Sometimes living in Wisconsin feels like being in on a secret the rest of the world doesn’t know about. So many folks dismiss the Midwest as flyover country, but they are totally missing out. All across the state there are spots that when you’re standing there you think to yourself how lucky you are to be there and how you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. By no means an exhaustive list, here are some of the best spots all across Wisconsin make us happy to live here instead of somewhere else.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Horicon Marsh
The largest freshwater cattail marsh in the US, it has been designated a Wetland of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention of the United Nations. More than 2,000 species of birds have been spotted here. It's a stunning, unique spot home to hundreds of flora and fauna.
2. Door County
Whether you're there for a fish boil, to check out fall leaves, enjoy the beaches, head out to Washington or Rock Island, check out the lavender fields, visit the wineries or just to relax, Door County is a totally unique bit of the state that juts out into Lake Michigan. There are stunning views, historic lighthouses and views from pretty much any angle. It's a beautiful escape that's close to home.
3. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
No matter the season, the stunning rock formations along the Lake Superior shore and the islands nearby are some of the most beautiful, unique and stunning parts of Wisconsin. Get out on canoe or kayak to explore the sea caves, to a ferry to explore one of the islands and generally soak in this area that is totally underappreciated.
4. Big Manitou Falls
Wisconsin's tallest waterfall, it tumbles 165 feet into the Black River. The fourth-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi, it's a stunning view as it carves out the rock and tumbles down.
5. Pewit's Nest
Glaciation and the running waters of what is now Skillet Creek created deep caverns here and Pewit's Nest feels absolutely otherworldly in every season. The crystal clear water, the high gorge and the hundreds of thousands of years of history told through the layers of rock make this a truly stunning part of our great state.
6. Stavkirke Church on Washington Island
This stunning structure is built using designs that date back to the Middle Ages. Using no blueprints, it took three years to build and it's a totally beautiful surprise hidden off the tip of Door County.
7. Cave Point County Park
Talk about feeling like you're far away from the real world, this county park is tucked in along the shores of Lake Michigan and displays some of the beauty of the Niagara Escarpment that makes Wisconsin so unique. The water crashes in here and sprays, making it a totally gorgeous, otherworldly spot.
8. Wyalusing State Park
On the complete opposite side of the state, Wyalusing sits on bluffs way above the Mississippi River Valley, giving sweeping views for miles and miles. It's a stunning place to visit and camp.
9. The Driftless Region
One of the most unique spots, this area was untouched by the glaciers that changed and formed the geography of Wisconsin and surrounding states. So the rolling hills and plains here are totally unique and lend themselves to special soil and all kind of beauty that you won't find elsewhere in Wisconsin.
10. Devil's Lake State Park
Not only is Devil's Lake the largest state park, but it's chock full of interesting details and history. Part of the Baraboo Range that is thought to have been bigger than the Rockies at one point, it is on the western edge of the last ice-sheet deposited during the Wisconsin drift. Known for its 500-foot-high quartzite bluffs along the 360-acre Devil's Lake, which was created by a glacier depositing terminal moraines that plugged the north and south ends of the gap in the bluffs during the last ice age approximately 12,000 years ago.
11. Olbrich Botanical Gardens
Located in Madison, the crown jewel here is the Thai Pavilion that was a present from the Thai government and is one of just four that exist outside of Thailand. No nails were used in this structure that was built in Thailand, deconstructed to ship here, and then meticulously reassembled. It's stunning and unique and something you won't find anywhere else.
Other college towns all think they're the best, but Madison was literally named the Best College Sports Town. From the atmosphere at our games to the walkability of city to the fun had all across town on game days, it's impossible to get caught up in the awesomeness that is Madison and think "Gee, I wish I were somewhere else today."
13. Amnicon Falls
Not only is Amnicon Falls home to four easily accessible waterfalls, but it looks like something out of a fairy tale. On top of that, there's rock here that's more than a million years old. Whether you're just in it for the natural beauty or you are searching through the bits of history uncovered here, Amnicon is one of those spots that we're so lucky to have here in Wisconsin.
What other spots around Wisconsin are your “can’t believe how gorgeous it is” spots? Let us know in the comments! Looking for more awesome spots in Wisconsin? Check out
The 19 Places You Should Go In Wisconsin In 2017.