Y’all may recall from my recent report on Bayfield that it’s not only canine savvy, it’s also the gateway to a nearby Otterhound oasis. This place may actually change the way you think dog-friendly places are supposed to be because this, Sidewalk Doggers, is an actual island – Madeline Island. And dogs are welcome to visit with their humans. Via a ferry boat. For free.
Say woof? That’s right. Trot down to the waterfront where you’ll em-bark upon the Madeline Island Ferry Line. With multiple daily rides, you can sit/stay and go as much as you like. I recommend sitting and staying, because Madeline Island – one of 22 Apostle Islands also known as La Pointe – has that much to offer both dog and human: a rich history, amazing walks, multiple patios, sunsets to roll over for AND all kinds of people waiting to pet you. Many of them with treats in hand.
So with that, “Gidanamikaagoo Omaa Mooningwanekaaning” or “welcome to Madeline Island.” Here’s why I give it two paws up and a Basenji-tail wag:
1. The Lodging – I highly recommend the paw-tastic Island Inn; just steps away from the ferry boat, it’s the epitome of convenience and comfort. Dogs receive a welcome note and treats upon arrival, and my new friend Ron (one of the owners) highly believes dogs should travel with their peeps. Ron and his business partners own 50 properties, and since 33 of them are dog-friendly, well – let’s just call him Fido’s friend. Need more proof? A dachshund photo was in my room – customized for my visit, I’m sure.
2. The Shopping – Here, shopping dogs will find a Texas-Heeler trifecta: Madeline Island Candles will send your sniffer a ‘sensing while your humans shop for locally-made candles and soaps; there’s also a great outdoor sitting area with water bowl. Are you into weaving/pottery/jewelry? Then Woods Hall Craft Shop is a must stop. And active dogs should saunter into Adventure Vacations to explore its special dog section in back.
3. The Food and Patios – For breakfast, you must visit the newly-opened Farmhouse (voted Best Breakfast and located next door to the Island Inn) where you’ll be licking your chops from the moment you sit down. For dinner, check out the Pub Restaurant and Wine Bar, located at the Inn on Madeline Island (another tail-wagging lodging property) for an experience not unlike Lady and the Tramp’s famous spaghetti scene, complete with sunset. Speaking of spaghetti, check theirs out! And for casual fare, stop by the Beach Club for good food and a dockside view.
4. The Pre(views) – I dig social media and all that real-time Pomeranian pomp and circumstance. So I was especially hyper to check out Madeline Island’s webcam before I took off, and sure enough, it matched the splendor of the sights once I got there.
5. The Fitness – Well, that’s what I told my humans when I encouraged them to take me to Capser Hiking Trail for a little Springer sprint, Joni’s Beach for a little front side stop, and Big Bay Town Park for an incredible view.
Madeline Island is just waiting for dogs like you to visit. So pack up your gear and go – and tell ‘em Kramer sent ya.