"Superior Shores" Bayfield by yooperprof

Bayfield Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 37 photos

NOT the Wisconsin Dells

Bayfield WI is something of an undiscovered gem. It's a small town - a big village - on Lake Superior with a moderate amount of development - but without any large resort hotels or facilities that can make some places feel as if they've been mass-produced according to Hollywood's notion of "cute".

In Bayfield there are no traffic lights, no fast food, no putt-putt golf, no folksy schlock, no Wal-marts, no go-kart tracks, no "Water Park Holi-domes", no schlock of any kind. This is the "un-Wisconsin Dells".

The closest Metro area to Bayfield is Minneapolis-St. Paul, which is about 4 hours to the south and west. Perhaps there is something of the Twin Cities' neatness and order here - Scandinavian tidiness and good taste? Bayfield also seems a little "New Englandy" - with its sailboats and cafes and bracing breezes from the water. But it's not salt water here, it's the chill of Lake Superior that gives Bayfield a special charm.

The Rittenhouse Inn

There are a number of guest houses and small inns in Bayfield. One of the most pleasant is the Old Rittenhouse Inn, open since 1975 and one of the oldest Bed & Breakfasts in the Midwest.


Charles Rittenhouse, of the famous Philadelphia family, was one of the early investors in Bayfield. Rittenhouse Avenue, the main street in Bayfield, is named after him. This house was actually built in 1890 for Allen Fuller, a prominent attorney in Illinois who summered here as a haven from hay fever.

There are some cute shops in Bayfield - but not too many. The place isn't yet overwhelmed with money, so none of the stores is terribly expensive. No chains, either. And no fudge shops.

This is Roxanne's, at the corner of 2nd and Rittenhouse Ave.

  • Last visit to Bayfield: May 2006
  • Intro Updated Jun 2, 2006
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (17)

Comments (3)

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Sep 10, 2007 at 1:23 PM

    What a delightful location, Chet. You have some really fine photos and concise, descriptive narrative. A place I would enjoy visiting.

  • Jul 24, 2005 at 7:29 PM

    Also, very nice restrooms on the ferry dock. Ok restroom by the marina.

  • zrim's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2004 at 7:28 AM

    Dinner at the Rittenhouse Inn is tremendous--next time you visit Bayfield, try it, you wont be disappointed.


“from da u.p. to da world”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 1 0 3
Forum Rank:
0 0 5 8 5

Badges & Stats in Bayfield

  • 17 Reviews
  • 20 Photos
  • 0 Forum posts
  • 1,447PageViews

Have you been to Bayfield?

  Share Your Travels  

Latest Activity in Bayfield

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)