When the last weekend of July 2022 snuck up on me, I was taken back with a bit of pause for all of the things I still wanted to make happen before it was time to be planning fall color tours. A good friend presented me with a 3-day weekend to sail the Apostle Islands. Without question I jumped at the chance and said YES!
We loaded up the car with an assortment of Costco finds! My friend Becky and I are both true Minnesota kids that believe that an assortment of dips are necessary for every meal and on every snack table. We had Caramelized Onion & Gruyere Cheese Dip – sounds better than it was, Smoked Sockeye Salmon dip, black bean guacamole, Queso dip with cheddar and about 5 others that didn’t make my favorites list. Of course, we had every imaginable dipping chip as the much-needed vessel for the assortment. I have decided it just isn’t possible to leave Costco without a few surprise items that seem to make their way to my cart and oftentimes opened and into my paws before leaving the parking lot. The winner of the “leap from the shelves and into my cart” contest on this trip was the Island Way dessert. These little numbers are simply splendid. Imagine a small real coconut shell filled with coconut sorbet. The assortment includes many other sorbets filling the shells of their name’s sake mango and grapefruit. Okay enough on the food but in true weekend escape mode we packed enough food to feed the town of Bayfield.
We headed out from St. Paul enroute to our AIRBNB in Bayfield, WI. The trip takes about 3.5 hours – of course depending on traffic and construction conditions. The harbor town of Bayfield sits on Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes. Bayfield is the perfect gateway to access and explore the Apostle Islands. For many years the area has served as an attractive destination for those wanting to bike, kayak, sail, hike and explore the quaint culture of this Northern wilderness.
We did make one stop in the charming town of Cornucopia just a few towns before our destination. The town has a charming dry goods store called Ehlers. I would say this is a worthy stop before you reach Bayfield. The specialty grocer has grab and go made on site sandwiches and many cabin style novelty items. Our home for the three day get-a-way is perched on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior and the grand Apostle Islands.
Should you be planning a visit to the Apostle Islands and the town of Bayfield, here are some of the highlights that you may want to consider during your trip.
Explore the Apostle Islands by Water
I don’t care how you do it but don’t just kick back and gaze at the water from Bayfield or look at the 22 islands that make up the apostle Islands through binoculars. Hit the water by kayak, tour boat, a friend’s sail boat or whatever it takes. Get resourceful here! Exploring the caves of the Apostle’s is simply magical regardless of the season.
Bring your bike and hit the Brownstone Trail for a ride along Lake Superior.
Head to Madeline Island for the Day
You can get there on the Madeline Island Ferry. Once you arrive, explore the art galleries and towny bars. Consider packing a picnic lunch and spend part of the day hiking and swimming at Big Bay State Park.
Check out the many orchards in the area. We visited Bayfield Apple Company and Blue Vista Farm.
If you are in the mood for a bit of culture, stop by Bayfield Maritime Museum and the Wild Rice Retreat.
Eat and Drink Here!
The Fat Radish
This may be your spot to pick up picnic items as they serve great wraps, salads, sandwiches and smoked fish. Come-on… “When in Rome” … dine like the locals on foods germaine to the region.
This is a pretty unique place. Stop by their tap room for a vodka or gin forward cocktail. Copper Crow is the Nation’s first Native American Distillery.