Winemakers’ Holiday Vacation

We were able to take a rare 2.5 days off to enjoy a little R&R earlier this week. Unfortunately, our northern getaway didn’t get completely live up to expectation, mostly because the motel we booked pulled a bait and switch.

We reserved a room that was specifically advertised to have a spectacular view of Lake Superior. Instead, the motel placed us at a different, unmarked location an eighth-of-a-mile away – with a view of an ugly industrial building and no lake. The room cost double that of our smallest room at our inn and was no better. It’s always interesting for people who work in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries to visit and compare other properties.

We spent as much of our day as possible at other locations along Lake Superior, since seeing and staying lakeside was the main reason for the trip. We decided to make the best of it and focus on the one positive thing we experienced each day.

Day 1: An hour hiking at beautiful Copper Falls State Park. A steep trail, but well worth the climb to see several spectacular waterfalls.

Day 2: Apostle Islands and sea caves boat tour. Our 58-mile, 2 ½ hour trip was expertly narrated by the amiable captain Dave – with the golden voice! (The passenger seated beside us said she could listen to him talk all day.) If you ever get to Bayfield, make this boat trip your No. 1 priority.

Day 3: On the way home we visited two great wineries. White Winter Winery in Iron River makes the most fabulous meads. We’ve wanted to visit for years, but haven’t been able to get there and have had to content ourselves with purchasing their marvelous honey wines at the grocery store, which doesn’t carry everything they make. They also have a range of delicious ciders and spirits. Of the four wineries we got to the visit on our trip, White Winter was our favorite. We bought one of almost everything.

We also enjoyed our first visit to River Bend Winery in rural Chippewa Falls. Thank you River Bend for (like us) being one of the few wineries in the state that still offers free tasting for guests! Our favorites were the dry riesling, La Crescent and of course we had to come home with a couple bottles of their lovely blackberry wine.

We had thought our brief stay in northern Wisconsin would be all too short and we would be wishing we’d been able to stay a couple of days longer. But we were wrong. Two and a half days was just right for this trip and we were ready to leave.

For us, there’s no place like home.  

The sea caves along the north shore of Lake Superior.
There are only a few miles of shoreline that feature the sea caves.
A ferry crosses between Bayfield and Madeline Island.
The lighthouse on Sand Island.
Some of the spectacular scenery in Copper Falls State Park near Mellen.
Winemakers Chris and Sherry Hardie at Copper Falls State Park.
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