Wisconsin Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner
Scenic Drive from Bayfield to Superior, Wisconsin
Bayfield, Wisconsin (see pictures & more info here)
Tourism Website: bayfield.org
The seaside village of Bayfield is about 10 miles north of Washburn. Artisan shops abound in and around town as well as lots of neat places for dining and beverages. Plan to spend at least a few hours in town walking around. You could easily alot a day or more here with Orchard tours, excursion boats around the Apostle Islands, taking the ferry to Madeline Island, and other entertainments.
Recommended places and things to do:
- Downtown and harbor area: restaurants, pubs, artisan shops
- Old Rittenhouse Inn: classic setting, fine food
- Touring Bayfield Orchards – Hauser’s Superior View Farm is one of our favorites
- Dalrymple Park – Wooded RV and tent sites, electric, reasonable price, lake views, walking distance to downtown. The private KOA Apostle Island View campground is clean and well-maintained and is a good alternative for RV-ers or tent campers wanting to spend two days or more in the area.
- Big Top Chautauqua – unique tent show theatre and musical entertainment. The carnegie hall of tent shows. http://www.bigtop.org/
- Gateway to Madeline Island and Apostle Islands: auto ferries, excursion boats, island tour operators, bus tour on Madeline Island
- Annual Apple Festival – 1st weekend in October
Highway 13 West of Bayfield going towards Superior, Wisconsin
If you have an hour to spare, take a short side trip excursion from Hwy 13 going north on Cty K about 6 miles to Little Sand Bay. It’s a quaint community, affords a nice view of the lake and an attractive picnic area. Also there is the Town of Russell Campground (Wooded sites, suitable for tents or smaller RVs; electric hookups). Adjacent to the park is Little Sand Bay Apostle Islands Visitor Center that includes an Apostle Islands exhibit, a marina, swimming beach and a restored family commercial fishing facility (self-guided tour). Kayakers use this site and Meyers Beach as beginning and ending points for tours of the peninsula’s famous sea caves.
“Cornie” is a cute little fishing village about 18 miles from Bayfield. It’s worth at least a half hour of your time to look around and we have spent more than two hours walking along the lake and to and from “downtown” Cornie. Very attractive harbor, with a few artisan shops along the river entering the lake. Nice town park, with a beautiful sand beach and an artesian well. We get our fresh Lake Superior Whitefish from Halverson’s fish market at the Marina. There appears to be a few drive-in informal camping spots at the marina, but the official campground is at Siskwit Lake a few miles south of town. Was told the sites are attractive but rustic. The Village Inn offers an attractive dining atmosphere and lodging. We’ve not stayed at the Inn but have eaten there and loved their “meal-in-a-glass” Bloody Mary. For travelers doing a loop from Washburn, you pick up Cty C going south near the Village Inn and will be back in Washburn in about 35 minutes.
Continuing West on Hwy 13
Highway 13 continues along the Lake for about another 22 miles, going through the villages of Herbster and Port Wing. Each has a few artisan shops. Herbster’s township park offers both RV and tent camping. Several tent sites are right on the lake, only a few feet from the sand beach. Then Highway 13 turns south and later west again, but from here to the City of Superior you are away from the Lake and travel 30 miles of mixed woods and farms, fairly uninteresting scenery, except for the unexpected descent into canyon formed by the famous Brule River. To summarize, once you leave Cornie, you should be in Superior in less than an hour (unless you stop along the way)
We usually stop in Superior for about a half hour to walk the dog and stretch our legs on a portion of the Osaugie Waterfront Trail. If not in a rush, we take a longer walk. Other times we have spent a day or more in the area, at either of the two nearby State Parks and driving around exploring the territory south of town along the St. Louis River. While it suffers from being the disadvantaged twin of Duluth (a city that it is easy to spend a couple of days exploring all it has to offer), there are some interesting things to see and do in Superior.
Recommended places and things to do:
- The Osaugie Waterfront Trail and Harbor View park
- Beach and Dunes on Wisconsin Point, reachable via Moccasin Mike Road
- Fairlawn Mansion & Museum
- Nearby Pattison and Amnicon Falls State Parks – camping, hiking, picknicing, and waterfalls
- Northwest Outlet, near the Bong Bridge, is a favorite stop to shop for good deals on camping gear and clothing
- Sample the world’s best hamburgers at Gronks Grill and Anchor Bar
- Riverfront park on SW edge of city
- Superior hotel-motels offer convenient and economical access to attractions in Duluth and Superior