Rittenhouse Inn

301 Rittenhouse Avenue, Bayfield, Wisconsin 54814
Innkeeper(s): Mark & Wendy Phillips
  • Introduction


    The Rittenhouse Inn, a historic Bayfield WI Bed and Breakfast, is one of the great Country Inns of North America. Enjoy spectacular views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands from the large wraparound veranda filled with flower baskets, comfortable seating, and a porch swing.

    Overnight lodging accommodations include rooms, suites and a private cottage, and many with Lake Superior views, fireplaces, and/or whirlpool tubs. A complimentary continental breakfast is included with your stay.

  • Insider's Info

    Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Mark and Wendy Phillips for sharing their own secrets with BBOnline.com!
    Why do most travelers stay at your inn?

    It's the gateway to Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and Bayfield gets lots of good press and word of mouth.

    What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?

    Hospitality and warm friendly service. We have a five course "verbal" dinner menu that sets our inn apart from most. We love the big wraparound front porches on both the Old Rittenhouse Inn and Le Chateau Buildings. It's the perfect spot to relax.

    If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?

    Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands, all the water and outdoors activities.

    What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?

    Your service is world class, yet it still feels like a small, family-run business.

    What’s the best kept secret about the area?

    Winter! All the activities like dogsledding, skiing, hiking, driving the Ice Road to Madeline Island, visiting the frozen sea caves.

    If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?

    Experience a Kayak or sailing adventure, berry picking, a day at Madeline Island, gallery tours/museum, Big Top Chautauqua, dinner at Landmark Restaurant.

    Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?

    We are within blocks of downtown Bayfield and the various shops, galleries, restaurants, and marinas near Lake Superior.

    What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?

    Landmark Restaurant, serving breakfast and dinner 7 nights a week during peak season (June - September). Call for 715-779-5111 for seasonal hours.

    Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?


    How many rooms does your inn have?

    20 Rooms and Suites located in 3 buildings: 2 Victorians and an Arts and Crafts Cottage

    Do you accept pets?

    No. http://www.yellowpages.com/bayfield-wi/dog-kennels


  • Dining

    The Rittenhouse Inn's Landmark Restaurant in Bayfield, Wisconsin offers hearty breakfasts, casual fine dining, and special events like wine tasting weekends and dinner concerts. A memorable Bayfield dining experience that includes excellent food and service in an elegant atmosphere.

    Landmark uses local, regional, and organic products in season. Executive Chef Matt Chingo is inspired by the Bayfield region's berries, fruit, greens, vegetables, and mushrooms, along with the day's catch of Lake Superior trout or whitefish, or locally raised bison and lamb.


    Try the signature apple glazed pork chop or the seared yellowfin ahi. Sample chowders and bouillabaisses, crisp green salads, or a smoked trout salad. Breakfast lovers: try fresh strawberry pancakes or the "General Fuller," and don't leave town without a few jars of homemade jellies, jams, and sundae sauces to remind you of your time in Bayfield.

    The restaurant was featured in such publications as Bon Apetit, Gourmet magazine, Midwest Living, Lake Superior Magazine, and The New York Times. Whet your appetite for a great meal by browsing through the menu of dining options included here.

    Special dietary needs are accommodated with advance notice. 

    Sample Menus


  • Weddings

    The Old Rittenhouse Inn and Le Chateau Boutin offer a stunning Bayfield wedding venue for ceremonies or receptions for groups from 2 to 125 guests. Throughout each year we are home to many unique and beautiful ceremonies. You may choose to exchange your vows in the music room, on the carved oak staircase in the foyer, a porch filled with hanging baskets of flowers overlooking the lake, or in our fountain garden & pergola on the grounds of Le Chateau. Whatever your wish, we can assist you every step of the way.

  • Attractions

    Summer Attractions

    • Apostle Island Cruise
    • Beaches
    • Big Top Chautauqua
    • Birdwatching
    • Charter fishing
    • Cycling
    • Golf
    • Hiking
    • Kayaking
    • Madeline Island
    • Orchards
    • Sailing
    • Sea caves
    • Shopping
    • StageNorth
    • Wineries

    Winter Attractions

    • Christmas
    • Dogsledding
    • Ice caves
    • Ice road
    • Skiing
    • Snowshoeing
    • StageNorth
  • Meet the Innkeepers

    Jerry & Mary

    Jerry and Mary met at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967 where they were enrolled in the School of Music. They married in 1969 and taught in the Madison area after graduation.

    While vacationing in Northern Wisconsin, Jerry and Mary saw a 'For Sale' sign on a Victorian mansion in Bayfield. They fell in love with the house and used their savings for the down payment. The following summer, 1975, the Old Rittenhouse Inn opened as a bed & breakfast inn to "test the market.". The rooms were full and guests raved about breakfast.

    In 1976 the couple took a one-year leave of absence from teaching and moved to Bayfield full time. Although they had no formal training, they knew they had the ability, desire, and energy to create a synthesis of elegant atmosphere, formal service, gourmet food, art, and music. Almost 10 years later, Jerry and Mary purchased Le Chateau Boutin.

    Over the years the couple has been involved with the Bayfield Heritage Association, the Wisconsin Humanities Committee, Big Top Chautauqua, the State Historical Society, Select Registry, as well as mentoring fellow innkeepers locally, nationally and internationally.

    Mark & Wendy

    Mark and Wendy met at the Rittenhouse Inn. As the innkeepers' son, Mark worked at the inn from an early age. Wendy's first job was at the inn was as a housekeeper. In the summers between her college years, Wendy returned to work at the front desk and as part of the floor staff.

    The couple began dating in the winter of 1995. Their interests took them to California where, sharing his parents' musical inclination, Mark attended the Los Angeles Music Academy while Wendy completed her music therapy internship. The couple was married at Le Chateau Boutin on a beautiful summer day in June, 2001.

    Three years later, Mark and Wendy had their first child, daughter Kyra. Along with becoming new parents, the couple also decided to return to the Rittenhouse where they spent several years learning about marketing, staffing, accounting, and public relations. More changes arrived as the couple's second child, son Max was born in October 2007.

    Today, Mary and Jerry continue to be involved at the Inn, while Mark and Wendy have taken over many of the day to day operations. The family's joint vision remains true: to strive for continual excellence in hospitality, and exceeding the expectations of guests. The Phillips family is dedicated to providing memorable experiences that emphasize romance, comfort, and hospitality.