you’ll not find in too many places.

Shop for Fresh Local Fruits atBayfield Apple Company

Another exciting place in Bayfield is the Bayfield Apple Company on the fruit farm loop.

Here you can get a wide selection of local fruits.

In a clutter-free environment, you can also get many items like jams, jellies, fresh fruits, and many other local favorites from Bayfield.

If you are lucky, you can also get farm-fresh strawberries.

The owners are super friendly and helpful.

A visit to this Bayfield Apple Company will be worth it.

Check Out the Historic Les Voight State Fish Hatchery

Les Voight State Fish Hatchery Visitor Center

natmac stock /

Located about 2.3 miles off Bayfield, the Les Voight State Fish Hatchery is a historic fish hatchery in Bayfield.

This hatchery was built in 1897 using brownstone.

This hatchery played an essential role in the fishing industry in the Lake Superior region.

The tours here need advance notice.

The staff is super enthusiastic and will show the visitors how they work to preserve native fish species, tag fish, and discuss the projects currently undertaken there.

The lake trout, brown trout, and splake are used here to stock Lake Superior.

There are quite a few substantial fish tanks where such work is done.

The information available in the visitor’s area is superb and highly educative.

If you are lucky, you can also spot the fish being fed.

Watch the Boats at Pikes Bay Marina

The Pikes Bay Marina is another major attraction in Bayfield.

You can spend about three hours here enjoying the sights and sounds.

If you love the waters and the boats, this is the right place for you.

A quiet walk after dinner to gaze at the boats tucked away, and the waters of Lake Superior create a beautiful sight.

Interestingly, one can also opt to live in some of these boats as rentals.

This experience is more unique than the usual bed and breakfast rentals and motels.

Try Winter Sports at Pike’s Creek Mt Ashwabay Ski Trails

If you are into skiing, Pike’s Creek Mt Ashwabay Ski Trails is your destination.

This trail is a hidden gem and is beautiful, especially in winter.

The wooded landscape is perfect for skiing at various levels.

There is also a ski hill which is the perfect place to enjoy and have fun with the family.

The trails are well-groomed and maintained and offer an excellent mountain biking opportunity.

So if you are around Bayfield and want to try an intermediate-level trail, this trail should be on your list to explore.

The dogs ski free, while others need to pay a nominal fee.

See theChrist Episcopal Church

Christ Episcopal Church

Billertl, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Christ Episcopal Church is a beautiful place of worship located in Bayfield.

This church has a magnificent exterior, which is a photographer’s paradise.

Inside the church, you can light a candle and pray to our Lady of Walsingham.

The church was built in the year 1870.

The concert series in this church is excellent.

Another interesting feature that travelers like here is the pet-blessing ceremony that takes place here.

Most of these places are very near each other, and you can club quite a few places on the same visit.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Appreciate the Architecture at Old Bayfield County Courthouse

Old Bayfield County Courthouse

Billertl, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This beautiful brown building hosts the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Visitor Center.

The architecture of this building is by itself a visual treat.

This was the old courthouse that has now been re-purposed into the visitor’s center.

The staff here is friendly and helpful.

It is an excellent place to start before you tour the islands and caves.

They have a twenty-minute video where one can learn a lot about the locality and the local people.

Also, you can buy your share of souvenirs from this place.

Final Thoughts

It’s not every day that you can experience Lake Superior, and Bayfield does an excellent job of making it its central tourism asset.

Lined with many lakeside businesses, you can have fun at Bayfield without venturing far.

Whether it be camping, going on food trips, or exploring the natural wonders of the city’s coastal areas, there’s something for everyone in this city.

With so many great things to do in Bayfield, Wisconsin, revisit this list when you pursue your adventure to Lake Superior.

© All rights reserved.