Apart from its famous cheese and dairy production, Wisconsin can offer you more to see and explore. Numerous top tourist destinations are found all across Wisconsin. It has the perfect combination of natural beauty and modern man-made attractions. Whether you are planning a family trip or just looking to have some adventurous travel, Wisconsin is the ideal choice for everyone. Sometimes weather can be a bit harsh, but if travelers are packed with the right gear, they will surely enjoy their visit.
High-rated attractions in Wisconsin
Without further ado, let us dive into the list of 10 high-rated attractions across Wisconsin.
1. Cave Of The Mounds
Cave Of The Mounds is named for its location on the southern slope of the East Blue Mounds. The Blue Mountains are remnants of ancient mountains, the highest point in Southern Wisconsin. Do you think you can guess how old the Cave Of The Mounds is? If you’re thinking thousands of years, you may want to try adding a few more zeros. A limestone rock where the cave is formed is more than 400 million years old. Cave Of The Mounds has become known as Wisconsin’s oldest classroom.
In 1828, Ebenezer Brigham made Blue Mounds his home. He came to Wisconsin from Massachusetts to set up a Lead mine. He also built his own house, which became a trading post, stagecoach stop, and eventually Dane County’s first post office. Ebenezer never realized that a much more significant discovery than Lead lay just beneath his farm. During a routine quarry blast on August 4, 1939, the Cave Of The Mounds was accidentally discovered. Workers removing limestone from the quarry on the Brigham farm that day had no idea that they were blasting right above this vast underground cavern. Once the dust settled, the workers were amazed to see an opening to a huge cavern.
Afterward, geologists advised the Brigham’s to seal the cave until it was properly and fully protected. In May 1940, Cave Of The Mounds opened to the public. Since then, millions of people have seen this wonder. A warm, shallow sea covered most of North America five hundred million years ago. That sea was teeming with life. Sea creatures lived here, and their discarded shells built up layers and layers of limestone over time. That limestone is made up of the fossil remains of all those ancient sea creatures. If you look closely on your cave tour, you might even see some with the naked eye.
Inside the cave, you will see the geologic process continue. The dissolved crystals of limestone fuse together to form intricate and varied shapes. These hollow stalactites hang from the ceiling and form statues on the floor. Cave Of The Mounds is commonly referred to as the jewel box of America’s significant caves. Several departments have distinguished this cave as a National Natural Landmark. However, the Cave Of The Mounds offers much more than just a cave tour. While on the park grounds, you can enjoy a picnic, stroll through their butterfly and rock gardens, or hike the nature trails to witness the beauty of Southwest Wisconsin.
2. Geneva Lake Shore Path
Nearly 22 miles in length, the Geneva Lake Shore Path encircles a lake and has existed for hundreds of years. It was initially a footpath used by the Native American Potawatomi Tribe. The trail connected their settlements along the lake. Centuries later, the Public Lakefront Trail along the rolling glacial terrain and sparkling spring-fed waters is still alive. The trail takes walkers along the edge of Geneva Lake through the woods, Association Beach’s Public Parks, and crossing front lawns of the many grand lakefront estates that have arisen over the years.
The shoreline can be considered a living history of sorts, landmarked by grand and historic estates built here in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Although this area began to see a settlement in the 1830s, it wasn’t until after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 that considerable estates started to materialize. This, in addition to the completion of the railroad that same year, soon made the City of Lake Geneva one of the most popular summer resorts for many of Chicago’s families. Astonishingly, this ancient path has endured through the centuries and has proven a source of both conveyance and strolls for generations. As you walk along this path on your trip to Wisconsin, remember the thousands who were here before you and know that while you are enjoying history, you are also becoming a part of it.
3. Wisconsin Dells
Wisconsin Dells is one of the biggest tourist cities in the area, mainly because of all the things you can do here. You can go on a rollercoaster ride, check out a water park, drive a go-kart, see several museums, eat at many restaurants, try the haunted house tour, or stay at a beautiful resort. You can visit the Bennett Photography Studio, a business crucial to the shaping of the Dells. Wisconsin Dells was a logging town until Bennett took some impressive photographs, making it famous. Opening in 1865, Bennett’s Studio still houses his original workspace and photography equipment. His pictures are also viewable, including his most famous “Weeping The Chasm At Stan Rock.”
A ride on the Wisconsin Ducks gives you the chance to witness the area’s natural beauty. These vehicles were built in World War II and are named ducks because they drive on land and water. While on the tours, you get to see sandstone formations sculpted by glacial melting, including a rock formation featured on the cover of Time magazine.
Since HH Bennett’s photography, Wisconsin Dells has changed a great deal. It is home to many amusement parks. Mount Olympus is the most extensive water & theme park in the Dells. You can find many rollercoaster rides, go-karts, and an indoor & outdoor water park. There is also an Exploratory Interactive Arts Center. It promises robots, cool toys to play with, as well as a tight rope that you bike across. When you enter the exploratory, you are thrown into the future world. The elevator takes you into an imaginative space station where androids greet you. These robots guide you to exploratory rooms which offer puzzles, interactive games, and computerized toys. Scenic views, amusement parks, food, and nature make Wisconsin Dells a top destination and a remarkable place to visit when you are in the state.
4. Door County
Here in Door County, the towns and the villages have been growing in exciting new ways, but by far, the best place to explore is where we humans have the smallest presence. Spanning five hundred square miles, Door County has 24 natural areas with topographic and organic wonders that you will not find anywhere else in the United States. Through the ridges and swales in Baileys Harbor, the Limestone Bluffs, Fish Creek, the caves and Cave Point, and the sandy dunes at Whitefish Dunes, man-made endeavors are simply no match for the beautiful natural wonder of Door County.
Door County has five state parks. Out of those, Peninsula Park is considered the complete one. You could spend a whole week in the park and still not see it all. Peninsula State Park boasts 3,776 acres of land, eight miles of coastline, and stunning views from the Bluffs overlooking Green Bay and Lake Michigan. With miles of biking, even more miles of hiking, and 450 campsites, you are always going to have something to do in the park. Door County also hosts Potawatomi Whitefish Dunes Rock Island and Newport State Park. Newport State Park has 2,400 acres of gorgeous untouched beauty perfect for hiking, biking, backpack camping, and cross-country skiing. The list of things to do in Door County goes on and on. It has an unbelievable natural beauty that is so diverse and available for everybody to appreciate and explore.
5. Milwaukee Art Museum
There are no closed or open signs hanging in the windows of this museum. Instead, the Milwaukee Art Museum marks its opening each morning with a stunning architectural display, one that brings people to its doors from all over the world. One of the most surprising things about the Milwaukee Art Museum is that its building moves. It was designed by Santiago Calatrava and had a series of 72 wings on top of it that open and close every day. It is not just a building. It’s an architecture that moves. This marks only the entrance to a day filled with surprising discoveries and fascinating works of art.
As you wander the seemingly endless halls, you’ll see dozens of walls covered in traditional art alongside suits of armor, mummies, and impressive sculptures. People come to the Milwaukee Art Museum because of its extensive permanent collection with over 20,000 pieces with anywhere between one and three thousand on display at any one time. It is a feast for the eyes. It is not all for the adults, though. The Milwaukee Art Museum has gone out of its way to broadening the typical Art Museum’s appeal. The Milwaukee Art Museum is now offering several family programs throughout the weekends. Here, you can come and create 3D interactive art with your children, take pictures, and have a great day.
You will also come across various other pieces, including different types of furniture and an exhibit made up exclusively of different kinds of chairs. They have everything from antiquity to contemporary art. It includes an excellent collection of German Expressionism, Impressionists, and more. Whatever your taste or preference, chances are good that you’ll find something at the Milwaukee Art Museum that you’ll be talking about for days and weeks to come.
6. Devil’s Lake State Park
The Northernmost of Lincoln County’s State Parks, Devil’s Lake Park, is just a couple hundred yards off Highway 101. Devil’s Lake State Park is a tent camping park as an RV park with a beautiful forest setting. It is positioned right in the middle of Lincoln City and on the beautiful Devil’s Lake banks. There are ten yurts for rent here on the site for those visiting Devil’s Lake State Park without a recreational vehicle or a tent. The entire park is family-friendly; the kids love it here. There are so many places to run around and play. There is also a program area here for presentations or training. It is just a great place to come, relax, and lift your spirits.
Each site comes furnished with a picnic table and a fire ring for your campfire. There are several launches around the lake as well. Whether you’re going to meet a boat or just going out for a gorgeous walk, there is a long paved trail that goes all the way from the forest park down to the boat docks. It is an easy way to get started on a fun day of water sports. There are several fine public golf courses within just a couple of minutes drive. The outlet malls are available for you to go shopping, pick up a new outfit, some sporting equipment, new hiking shoes, or whatever. Devil’s Lake State Park truly is a camper’s paradise and is worth considering when visiting Wisconsin.
7. Harley-Davidson Museum
A hundred and fifteen years ago, two friends, William and Arthur, created Harley-Davidson. At the Harley-Davidson Museum, you get to see a bit of the history, culture, and, most importantly, the bikes. Here, you can also see the bike that started it all. This is the oldest Harley-Davidson in existence. Both Bill Harley and Arthur Davidson were avid bicyclists. Bill worked for a bicycle company in Milwaukee. Their first project was to build a motor to put in a bicycle. Then, they shaped the frame to embrace the engine, which set the standard for what Harley-Davidson does now.
You can also see their original designs for the motor as well. These designs are dated July 20, 1901. They are the original drawings from Bill Harley for a bicycle. The Harley family preserved them, and now they are on display for millions to see at the Harley-Davidson Museum. There is also a book from 1907 when they incorporated and began a program of saving at least one bike right off the line in 1915. The museum wants to give people a sense of how these bikes work and make it interesting for everyone. The major turning point for Harley-Davidson was World War II. Throughout World War II, they made almost 90,000 military bikes. Their story weaves in and out of the story of American history. This museum is not just about bikes. There are displays of black leather jackets, uniforms, and so much more. Even if you enter this museum as somebody who thinks that they are not going to like it, you’re going to leave feeling that it was fascinating. This shows that there’s something for everyone here at the Harley-Davidson Museum, for sure.
8. Pabst Mansion
The Pabst Mansion is where craft becomes art. It was built in 1892 by Frederick Pabst, who we all know and love as the man who made Pabst Beer. It is a Flemish Renaissance mansion built by a very prominent architectural firm in its day. Initially, the house was part of Grand Avenue, one of the 70 mansions. None of the others exist today. They have several events all year long. On a typical day, you will come in and find tourist art at the hour. The first two floors of the house are fully restored to very exacting standards, based on original photography. There are so many stories attached to this house that make it one of Wisconsin’s most exciting and breathtaking places to visit. A building like this in the middle of a Metropolis is not typical. This is astonishing and noticeable as you first look at the house from a distance.
9. Bay Beach Amusement Park
Bay Beach is an amusement park located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It is situated near Lambeau Field, the Packers Stadium. It contains many family rides. Their standout attraction is the Zippin Pippin. Generally, the park does not exceed capacity; however, it may be crowded on a hot day in mid-summer. Rides have to be paid for in tickets, so there is no fee to get into the park.
Moreover, they have a Halloween event called Boo Beach. The park was recently expanded, adding a new Ferris Wheel and expanding the kids’ section with a different drop tower called the Bay Beast. Their thrill-based attraction, the Zippin Pippin, was doubled in price when it was dubbed as Elvis Presley’s favorite ride. We recommend this park to families because there is a ride for everyone. Apart from this, the food they offer is well priced and better than most theme parks. The park has many cafes, restaurants, huts, and gift shops. It does provide a full day filled with fun and excitement.
10. Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory
This conservatory was built and designed in 1959. There are three iconic domes in the greenhouse, the tropical dome, the desert dome, and the show dome, which stages seasonal floral shows five times a year. The conservatory brings in quite a few people looking to enjoy scenic views and shows that the friends of the domes organize.
The domes were designed with concave shapes, which help the plants grow and bring them the most sunlight. They also have an educational system that allows over ten thousand children to attend their classes and tours. You get to see plants that you will find nowhere else in this conservatory. With such diverse shows, people come back here year after year to enjoy and learn simultaneously. This conservatory has been a center of horticultural conservation in Wisconsin for 45 years, and they plan on being so for years to come.
Wisconsin is home to splendid lakes, picturesque mountains, rich cultural scenes, and bustling cities. It is all about untouched natural beauty and historic destinations. Wisconsin offers the most thrilling and fun-filled activities that a person wants on an ideal vacation. All of this makes it the state that you may wish to visit on your next getaway trip.