Exploring Northwest Wisconsin

Your guide to living and working in the counties of Bayfield and Douglas.

The bad news is, it’s too late to get out and see the Ice Caves if you haven’t already in Winter ’19. The good news is, there are tons of amazing activities waiting to be discovered year-around across the whole northwestern region of Wisconsin!

Ice conditions have to be perfect on the southern shore of Lake Superior to allow adventurers to make the trek across to the “ice caves” of the Apostle Islands. But like many of the wonders to be found in this area, the wait is worth it. Be sure to check the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore website to find out current conditions before you head out there. And don’t forget that this gorgeous collection of 21 islands is a hotspot for sailing, boating, and kayaking in spring, summer, and autumn.

Speaking of autumn, the words “Bayfield” and “Fall” tend to go hand-in-hand with the Bayfield Apple Festival. Every October, over 60 orchards (like the one pictured at right) bring their bounty to the picturesque bay, joined by around 150 arts, crafts, and vendor booths. If you get the chance, be sure to take a ferry ride across to paradisiacal Madeline Island, or check out the lineup back on the mainland’s Big Top Chautauqua. Brandi Carlisle, Emmylou Harris, and Kris Kristofferson are just a few artists who never miss a chance to play at this venue, with its storied striped tent.

Down the shoreline is Chequamegon Bay and the city of Ashland (seen resting on the water in the photo below and at right). Fishing in the summer and snowmobiling on world-class trails in the winter are just the beginning when it comes to outdoors fun in this neck of the woods, which also offers plenty of opportunities for ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and more.

If you’re more in the mood for indoorsy fun (or if the weather makes it impossible to get outside), museums and historical sites dot the region, including the Historical Museum and Cultural Center in Washburn and the Oulu Heritage Center in Iron River. There are worlds of knowledge to discover about this region’s rich history.

A drive through the pastoral farmlands will take you into small towns with big personalities like Port Wing and OuluBrule River is known as a canoeing destination, and Oulu Glass is a mesmerizing stop just off the beaten path. More toward Superior, Solon Springs is a quaint village that’s home to Lucius Woods State Park, a great golf course, and mouthwatering eateries.

Scenic and bustling with industry, the city of Superior, Wisconsin is linked by bridges to its Twin Port in Duluth, Minnesota. A wide range of community events and festivals happen year around in Superior, many of them taking place right on the water at Barker’s Island (pictured below) from the Lake Superior Ice Festival in winter to the Dragon Boat Festival in summer.

For resources on moving to the #NorthByChoice territory of Northwest Wisconsin, including leads on realtors, school info, childcare, and more, visit:

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