Welcome to Bayfield, Wisconsin—where the air is fresh, the locals are friendly, and the cheese curds are squeaky. If you’re looking for a low-key family vacation that packs a high-key punch of fun, you’ve landed in the right place. Below I’ve shared the best things to do in Bayfield, WI, especially if you’re bringing kids.
The Fruit Loop Trail of Fruit Farms
The Bayfield “Fruit Loop” is a collection of family-run orchards and berry farms dotted around Bayfield.
It’s a great place to introduce kids to the concept of farm-to-table (or in this case, plant-to-mouth), and our personal favorite was Blue Vista Farm for their incredible early season blueberries and the friendliest customer service.
Insider tip: Visit during harvest season (July to October) to pick your own berries and apples. Don’t forget to try the homemade jams and pies from the farm shops.
Blue Vista Farm
Talk about a view that’ll make you say “berry nice!” Blue Vista Farm offers stunning vistas and delicious, organically grown berries and apples. The kids will love the freedom of running through the fields, and we particularly enjoyed their apple cider donuts. Insider tip: Their barn shop sells beautiful handmade gifts—perfect for a unique souvenir or gift. We picked up Wisconsin Maple Syrup here and wish we had bought more. For more details, visit thee Blue Vista Farm Facebook Page.
We were able to pick both raspberries and strawberries in mid-July at Rocky Acres and they said their blueberries were almost ready too. They have a road-side stand of pre-picked fruit for convenience. Check out Rocky Acres’ website for more information.
The cherries at Hillcrest were the best I’ve ever had. The kids wanted to stay all day even though we were picking in the rain.
There is a minimum U-Pick quantity of 5 pounds. Make sure to pull the stems of the cherries too so they stay fresh longer.
Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cidery
Why stop at berries? End your adventure on the “fruit loop” with grapes and apples. At Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cidery, you can sample award-winning wines and ciders while the kids enjoy the sprawling outdoor patio, giant connect four, cornhole, or even catch grasshoppers. Our personal favorites were the Ginger Cider and the _. Our whole family enjoyed the charcuterie board. Insider tip: Don’t miss their seasonal releases, and be sure to take home a bottle (or five).
Visit Bayfield Winery and Blue Ox Cidery’s website to learn more.
Bayfield Maritime Museum
Set sail for an educational adventure at the Bayfield Maritime Museum. With interactive exhibits and fascinating maritime artifacts, it’s a great place for kids to learn about Bayfield’s nautical history.
I had a lot of fun helping my five year old with the scavenger hunt. I learned a lot and at the end of our search, Liam was rewarded with a sticker and a free book about a young girl who lived in a local lighthouse with her dad.
Insider tip: The museum offers free admission, but donations are appreciated.
East Dock Park
East Dock Park is a breath of fresh air—literally.
This picturesque park is perfect for a family picnic, with stunning lake views and a playground for the kids. We personally enjoyed watching the boats coming and going from the adjacent marina.
Apostle Island Cruise
Ready for an epic family adventure on the high seas? Because of its massive surface area, Lake Superior is actually an inland sea! From historic lighthouses to majestic sea caves, there’s plenty to see. Our favorite part was spotting the bald eagles, their nest, and 3 babies!
Insider tip: Dress in layers—it can get chilly on the water, even in summer it drops about 10 degrees once you get out toward the islands.
We did a lot of research and phoned a lot of friends asking about the right way to experience the National Seashore with kids as young as ours (3 and 5). We knew it’d be years before we could safely go sea kayaking with them and the speed boats were pricey and lacked bathroom facilities.
The 2.5 hour boat cruise at 4:30pm was just perfect. The kids sat still as they had an active day behind them already, the lighting on the sea caves was optimal, there were concessions and bathrooms available, and they loved being able to move between the top and bottom deck of the boat. We enjoyed the narrated overview.
Insider Tip: Perhaps the best perk of this cruise line is that ages 5 and under only cost $1 to ride! Adults were $52 each. Additionally, carry ins are allowed! Even alcohol can be carried on board so we packed a couple ciders from Blue Ox and lots of snacks for the kids plus ginger cookies in case the waves made anyone feel queasy.
Check out Apostle Island Cruises’ website for more information.
Ferry to Madeline Island
All aboard the Madeline Island Ferry for a scenic trip across Lake Superior. It’s a fun and easy way to reach Madeline Island, and the kids will love looking out for wildlife.
In the winter, the ice would get so thick between Madeline Island and the mainland that the ferry stopped running and they’d drive cars across the ice road! However, conditions haven’t been cold enough since 2015 and therefore the ferry has been running year round.
Insider tip: If you want to explore Big Bay State Park, you’ll want to bring your vehicle across on the Ferry too. Visit Madeline Island Ferry Line’s website for more details.
Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island
Welcome to Big Bay State Park, where the wild things are (don’t worry, we mean deer, birds, and children of course). With hiking trails, a sandy beach, and a 3.5 mile boardwalk trail, it’s a nature lover’s paradise. We loved the peaceful hike to the lagoon.
Insider tip: Remember to pack insect repellent—mosquitoes love Big Bay as much as we do.
Howl Adventure Center and Brewery
Get ready to howl with excitement at the Howl Adventure Center. I’m not trying to be cheesy, apparently its actually a thing kids do; they howl at the giant wolf out front.
From mountain biking to paddle boarding equipment, there’s something for every adrenaline junkie. And don’t worry, parents—the onsite craft brewery has got you covered. Their patio has hammocks, plentiful tables, and yard games.
Insider tip: They offer equipment rental, so no need to lug bulky gear from home.
Visit Howl Adventure Center’s website for more information.
Need a caffeine boost after all that adventuring? Head to Wonderstate Coffee. With ethically sourced beans and delicious pastries, it’s a treat for parents and kids alike. I loved their mocha latte.
Insider tip: They offer a variety of dairy alternatives for those with dietary restrictions.
Check out Wonderstate Coffee’s website for more details.
From quirky boutiques to local art galleries, shopping in Bayfield is a treat. My kids loved to peruse Brownstone Centre with me as they had a fun kids section.
Insider tip: The store, Keeper of the Light, chooses one passenger from every Apostle Island Cruise and puts their name above their register. Stop by after your cruise to see if your name was selected for a free gift card!
For a list of local shops, visit Bayfield’s Shopping page.
Cooper Hill Playground
Let the kids burn off some energy at Cooper Hill Playground. My older son turned the tires and ropes into his own Ninja Warrior Course and my youngest was overjoyed to find a sandbox stocked generously with trucks of all kinds.
Insider tip: There’s limited shade, so bring sunscreen and hats on sunny days.
Hungry? Head to Greunke’s Inn for some classic Wisconsin comfort food. The atmosphere is super fun, it is definitely a place packed with stories.
We loved how casual it was as a easy spot to grab lunch with the kids and then hit their ice cream stand in the parking lot as well for dessert. They had a kids menu, crayons, and coloring pages at the ready for us. Visit Greunke’s Inn’s website for more details.
Frog Bay Tribal National Park
Hop over to Frog Bay Tribal National Park for a fun-filled day of nature exploration. The park is managed by the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and it’s a great opportunity to teach kids about indigenous cultures. It is the first Tribal National Park in the county and it is free to visit.
There is limited parking at the trail head.
Insider tip: At the end of a short, leisurely 10-minute hike, a hidden gem awaited: a beautiful, secluded beach with views of some of the Apostle Islands. My children delighted in crafting boats from driftwood and exploring the diverse array of beetles. Meanwhile, I was captivated by the profusion of butterflies and caterpillars that adorned the trail and the shoreline.
Check out Frog Bay Tribal National Park’s website for more information.
Top Peninsula Beaches
Last but not least, no trip to Bayfield is complete without a visit to the peninsula’s top beaches. Whether you’re constructing sandcastles, frolicking in the waves, or basking in the sun, beach days are an absolute delight for children, even if you have to don a few extra layers to combat the cool breeze that sweeps across Lake Superior.
Here are 3 beaches that were easy kid-pleasers for our family:
- Sand Bay Beach – Also a fantastic spot for sunset!
- Corny Beach in Cornucopia
- Herbster Park and Beach
Insider tip: While Meyer’s Beach is certainly one of the most popular, we were warned by a couple shop keepers that it wouldn’t be a great one to enjoy with little kids. There’s a lot of kayak traffic here as it is the main access points for sea cave kayaking.
For a list of more local beaches, visit Bayfield’s Beaches page. The site is packed with more ideas too of things to do in Bayfield, WI.
Final Thoughts on Things To Do in Bayfield, WI
So there you have it—our guide to the best things to do in Bayfield, WI. From farm-fresh fruit to renowned sea caves, to sandy beaches, Bayfield offers a blend of relaxation and adventure that’s hard to resist.
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