Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake, at least by surface area. Known for its beauty and grandeur, it’s a sight worth seeing.

The lake spans three states: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, as well as Ontario, Canada, along its north. If you plan on visiting from the Wisconsin side, you’ll probably stay in or near the Twin Ports area of Duluth, MN, and Superior, Wisconsin. That’s because outside of Superior, most of the Wisconsin side of the lake is encased in forested parks.

In this Lake Superior Wisconsin Travel Guide, we’ll cover where to stay, what to see, and where to dine when visiting Superior, Wisconsin, or the nearby picturesque towns. So, if you’re planning a trip to Lake Superior, read on.

Things to Do and See

A lake as large as Lake Superior provides plenty to see and do. Whether you enjoy adventurous hikes or prefer a scenic drive, you can find it here.

ATVing and Snowmobiling

Renting a snowmobile or ATV is a great way to explore the forested area along Lake Superior. Superior, WI, and the surrounding Douglas County offer miles of groomed trails.

From Superior, WI, you can rent a snowmobile or ATV and travel the Tri-County Corridor, which connects to Ashland through the picturesque Brule River State Forest.

Apostle Islands

The Apostle Islands are an archipelago of twenty-one islands inside Lake Superior. It’s about a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the Twin Ports to Madeline Island, the only island accessible by car. It’s also the only island that’s inhabited year-round.

Once there, you can charter a boat, rent a kayak, or take a water taxi to explore the surrounding isles. You’ll find serene beaches, challenging hiking trails, incredible sea caves, and sandstone cliffs.


Thanks to tons of forest land surrounding the lake, there are miles and miles of hiking trails to explore. In the winter, many of these trails are accessible with cross-country skis or snowshoes. And, if you prefer to use wheels, many are appropriate for mountain biking as well.

The Brule-Croix Portage trail is a great hike to check out. This historic trail sits just outside Solon Springs, less than an hour from the Twin Ports. It offers views of boggy headwaters, prairies, and dense forests.

Plus, it’s perhaps the oldest trail you’ll ever walk. The first recorded explorer was Daniel Greysolon in 1680, but Native Americans were using the path for hundreds of years before that.

Fishing and Hunting

Fishing is popular on Lake Superior and its surrounding lakes. Whether you’re seeking crappies, sandfish, or large-mouthed Bass, you’ll probably find it.

Deer hunting is also a popular activity in the forests surrounding the lake. You can hire a guide from nearby Ashland to get a full hunting experience.

Scenic Drives

If you’d prefer to see Lake Superior from the comfort of your car, you should consider taking the Lake Superior Scenic Byway. This 70-mile stretch of highway travels from the small town of Cloverland, WI, to Barksdale.

As you drive it, you’ll get stunning views of the Apostle Islands, fishing villages, and nature preserves.

Places to Stay

There are several options for lodging along Lake Superior, whether you prefer to camp or stay in more luxurious accommodations.

Cobblestone Hotel and Suites

Located in downtown Superior, this is a straightforward hotel with all the amenities. Cobblestone offers complimentary breakfast, a fitness center, and an indoor swimming pool.

Mont Du Lac Resort

Fifteen minutes from the Duluth/Superior area, Mont Du Lac is a recreational resort that features a family-friendly ski hill and snow tubing in the winter months. During the summer, the resort has its own marina with jet ski rentals, a sandy beach, and a dog park.

Cotton Mansion Bed and Breakfast

For something more romantic, the historic Cotton Mansion is a great lodging choice.

Built by Joseph Cotton (attorney to U.S. Steel and John D. Rockefeller) in 1908, this classic mansion spares no expense. It features Italian marbles and hand-painted ceilings alongside modern conveniences, like two-person whirlpool spas and in-room fireplaces.

Pattison State Park Campground

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, try the Pattison State Park Campground. There you can see the highest waterfall in Wisconsin.

There are 59 family campsites, eighteen of which offer hook-ups. There are also three backpacking sites available.

Where To Eat

Lake Superior certainly appeals to outdoor enthusiasts, and if you’re hunting or fishing, you might have dinner covered. For those who prefer to taste the local cuisine, though, here are a few can’t-miss restaurants.

Thirsty Pagan Brewing

For family-friendly dining, nothing beats Thirsty Pagan Brewing. Here you’ll find exceptional house-made pizza, a huge selection of on-tap brews, and perfectly crafted cocktails.

Anchor Bar

Anchor Bar is a true dive bar in the heart of Superior, Wisconsin, but don’t let the ambiance fool you. They make some of the best burgers in the state.

The portions are huge, and price tags are exceptionally reasonable. You should know, though, that it’s a first-come, first-serve restaurant, and there’s almost always a line.

Duluth Grill

Duluth Grill specializes in all-American breakfast food. This Lake Superior gem offers house-made and locally-sourced items like corned-beef hash, smoked salmon omelets, and their must-try caramel roll.

OMC Smokehouse

Just offshore of Lake Superior sits OMC Smokehouse, where they happen to serve some of the best BBQ around. The brisket here is truly melt-in-your-mouth good, and it may sound strange, but the beef fat fries are also exceptional.

Visit Lake Superior Wisconsin

We hope that this Lake Superior Wisconsin Travel Guide has given you plenty of ideas on what to explore in this area. Lake Superior is a sight worth seeing. You can take a drive along the shoreline, paddle out to the Apostle Islands, or explore the surrounding forests.

Though the lake spans three states and one Canadian province, Wisconsin offers some of the best areas to view this watery wonder.

Head to Superior, Wisconsin, or explore the surrounding small towns, like Ashland or Barksdale. Whether you want to stay in an upscale hotel or prefer to camp in a nearby state park, Lake Superior, Wisconsin, has something for everyone.

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