Eight Native American nations have lived in Chequamegon Bay. The Ojibwe (or Chippewa) people arrived about the time Christopher Columbus reached what would later become the United States. The Ojibwe stayed in Chequamegon Bay for almost a century before moving to Madeline Island and later to the Sault Region.
The first Europeans known to have visited Chequamegon Bay were Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Médard des Groseilliers, brothers-in-law and French fur traders. They arrived in 1659 and built what is said to be the first European dwelling in Wisconsin. The Old Settlers Club erected a historical marker in 1929 at Maslowski Beach on the west end of Ashland.
In 1854, Asaph Whittlesey and George Kilborn arrived from Ohio to explore the head of Chequamegon Bay. Whittlesey built a small cabin, and his wife, Lucy, and daughter, Eugenia, joined him. That small effort sparked the growth of a community, and the first plat of Ashland was registered that same year.
Ashland's population was estimated at 7,823 in 2017, a decline of 4.8% from the 2010 census. Since reaching its highest population of 13,074 in 1900, it has declined every decade except 1940, when it posted a 4.5% growth.
When should you visit Ashland, WI?
Like the rest of Wisconsin, Ashland has four distinct seasons, including frigid winters. The best time to visit for comfortable weather and activities would be within the summer months of June, July, and August when high temperatures range from 73 to 77 degrees. Summer average lows range from 48 to 55 degrees. Hotel rates would be at their highest at this time, so you would be wise to book early to save money.
If you travel in late spring or early fall, you could take advantage of lower rates while enjoying comfortable daytime temperatures. The average highs during this time are 51 degrees in May, 68 in September, and 55 in October. The average lows are 39 degrees in May, 45 in September and 34 in October.
Temperatures from November through April are probably too cold for most travelers. April's average high of 51 degrees is manageable, but the average low is below freezing at 28 degrees. The rest of the year sees highs ranging from 22 degrees in January to 39 degrees in November and lows ranging from 4 degrees in January to 24 degrees in November. If you enjoy outdoor sports and activities, you can get the cheapest hotel rates of the year in the winter.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Ashland, WI:
Ashland by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts demonstrating mean nightly cost trends by star rating class in Ashland, WI. You can use these illustrations to determine the best time to book a room in Ashland for upcoming travels.
Does Ashland, WI have luxury hotels?
4 Star Average Prices: $199.00
Best Western The Hotel Chequamegon in Ashland is exquisitely positioned on the shores of Lake Superior, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. The elegant hotel is in downtown Ashland, a block from Main Street. You can also take a trail from the hotel to Chequamegon Bay. The sleek guest rooms feature pillowtop beds, refrigerators, LCD televisions with cable, and free Wi-Fi. Suites add amenities such as sofa beds, full kitchens, and hot tubs. The hotel has an indoor pool, spa tub, fitness center, computer station, and a fireplace in the lobby.
You can dine at the hotel's restaurant: Molly Cooper's Bar & Grill. In warm weather, you'll want to take advantage of the lakeside deck seating area for stunning views of Lake Superior. You can also have drinks at the restaurant bar. Room service is available during limited hours, and free breakfast is served each morning.
The Blue Wave Inn in Ashland is also on Lake Superior. This beach hotel is intimate, with only five individually decorated rooms, each with its own personality. Beds have down comforters and premium bedding, and rooms come with refrigerators, minibars, 47-inch flat-screen TVs, and free wired and wireless internet access. You can sit on a terrace and enjoy the view of the lake, or you can rent bicycles to explore on your own. The hotel offers a restaurant, a coffee shop/cafe, and a lounge. Room service is available during limited hours.
Are there budget hotels near Ashland, WI?
3 Star Average Prices: $125.34
Super 8 By Wyndham Ashland is one of the lower-priced hotels in the region. Your room will include a refrigerator, microwave, flat-screen TV, desk, in-room coffee, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has an indoor pool, spa tub, business center, computer station, and free coffee and newspapers in the lobby. Complimentary breakfast is served daily. The hotel is within a five-minute drive of Chequamegon Bay Golf Course and the Ashland Historical Society Museum.
Lucy's Place is a bed and breakfast in Bayfield, about 15 miles from Ashland. It's near the Bayfield Heritage Museum and Eckels Pottery and Fine Craft Gallery. You'll have one of just four rooms equipped with kitchenettes with refrigerators, microwaves, and coffee/tea makers. Cable TV and free Wi-Fi will keep you entertained and connected during your stay. Your private bathroom will include a jetted bathtub. Complimentary breakfast is served, and a picnic area is outdoors that features a garden with scenic views.
2 Star Average Prices: $134.06
What are the best discounts available in the Ashland area?
Seniors and AAA members enjoy discounted rates at Quality Inn in Ashland. Rooms feature microwaves, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs, desks, and free Wi-Fi. Suites offer amenities such as sofa beds and separate living and sleeping areas. The hotel has an indoor pool and spa tub, a terrace with lake views, a 24-hour business center, and free newspapers in the lobby. When it comes to dining, you have plenty of choices, with two restaurants, a cafe, and two bars. Try the barbecue at Link Family Smokehouse, one of the restaurants. Breakfast is available each morning for a fee.
How many value options are there in Ashland, WI?
Cobblestone Inn & Suites Ashland allows you to access multiple attractions and activities as it's situated in the heart of the city, just a minute's drive from Ashland Historical Society Museum. Your room will feature a pillowtop bed and premium bedding, refrigerators, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. The hotel has a 24-hour business center, free newspapers in the lobby, and complimentary breakfast each morning. You can also get snacks and drinks from the convenience store on the property.
AmericInn by Wyndham Ashland offers superb amenities, such as a private beach and two indoor swimming pools that will make you want to spend more time at the hotel than exploring the town. You can also enjoy an arcade/game room and a gift shop. Rooms feature microwaves, refrigerators, flat-screen televisions, desks, coffee/tea makers, and free Wi-Fi. You can have a light meal at the hotel snack bar/deli and get a drink at the poolside bar. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served each day. The hotel offers a 24-hour business center and three meeting rooms.
Does Ashland, WI have things to do?
The Ashland Mural Walk is a must-see for any visit to Ashland, as you can see the history of the city through the skilled artistry of mural artists Kelly Meredith and Susan Prentice Martinsen of Ashland. Over 20 years, Meredith and Martinsen have created 20 outstanding murals. The murals are displayed over eight city blocks, starting from the corner of Ellis Avenue and Main Street.
Lake Superior's Chequamegon Bay is a major area for sport fishing on Lake Superior, offering 14 species of game fish. It's also a favorite place in the Upper Midwest for windsurfing. The bay features a marina, boat landings, docks, and beaches. The area is one of the best birding places in the Midwest, with varied habitats supporting almost 300 species of birds. Visitors to Chequamegon Bay will be impressed with its natural beauty.
The Ashland Breakwater Lighthouse is an operational lighthouse near Ashland, located in Chequamegon Bay. The historic lighthouse, built in 1915, is owned and managed by the U.S. Coast Guard. The last lighthouse keeper, Earl Seseman, served from 1947 until the light became automated in 1962. The lighthouse's centennial was marked in 2015.
Bayview Park provides the best view of the lighthouse. The park has a swimming beach, restrooms, a fishing pier, a picnic area, and a playground. You can traverse the Walking/Biking Trail that circles Ashland in a 12-mile loop. The park is the site for the annual Bay Days Festival in mid-July; the event is Ashland's annual community festival. If you're in Ashland during Bay Days, you can enjoy delicious local food, live music, and activities such as a pie-eating contest and a strongman competition.
Prentice Park covers about 100 acres and is the largest of the 12 parks in Ashland. It provides a natural habitat for migrating birds and a nesting ground for mute swans. You'll find an artesian well, hiking trails, a picnic area, and a playground. The park connects with the Waterfront trail for bicyclists and distance runners. Be sure to check out Fish Creek Slough for great views.
From art and history to outdoor activities and the natural beauty of Lake Superior and its environs, Ashland, Wisconsin, offers something for everyone. You'll run out of time before you run out of things to do.
FAQs about hotels in Ashland
How much does a cheap hotel in Ashland cost per night?
In the last year, a 2 star hotel in Ashland can be as cheap as $134.06 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a 3 star hotel in Ashland cost per night?
In the last year, the average 3 star hotel in Ashland has been $125.34 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
How much does a luxury hotel in Ashland cost?
In the last year, the average 4 star hotel in Ashland has been $199.00 per night. (based on HotelPlanner prices)
What did travelers think of the city of Ashland?
Below are reviews of the city of Ashland, WI from an actual visitor's perspective.
4.0 / 5
Near the lake.
"Numerous restaurants available and lake views!"
5.0 / 5
Numerous restaurants available and lake views!
"Ashland is a nice touristy city."
5.0 / 5
Ashland is a nice touristy city.
"Located on the Water"
5.0 / 5
On the water. Great pizza at Hugo's.
4.0 / 5
"Hiking Trails by the Lake"
4.0 / 5
Trails to hike by the lake!
"Home Away From Home!"
5.0 / 5
Home away from home! Great people!
"Ashland is a beautiful, quaint lil fishing town on Lake Superior"
5.0 / 5
Ashland was a beautiful and quaint little fishing town located on Lake Superior. We will definitely be back!
5.0 / 5
Went to see Judy Collins concert. It is a very nice area, city is nice with lots of history.
The average traveler rating of the city of Ashland, WI shown above is
4.7 out of 5 based on 9 reviews