Just a 20-minute ferry ride east of Bayfield, Madeline Island is an exceptional outdoor destination that should top your Wisconsin travel list. Here’s why:

  1. It’s the shiniest gem among the 22 Apostle Islands I Madeline Island is the largest among the 22 Apostle Islands. Offering a great mix of outdoor activities, history and art highlights, and thriving nature, this gorgeous island is an entire world of its own on Lake Superior. Being the only developed island among the Apostle Island chain, it welcomes visitors all year round.
  2. Camping on the shores of Lake Superior is exhilarating Madeline Island offers the perfect outdoor retreat with its assortment of campgrounds and cabin/cottage complexes. TI-te camping experience is idyllic, as Lake Superior glistens around you and the stars twinkle above you. If you prefer indoor accommodations, rental vacation homes, inns, and even condos are also available.
  3. Beaches and miles of trails promise outdoor funStretching 14 miles long and 3 miles wide, Madeline Island is an outdoor-lover’s paradise with exceptional beaches and nature trails that are perfect for hiking and biking. Bikes and mopeds are available for rent so you don’t have to worry about bringing yours on the trip.
  4. It’s got one of the “coolest small towns in the US”La Pointe is the only “town” on Madeline Island. Even with a population of just over 300 residents, its -unique charm has been recognized by Budget Travel magazine as one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America.”
  5. You can tee off at an exceptional golf courseThe Madeline Island Coll Club is an 18-hole course designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The course makes the most out of Madeline Island’s exceptional landscape, featuring huge double greens and seven holes that overlook Lake Superior. For a more family-friendly game, you can check out the Beach Club Mini Colt
  6. Sea caves and calm lagoons await youBoats are another great way to experience Madeline Island. There are several options to choose from, including canoes, kayaks, and sailboats. Guided tours take you around the Apostle Islands, revealing mysterious sea caves and many more breathtaking sights. You can also explore within the island’s channels through its many calm lagoons
  7. There’s no shortage of great eatsThe variety of eats on Madeline Island will delight foodies of all types. From casual favorites like hamburgers and pizzas, to locally sourced vegan and vegetarian fare, to signature Wisconsin flavors, there’s something for everyone. The gorgeous lake views make the dining experience especially memorable
  8. Local shops promise great findsLocal art and culture shine through locally made crafts and goods, such as jewelry, wool garments, and a variety- of souvenir and novelty items. rite bookstores are a treasure trove of the island’s history.
  9. There’s a thriving local arts scene With a variety of galleries, craft shops and studios, as well as a full-fledged art school, Madeline Island promises an endless celebration of creativity and inspiration. The Madeline Island School of the Arts is renowned as one of the top five art and craft schools in the US, offering workshops in painting, photography, quilting, and writing.
  10. The island has a fascinating history From being the traditional spiritual center of the Lake Superior Chippewa to becoming a crucial trading outpost for fur traders, Madeline Island has many stories to tell. The Madeline Island Historical Museum is the first step to discovering the island’s history, while the Heritage Center of the island’s Historical Preservation Association is a great way to see preserved houses and structures firsthand.