With few more than 500 permanent residents, Bayfield is a small town with a lot to offer. With its vast apple orchards, scenic trails, and the world-famous Lake Superior National Lakeshore, there’s something worth exploring around every corner.
Lakeside towns are often revered for fresh, caught-that-day fish, but Bayfield is known for something a bit more specific – whitefish livers. To the uninitiated, the concept might sound a bit strange, but it never takes long to convert guests into bona fide “whitefish liver lovers.”
Greunke’s First Street Inn & Dining has been serving the delicacy since the 40’s and claims to be the first in town to do so. In the classic preparation, the tender little livers get dipped in batter before they’re lightly fried for a crispy finish. The result is a delightfully delicate flavor that’s not too strong or too fishy. It’s one of those rare dishes that you really shouldn’t leave without trying!
Of course, if you’re simply looking for something fresh and classic, there’s always the catch of the day. Superior is known for its trout and whitefish, both of which can be found on the menu at Pier Plaza Restaurant & Lounge. If you’re really work up an appetite, Friday nights at the Pier Plaza are famous for the all-you-can-eat fish fry!
Bayfield is known as the gateway to the world-famous Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. As you make your way along the lakeshore and the 21 Apostle Islands, you’ll encounter pristine historic lighthouses, old-growth remnant forests, and undisturbed animal habitats along your route.
Incredible sea caves have been carved out over the course of thousands of years, providing a true natural wonder that’s unique to Wisconsin. Winding tunnels cut through the deep red sandstone connecting one cave to the next, allowing kayakers to glide through caverns to get a better view of the incredible archways and stalactites. Apostle Islands Kayaks provides everything you need to enjoy the jaw-dropping sea caves, including expert advice and equipment.
Of course, there’s plenty to explore on land too! Mt. Ashwabay is a popular ski destination in the winter months, but once the snow melts away, volunteers work tirelessly to maintain a sprawling trail system for both hikers and mountain bikers to cruise through the towering hemlocks, maples, and pines. The view of Lake Superior from the top is nothing short of breathtaking. If you’re in need of a bike, head over to Trek & Trail to rent by the hour or the day.
In Bayfield, you’ll find a plethora of charming hotels, B&B’s, and campgrounds, all of which are locally owned and operated by the folks who know Bayfield best.
As always, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in Bayfield’s pristine natural beauty is to sleep under the stars. The centrally located Dalrymple Campground is home to 28 heavily wooded campsites, so you can drift off to the sound of the crickets and rustling leaves instead of trying drown out noisy neighbors. What could be better than the familiar aroma of campfire and the gentle crackling of logs after a long day of exploration?
If you’re looking for a few more amenities than a rustic campground can provide, the Seagull Bay Motel is the perfect place to recharge after an active day out on the lake or hiking up Mt. Ashwabay. A favorite among frequent guests of Bayfield, Seagull Bay offers affordable prices and pristine views of Lake Superior.
For even more tips on how to spend your weekend in Bayfield, check out our 48-hour itinerary of can't-miss stops!