An August 2003 trip
to Apostle Islands by karameister
Quote: The Apostle Islands have so many nooks and crannies that you could spend weeks exploring them all! Unfortunately, we only had a few days but found a number of good spots anyway.
I have not camped in a tent since I was a wee Girl Scout, so when my significant other suggested that we rough it in the Apostle Islands, I was hesitant. But, I toughened up and we staked out for a night.
The Apostle Islands Area Campground (AIAC from herein) is run by a husband and wife. They are very friendly and live on-site. As you enter the Bayfield area, the campground is easy to find from the signs. The first building is the reservation desk/general store.
The general store is neat and cabin-like. The owners know exactly what you may have forgotten! They have bug spray, firewood, popcorn, marshmallows, pudgie pie irons, and many other camping necessities. They also have a few craft items available.
As we entered our campsite, I was pleasantly surprised. The area was very level, and we did not have to share a site with anyone else. We had a large fire ring nearby that was well taken care of. Our site was a bit off the main area, so we didn't hear a peep out of anyone while in our tent.
Down in the main area, we found the showers and bathrooms. Showers were coin-operated, but not very expensive, and they were warm. The AIAC also has a small playground for children, as well as family camping and RV hookups. Pets are allowed on-site.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 29, 2005
Apostle Islands Area Campground
Star Route Box 8
Bayfield, Wisconsin 54814
The Egg Toss Cafe is not hard to find. Favored by locals and visitors alike, there are signs pointing the way to this house turned breakfast joint. Even if you miss the myriad signs, ask anyone on the street, and they'll point you there.
There is a good reason this place is so popular - the food! The Egg Toss Cafe knows how to fill you up on breakfast alone, and you won't be hungry until dinner. Homemade cinnamon bread, smoked apple sausage, and the Mexican omelet are just a few of the specialties. Every meal comes with a side: either bacon, sausage, toast, or potatoes.
The decor at the Egg Toss is sunny, to say the least. The walls are a light wood panel, but there are huge windows everywhere. The floor is tiled with alternating red, orange, and yellow, and the plates match. All of the tablecloths have fun designs on them, too.
The waitstaff here is all friendly, and have all work at the Egg Toss for years. Many of them were born and raised in Bayfield, so they are geat folks to ask for advice.
Overall, it's definitely worth a stop, even if it leaves you clutching your stomach, wishing you felt like eating lunch. Visit the Egg Toss online for a sample menu and directions.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2005
Egg Toss Cafe
41 Maypenny Avenue
Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Restaurant | "Gruenke's"
Everywhere you turn, Gruenke's claims itself to be "fine dining". The entrance to the restaurant, the website, and ads all tell you that they are known for fine dining.
I disagree. Maybe Gruenke's is indeed the finest dining establishment in Bayfield, but if you're from even a medium-sized city, it's just average. I had a feeling the moment I walked in - the restaurant feels like a diner.
The first thing you see upon entering Gruenke's is the formica counter. Next comes the wood-paneled walls filled with kitschy memorabilia, and then the jukebox. The tables do have tablecloths on them, though, which may be their reason for being a "fine dining" establishment.
The food here isn't all that fantastic, either. Gruenke's does many traditional Northwoods Wisconsin dishes, which means a lot of fish. During summer you can partake in a fish boil, caught fresh from Lake Superior. I had a fried fish meal, and everything was very dry.
Gruenke's does offer beer and wine. They also serve all three meals every day, which is unusual for an Apostle Islands eatery. But, if you're looking for better food, try Sgt. Pepperoni's, which is just next door.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 25, 2005
Greunke's Restaurant (First Street Inn)
17 Rittenhouse Avenue
Attraction | "Apostle Islands Excursions - Grand Tour"
The Apostle Islands are a fascinating area. There are 22 small islands that run along the North Shore of Wisconsin in Lake Superior. We were excited to see at least some of the islands instead of staying on the main land, so we opted for the Grand Tour.
The Grand Tour promises "geology, history, legends, and lore," all on a 3-hour narrated journey. Gilligan's Island, anyone?
Unfortunately, the tour wasn't quite as exciting as Gilligan's Island. I felt like I was back in high school, listening to a lecture on Wisconsin's history. The tour may be three hours to cover every island, but they really do not need to do so. Some of the islands are boring and do not have much history to them.
The one exceptionally interesting part of the tour was Bear Island. This island has the largest concentration of bears in the country. There were many neat stories about bear behavior and campers who stay on Bear Island.
The boat itself - the Island Princess - was quite nice. There was easily enough room for everyone they booked, and the large windows made viewing all of the islands quite easy.
Do take a cruise through the Apostle Islands if you take a trip there. Just make sure it's one shorter than the Grand Tour. Apostle Islands Excursions does offer other excursions, which you can peruse online.
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on August 22, 2005
Apostle Islands Excursions
Apostle Islands, Wisconsin
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 19, 2006
Route 1, Box 199
Bayfield, Wisconsin 54814
If walking isn’t exactly your cup of tea, the shopping district in Bayfield is for you. It is much smaller than many towns of comparable size, but packs in a lot of punch. In a 4- or 5-square-block area, you can find everything from hardware to traditional Scandinavian goods to lots and lots of monkeys!
Monkey Business – 19 Front St.: You’ll go bananas! Sorry for the cheap cliché, but it’s true. This is where to go to find stuffed monkeys of all varieties and shapes, monkey T-shirts, monkey boxer shorts, and monkey coffee mugs, alongside other monkey collectibles. You can also shop online at the Monkey Business website.
Keeper of the Light – 19 Front St.: This shop is a ship and lighthouse fanatic's dream. Located right next to the pier, Keeper showcases miniature lighthouses, art prints, books, and ship memorabilia. Visit Keeper of the Light online.
Bayfield Bath Company – 104 Rittenhouse Ave.: It smells like heaven inside this shop! Bayfield Bath Company has exactly what you'd expect: soap, lotion, candles, potpourri, and other scented delights. The Bath Company can be found online.
Joann’s Scandinavian – 223 Rittenhouse Ave.: Ja, if you've always wanted a traditional Scandinavian sweater, here is where to head in Bayfield. Wood carvings, books, and other items can also be found at Joann's. Many items are imported directly from Scandinavian countries.
The Yulery – 104 Rittenhouse Ave.: Even out of season, Bayfield has a Christmas store. The Yulery isn't cheesy, though, and you can find plenty of handmade ornaments and other Christmas delights.
These are just a few of the many small shops located in downtown Bayfield. Of course, if you head a few miles, you will also find other treasures, like Bayfield Winery and a few apple orchards that are not to be missed. This town offers a pleasant shopping experience not to be missed!
Saint Paul, Minnesota