If you haven't been, Bayfield, Wisconsin is a town to add to your "must visit" list. The location is somewhat remote, but well worth the effort. We arrived Friday evening, parked our car, and did not get back in until we went to leave on Monday morning. And we had a toddler and baby along for the trip! Little resort towns like Bayfield can become expensive vacations in a blink of an eye. Here is how we kept the price down.
Lodging: We lucked out on this one; I won 3 nights free at the Ada O'Day Condos (Unit #3). In total, we spent $20 on lodging. But we had such an amazing time (our third, but the first with children) that we've decided to make this an annual trip. We made mental notes about future lodging options:
Meals: Eating out adds up very quickly, and with children a large portion of the food ends up on the floor or in someone's hair. So, to save costs we ate in. I highly recommend staying in a location that has a fridge and at least a microwave if not a full kitchen. In terms of food shopping keep the following in mind:
- there is a small IGA on the main street, selection is okay, but produce was more limited than I expected;
- Saturday mornings, April - October, there is a small farmers market in town. I got fresh onions, garlic, mushrooms, and apple mint for tea -- total cost, $2;
- Fresh baked bread was purchased Saturday morning from the rack at the Egg Toss as well as some pastries for dessert that evening;
- Fish -- the highlight was buying smoked trout from a local fish market (Bodin's) -- it is located on Lake Superior. And the fish, well, it was superior -- cost $3.58!
- Treats -- Your sweet tooth does not need to be neglected on a trip to Bayfield. Again, on the main street, is a delightful candy shop that sells ice cream, chocolates, taffy, baked goods, etc. It is open until 9pm, unless, like me you attempt to open the door not knowing 9pm has passed (easy to do around the long days of the Solstice) and the owners open back up to sell you an ice cream cone; for $2!
Entertainment: Avoid the shops of Bayfield, and you'll keep your travel budget lower. It is not hard to do, there are so many possibilities:
- Walk around the small town and simply soak in the slow pace and natural beauty of the area -- facilitated if you go with a camera in hand;
- Bike -- no need to bring yours, there is a small bike rental shop with great service;
- Hike -- we spotted a few trails we plan to do when the kids are tad bit older; and
- Island hop -- take the ferry to Madeline Island where you can bike, walk, hike, swim (if it is warm enough). This was the most expensive "attraction" we paid for....$12/adult. We left the car on the mainland, otherwise it would have been an additional $25.