Kramer Does Bayfield and Madeline Island (Part 1)

A closeup shot of black and white Russell terrier on the beach

I’m a lucky dog: I was adopted at an older age, landed a Great Dane-sized gig traveling to my tail’s content, and met all kinds of cool folks. Little did I know my luck until I was assigned to get a pre-summer sniff of two amazing places that most dogs only dream about: Bayfield and Madeline Island in nearby Wisconsin. In fact, there’s so much to do that in putting paw to pen, I discovered I had to write two stories! So without further a-doodle, here’s Part 1: Bayfield.

Oh, sure: I’d heard the dog-park barks about this beautiful area. But seeing is believing, and to do that you just have to pack your water bowl, poop bags, leash/collar and go this summer. Like raising your nose high for a new treat, embracing the adventures Bayfield has to offer is exciting. Fresh. Tail-thumping good. And speaking of treats – downright lip-smacking delicious treats like I was offered – sorry, I digress. More on that later.

Bayfield is ruff-ly a four-hour car ride from the Twin Cities. What I love the most are the options it provides us four-leggeds: the waterfront, the patios, and the dog-friendly lodging options including Isaac Wing House, open year round. It’s a small town-feel that has everything to offer, with lots of attention along the way.

Here’s why I give Bayfield two paws up and a basenji-tail wag:

1. The Scenery. Here you can’t help but notice a big pool of water, otherwise known as Lake Superior. Labs may love to dip their pads, but most importantly, the smells here are Mastiff-sized musts. Check out Bayview Beach on your way into town and stretch your paws.

2. The Delectables. Your humans will enjoy The Fat Radish, which delightfully offers both deli and dinner, and has tables outside for you to sniff their food while they eat. They can also head across the street to Big Water Coffee Roasters Cooperative which offers robust java, outdoor tables and a water bowl. Also, peek at Pier Plaza Restaurant and their dog-friendly seating area (Terrier tidbit: always check the websites for hours, and ask if they have treats on hand).

3. The Shopping. You can’t visit Bayfield without stopping by Howl Clothing & Adventure. They offer clothing, gifts, outdoor gear for dogs (and people), dog treats (for sale and as samples), and sailing trips in the national lakeshore. The very nice owners let me dress up like a sled dog (oh, the fun I had with that!) and have lots of information on other adventures like sled-dog races. Speaking of treats, make sure you snack on Racey’s Tasty Dog Bisquits, sold at Howl. Racey is a retired sled dog and a portion of the proceeds help pups in need.

4. The Dog Love. Bayfield offers a complete dog-friendly guide for you to peruse with your pug!

The fun doesn’t stop there – because pups are allowed, for FREE, onto a quick ferry boat ride to Madeline Island! Check out the deets from Part 2 of my trip here.

[Related: Good Dog’s Guide to Road Trips, Series: Kramer, Canine Reporter]

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