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Lake Superior Circle Tour - Economical Scenic Vacations. Interesting places to see and things to do without breaking the budget

Sunset on Bayfield's Siskiwit Bay of Lake Superior. Cornucopia, WI
Sunset Over Lake Superior
Siskiwit Bay - Cornucopia, Wisconsin
Bayfield Peninsula

AppleFest Midway
Bayfield Apple Festival
is one of Wisconsin's favorite fall festivals

Fall colors from the top of Moose Mountain
Minnesota North Shore Fall Colors from the top of Moose Mountain

See our Events Calendars for interesting things to see and do around Lake Superior: Wisconsin, Minnesota North Shore, Michigan Upper Peninsula, and Ontario.

Gas Saving Tips for your Lake Superior Vacation.

Discover Lake Superior - America and Canada's Inland Sea

In 2013 rising gas prices reverted back to the $4 a gallon we experienced in 2008. In 2014 we saw a milder repeat of that condition. In 2015, we've had a welcome relief and things improved during the winter. Currently (May 2, 2017) gas prices are reasonable and could stay below $3 a gallon.

But in the event prices rise again and you are tempted to cut back on their travel and vacation plans because of this increase, take a look at these actual dollar costs we've computed. We've found if you put a pencil to the actual cost of the increased $ per gallon in the larger scheme of things it isn't that much. You'll discover the travel regions around Lake Superior offer an affordable yet uniquely scenic travel and vacation opportunity to get away and be renewed. ( For more details, see our travel directories for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Upper Peninsula, and Ontario )

Here's an example of the actual cost changes using a very ordinary gas consumption of 20 mpg - which even Cadillacs, Trucks & SUVs can exceed these days. Our example is one of the most popular destination areas around Lake Superior: the Bayfield Peninsula and the Apostle Islands. Ashland, Wisconsin is the gateway to this travel region.

Round Trip Mileage & Fuel Consumption
to Ashland, Wisconsin on Lake Superior and return (@ 20 mpg):

From Chicago - 886 miles. 44 gallons of gas

From Madison, WI - 602 miles. 30 gallons of gas

From Minneapolis, MN - 442 miles. 22 gallons of gas

Now lets run the numbers. At a price of $4/gallon of gas the round trip from Chicago to Ashland would cost you $176 in gasoline. If we assume gas at $3/gallon, the same trip would cost you $132. So the difference in the round trip to Ashland, WI from Chicago, Illinois would only cost an additional $45 (@$4/gallon vs. $3/gallon).

In our opinion an easy amount of money to offset. Go out to eat one less time than normal and you've paid for the difference. Stay at a budget motel one or two nights and you've made up the difference.

cornucopia harbor
The harbor at Cornucopia Wisconsin, one of the seaside villages along the new Lake Superior Scenic Byway

While you are in the Ashland-Bayfield area you can take a day trip on the new Wisconsin Lake Superior Scenic Byway to the beautiful Duluth, Minnesota port city to enjoy Canal Park, the iconic Lakewalk, take the scenic Skyline Drive, climb Enger Park Tower and numerous other attractions. The round trip will cost you about $36 (@$4/gallon) - cheap entertainment.

If your expected vacation trip is longer, just crunch the numbers to get the real cost of the difference in gas between $3 and $4 per gallon. For example it isn't that far to travel through Canada from Grand Portage, Minnesota to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan - about 500 miles. You can do this with only having to fill up gas in Canada one time (our old Mazda 626 could've done the full trip w/o stopping at all for gas).

What if your family car gets 30 mpg (as many do these days) ? Well then that round trip from Chicago to Ashland, Bayfield and the Apostle Islands area will only cost you about $120 at $4/gallon. That trip to Duluth and back will only cost you $24.

So "put a pencil to it" - compute your anticipated mileage and mpg - and I think you'll find a way to fit a unique Lake Superior travel experience into your vacation budget. And with the price of air fare to distant locations going up and up you might find that a trip around Lake Superior or to one of its more remote vacation areas could be a heck of lot cheaper.

Did you know these interesting facts about Lake Superior?

-- Lake Superior is the largest fresh water lake in the world!
spacer31,700 Square Miles
Miles of Shoreline = 2726 miles
10% of the world's fresh water supply

-- The total population of all the cities, towns, villages, and settlements around the lake is less than 800,000 people.

-- Some of the oldest rocks in the world exist along the Lake Superior shoreline in Ontario. And gemstone rocks like agates, jasper, quartz, chalcedony, unikite can be found on many of its beaches. (see our beach rock identification guide)

bulletSee more Lake Superior Facts here

Here's some regional mileage maps of points around the Lake Superior Circle Route to help you plan your trip.

Regional Mileage Maps - Lake Superior Circle Route Tour

blue bulletMinnesota North Shore - Duluth to Grand Portage

blue bulletWestern Ontario - Grand Portage to Marathon

blue bulletEastern Ontario - Marathon to Sault Sainte Marie

blue bulletEastern Michigan UP - Sault Ste. Marie to Marquette

blue bulletWestern Michigan UP - Marquette to Ironwood

blue bulletWisconsin - Hurley to Superior

See our Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Travel Planning Guide
Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner


Lodging Directory Lake Superior Circle Route - Advantage Rates on Motels & Hotels

Lake Superior Circle Route - Camping Directory

Got particular Circle Tour Question?
Be happy to help. Drop me a line

- - - - Reinhold Development - 2017

Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

bentleyville tour of lights
Duluth's amazing Bentleyville Duluth Christmas Lights Village opens Nov 18, 2017

gooseberry falls park Winter - Minnesota
Winter - Michigan UP
Winter - Wisconsin
Winter - Sault Ste Marie

Piorcupine Mountains Scenic Overlook
Porcupine Mountains State Park was voted #2 Best State Park in the United States in a USAToday/10Best poll.

Madeline Island Big  Bay Park
Enjoying the great swimming Beach Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island

Devils Island Lighthouse Apostle Islands
See the lighthouses on an Apostle Islands Cruise.

books and guides on hiking and camping
Hiking and Camping Guides & Books

Travel Information

lake superior road map of the circle tour
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.

How to recognize Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.Lake Superior Agate?

Snow &
Weather Reports

Regional Weather from the Weather Channel

See our Directory of our favorite Upper Peninsula Scenic and Recreation areas.Upper Peninsula Porcupine Mountains

Walking along Canal Park Drive Duluth's Canal Park, Shopping and Entertainment District

Understanding and Finding Agates
Our Reviews of the best guides to Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks

Understanding and Finding Agates
Lake Superior Rocks & Minerals: A Field Guide to the Lake Superior Area

Facts about
Lake Superior

Fall Color Tours
Lake Superior

Visiting the amazing Bayfield Ice Caves and
Lake Superior Ice Caves.Bayfield Lake Superior Ice Caves

Golf Courses Around Lake Superior
See our
Reviews of golf courses around Lake Superior

bay furnace campground upper peninsula
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Camping along the Lake Superior Circle Drive.