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The city of Washburn is located in northern Wisconsin, along the shores of Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay. The city’s 2,000 residents enjoy the ideal combination of natural surroundings, Lake Superior living, and small-town charm.

Individuals and families who enjoy spending time in nature will feel right at home in Washburn with its abundance of hiking trails, campgrounds, parks, streams, and access to Lake Superior. Wherever you live in Washburn, you're always just a few minutes away from a park or the waterfront, which increases the quality of life for residents like few other cities can.

A Brief History of Washburn, WI

Washburn was established in 1884 as a lake port for the railroads. As a port city, Washburn established trading routes with neighboring towns, which contributed to its development. In addition, the city’s supply of brownstone was used to construct several landmarks in Minneapolis and Chicago.

The city is named after Cadwaller C. Washburn, the governor of Wisconsin from 1872 to 1874 and the founder of the mill which eventually became General Mills, Inc.

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Living in Washburn, WI

The main street of Washburn offers a small-town atmosphere in a picturesque location, lined with historic brownstone buildings, dining spots, and local art galleries. Explore the laid-back lifestyle and outdoor opportunities that await you in this prized Lake Superior town.


Residents of Washburn, WI enjoy a continental climate with mild summers and snowy winters. During the summer months, temperatures range in the 70s with plenty of sunshine and occasional rain showers.

Winter brings plenty of snow and temps hovering around 20°F, creating a winter wonderland for ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and more.


Washburn offers an affordable cost of living at 17.2 percent below the national average according to Sperling’s Best Places to Live. Homes in Washburn are significantly more affordable than neighboring communities and offer the same proximity to the natural beauty of the Bayfield Peninsula.


Washburn’s tourism industry provides a significant boost to the city’s local economy and small business owners. The area is also home to numerous small farms and orchards visited by tourists and sustained through thriving community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

Only a 15-minute drive to the city of Ashland, many Washburn residents also work in local businesses, are employed by government agencies, or provide service trades in the area.


Schools in Washburn are served by the School District of Washburn, a top-quality school district in the area with low student-teacher ratios.

Public and private schools in Washburn include:

  • Washburn Elementary School
  • St. Louis School
  • Washburn Middle School
  • Washburn High School


Situated along Lake Superior in the middle of the Bayfield Peninsula, Washburn residents are in an ideal location for outdoor recreation.

Local trail systems maintained year round offer opportunities for biking, hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and skijoring. National forest lands offer miles of open space for hiking, camping, and exploring.

Just a few miles north, the Apostle Island National Lakeshore is a haven for sea kayakers, sailors, fishing enthusiasts, beach goers, and recreational boaters who enjoy the islands’ sandy beaches and warm water temps.


Memorial Park - A recreational park and campground overlooking Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior, Memorial Park features picnic areas, open green space, playground and 50 campsites with views of the lake.

Thompson’s West End Park - If you’re looking for a local beach within walking distance of downtown, Thompson’s West End Park features a gorgeous sand beach on the crystal clear waters of Lake Superior and 27 acres of recreational space.

Restaurants and Art Scene - Washburn is home to some of the best area restaurants prized by locals and vacationers alike. In addition, art enthusiasts of all ages enjoy visiting the many art shops and galleries around town.

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Washburn, WI Real Estate

If you’re looking for a laid-back lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, Washburn, WI is the perfect place for you. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Lake Superior area while experiencing all the benefits of living near restaurants, galleries, and shops.

Residents living in town enjoy a casual walk to local restaurants, relaxing by the lake, and spending unforgettable moments with friends and family. Those living in the countryside experience the natural beauty of the Bayfield Peninsula with stunning views of rolling valleys or Lake Superior.

Many homes for sale in Washburn are quaint single-family homes in the downtown area within walking distance to the lake and all city amenities. In addition, there is an abundance of Lake Superior waterfront homes, ranch-style houses on acreage in the nearby hills, and cabins tucked away in beautiful, wooded lots.

Washburn is the perfect choice if you’re in the market for a lovely waterfront home, a family cabin, or property to start your own hobby farm.

Find the Best and Latest Houses for Sale in Washburn, WI

The Windseeker team is proud to call this area home and be your local guide to a sought-after real estate near Washburn, WI. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking for a second home or rental property, we are here to help you fulfill your real estate needs—big or small.

Get in touch with Jenna Galegher and the Windseeker team by calling 715.779.5000 or sending an email to [email protected] to get started.

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