The Apostle Islands were on Johannes’s and my bucket-list ever since our close Chicago friends told us about this place in 2018. The stunning rock formations on Lake Superior just stuck in my head ever since. One of the main reasons it took us so long to visit the islands was the long drive (8h one way). A weekend is not enough time. For labor day this year in September we finally decided to drive up all the way to Bayfield in Wisconsin. In this blog post I will show you what we did during our 3 day trip to the Apostle Islands.
Where to stay?
We decided to stay the Seagull Motel in Bayfield and loved every minute of our stay. The hotel is owned and maintained by the nicest family. It is located right by Lake Superior and has a beautiful view on the lake. I loved waking up to the sunrise, especially seeing the lake and the sun rising from the bed. The motel offers parking right in front of the motel and all the restaurants can be reached by foot since Bayfield is not that big.
What to do?
The Apostle Island area is great to visit during summer, fall or winter. These seasons have all something to offer. During the winter time the lake freezes so you are able to walk across the lake and see some stunning ice formations. Fall on the other side offers a wonderful foliage up in Northern Wisconsin. If you want better weather and higher temperatures make sure to visit during the summer months. During our 3 day trip to the Apostle Islands we managed to do some hikes around the area as well as cruise.
Explore the Apostle Islands
There are so many ways to explore the Apostle Islands – from hiking, to kayaking or paddle boarding, or by boat. We personally did the boat tour and hiking but wished we would have done a kayak tour around the islands.
Take a Cruise
One way to explore the scenic area of the Apostle Islands is by taking a 55-mile cruise. It will show you the highlights of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Apostle Island Cruises has several cruise options to choose from. We did the Grand Tour, but to be honest, we would not this one again and rather do the Sea Caves and Lighthouse tour. The ticket costs about 50 dollars for adults and about 30 dollars for children (6-12years old). A great alternative is to do a sailing tour or go with a private tour. Dream Catcher Sailing offers Day Tours and Multi Day Tours. It is a little bit pricey but for sure a unique experience.
Kayaking across the Apostle Islands
A lot of people kayak around the Apostle Islands and this is probably the main thing to do. Your options are to either rent kayaks or do a tour. Since the weather was not great when we visited and the lake can get really rough and dangerous sometimes, we decided us against a kayak tour.
Here are several company that offer kayak rental and tours:
Kayak tours starts at about 60 dollars per person for a half day tour.
Meyers Beach Sea Caves
The Meyers Beach Sea Caves hike was one of our favorites and was also the longest. It offered several different views and never got boring. You get some incredible views over the caves and cliff.
Highlights: Hiking through boreal forest, the mainland sea caves, peering over the high cliffs, and Lake Superior views. Watch for bears too!
Length: 4-mile round trip to sea caves, 9-mile round trip to end of the trail
Houghton Falls Nature Preserve
This hike was super fun. You are hiking to the lake and get rewarded with are really nice view that must be beautiful for sunset, when the sun is setting behind the lake. We enjoyed the easy trail.
Lost Creek Falls
The Lost Creek Fall Trail is a 2.2 mile roundtrip trail and is located near Cornucopia, Wisconsin. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best from May until October. We actually saw a black bear on the trail which was kind of exciting. The amount of water in the waterfall depends on the rainfall and the season.
Length: 2.2 miles
Where to eat?
Manny Penny is a diner style restaurant. We actually went there twice, the first time for breakfast and the second time for dinner. Their menus offers a variety of foods from burgers, salads and sandwiches to delicious pizzas and American breakfast classics. Make sure to try their delicious hashbrowns for breakfast.
Address: 201 Manypenny Ave, Bayfield, WI 54814
Sometimes it is super hard to find good vegetarian or vegan options, especially when you are traveling outside of a bigger city. Wild by Nature Deli had some yummy vegetarian wrap options.
Address: 100 Rittenhouse Ave, Bayfield, WI 54814
This was by far our favorite restaurant to eat at. The food they offer is really good and more importantly fresh and healthy. They offer freshly baked pastries that are to die for. But their lunch menu is also worth a try. We tried several pieces of their baked goods but we also Falafel sandwich as well as their vegan breakfast – both recommandable.
Address: 146 W Bayfield St, Washburn, WI 54891
Fat Raddish offers a variety of great healthy options on their menu and is located in Cornucopia that is about 30 minute drive from Bayfield. It was a great dinner option after our hike and really enjoyed the Artichoke dip as well as the Curry Trout. Both yummy options.
Address: 22270 County Hwy C, Cornucopia, WI 54827