Ah, the “Quiet Season.” It’s always one of our favorite times of the year. For the Bayfield visitor, this is a time when you can find everything, or nothing, to keep you busy! Here are 21 suggestions for things to do while you’re here, but the list goes on! You’re sure to discover a few things on your own as well!
Snowshoeing: you can bring your own, or rent them at Sweet Sailing. There are several amazing trails within walking distance of the Rittenhouse Inn.
XC Skiing: the Jerry Jolly trail is amazing, and can be accessed from Mt. Ashwabay or Star Route. Or, you can ski across frozen Lake Superior to Madeline Island!
Downhill Skiing: Mt. Ashwabay features a chair lift and rope tow servicing 11 runs. This is family skiing at its best, with both gentle runs and more challenging terrain.
Hiking: Several great trails are within blocks of the Inn, including the Brownstone Trail and the Nature Trail.
Snowmobiling: while there aren’t many trail IN Bayfield, there are many miles of trails all around us, and snowmobilers are always welcome at the Rittenhouse Inn!
Take the Ice Road to Madeline Island: drive to the City Beach and you’ll find the start of Wisconsin’s only temporary County Road! The path is well-marked with recycled Christmas trees, and at the end of the road you’ll find beautiful Madeline Island, ready to show her winter splendor!
Visit the Frozen Sea Caves: just 19 miles north of town lies one of the most mystical splendors of Lake Superior: the Sea Caves. Carved into the native brownstone by 10,000 years of wave action, these caves can by kayaked by summer and (when it’s cold enough) hiked by winter. Take the trail from the Apostle Islands Meyers Beach parking lot, but be sure to check conditions!
Snuggle up with a good book: Bring your own, borrow one of ours, visit the Carnegie Library, or one of Bayfield’s bookstores.
Enjoy a warm, bubbly whirlpool: we provide the bath salts, robes, and snuggly oversized towels!
Have some coffee: at Big Water Coffee Roasters, you’ll find a professional coffee house and bakery plus something more: a quintessential small-town hangout!
Browse the wares at Apostle Islands Booksellers: they have a great selection of local and regional authors, plus best sellers and popular titles.
Go Dogsledding: For one of the most exciting adventures of your life, call Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing. Not only will you fly through the woods like a cannon ball (the dogs know the way!) but you’ll also get the full experience of feeding and harnessing the dogs. A true winter rush!
Visit Wolfsong Wear: and shop for the ultimate in cold weather comfort and style. Located across from the Bayfield Inn.
Ice Fishing: Lake Superior is full of massive trout, salmon, pike, and smallmouth bass, plus panfish, perch, and walleye.
Try your luck: at Legendary Waters Casino, just north of town, you’ll find a wide variety of slots and table games, plus great entertainment.
Have lunch at Maggies: Here are some of our favorites: flamingo tenders, black ‘n’ blue burger, chicken fajitas, Late Night Special pizza.
Explore the Great Lakes Visitor Center: located where highways 2 and 13 meet, this visitor center offers great information and events year round.
Have a pint o’ Guinness: at the area’s only Irish Pub, the Snug. Located in Washburn, this cozy little pub features great beer on tap, your favorite spirits, and some great fish and pub chips!
Take in a show at Stagenorth: this theater, located in Washburn, features a full bar and almost always has something going on: plays, bands, lectures, open mic nights, etc.
Drop in for a Yoga class at Humblebee: this yoga studio also offers classes ranging from African drumming to Ninjitsu!
Go sledding at Valhalla (Hell Hill): only for the brave! Up Hwy C between Washburn and Cornucopia is a great spot for sledding if you dare… there are actually two hills. The first is a somewhat mild bowl with a fun jump at the bottom. The other is a former ski jump, and is basically straight down! There’s also great snowmobiling and xc ski trails at Valhalla.
Enjoy a 5-Course Dinner at Rittenhouse Inn’s Landmark Restaurant: we don’t like to brag, but Chef Matt Chingo is special! If you are looking for a fantastic meal in a romantic atmosphere, look no further. During the quiet season, we are open for dinner on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
Get Married: Innkeepers Jerry and Mark Phillips are licensed ministers, and the Inn offers special wedding and elopement packages. Contact Events Director Wendy Phillips