Favorite 4th of July Vacation Spot
If you don’t count the few years I lived in Minnesota, I have basically been a life-long resident of Wisconsin. Around here, winter seems to last forever and spring is a time when new buds and fresh greenery is regularly threatened by frost and unexpected snow-fall. As you might imagine, the approach of summer is experienced with an almost skeptical anticipation. Will it ever arrive? Will this nipping cold and these cloudy skies ever leave us?
The answer is yes. Though its arrival is slow, summer always comes to Wisconsin. For all the frigid temps and dumps of snow we endure through the winter, our summers are glorious. Short, but wonderful. People flock to the many lakes and rivers in the Northwoods to soak up the sunshine and frolic on the water. And, of course, there are the ever-attractive entertainments to be found in the tourist spots. Though Memorial Day weekend is when most people kick off summer by heading north on weekends to open up their cabins and cottages, June is often still filled with iffy weather and cooler days. But by the time we reach the July 4th holiday, Wisconsin’s summer season is finally entering its peak.
One of my absolute favorite places to spend this festive holiday is up north—way up north—in the towns of Bayfield and La Pointe on Lake Superior. During the winter, the population in the area drops way down, but in the summer, the small town of Bayfield is filled with music, festivals, artisans, sailboats and kayaks, and crowds of people who come to enjoy the beauty of Northwoods/lakeside nature and an atmosphere of summer revelry. A short ferry ride from the shores of Bayfield will take you to Madeline Island, the biggest in the chain of Apostle Islands, and the town of La Pointe.
Most of the island is covered in parks and wilderness that can be explored by car, bike, or rented moped. La Pointe is even smaller than Bayfield in size, but is filled with a welcoming bohemian vibe where people are most likely to be walking around in beachwear. A place on the island that everyone must visit is Tom’s Burned Down Café, a bar with an interesting history and a unique aesthetic where it is impossible not to have a great time. Also on the island, is the annual 4th of July parade. This is a truly one of a kind experience put on by area locals of all ages. Filled with creative homemade floats, humor, kids, and entertainment.
I love the relaxed atmosphere of Bayfield and Madeline Island in the summer, but especially around the 4th of July. It’s all about fun and adventure, family and celebration.
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