Bayfield is a small harbor town of 400-plus residents, hidden between the north woods of the Bayfield Peninsula and the sweeping inland sea of Lake Superior.
It is best known as the gateway to the Apostle Islands and Lake Superior’s historic south shore. Bayfield is the smallest city in Wisconsin. It has been recognized by USA Today’s which calls it one of the Best Coastal Small Towns and the Chicago Tribune who ranked it as the “Best Little Town in the Midwest.”
Bayfield is picturesque and charming little city with a quaint historic downtown featuring galleries, retails shops, museums and tantalizing eateries shops. But exploring downtown is only the beginning of things to do in the Bayfield area.
Dubbed Wisconsin's Berry Capital, Bayfield offers the “Fruit Loop” where visitors can choose from picking cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries at local farms. And, In the autumn, apples, pumpkins and squash are ripe for harvesting. Every October for 58-years, the Apple Festival celebrates the autumn harvest and its agricultural heritage with a fine arts and crafts fair, food booths, live music, and tours of the local orchards and wineries. It is recognized as one of Wisconsin’s premiere festivals.
The arts scene is active throughout the Bayfield Peninsula with numerous galleries and artisan shops. But the biggest draw it Big Top Chautauqua. Over thirty-five years of operation, this 900-seat venue located 3 miles south of Bayfield, has hosted performances from many famous personalities including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jackson Browne, Buddy Guy, and Kenny G. Big Top It also offers original musicals that combine education and entertainment in a unique multimedia experience featuring their house band the Blue Canvass Orchestra.
Also, plan a trip across the lake on the Madeline Island Ferry to see historic LaPointe and Madeline Island. On the Island you can rent bikes or mopeds and go out to Big Bay State Park, which offers hiking trails along the lakeshore and through beautiful wetlands.
Whatever your preference, Bayfield and South Shore offers a wide variety of things to do and enjoy.