Well this is a loaded question, because there are so many great beaches around here, and everybody has their own opinion.
My personal favorite is Big Bay Town Park beach on Madeline Island. You’ll have to take a ferry ride (or fly in!) and then get to the east side of the island, but it’s well worth it.
Another popular beach, that’s even harder to get to, is Julian Bay beach off Stockton… where the sand speaks! That’s right, the famous speaking sands of Julian Bay have intrigued outdoor enthusiasts for generations. To find out how to get there, visit here: http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/175049/
Had enough insider secrets? There are actually two great little beaches right in town: the Bayfield City beach located next to the Ferry docks, and Reiten’s Boatyard beach at the end of second street. Either is perfect for a quick dip or some sunbathing.
Another favorite is Friendly Valley beach, about 8 miles south of Bayfield on Hwy 13. This is a great beach for families with children, as the water is warm and shallow a log ways out. It’s a large beach, so crowding is not usually a problem, even on the hottest days.
The same could be said for Little Sand Bay beach, about 8 miles north of town on 13. There is a nice picnic area here, and some historic fishery buildings. This is a great beach for privacy.
Well, there you have it. When I get some time, I’ll add some pictures to this post.