If you are planning where to go on your vacation in 2024, look no further than Bayfield, Wisconsin. 

The gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, there are plenty of activities from water to land that will have you and the family coming back all year long. 

Here are 24 ways to experience Bayfield and the Apostle Islands in 2024. 


1. Kayak the Sea Caves - This popular summer activity is a must. Experienced guides will give you spectacular views of sandstone rock formations. No experience is necessary. It's a great activity for adventure-seeking families.

2. Take an Apostle Islands Cruise - This narrated boat tour will give you the history of the Apostle Islands with views of the sea caves and lighthouses. Fun Fact: The Apostle Islands is home to the largest and most complete collection of historic lighthouses and light towers in the country.  


3. Camp on an Apostle Island - Take your camping experience to the next level and be dropped off, or kayak in, for an unforgettable camping experience away from it all. Please check the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Park Service website for permits and instructions on where to camp on the islands. 

4. Hike the Lakeshore Trail from Meyer's Beach - See the sea caves from above on this trail, which is accessible year-round. In the summer, this board-walked trail takes you over babbling streams through small ravines before walking along the edge of Lake Superior. The trail turns into a magical winter adventure December - March, with snow-covered canopies and views of ice caves. Be sure to check the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore live camera for conditions all year long. 

Ice Caves in Winter Lakeshore Trail

5. Visit a Museum - Learn about Bayfield's rich history as a commercial fishing town. Step back to the mid-1920s and see what Bayfield looked like during the rail days, or learn about the region's indigenous culture. 

6. Land a big catch with a fishing charter - Lake Superior fishing is an important part of the commerce here in Bayfield, not only commercially but also recreationally. Check out several fishing charters in the area that will help you land the catch of a lifetime! 

7. Attend Apple Festival - Voted as one of the Best Fall Festivals by USA Today's Reader's Choice Awards, Apple Festival has become one of Northern Wisconsin's most popular events! You'll find award-winning apple pie, apple cider doughnuts, caramel apples, apple dumplings, apple brats, and so much more at this can't miss festival. 

Apple Peeling Contest

8. Try Fish Livers - A Bayfield delicacy! Take your taste buds for a ride with this specialty sourced from Lake Superior. 

9. Hike Frog Bay Tribal National Park - The first Tribal National Park in the United States celebrates the cultural importance and the spirituality associated with Lake Superior. The beach offers views of five of the Apostle Islands. 

10. Go Berry Picking - Did you know Bayfield is the Berry Capital of Wisconsin?  Click here to learn more about when berries are ready for picking.

Family Cherry Picking

11. Enjoy a beverage - After your adventure, grab a beverage at one of the breweries, wineries, cideries, pubs, lounges, or at the first indigenous-owned distillery in the country. 

12. Take a Sauna - It's the perfect way to relax after your adventure. Check out the saunas at Wild Rice Retreat, Superior Body Massage & Spa, and the St. James Social. 

13. Go Sailing - Lake Superior provides a vast playground for sailors, and you could be one of them. Captain your own adventure, or have experienced sailers take you around the Apostle Islands in a tall ship. 

Boating and Sailing

14. Go Shopping - Bayfield offers unique shops stocked with one-of-a-kind items you won't find anywhere else. Explore several city blocks of shops in historic Bayfield. 

15. Create a work of art - Art galleries along the Bayfield peninsula not only feature art from area artists, but you also have opportunities to create your own. Check out Penny Print Studio, Workshop 46.8N, Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery, or Austin Miller Studio for classes. 

16. Attend Art Escape - This 9-day event in September is a great way to experience the arts along the Bayfield peninsula. 

Pottery in Bell Street Gallery and ArtBar

17. Go Apple Picking - Bayfield's proximity to Lake Superior creates unique micro-climates that allow apple orchards to flourish. Pick your own or buy bushels of pre-picked apples in the fall.  

18. Play in the Snow - Downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and dog sledding are all possible right here in Bayfield. Never tried them? Bayfield is the perfect place to learn! Check out our winter recreation page to view more snowy adventures. 

Snowboarding at Mt. Ashwabay

19. Grab a Book - Bayfield houses two independent bookstores, Apostle Islands Booksellers and Honest Dog Books. Each has collections fit for very reader.  

20. See a Waterfall - Hike Lost Creek Falls or Houghton Falls any time of year to see spectacular views of flowing waterfalls. 

21. Hit the Beach - miles of sandy beaches are at your feet when you arrive in Bayfield. Explore the mainland or visit Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island for unspoiled beauty. 

22. Ride in a Sherp - An experienced guide will take you out in this aquatic machine for an experience of a lifetime. You'll also catch some fish while you're at it! 

Sherp Vehicle, Beyond the Catch

(Photo Credit: JD Bass Entertainment) 


23. Take the Ferry to Madeline Island - Walk, bike, or take your car on the Madeline Island Ferry for a day of exploring Madeline Island. Visit shops or take a hike at Big Bay State Park. 

24. See Live Music - Attend a show under Big Top Chautauqua's big Blue Tent in the summer months, or attend a show at The Backstage, a more intimate venue open year-round. 

Music at Big Top Chautauqua's Backstage