Now that Memorial Day weekend is over, it’s time to start making plans for the next big holiday — the 4th of July. My all time favorite 4th of July destination is LaPointe, WI on Madeline Island, which is located in Lake Superior and is the largest of the Apostle Islands. Although Madeline Island has a total population of one hundred, every year hundreds more flock to the island to experience the 4th of July. The island is casual and free-spirited. If you are looking to escape the city life, relax on the beach and let loose, then the island is the perfect vacation destination for you. There are only a handful of restaurants and bars, and must do activities, so you can do everything the island has to offer. Here are my reasons why you should be spending your 4th of July on Madeline Island with me:
How to get there
Head to Bayfield, WI where you will find a ferry boat waiting for you. Drive aboard and the ferry will take you directly to Madeline Island’s town dock and downtown area.
The parade begins at 10:30AM and anyone can participate, so if you are interested in joining in meet at the Marina and Yacht Club at 9:45AM. If you’d rather stand on the sideline, then enjoy your mix of unique and interesting floats. I have had the usual candy, a prepared hotdog with ketchup and mustard, and snowballs thrown/handed to me. You never know what you’re going to see at the Madeline Island parade! Immediately after the parade follow the crowd to the museum green for the town song sing-along.
Once the sun goes down, grab some dinner and then find a spot at Joni’s Beach, the town dock, Beach Club or join me at my dock to find yourself at the front of the firework show that takes place around 10PM off the breakwall. Lay down and watch the spectacular fireworks explode directly above you.
After the fireworks people generally go directly to the two bars in town. I usually hit the Beach Club first and then head to the famous Tom’s Burned Down Cafe. Grab a New Glarus Spotted Cow at the Beach Club and play your own tunes on the jukebox. After a few drinks make your way to Tom’s for some fresh air and live music. Tom’s is a deck built on top of cars and the roof is made out of a tarp. As long as it’s not raining, it’s a great time! Enjoy dancing, and meeting locals and tourists. Remember to take a moment to read some of Tom’s witty quotes painted all over the bar. FYI Tom’s is a cash only bar, so don’t forget your presidents.
So, if you make it to the island for the 4th you are probably wondering what else there is to do.
If you don’t already have a car, head to Motion-To-Go and rent a moped or bicycle for the day. It is the easiest way to get around the island. I absolutely love taking a moped out every once in a while, because they are just fun! Cruise around the island and make a stop at Big Bay Town Park and paddle boat around the lagoon. Then head to Big Bay State Park for some hiking and cliff jumping. Brace yourself the water is a bit breathtaking, but it’s totally worth it! Head back into town and make a stop at the La Pointe Center Art Guild and Gallery, and Madeline Island Museum. There are also a couple unique shops with fun knick-knacks. I personally love The Craft Shop, which has pottery, beautiful rugs, and jewelry made by local artists. Here is a list of all the activities on the island.
Honestly, there aren’t too many places on the island, so it’s easy to check them all out. For breakfast grab your coffee at Mission Hill Coffee House and a freshly made cinnamon roll at Grampa Tony’s. For lunch head back to Grampa Tony’s for their delicious pizza and ice cream and enjoy it in the sun on their second floor deck. For dinner check out the Pub or Cafe Seiche for some fresh mussels and fish. Here is a list of all the restaurants and bars on the island.
Where to stay
You can always stay at an Inn, rent out a cabin, or pack a tent and stay in the woods at Big Bay Town Park. Here is a list of different places to stay on the island.
I hope to see you there!