The Northland's NewsCenter has gone in search of great summer getaways that are close to home and won't break the bank. Our first destination sits along the south shore and is the self-proclaimed 'Berry Capital' of Wisconsin. If it's family activities you're looking for this summer, Bayfield may just be the spot.
Ranked as one of the best little towns in the Midwest, Bayfield explodes when summer sets in.
"We're an old fishing village, old lumbering town, the history is very expansive, you come here in the summer and you get a flavor of all of that," said Bayfield Chamber of Commerce Director, Kristin Sandstrom.
You're invited to taste what Bayfield has to offer literally.
"We are home to over a dozen of orchards and berry farms," Sandstrom said.
One of them is Rick Dale's Highland Valley Farm.
"Bayfield has always been known for its strawberries, raspberries, and in recent years blue berries."
Dale along with his family helps perk tourist's taste buds by letting them pick their own berries.
"With lake superior maritime climate it's an ideal place for growing fruits."
Bayfield's berry season typically starts in late June and wraps up in August.
"There is something really special about picking your own blueberries in the warm sun in August and nibbling on them as you go," Dale said.
There's no lack of entertainment in Bayfield during the summer. Now in its 24th year, The Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua has a brand new batch of bands ready to perform this summer.
"Everybody likes music, no question, interests and preferences may vary, but we have a real ecliptic mix of music that takes place at the tent," said Big Top Operations Manager, Phillip Anich.
Up to five times a week, nearly a thousand people a night can gather under a large tent and listen to local and national renowned artists.
Some call the event a magical setting.
"Seeing the northern lights with stars over hear, hearing world class entertainment live you've never heard it before," said Anich.
Just a ferry ride away, off the coast of Bayfield, you'll find the Apostle Islands and their eight historic lighthouses.
"There is no two that are built alike out here, every two is a different type of lighthouse," said 'Keeper of the Light' store owner, Mary Grant.
You're only able to check out on of them during the summer.
The Raspberry Lighthouse.
"Just went under two year renovation, historically furnished like it was in the early 1900's, so it's a great lighthouse to tour," Grant said.
You're only chance to visit the others is at the end of August during a week's time period. In the meantime, you're always welcome inside Mary Grant's store Keeper of the light.
"We just carry a lot of different items that feature the apostle islands lighthouses and a lot of souvenir type items, books, artwork," said Grant.
From a history lesson on water, to nonstop entertainment and bonding time on the farm; Bayfield caters to those families just looking to get away.
"In my humble opinion we are the best place in the area to come and relax and to just escape the (busy world) out there," said Sandstrom.
For more information, visit:
Bayfield Chamber of Commerce
Keeper of the Light
Highland Valley Farm
Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua
Stone House Photo