Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, the “Musky Capital of the World”.
To some, that probably doesn’t mean much. To a true Wisconsin native, just the mention of this city (and it’s famed fish) sends nostalgic memories of family vacations and lake-side adventures. It’s a place that might not be on many people’s bucket list, but after experiencing it for ourselves, we believe it absolutely should be. Being born and raised in California, we had no idea what to expect when it came to a “Wisconsin Summer” - and we were amazed at what we discovered.
Situated in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Boulder Junction has over 225,000 acres of state forest filled with lakes (194 of them, to be exact), rivers, and trails. It’s home to countless adventures,quaint small businesses, unique dining and shopping, family friendly resorts, and more. We spent four days in this All-American slice of paradise, and it’s been awhile that we’ve felt that relaxed and at home.
Here’s a look into our summertime escapades in Boulder Junction:
We stayed at Dillman’s Bay Resort, a classic vacation property located on the shores of the breathtaking and picturesque White Sand Lake. (About 20 miles outside of Boulder Junction.) Beyond their cozy lakeside log cabins, Dillman’s has a full marina, tennis courts, playground, four beaches, picnic grounds, creative workshops, and more. It’s the kind of place that families return year after year, to swim, barbeque, play games, and breathe in that crisp Northwoods air. Oh, and they’re incredibly dog friendly too!
It’s no doubt that Boulder Junction has some of the best fishing in Wisconsin. There are 194 lakes within 9 miles of town (pretty crazy, right?), making the fishing options seemingly endless! They’ve been coined the “Musky Capital of the World”, because more musky are caught on Boulder Junction lakes than any other similarly sized location. Beyond the muskies, they’re also home to walleye, bass, panfish, brook trout, and yellow perch, among many others. Boulder Junction is a fisherman's dream!
HEART OF VILAS COUNTY BIKE TRAIL
With more than 50 miles of paved trails that connect Boulder Junction to its surrounding cities, the Vilas County Bike Trail System twists and turns along lakes, rivers, and lush landscapes. There are even picnic areas and swimming spots to take a break, and take a dip! The trail is smooth and paved and features rolling terrain that is fun for the whole family… it’s definitely a must-do! (You can rent bikes and e-bikes from Coontail, which is just steps away from the paved trail!)
DOWNTOWN BOULDER JUNCTION
Boulder Junction’s quaint downtown is like something out of a Hallmark movie, it’s cute and charming and perfectly picturesque, brimming with quaint boutiques, antique shops, cafes and restaurants, and local hang outs. You can tell that life moves a little slower in Boulder Junction, and we were perfectly cool with that. One could spend an entire afternoon just perusing and exploring the downtown, grabbing cheese curds at Boulder Beer Bar and ice cream at Mad Dog Jakes, which leads us to...
BOULDER JUNCTION DINING
If there’s one thing we learned, it’s that you won’t go hungry in Boulder Junction. There are food options a’plenty, and we found ourselves planning our days around our meals. (As how every good vacation should be planned!) We dined on woodfired pizzas and fresh salads at Aqualand Ale House, hearty omelettes and waffles at The Granary Restaurant, soups and grilled cheeses at Headwaters Restaurant and Tavern, and had a romantic, intimate date night at the Blue Bayou Inn (which is a little outside of town in Manitowish Waters). From the freshly caught seafood to the classic comfort food, we tried just about every kind of cuisine Boulder Junction had to offer... and let’s just say it was all so good, that our pants were definitely a little tighter when we left!
Summertime in Boulder Junction, Wisconsin did not disappoint. We now know why Wisconsinites are so passionate and loyal to their summers in the Northwoods. It’s a slice of America we never knew existed, and now that we do, we already have the urge to return. The scenic surroundings, cozy log cabins, friendly locals, and fried cheese curds after a long morning of fishing on the lake… it’s what an American summer is all about.
God bless the USA, and God bless Boulder Junction. We can’t wait to come back.