A Few Wonderful Things You Should Experience in Northern Wisconsin

A list inspired by @NotAWitchDoctor's list!: https://li.st/l/4rjokzBVfBX3kYMmnOuE2w My family moved to WI in 1990 & I pretty much spent my whole life there until college. I didn't always love being from such a small town but I'm so glad I now live only 4 hrs away and my parents still live there. I try to visit every few months. Here we go!
  1. Camp in The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
    There are 21 islands and 12 miles of mainland coast that make up the AINL. They are BEAUTIFUL. AINL is one of the lesser visited parks in our nation's park system so it's not too crowded. You can camp on a majority of the islands and there are quite a few lighthouses in the park that you can visit too. You don't necessarily need your own boat to get out to the islands, but you obviously have more freedom if you do!
  2. Kayak the mainland sea caves
    This is one of my all-time favorite summer activities. My dad bought me a used tandem sea kayak 13 years ago & it was probably one of the best gifts I've ever received. Sunset is the best time to visit because duh, look at that gorgeous rock! There are lots of local outfitters who will take you out here and you don't need prior experience. Check out Trek and Trail or Living Adventures!
  3. Pick berries
    The hills above Bayfield are full of orchards—apple, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry etc! You can even find wild berry patches around the area for free pickin'
  4. Drive to Madeline Island—On the ice!
    This freaks some people out, but don't worry, they mark the "road" with discarded Christmas trees so you know where to go. 😉
  5. Ski or snowshoe 10k across Lake Superior from Ashland to Washburn during Book Across The Bay (second Saturday in February)
    Oh, and it's at night. Don't worry though, they have ice luminaries marking the path and bonfires every few kilometers. Beer, chili, and a giant bonfire await you at the finish line.
  6. Visit Wisconsin's northern-most post office
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ why not?
  7. Go spelunking
    The mainland sea caves that you can kayak to in the summer form spectacular ice formations in the winter. The ice isn't safe to traverse every winter, but when it is, it's SO worth it.
  8. Visit the beach
    Have a fear of all the things that can kill you in the ocean? Go swimming in Lake Superior instead. It's the cleanest and biggest of the Great Lakes and obviously the best. Bayview beach between Washburn & Bayfield is one of my favorites. The only thing that'll kill you is hypothermia. Or drowning. Maybe sea lampreys.
  9. Compete In The American Birkebeiner
    If skiing across a lake at night scares you, check out the US equivalent of this Norwegian cross country ski race in Hayward. I've personally never competed but it looks fun!
  10. Eat Winebread from The Candy Shoppe in Bayfield
    All of their baked goods & homemade candies are phenomenal. I worked here one summer and my mom hugged me when I came home every night because I smelled like their homemade waffle cones.😍
  11. Go to The Bayfield Apple Festival
    It's the first full wkend in October and you can eat everything and anything made with apples! Apple pie from The Candy Shoppe and Erickson's raspberry-apple cider top my must-have Apple Fest foods.
  12. Eat fresh caught fish
    Smoked whitefish or smoked trout from Bodin's is my fave.💞
  13. Eat whitefish livers
    They're a local delicacy and the kitchy restaurant Maggie's in Bayfield does them perfectly. Try em before you knock em!
  14. See a show at The Big Top Chautauqua
    They have local productions that maybe appeal to an older set, but bigger acts come through here in the summer. We saw Ira Glass a couple years ago, and this summer we'll go see Case/Lang/Veirs in August.
  15. Experience the northern Lights
    You don't have to go to Iceland in the dead of winter to see the aurora borealis. In fact, the only time I've ever seen the northern lights has been during the summertime in northern Wisconsin.
  16. Leaf Peep🍁👀🍁
    Get a 2-4-1 on this activity by visiting Bayfield during Apple Fest weekend.
  17. Drink good coffee at Big Water Coffee Shop in Bayfield
    A bonus for me: you can buy their beans at several different grocery stores in the Twin Cities. I like Sea Smoke!
  18. Check out the Bar Stool Races in Drummond
    Same weekend as Book Across The Bay, I think
  19. Take a Sunday drive to Delta Diner
    This is tucked away in the woods in "sweet Jesus nowhere." Don't forget to buy a jar of Nina's Jalapeñas pickled garlic on your way out🎉
  20. Drink South Shore Brewery Beer
    Mmmmm. I like Rhode Scholar Stout.
  21. Visit the Madeline Island Historical Museum
    I had to throw this one on the list because I worked here for 3 summers in the early 00's (cool brag😎). MIHM is kind of a museum *in* a museum. The original part of the museum, put together by locals in the 1950's, remains largely untouched. Madeline was first home to the Ojibwe and then was visited by French fur traders, missionaries, the British... Fun fact: Madeline is the only inhabited Apostle Island and it's not part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
  22. Eat Ashland Baking Company Bread
    Jalapeño cheddar is THE best!
  23. Hike to Houghton Point near Washburn
    This place was public, then it wasn't, and now it is again! There's a sorta cliff you can jump off into the freezing lake if you feel so inclined.
  24. Convinced you should visit?
    I really should work for the chamber or something, I love this area so much.