Wisconsin August 04, 2018
11 Iconic, Beloved Wisconsin Spots That Locals Return to Again and Again
No matter how popular they get or how cliche Wisconsin they might seem, there are a few places that we love to go back over and over. Whether out of nostalgia or because they’re the places that make us really love being Wisconsinites, these are some of the most fun, beautiful and quintessential Wisconsin spots that may be full of tourists, but are also the places locals go back to again and again.
Please note, Milwaukee Art Museum is temporarily closed.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Devil's Lake State Park
This gem of the state park system draws twice as many visitors as any other park and most of those folks aren't from out of state. The park has something for everyone, from hiking to swimming, and is centrally located, drawing folks here in the millions each year.
2. Up North
No need to narrow this down — the Wisconsin Northwoods are the weekend getaway destination of choice for local folks. Whether you've got a cabin or trailer or you rent something, it seems most everyone gets out of town on Friday to head Up North.
3. Cave of the Mounds
Most Wisconsinites first go here on school field trips, but we go back again to explore further or take our new family. It's a totally gorgeous, uniquely Wisconsin spot. If you think you've been enough, go back for the holidays to see the cave in a totally different light.
4. Grandad Bluff
This lookout point high above LaCrosse is one of the very best views in all of the state. It's a peaceful little stop during a busy vacation and it gives you an amazing panoramic view of the Mississippi River valley below.
5. Dane County Farmer's Market
There's nothing better than getting up early on a Saturday morning to fill up your basket with farm-fresh veggies, huge wildflower bouquets, Stella's Hot Cheese Bread, jam and cheese. Whether you're local and looking to stock up for the week or taking a day trip to cruise the market and shop on State Street, there's something so special about getting to shop the biggest producer-only farmer's market in the country.
6. Wisconsin Dells
Whether it's taking your kids for a quick weekend, spending a girls weekend at the spa, or exploring the gorgeous natural area around the tourist spot, none of us can avoid the Dells forever and many of us don't want to.
7. Lambeau Field
Even if you're not lucky enough to score tickets, a trip to Lambeau to experience the gorgeous interactive Hall of Fame or have a top-notch meal at Curly's Pub is well worth a day trip.
8. The Milwaukee Art Museum
This stunning piece of architecture on Milwaukee's lakefront is worth it for a stroll along the water's edge, a meal at the Calatrava Cafe, or to spend a day wandering the galleries. We're so lucky to have such an amazing world-class collection right at our fingertips and then the staff brings in amazing traveling exhibitions that has us going back again and again.
9. Door County
For all that we might roll our eyes at the leaf peepers that roll in during the fall, it's not like we can fault them. Whether you're heading for a family weekend away, a romantic getaway, to sample some wine, or even just to pick some cherries, there's a reason this spot is classic Wisconsin.
10. Apostle Islands
The Lake Superior lakeshore is one of those spots that out-of-towners tend to overlook and we Wisconsinite are certainly fine with it. Sure, it's cold in winter, but first of all, we love that and it just means that we relish the summers so much more.
11. The Driftless Region
From the charm and fresh food of Viroqua to the stunning outdoor fun to be found in the Kickapoo Valley, there's something super inviting about this unique part of the state's landscape that has us itching to return.
Where are your favorite Wisconsin spots? The ones that you return to over and over? Let us know in the comments!
Looking for more iconic Wisconsin spots to try?
Check out this list of places you probably went on a field trip, but should check out again.