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  • Writer's pictureLara Draxler

Trip Report-Herbster/Bayfield, WI

We recently returned from a wonderful weekend getaway to Herbster, WI (about 30 minutes from the lovely resort town of Bayfield.) I love getting up to the northern part of our state, especially close to Lake Superior. There is a solitary wildness to the air, a crispness that is so tangible in the fall, I find myself getting almost homesick to visit that part of our lovely state.

We love taking fall trips. We have done many different types of trips over the years, but this year we just wanted something quiet, peaceful, and scenic. We also wanted something frugal. This totally fit the bill! We knew it would be a great destination for a family as well (2/3 of my bonus kids were traveling with us).

I had been wanting to try AirBnB for ages...I know I am WAY late to that party :), but I had just never utilized the popular website. I am an avid Instagram travel page follower, and I see so many people posting about how much they love using I finally used the site and booked us a little cottage in Herbster. I read all the reviews, made sure it was within our price range, the distance away seemed right, and we were still fairly close to Bayfield, a resort town we were familiar with since we got engaged there a few years ago!

We didn't take any time off work or school for this trip. We left on a Friday afternoon after school and work, and drove about 1/3 of the way to our destination stopping for pizza dinner on the way at Tony's Riverside in Spooner. This was my first time to this little pizza dive, and I loved it! We got so much food, we boxed up our pizza and took it with us to the cottage we had reserved. We ate on it the whole weekend!

YUM! So good!

After dinner, we continued on the remainder of our 3 hour trip north to Herbster. Once we got off the main highway, the roads got SO dark. We all fell asleep in the truck, other than my husband driving, because it was so peaceful! We pulled into the cottage at dark, and I was immediately enamored even when arriving at night. This cottage had the PERFECT retro vibe! It was all I had hoped for a weekend of relaxation. We had plenty of space and all the amenities we wanted AND we only paid $300 for the whole weekend's stay. Not bad for a family of 4!

Of course had we visited this locale in the summer, we would have found lots more outdoor activities to do, and perhaps we will one day. But, I really wanted to see this beautiful part of the world in the fall, but the weather wasn't the best over our weekend stay. In fact, we got a bit of snow and that further encouraged us to stay inside with board games, snacks, books, and movies! This also felt like a very COVID safe way to travel as we adventured to a new spot, but were truly around NO one (other than when we ate out). In those instances, we were completely prepared with masks and hand sanitizer and by choosing places to eat where social distancing was being practiced.

large sleeping room where we stayed

You can see in the image below the other half of the room my husband and I slept in. It was super spacious and had a sitting area with games, tv, etc. We were so happy to discover the cottage had amazing Wifi and a smart tv! We were able to enjoy Netflix all weekend.

The cottage also had a sizeable front living area. I really enjoyed having my coffee there in the mornings with a good book. I needed a trip where I could truly just unwind, and this cottage was PERFECT! It was so clean and cozy. I cannot wait to use Airbnb again, and I would definitely recommend this host and home.

such a relaxing vibe

The next morning, we slept in, enjoyed the morning snow, drank lots of coffee and played a great round of Scrabble as a family. We planned on making the trek into Bayfield around lunch time.

view from our window watching falling snow

front view of the cottage, so cute!

all the cottages up north are named--ours was "Wren"

At lunch time on Saturday, we decided to journey the 30 miles into Bayfield. It had been snowing hard all morning, but we had brought all the things to bundle up and we were ready. However, the roads were bad and slippery. I kind of wished I had brought more provisions into the cottage which had a lovely full kitchen. We drove into Bayfield, and I must say it was a big, fat disappointment. This is such a quaint, lovely town, but we discovered this was not the best time to visit.

As stated previously, we got engaged there and loved it. However, due to inclement weather, things starting to shut down for the season, and COVID, there was hardly anything open. This is the risk of traveling during this time, and should we travel again up north before the pandemic ends, I will come more prepared with more groceries. We did have tons of snacks which we thoroughly enjoyed eating the rest of the weekend.

The one picture I took in Bayfield, the gazebo where we got engaged.

We wanted to eat out, and found it very challenging in Bayfield. Hardly anywhere was taking reservations and we only found two places open for dine-in with very limited seating and long waits. Many of the cute shops were also closed. It was such nasty weather, we decided to just leave the town. There are more outdoor activities, but we weren't up for that in bad weather and really just wanted to eat. We remembered that our host had left us a brochure for a place to eat in Cornucopia, a neighboring little town. Thank goodness we went there because we found a delightful place to eat where we enjoyed lunch on Saturday and brunch the following day! We loved our meals at The Fat Radish.

During our lovely lunch, we enjoyed the beautiful dining room and hearty comfort food. This restaurant was also very reasonably priced and our whole family ate there for less than $100 for lunch and Sunday brunch. We got so much food for the price! Service wise, we were treated so well and the restaurant was taking every COVID precaution, so we felt extremely safe.

love the rustic look

bottomless bowls of soup!

excellent wine list

homemade mac and cheese with BACON!

After this filling and wonderful meal, we headed back to the cottage to relax and watch movies. It was just what we all needed. We slept in again on Sunday, and I was glad to see the sun shining I decided to take a walk and look at beautiful Lake Superior that was located just across the street.

cottage exterior/porch

All in all, the only "low" or our weekend getaway up north was the lack of dining options on our trip to Bayfield on Saturday. Other than that, I would HIGHLY recommend getting away for a relaxation weekend to any family who needs some respite from the craziness of this year.

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