Madeline Island, just 20 minutes east of Bayfield by ferry, is one of Lake Superior’s finest jewels. The island is a favorite among summer vacationers who love its numerous outdoor adventures, scenic natural attractions, history, and culture.
At over 14 miles long and 3 miles wide, Madeline Island is the largest member of the Apostle Islands chain. However, it is not officially part of the federally designated Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Preserve.
Madeline Island is the only one of the Apostle’s chain that is inhabited year-round and open to commercial development and private ownership. A wide range of wonderful shops and restaurants call it home.
The island welcomes visitors year-round and offers a wide array of lodging options, from cabins and cottages to condos, home rentals, inns, and motels.
Popular activities on the island include swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, beachcombing, camping, and bird-watching. Multiple campsites and nature trails are located here.
Getting to Madeline Island
The easiest way to get to the island is through the Madeline Island Ferry Line which operates throughout the year (weather permitting). Trips from Bayfield to the island take around 20 minutes. Trucks, cars and bikes can also be ferried across.
Visitors can also reach the island aboard private boats – there are several docks – or they can opt to fly-in through the Madeline Island Airport or by float plane.
During winter, when the lake is sufficiently frozen, an ice road is opened from Bayfield, which vehicles can use to cross over. In the middle season, a wind sled is used (part boat, part airplane).
Most of Madeline Island’s restaurants and shops can be found in the Town of La Pointe on the western edge of the island. These are some of the top-rated restaurants you’ll find here:
- The Beach Club
817 Fort Rd, La Pointe, WI
One of the best places on the island to enjoy great lakeside casual dining and nightlife. Known for delicious burgers, cold beer, and fresh fish. Customer keep coming back for their famous fish tacos and sunset dinners.
- Tom’s Burned Down Café and Restaurant
274 Chebomnicon Rd, La Pointe, WI
With literally no roof and just a hodge-podge of signs and makeshift walls, this unique, unforgettable bar serves up ice-cold beer and cocktails in a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere while a food truck provides meals.
- The Beach Club
- The Pub at the Inn On Madeline Island Hotel
641 Fort Rd, La Pointe, WI
Enjoy an evening of elegant dining with incredible seafood and pub dishes while gazing out at incredible views of the water from the beachfront patio, the cozy lounge, or the spacious dining room.Favorite dishes include the crab, mussels, and delicious variety of stone hearth pizzas.
Places of Interest
- Big Bay State Park Located on the east side of the island, this 2,350-acre park features scenic sandstone bluffs, hiking trails, picturesque sea caves, award-winning campgrounds, and what many consider to be one of the best beaches in northern Wisconsin.
- Madeline Island Historical Museum Discover the island’s history from the time of the Native Americans, the fur traders, the early missionaries, and more through wonderful exhibits and curated artifacts at the Madeline Island History Museum.
- La Pointe Indian CemeteryEstablished in 1835, this historic site was built by the European Catholic missionaries who evangelized the Native American population on the island. Several town figures and prominent tribal leaders are buried here.
Madeline Island Real Estate
Explore stunning Madeline Island property for sale! Contact Gennifer Reed and get to know the latest listings in Madeline Island. Call (715)779-5000 or drop an e-mail at [mail_to email=”Agent@WindseekerRealty.com”]Agent@WindseekerRealty.com[/mail_to].