Lake Superior - Minnesota or Wisconsin?

Old Jun 4th, 2011, 01:54 AM
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Lake Superior - Minnesota or Wisconsin?

Hello all. I am in the beginning stages of planning a trip to Minneapolis with a side trip to Lake Superior in August 2011. I've found previous questions and trip reports on this forum about the North Shore (NS) of Lake Superior in Minnesota. Dear husband though, thinks we should go to the Wisconsin shore of LS. I've found very little about Wisconsin and Lake Superior. How does the availability of lodging, dining, sights, activities, etc., on LS coast in Wisconsin compare to same on the North Shore of Minnesota? Also, how does fishing off NS of Minnesota compare to fishing near the Apostle Islands?

Thanks in advance for any insight you can provide.
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 06:30 AM
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DH did a motorcycle lap around Lake Superior last year. I just asked him about your questions. He said Apostle Islands had the biggest worst mosquitoes he'd ever seen [he camped]. The ferry only went to one of the islands [he doesn't remember which] and you had to pay per vehicle, plus campsite fee. There were places ["small houses"] to stay there, but he thinks they fill up fast. He doesn't know anything about fishing, he didn't notice much fishing activity.

He said that Grand Marais was about the only place that was worth staying along that part of MN.

He really like Duluth a lot, thought it was a nice place to spend some time, he was quite surprised!

He says that the peninsula where Copper Harbor is located was really nice and that there were day trips out of there to Menagerie Island.

This is a light house map, but it helped him with the names of locations I mentioned:

http://westieville.com/lighthouses/s...perior-map.jpg

Hope this helps some.
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 06:30 AM
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Can't speak about Minnesota, but I am very familiar with Bayfield and the Apostle Islands in Wisconsin. August is of course the high season so you might have problems getting accomodations - however fishing is good and you can rent a charter out of Bayfield - or surrounding areas - and Madeline Island. Their certainly is plenty to do -- for all ages - lots of nature -- you could stay on Madeline Island - the other islands in Apostle Group - 22 - you can take a tour out of Bayfield -- and you can arrange with the Park Service to camp on most of the islands if you so wish. On Madeline Island their are camping facilities available at the Town Park or Big Bay(state Park).

You might want to check out -- http://www.nps.gov/apis/index.htm

Good luck on your trip.

Ron
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 06:54 AM
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I have spent time on Lake Superior in both states. Bayfield WI is a very nice place to visit and you can a ferry out to Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The drive north along the MN coast above Duluth is beautiful. Great hikes.
Look at Lutsen,a ski resort area, for lodging. Grand Marais is another option north of Lutsen.
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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I went to Duluth, MN last October with my boys and we had a great time. We also drove up about 2 hours to Split Rock Lighthouse. I thought the whole area was beautiful, especially in the fall. It seemed like there was more to do on the Duluth side than the Wisconsin side, in that area, but I've heard Fish Creek, Wi and the Apostle Is. are amazing!
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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There are so many nice places... Our favorite places to stay are Lutsen in MN, Bayfield in WI and Big Bay UP MI. Lutsen and Bayfield have plenty of options, Big Bay is limited

btw-I didnt find the mosquitos in WI or MI any smaller or less ferocious than MN.
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Old Jun 4th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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There are so many nice places... Our favorite places to stay are Lutsen in MN, Bayfield in WI and Big Bay UP MI. Lutsen and Bayfield have plenty of options, Big Bay is limited

btw-I didnt find the mosquitos in WI or MI any smaller or less ferocious than MN.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 12:12 AM
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I have been to both places many times and I grew up on the North Shore of MN (so I am a bit prejudiced). I think both areas are very pretty and I like the Bayfield Area very much, but I love the North Shore. It has more to see and do than Bayfield in my opinion. Duluth has built a great Lake Walk and has Canal park where you can watch the big freighters come into the harbor (very close) and you can tour an ore boat and there are lots of restaurants and shops. You can also tour Glensheen which is mansion on Lake Superior that was the home of an old time Family. As you drive up the shore you will see lots of gorgeous lake views and there are many places you can stop and hike, etc. Two Harbors is about 25 miles from Duluth and you should take the scenic drive. When you get to TH stop at Betty's Pies (it is an institution) for pie and a sandwich. Two Harbors and Silver Bay are about 25 miles apart and you can tour Split Rock lighthouse which is half way between the two towns. It is an historic lighthouse and well worth touring. Going on up the shore there are some small towns (Tofte, Lutsen) and both have places to stay and restaurants as well as beautiful scenery. From Lutsen, you are about 18 miles from Grand Marais which is a beautiful little town right on the lake. It is a very artistic town and you can find all kinds of art as well as see wonderful scenery. No matter how many times I have done it, I still enjoy walking out to the lighthouse and to Artists Point. There are many shops and restaurants and places to stay. You can go on up the shore to Grand Portage which has an Indian Casino and a lodge and gorgeous scenery. Above Grand Marais is the Gunflint Trail where there are lots of lodges and again beautiful scenery. Again, I recommend the North Shore. If you have any questions please feel free to ask me. Have fun.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 04:15 PM
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Hello - I work for the Bayfield Chamber of Commerce - http://bayfield.org/ near the Apostle Islands. We have an excellent fishing guide here - Hudson's on the Spot fishing - http://bayfield.org/lake_superior_ac...es_fishing.php. Please check out our website for more information or go to our Bayfield.WI facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/Bayfield.WI to get a feel for the area.

Love to have you visit us. You can also call 800-447-4094 for a free visitor's guide.

Enjoy your trip wherever you end up!
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 11:01 PM
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Thank you all for the responses. Because it would make DH happy, I'll investigate Bayfield more, although it sounds as if the North Shore is more likely what I'm interested in. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 10:33 AM
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The Wisconsin shore has less to offer unless you are a sailor or boater. Shorter piece of the shoreline is scenic, and really only very nice around the small area of Bayfield and the adjacent Apostle Islands. Fish Creek mentioned above is on Lake Michigan.
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Old Jun 10th, 2011, 10:07 PM
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I agree with tom_mn. I like Bayfield Area but don't need more than a day and night there. If you have a boat it might be different.
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Old Jun 11th, 2011, 05:00 AM
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It depends what you like to do. Bayfield is laid back and I would have to agree is better experienced if you can get on the water. You don't need your own boat however, there are water taxies and you can rent kayaks, sail boats, take a lighthouse cruise etc...Plenty of sandy beaches, hiking on the islands, a winery, great restaurants and shopping. Nearby Ashland and Washburn may have accommodations if Bayfield is full. We have fished around the islands and Chequamegon Bay. We've also dropped downriggers for Lake Trout with success. Camped next to scuba divers who went diving for ship wrecks. Took the "Ghost Walk" at Dusk which was entertaining. See bear and deer for wildlife. Tons of birds. We are actually camping there for a week in July...for the 4th year.
Duluth is a nice city with plenty of things to do, but it is a city. North of Duluth is beautiful. There is also hiking along rivers and waterfalls in several state parks (sticker fees required). I remember a lot of rocky beaches and not much sand which to my kids is a drawback. Saw 2 moose when we strayed from the highway. Depending on the amount of time you have you could check out Isle Royale out of MN.
Either choice is a winner in my opinion, Lake Superior is beautiful. I could just sit in a lawn chair and stare at it all day. Choose one this year and visit again to get in the other
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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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I'm a huge MN fan when it comes to the North Shore - especially in the late summer. My personal favorite spot in the entire US.

Temperence River State Park (about 1hr 40min North of Duluth). Beautiful setting right on the rocky shorline, as the Temperence River cascades into Superior.

Grand Marais - 20 minutes north of Temperence (2hrs from Duluth) is a wonderful town to spend the day walking around. It is also the enterance to the Gunflint Trail, which leads into the one-of-a-kind BWCAA.
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 01:58 PM
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Budget Travel just named the Secret Beaches of North America and Big Bay Beach on Madeline Island is on their list.

Secret Beaches of North America
June 2011 issue )
High Bar Harbor, New Jersey
Caladesi Beach, Florida
Pfeiffer Beach, California
Packard Park Beach, Michigan
Queen's Pond, Hawaii
.

Big Bay Beach, Wisconsin
We won't recommend swimming—even on a hot day Lake Superior is cold enough to freeze your @#! off. But the sandstone cliffs and pristine woods enveloping this 1.5-mile pocket of beach make for a lovely hideaway.
Get There: Located on Madeline Island, the beach is accessible only by ferry ($12 adults, $6 kids 6-11) from Bayfield, off Hwy. 13. Follow the signs to Big Bay State Park.

Orient Beach, New York
Cow Yard Landing, Massachusetts

I can assure you that you will not be disappointed -- the scenery is awkesome.
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 02:26 PM
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Please keep in mind that the water of Lake Superior is freezing -- even in August. We used to take our sailboat to Bayfield every summer. The water there is ice cold water. I still remember going to the beach on Madeline Island one day -- the deer flies were biting something awful, so DH took a big leap into the water to escape the bites. I thought he was going to have a stroke when he hit that frigid water. Couldn't decide which was worse -- flies or ice. I post this not to ward you off, as it is beautiful country, but to prepare you if a beach and water vacation is what you have in mind.
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Duluth is a nice surprise for most! If you do go this way, do not miss the Scenic Café a few miles north of town along the lake. Unbelievable food. Be prepared to wait to eat.

http://www.sceniccafe.com/contact/contact.html
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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I liked the North Shore too. Interesting that the North Shore is rocky, and South Shore is sandy. I'm sure you could find plenty to occupy your time between and including Duluth, Superior, and Thunder Bay, ON.
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