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Cozy, Touristy Little Bayfield Sits on a Peninsula in Scenic Northern Wisconsin and Boasts Breathtaking Scenery
Known as the gateway to the Apostle Islands in the hinterlands of northern Wisconsin, quaint, touristy little Bayfield rests on a peninsula in Lake Superior. It has a history of logging and fishing but today is known for its gorgeous, pristine lake scenery.
Bayfield is also home to the Big Top Chautauqua, an all-canvas tent theater that hosts national acts, original musicals, and a tent show radio. Two museums focus on the town's heritage of shipping, fishing, boats and lighthouses. Bayfield also has a large array of B&Bs and restaurants, and the land surrounding the town features pick-your-own orchards and berry farms. The annual Apple Fest features fresh apple pies, ciders and a 400-member "mass band." Residents enjoy a nice recreation center, a picturesque marina, a waterfront campground and a lakeside pavilion. The downtown is cute and well kept. Shopping is mostly limited to the specialty kind.
The area has miles of trails for biking, hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Madeline Island, the closest Apostle, can be reached by kayak and ferry in the summer and by car in the winter.
Homes, many on lush country lots near the lake, include farmhouses, bungalows and cabins.
Population: 600 (city proper)
Age 45 or Better: 62%
Cost of Living: 18% below the national average
Median Home Price: $300,000
Climate: Summer temperatures are in the 70s and 80s. Winter temperatures are in the single digits and teens. The area receives 32 inches of rain and 88 inches of snow on average each year.
At Least One Hospital Accepts Medicare Patients? No, but Memorial Medical Center is 15 miles away and accepts Medicare patients.
At Least One Hospital Accredited by Joint Commission? No, but Memorial Medical Center is 15 miles away and is accredited.
Public Transit: Yes, provided by BART
Crime Rate: Below the national average
Public Library: Yes, a lovely Carnegie library
Political Leanings: Liberal
Is Wisconsin Considered Tax Friendly for Retirement? Somewhat
Cons: None, although the winter weather might not be everyone's cup of tea.
Notes: A sizable Native American population lives in town. Bayfield's population started to drop a bit in 2010 but started to rebound in 2020. Home prices have increased 6% since last year.
Recommended as a Retirement Spot? Yes, for people who enjoy winter and breathtaking scenery.
Wisconsin, a Midwestern state, was first discovered by the French but then settled by German and Scandinavian immigrants in the 19th-century. It was admitted to the Union in 1848 and today is a large dairy producer, particulalry famous for its cheese.
The first ice cream sundae was created in Wisconsin in 1881, and the first circus in the U.S. occured in Delavan, Wisconsin.
More than 800,000 deer roam Wisconsin woods, and according to legend, Wisconsin has more ghosts per square mile than any other state.
Just about all the natural lakes in Wisconsin have resulted from glaciers, and the Fox River is one of the few rivers in the country that flows north.
Almost a third of all Americans live within 500 miles of Wisconsin.
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