Whether 2016 was an awesome year for you or if you can’t wait to put it in the rear view, it was quite a year to be in Wisconsin. We’ve worked hard to bring you the most interesting places in the Dairy State to explore in 2016 and now we’re getting your year off to a great start with 19 places to add to your 2017 bucket list.
In no particular order, here are 19 places we told you about in 2016 that you need to make time to see in 2017:
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:
Osceola has been around since before we got our statehood and has a charming main street to prove it. There's plenty to do, but the star is nearby Cascade Falls.
Wisconsin Dells Ice Castle
For the first time ever, this amazing structure has come to Wisconsin and you aren't going to want to miss out. The whole thing is weather dependent, so who knows how long it'll last. Located at 2001 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells 53965
Minocqua Winter Park
With tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating and cross country skiing, there's something for everyone here. It's a perfect place to get out in nature and enjoy winter. Located at 7543 Squirrel Hill Road, Minocqua, WI 54548.
Abandoned Alexian Brothers Noviate
First built in 1939 as a private residence, this mansion near Shawano spent much of its life as a place for those considering the priesthood to be trained.
Accessible only by ferry, this remote island at the very tip of the Door County Peninsula offers unspoiled land and a slowed down pace that's impossible to find most anywhere else.
We think Trempeleau might be the best kept secret in the state. The small town on the Mississippi has the most stunning views on the river and limestone cliffs, a wine scene that's worth stopping to sip, some amazing local food and a ton of history at the Trempeleau Hotel.
Canopy Walk - Lake Geneva
Open year round and set on 100 acres of forest, this tour lasts 2.5 hours, includes five different hanging bridges and zip lines. It's a totally unique way to take in the forest and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Located at N3219 Co Hwy H, Lake Geneva, WI 53147.
Amnicon Falls State Park Camping - South Range
Lots of folks head to Amnicon Falls State Park to view the waterfalls, but did you know you can actually camp there - and swim in the pools at the bottom of the falls? There are many fabulous campgrounds in Wisconsin, but this might be the most refreshing.
Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue - Rock Springs
This sanctuary is a home for abused, neglected and unwanted big cats. Tours are full of spectacular educational information and the animals themselves are so amazing to see up close. Located at 305 Pine St, Rock Springs, WI 53961
Bay Beach Amusement Park - Green Bay
For a full day of family fun, you cannot beat the value of Bay Beach. Tickets are just a quarter and the most expensive ride - the roller coaster - take four tickets. There are 16 rides and the park sits right along the coast of Lake Michigan. It's a favorite of young and old and must-do for any Wisconsinite worth their salt. Located at 1313 Bay Beach Rd, Green Bay, WI 54302
This charming town on Lake Superior is the perfect small town for a summer getaway. Sure, it's a gateway to the Apostle Islands and all the amazing fun to be had on the lake, but the town itself boasts great seafood restaurants, quaint shops, a cool artists' community and all those amazing views.
Dells MIll - Augusta
The five-story former flour and feed mill is fully water-powered and was built in 1864. Now it's a historical landmark and one of the most beautiful places to photograph in Wisconsin. Located at E18855 County Road V, Augusta, WI 54722.
Menominee Park - Oshkosh
This park is pretty unique - it's inland, but still sits on the shores of Lake Winnebago. With 109 acres, there's plenty of land for playgrounds, paddleboats, a small amusement park and a zoo. Located at 520 Pratt Trail, Oshkosh, WI 54901.
North Beach - Racine
One of the Lake Michigan coast's best kept secrets, North Beach in Racine has 2500 feet of shoreline, a playground, volleyball courts, food, and live music on the weekends. There's no better place to enjoy our Great Lake. Located at 100 Kewaunee St, Racine, WI 53403.
Holler House - Milwaukee
This old tavern on the near south side is hiding the country's oldest bowling lanes in the basement. The kitsch, nostaligia and history are reason enough to take a Saturday and make it here. Located at 2042 W Lincoln Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53215.
Ella's Deli - Madison
This quirky restaurant sits on the outskirts of Madison and is as much a part of the landscape there as the capitol building. With walls covered in mechanical games and toys and a homemade menu that started as a simple Jewish deli, Ella's is quintessential Wisconsin. Located at 2902 E Washington Ave, Madison, WI 53704.
Native American Ruins - Aztalan State Park - Jefferson
Middle Mississippi Tradition Native Americans lived in this part of the state more than 1000 years ago and this park preserves some parts of their life. There are surviving steps, mounds and bits of structure from the 900 A.D. settlement. Located at N6200 County Rd Q, Jefferson, WI 53549.
Pewits Nest - Baraboo
Pewits Nest is so gorgeous and unusual, walking through here feels like you might be dreaming. Unique rock formations cut out by a creek lead to gorgeous waterfalls and pools unlike anything you've ever seen. Located at County Rd W, Baraboo, WI 53913.
Lumberjack Steam Train - Laona
You can only access this unique experience by first getting on the train. Find out what life was like for loggers working the Wisconsin Northwoods in the late 1800's. Located at 5068 US-8, Laona, WI 54541
What other places did we feature this year that you can’t wait to check out in 2017? Share with us in the comments!