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Welcome to our personal Wisconsin travel guide! If you seek an exceptional and remarkable travel experience in the heartland of the United States, Wisconsin is an unparalleled destination that should not be overlooked.
Wisconsin is located in the midwestern region. And it is celebrated for its breathtaking natural beauty, cultural diversity, and warm and hospitable character. It renders a perfect destination for travelers who yearn for an authentic and distinctive experience.
This guide provides a wealth of information and insider tips to ensure you make the most of your visit, from the notable landmarks to the off-the-beaten-path gems that only locals know about.
This guide aims to provide a comprehensive resource enabling you to plan your journey, navigate the state effortlessly, and immerse yourself in Wisconsin. So, pack your bags and prepare yourself to discover the captivating beauty of Wisconsin in our company.
- Best Things to Do in Wisconsin
- 1. Weekend Getaway in Door County
- 2. Milwaukee
- 3. Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright’ Perfect Country Home
- 4. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
- 5. Milwaukee Art Museum
- 6. Circus World Museum
- 7. The Harley-Davidson Museum
- 8. The Green Bay Packers: Lambeau Field and the Walk of Legends
- 9. Visit the Waterpark Capital of the World: Wisconsin Dells
- 10. Take a stop at the State’s Capital: Madison
- Where to Stay in Wisconsin
- How to Get Around in Wisconsin
- Travel Tips Wisconsin
- Dress For The Weather But Still Bring Plenty Of Layers
- Plan Your Trip During The Spring or Fall
- Consider Booking Flights On Smaller Airports
- Make Sure To Explore The Great Outdoors
- Don’t Hesitate To Mingle With The Locals
Best Things to Do in Wisconsin
1. Weekend Getaway in Door County
In the tranquil and breathtaking northeast corner of Wisconsin, Door County is an exceptional destination for those seeking adventure in the great outdoors. Surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Michigan, this idyllic peninsula offers numerous activities for visitors to indulge in.
One of the most awe-inspiring experiences in Door County is visiting the natural rock formation of Deer Shelter Rock, located near Ellison Bay. This geological masterpiece has been used as a shelter by Native Americans and offers a fascinating glimpse into the area’s rich cultural history. Hiking trails and the view of the rock formation offer a chance to appreciate the intricate details of the rock and the surrounding wilderness.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Door County has ample opportunities. Biking enthusiasts can explore the scenic trails winding through forests, fields, and the stunning shoreline. The adventurous can kayak or canoe through the crystal-clear waters of Lake Michigan and the Wisconsin River, reveling in the majestic views.
However, Door County’s appeal goes beyond the great outdoors. Visitors can also immerse themselves in charming towns like Sturgeon Bay, which offers unique shopping and dining experiences.
Known for its lively arts scene, the city features galleries, theaters, and museums. A visit to Washington Island is another must-do, where you can discover the area’s rich maritime history and explore the island’s striking rock formations.
Milwaukee is a vibrant and diverse city located on the western shore of Lake Michigan. It is the largest city in Wisconsin, and it has a population of around 600,000 people. Milwaukee is known for its breweries, its music scene, and its sports teams, particularly the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team.
The city is also home to many different attractions, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee County Zoo, and the Harley-Davidson Museum. There is something for everyone in Milwaukee, from the beautiful lakefront to the lively downtown area to the lush parks and green spaces. It’s a great place to visit or call home, and it’s easy to see why so many people are proud to be from Milwaukee.
See Related: Best States To Live In
3. Taliesin: Frank Lloyd Wright’ Perfect Country Home
Nestled in the charming town of Spring Green, Wisconsin, lies a true masterpiece of architecture and design: Taliesin. This estate has become the ideal destination for admirers of Frank Lloyd Wright’s exceptional work.
As the former home and studio of the renowned architect himself, Taliesin holds an 800-acre property encompassing many of the buildings Frank Lloyd Wright designed, such as the main house, studio, and other outbuildings.
Taliesin’s guided tour is not simply a stroll through a beautiful property. It’s a comprehensive exploration of Wright’s creative ingenuity.
The tour guides will lead visitors through various buildings, providing a glimpse into the architect’s vision and design philosophy. Moreover, visitors can explore the estate’s stunning natural surroundings, which include hills, valleys, and meadows that inspired Wright’s work.
Taliesin’s tour guides are passionate and well-informed about the life and work of Frank Lloyd Wright. They offer visitors intriguing stories about the architect’s life, career, and innovative design concepts. Visitors can learn about Wright’s commitment to using local materials and his desire to integrate his buildings into their natural surroundings through the tour.
One of Taliesin’s most fascinating aspects is the seamless blend of its buildings with the landscape. Wright believed architecture should reflect the natural environment. And his designs at Taliesin reflect this philosophy.
Through the tour, visitors will witness how Wright incorporated local materials, such as limestone and sandstone, into his buildings and utilized the land’s natural topography to create breathtaking visual effects.
Visitors to Taliesin will be astonished by the attention to detail and craftsmanship evident in every aspect of the estate. From the intricate woodwork to the custom-designed furniture, every element of the property showcases Wright’s unparalleled talent as an architect and designer.
For architecture and design enthusiasts, Taliesin is a destination that must be experienced. The estate provides a unique opportunity to witness the work of one of America’s greatest architects in a serene and natural setting.
4. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is an idyllic destination for nature enthusiasts seeking an exceptional outdoor escapade. Nestled on the awe-inspiring shore of Lake Superior, this national state park is a genuine gem of natural splendor. It is an unparalleled sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting 21 unspoiled islands, dramatic cliffs, picturesque beaches, and striking sea caves.
One of the park’s prime attractions is the iconic sea caves, which offer visitors a sight to behold. A visit to the park is incomplete without a visit to these natural wonders. The sea caves are particularly striking during winter, as the ice caves and waves crashing against the cliffs create a breathtaking, mesmerizing, and unforgettable ice display.
The Apostle Islands offer many other activities and attractions besides the sea caves, including hiking trails, fishing spots, and camping sites. The park caters to diverse interests and is perfect for those seeking a relaxing day on the beach or a thrill-seeking adventure.
At the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, visitors can revel in the splendor of nature and experience an unparalleled adventure. It is a destination that promises to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
See Related: Best National Parks in the USA to Visit
5. Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum is a cultural jewel on the shores of Lake Michigan. The museum boasts a vast collection of over 25,000 works of art from different parts of the world, emphasizing American art.
The museum’s awe-inspiring architecture is as impressive as its art collection, with its iconic wings designed to resemble a soaring bird in flight. Capture the moment with a memorable snapshot in front of this architectural masterpiece.
6. Circus World Museum
Prepare for an exciting and entertaining experience at the Circus World Museum in Baraboo. This one-of-a-kind museum showcases the history of the circus and features exhibits on everything from clown makeup to trapeze acts.
Visitors can also enjoy live performances, including circus acts and animal shows. The museum is located on the original site of the Ringling Bros. circus, offering a fascinating look into the roots of this beloved American institution.
7. The Harley-Davidson Museum
Whether you are a motorcycle enthusiast or not, the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee is a must-see destination. The museum offers an immersive and interactive experience, presenting the history and evolution of America’s most iconic motorcycle brand.
Admire the vintage bikes and learn about the company’s founding and cultural influence. The museum’s striking architecture and engaging exhibits make it a must-visit spot that will leave a lasting impression. Embark on a museum escapade and explore the vibrant cultural scene of the Badger State.
See Related: Best Museums in the US to Visit
8. The Green Bay Packers: Lambeau Field and the Walk of Legends
Prepare to immerse yourself in the excitement of the Green Bay Packers and embrace the passion of football. This distinguished team is a symbol of Wisconsin. And a visit to the hallowed grounds of Lambeau Field is an essential stop for any football lover.
Lambeau Field serves as the team’s home turf and is one of the most iconic football stadiums in the nation. Nearly large enough to house the city’s entire population of 72,000, Lambeau Field opened in 1957 and is the most extended and continuously occupied stadium in the league.
Visitors can join a guided tour of the stadium to observe the hallowed field, the locker rooms, and the celebrated “Lambeau Leap” wall, where players engage with fans. Additionally, the tour includes visiting the Packers Hall of Fame, a venue that enlightens guests on the team’s history and the greats who contributed to the Packer’s legacy.
One of the hallmarks of visiting Lambeau Field is the Walk of Legends. This outdoor plaza showcases life-sized bronze statues of the team’s most celebrated players, such as Brett Favre, Bart Starr, and Reggie White. As you stroll through the plaza, you will sense the team’s legacy and fervor that embody the Green Bay Packers.
However, Lambeau Field isn’t exclusively a site for football enthusiasts. The stadium hosts numerous events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and weddings.
9. Visit the Waterpark Capital of the World: Wisconsin Dells
Prepare for a water-filled adventure in Wisconsin Dells, the renowned Waterpark Capital of the World. This destination is the perfect place to cool off and have some fun under the sun.
The Dells is home to some of the world’s largest and most thrilling water parks, including Noah’s Ark, Kalahari Resorts, and Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park. These parks offer various sports and activities, from exhilarating water slides to lazy rivers and wave pools. You can also try your hand at surfing, boogie boarding, or even indoor skydiving at some of the parks.
Wisconsin Dells has many options for those seeking a more serene water experience. You can rent a paddleboard or kayak and explore the calm waters of the Wisconsin River or take a leisurely boat tour to see the magnificent rock formations and stunning scenic beauty of the Dells.
Apart from water sports, Wisconsin Dells also has a variety of other attractions and activities to offer. Take a tour back in time at the Dells Army Duck Tours, where you can ride through the wilderness in a World War II amphibious vehicle. Alternatively, visit the Upside Down White House, a quirky attraction, as the name implies.
Wisconsin Dells is the perfect destination for anyone traveling solo with family and friends. So pack your sunscreen and prepare to experience a thrilling and exciting water park adventure in the Waterpark Capital of the World!
See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
10. Take a stop at the State’s Capital: Madison
A visit to Madison, the capital of Wisconsin, is an absolute must for any traveler to the Badger State. Among the many attractions in this lively city, the State Capitol Building stands out as a true architectural gem.
This stunning tower, which serves as the office of the governor and state legislature, exemplifies the Beaux-Arts style of architecture and boasts magnificent marble interiors and intricate details.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the building to learn about its rich history and significance and enjoy panoramic views of the shimmering waters of Lake Mendota and Lake Monona from the observation deck.
But Madison offers more than just a tour of its State Capitol Building. The city boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, with numerous museums, galleries, and theaters. You can catch a show at the Overture Center for the Arts or explore the thought-provoking exhibits at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art.
In Madison, foodies can indulge in culinary delights with restaurants, cafes, and food trucks. From classic Wisconsin cheese curds to farm-to-table cuisine, there’s something to satisfy every craving. And don’t miss the famous Saturday Farmers’ Market on Capitol Square, where you can sample the freshest local produce and artisanal foods.
For those seeking outdoor adventure, Madison offers an abundance of opportunities. The city is nestled between two great lakes, offering kayaking, paddleboarding, and pontoon boat rentals for those eager to explore the waterways.
The Olbrich Botanical Gardens and the Arboretum provide stunning views for hiking, biking, and picnicking amidst the stunning natural beauty. Overall, Madison is a vibrant and exciting city with something to offer for every kind of traveler.
Where to Stay in Wisconsin
When organizing your trip to Wisconsin, selecting the ideal accommodation is essential to guarantee a relaxing and pleasant experience. Fortunately, Wisconsin is renowned for its wide-ranging lodgings that cater to all budgets and preferences, including cozy bed and breakfasts and luxurious hotels.
To assist you in narrowing down your options, we have compiled a list of the top ten best accommodations in Wisconsin to make the most of your visit:
- The American Club – Kohler
- The Pfister Hotel – Milwaukee
- The Osthoff Resort – Elkhart Lake
- The Iron Horse Hotel – Milwaukee
- The Charmant Hotel – La Crosse
- The Edgewater – Madison
- The Delafield Hotel – Delafield
- The Geneva Inn – Lake Geneva
- Ashbrooke Hotel – Door County
- Hilton Garden Inn – Wisconsin Dells
How to Get Around in Wisconsin
When exploring the vast and beautiful state of Wisconsin, having a dependable mode of transportation is a must. Luckily, private guided tours provide an exceptional way to discover Wisconsin’s top destinations while relishing a customized and seamless experience.
Private guided tours offer a more intimate and personalized adventure, allowing you to discover the state’s hidden gems at your own pace, with a knowledgeable local guide to lead the way.
With attractions like the Wisconsin Dells, the Apostle Islands, and Door County several miles apart, private guided tours are a practical and stress-free way to travel from one attraction to another.
Here are some of the best ways to get around and experience Wisconsin offers through private guided tours.
- Get to know Wisconsin Dells on a fun trolley tour that showcases local history and insightful trivia!
- Explore the wetlands of Door County in a family-friendly kayak tour.
- See Milwaukee’s most famous attractions and learn about the city’s history on a small group tour.
- Avoid waiting in long lines with priority admission tickets, and set your own pace to explore the vast Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee!
- Explore Door County’s Peninsula State Park on a fun Segway tour with a small group.
See Related: Rental Cars That You Can Take Out of State
Travel Tips Wisconsin
Dress For The Weather But Still Bring Plenty Of Layers
When planning a trip to Wisconsin, it’s crucial to pack for various temperatures throughout the day, no matter what time of year. Unpredictable weather patterns require a thoughtful packing strategy; plenty of layers are your best bet.
Wisconsin’s climate is notorious for its morning chilliness and warmer afternoons during the spring and summer. Therefore, you must pack lighter layers that you can quickly shed as the day warms up. However, sunshine can be deceptive, and you’ll want to have a light jacket or sweater on hand for those more excellent morning hours.
During the winter months, Wisconsin’s frigid temperatures demand heavy-duty packing. Bring thermals, a heavy coat, gloves, and a hat to stay warm and comfortable during outdoor activities like skiing or snowmobiling. These warm layers will be necessary to help you navigate the winter wonderland.
Fall is Wisconsin’s most picturesque season, with its leaves changing colors and crisp air. Still, you’ll need to pack for fluctuating temperatures. As the season progresses, temperatures vary significantly, so bring layers you can add or remove as required.
With a well-thought-out packing strategy, you’ll be able to enjoy all that Wisconsin has to offer, regardless of the season. Don’t let the unpredictable weather patterns get in the way of your travel plans – pack layers and be prepared for anything.
Plan Your Trip During The Spring or Fall
When planning a trip to Wisconsin, it is essential to consider the timing. If you are searching for an ideal combination of comfortable weather and fewer crowds, planning your visit during the spring or fall is recommended.
The mild climate during these seasons makes it the perfect time to explore the natural beauty of Wisconsin. You can witness the blooming trees in the spring or the stunning fall foliage in autumn.
However, the most significant advantage of visiting Wisconsin during the spring or fall is to avoid the dreaded mosquito season. These insects can be a nuisance during summer and quickly spoil any outdoor adventure.
Apart from avoiding mosquitos, a visit during the spring or fall can also lead to savings in expenses. These seasons are not peak tourist times, so that you can find affordable accommodations and activities. You can experience all Wisconsin offers without exceeding your budget by taking advantage of the lower prices.
Consider Booking Flights On Smaller Airports
When it comes to air travel, bigger isn’t always better. Suppose you’re planning a trip to Wisconsin. In that case, you may consider taking the less traveled runway by choosing a smaller airport like Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) in Madison or Appleton International Airport (ATW).
One of the main advantages of these airports is that they tend to be less crowded, meaning you can enjoy a more relaxed and stress-free travel experience. The security lines are often shorter, and the overall atmosphere is more peaceful, allowing you to start your trip on the right foot.
In addition to the tranquility, these airports can often be more budget-friendly than their larger counterparts. Flights to and from these airports can be more affordable, allowing you to save money on airfare and allocate it towards exploring all Wisconsin offers. Use Going (formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) to get flight deals and alerts directly to your email inbox.
Make Sure To Explore The Great Outdoors
When planning your trip to Wisconsin, set aside some time to explore the great outdoors. Wisconsin boasts various outdoor activities catering to all levels of adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts.
For hikers, Wisconsin’s landscape offers diverse trails that traverse through serene forests, rolling hills, and Lake Michigan’s shoreline.
Camping is a popular pastime in Wisconsin, with over 70 state parks and forests that provide campsites surrounded by natural beauty. Here, you can spend your days fishing, swimming, or exploring the flora and fauna of the state’s stunning natural landscapes.
See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World to Visit
Don’t Hesitate To Mingle With The Locals
Wisconsin is renowned for its welcoming atmosphere, and if you wish to have a truly authentic travel experience, don’t hesitate to mingle with the locals.
One of the significant advantages of interacting with locals is that they can provide you with insider tips and recommendations that you won’t find in any guidebook. They can steer you toward hidden gems that only those in the area know about.
Don’t be anxious if you’re unsure how to initiate a conversation with a local. Wisconsinites are generally approachable and friendly and are accustomed to visitors starting conversations.
Just be courteous and considerate, and don’t hesitate to ask questions. You may make a new friend or discover your favorite location in Wisconsin.
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- Best Things to Do in Door County, Wisconsin
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- About the Author
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Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He’s a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he’d heard.
Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he’s learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.
He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time.