A trip to Washington Island.

If you’re looking for a beautiful place to sailboat, camp or just relax and read a book, consider taking a trip to Washington Island, Wisconsin. The island itself inhabits roughly 700 people year round, is surrounded by Lake Michigan and possesses some of the most amazing sights and quaint attractions for visitors.

This past summer, my family and I made a trip to visit an old friend at Washington Island. When we arrived we were given a tour of the small island. We drove past coffee shops, lavender fields, old fishermen spots and beaches. Our first stop was at School House Beach. This beautiful beach is special to the island and the only one of its kind.

dbf3f4765ef1ab561d3e467cb286c334This limestone beach is full of white smooth pebbles; they collect on the shore and deep within the waters, making the lake crystal clear. It must be remembered that the stones, although beckoning to be brought home, must not be taken from the beach. Over several years of visitors coming to School House Beach and taking the white stones, has resulted in angry island residents. Taking a native stone from the beach now results in a fine, sorry.

After the tour my family and I booked a motel. After unpacking, it was mid-afternoon, so we decided to take a short drive to one of the lavender shops.

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Everything in this shop is produced from the lavender field in the back! So you can imagine the warm aroma of fresh lavender when I walked in the room. From lavender soaps to lavender-caramel popcorn; this place has it all. I purchased the lavender-caramel popcorn, my dad got lavender vinaigrette and my brother got lavender honey. And let me tell you, everything is as good as it sounds.

Early the next morning, I woke up wanting to explore the island on my own, so I put on a hoodie for that cool misty morning and walked a few blocks till I reached a cluster of shops and restaurants. I decided to grab a cup of coffee and walked into Red Cup Coffee Shop. The place was relaxed with only a few people; some reading a book and others drinking their coffees while looking at knitted scarfs, Red Cup merchandise and hand-made jewelry. I ordered a small coffee and looked around. This place was my kind of place.

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As the trip continued, we camped, went sailing and visited a few other attraction sites. Here are some photos:

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On our last day, we decided to take a ferry to a small secluded part of the island. Here we walked a trail that encompassed the outskirts of the island. After hiking all day we went back to the motel and prepared to leave. Leaving Washington Island I couldn’t help but think about how much joy this little island had brought me this summer.

~I can’t forget to mention there are several camping sites you and your family can reserve to enjoy a night on the island looking out at the water. But beware, Rock Island is reported as the most haunted island in Wisconsin (there aren’t many islands in Wisconsin). Some have said they hear drums and people whispering amongst themselves but whats a camping trip without some ghost stories!

So grab a book and backpack and make take a trip to Washington Island. This quiet, charming and stunning island makes for the perfect getaway.