Wisconsin Travel Guide

Wonderful Wisconsin is sure to seduce you with its endless opportunities for the Great Outdoors, developing food and wine scene, and entertainment for the whole family. Shake up your vacation routine this year and trade the city break for Wisconsin State Parks. Cool off with water sports, learn how to ride a horse, or just take it easy on a cabin porch overlooking the calm lake.

Keep your budget under control this year by booking Wisconsin cabin rentals. Let VacationRentals.com show you just how affordable these cabins can be, and then start daydreaming about hiking, fishing, and picnicking under the summer sun!

What to Do in Wisconsin

wisconsin outdoor adventure

Outdoor Adventure for the Family

Each spring, the wildflowers of Wisconsin lure travelers and photography enthusiasts to the colorful hiking trails. These visual treats are the perfect background to a day spent biking, walking, or enjoying a gourmet picnic with your family. From the apple groves of Gays Mills to the state parks along Lake Michigan of Door County, there are many places to hit the hiking trails.

Wisconsin State Parks are ideal for much more than hiking and biking. Each year, the crystal-clear rivers and lakes attract both experienced fisherman and beginners looking to learn the skill. Head to the Peshtigo River State Park and choose a spot along 25 miles of river to cast your line. Fly-fishing is especially popular in the autumn, when you will be surrounded by brilliant fall foliage.

Waking up to the chirping birds outside Wisconsin cabin rentals, it will be difficult to choose your activity for the day. Options include bird-watching, horseback riding, kayaking, white water rafting, and more. With more than 15,000 lakes, rivers, and streams stretching 33,000 miles, you will never be far away from a boating adventure. Rent a kayak, take to the rapids, or climb aboard a speedboat for an adrenaline-filled tour.

wisconsin theme park

Entertainment & Thrills

Beyond Wisconsin State Parks there are many forms of entertainment for all types of travelers. Families will love the local amusement parks where kids can climb aboard roller coasters or brave the biggest water slides. Options include Mt Olympus Water and Theme Park, Bay Beach Amusement Park, Riverview Park & Waterworld, and Little A-Merrick-A Amusement Park.

Grown-ups need to have some fun during vacations too, and Wisconsin provides great opportunities to cut loose. Try your luck at one of the casinos, dance the night away in a club, or unwind at a spa. With 28 casinos to choose from across the state, you will have many options for a game of blackjack or two. If you would rather relax, follow in the footsteps of Native Americans who found the water at Elkhart Lake to have healing properties.

After a little adult fun, bring the family back together for some more entertainment. Madison’s Henry Vila Zoo is only of the only zoos in the country that is still free, and the Wisconsin State Fair is an annual event that has been pleasing families for over 150 years. Take a step back in time at the Big Sky Drive-In Theatre or add an educational flair to your vacation by squeezing in a trip to a science center.

The Artistic Side to Wonderful Wisconsin

Cultured travelers will want to schedule a few days outside of Wisconsin state parks to enjoy the many arts attractions. The impressive Milwaukee Art Museum is only the beginning of the arts scene in Wisconsin, which includes small galleries, exhibits, performing arts centers, and music.

Take a night away from Wisconsin cabin rentals to attend a theater or dance performance at the National Historic Landmark Pabst Theater. With over 200 performances a year, odds are there will be something of interest showing during your trip! Wisconsin is home to many historic theaters across the state, which are visited just as often for their architecture as their performances. Highlights include the Opera House of Stoughton, the Ten Chimneys Estate, and the Capitol Civic Centre.

There are plenty more attractions for architecture buffs as well. Visit the home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, tour the historic Pabst mansion, or see a historic architectural landmark, the Three Stone Arch Bridge dating back to 1904. Some travelers are surprised to learn that there’s much more to see in Wisconsin than its spectacular state parks.

wisconsin romance

Romantic Retreats in Wisconsin

What could be more romantic than leaving the kids at home and waking up in the serenity of Wisconsin cabin rentals? Feel like you’re going on your first date again with a trip to the drive-in movie theater or a special dinner on the town. For couples that enjoy more privacy, stop at a farmers market for supplies and cook a gourmet meal in your own kitchen. Don’t forget supplies for breakfast the following morning!

Spas are another great way for couples to relax and reconnect. Let the medicinal waters of Elkhart Lake work their magic before a soothing couples massage. From facials to foot massages, every type of spa treatment you could hope for is on offer in Wisconsin spas. Are you looking to spice things up instead? Go dancing, get front row seats for the big game, or try your luck at roulette. While Wisconsin is ideal for family vacations, it also provides a romantic atmosphere for couples. From the privacy of hiking trails to a Jacuzzi under the stars, there will be many chances to send sparks flying on your Wisconsin summer getaway.

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What to See in Wisconsin

wisconsin vacation

Local Landmarks

Waking up peacefully in Wisconsin cabin rentals, you might not want to get out and explore the local landmarks. But you should, because there are many historical and exciting landmarks that will make your trip even more memorable! Start with the capital of Madison, a city that has a surprising amount of small town charm. Visit the state Capitol, the farmer’s market in Capitol Square, and the University of Wisconsin. This city is extremely friendly for biking, so don't hesitate to rent a bike and explore on two wheels!

Not all of the landmarks in Wisconsin are located in cities, however. The cherry orchards of Door County, the St Croix National Scenic Riverway, and the shores of Lake Geneva have all been attracting visitors as well. Whether you want to go diving in the Great Lakes to see shipwrecks up close and personal or see the place where magician Harry Houdini came from, you’ll find consistent entertainment in Wisconsin.

Add a Historical Twist to Your Vacation

During your vacation, try and tear yourself away from the beauty and activities of Wisconsin State Parks to enjoy a little history. Take a step back in time to the Gilded Age with a tour of the Pabst Mansion in Milwaukee or visit Wade House in Greenbush to get an idea of what a stagecoach inn from 1850 was like.

The number of preserved mansions and inns is part of what brings Wisconsin history to life. You’ll never be able to visit them all in one trip, but they are spread throughout the state so no matter where you’re staying, most likely, one will be close by. From the Fairlawn Mansion in Superior to the Wisconsin Governor’s Mansion, you will get a firsthand glimpse of how the other half lived.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Wisconsin

wisconsin vacation

Dine in Style in Wisconsin

No matter how much you love cooking, you must leave Wisconsin cabin rentals behind for a night or two to experience the state’s developing dining scene. Whether you are the type of traveler who likes to try what’s hot now (don’t miss award-winning chef Jason Gorman’s creations at his Dream Dance Steak Restaurant in Milwaukee) or you are looking for a casual place to relax with your family, you’ll find delicious eats statewide!

Wisconsin is also a great place to sample farm-fresh cuisine. Across the state you will have the opportunity to sample produce just after it's been plucked from the farm. If you want to support regional farmers, pull up a chair at one of these restaurants: Burt & Francie’s in Bayville, Roots Restaurant & Cellar in Milwaukee, or Gilbert’s on Lake Geneva.

Shopping in Wonderful Wisconsin

Some travelers might wonder how to squeeze in hiking through Wisconsin State Parks and shopping into the same trip. As it turns out, this is all part of the charm of Wisconsin! From antique stores to farmer’s markets to museum shops, there will be something to entice every kind of shopper. There are a few areas of Wisconsin that are particularly well-known for their shops. Start your shopping tour in historic Mineral Point where you will find pottery, local artwork, antiquarian books, and antiques. If you’re looking for home decorating items or gifts, head straight for Princeton where the Water Street shopping district is sure to deliver.

Do you want to combine shopping with lake views? There’s no better place than Bayfield, located on the shore of Lake Superior. The fashion scene in Milwaukee has seen some serious development in recent years, so visit the Third Ward district for some trendy temptations. Lastly, Stockholm is a charming town known for its art galleries and Christmas items. Whether you visit during the holidays or not, it’s never too early to begin shopping for friends and family!

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When to Visit Wisconsin

The most popular season to visit Wisconsin is undoubtedly summer. When children are off school, Wisconsin cabin rentals fill with families who are looking to escape the bustle of life and enjoy a vacation of hiking, fishing, and white water rafting. The Wisconsin State Parks are also popular during spring, when wildflowers take over in an explosion of color.

If you are traveling on a budget, late spring and early autumn might be the best time to plan your trip. You will avoid the heavy crowds of summer and most likely the weather will still cooperate for you to enjoy outdoor activities. Some people like to plan trips for the winter because Wisconsin has a distinct holiday feel, but be prepared for extremely cold temperatures and significant snowfall.

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What to Bring to Wisconsin

Your trip to Wisconsin State Parks is a chance to get creative with your packing! Give some thought to how you want to spend quality family time. Does your family love board games, crossword puzzles, or DVDs? Is there a new recipe you want the family to try? A vacation in Wisconsin is all about getting everybody involved, so bring along whatever equipment will help you do that!

Don’t forget to pack the basics as well. You will need sturdy shoes for hiking and biking, and layers of clothing for the changeable temperatures of spring and fall. Insect repellent is an essential, as is sunscreen. Throw the bathing suits, kayaks, fishing poles, and bikes in the car and get ready for an adventurous vacation!

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Local Services in Wisconsin

One of the things that draws travelers back to Wisconsin cabin rentals year after year is local services. State Parks in Wisconsin are clean and safe, and there are many amenities for travelers. From tourist information centers to farmer’s markets to stock your kitchen with fresh produce, you will find whatever you need in Wisconsin. Do your shopping during regular business hours and you shouldn’t run into any problems during your trip.

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What to Know About Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a big state—and some visitors find it difficult to know where to start. First, decide what type of vacation you’d like to have, and then build from there. It is always possible to spend a morning white water rafting, and visit the famous Milwaukee Art Museum in the afternoon. A few attractions that locals recommend include the Circus World Museum, the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Little Norway, and the Joseph Huber Brewing Company.

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Getting to Wisconsin

With Wisconsin, you have the option of either flying into Milwaukee, Madison, or even Chicago and renting a car from there or you can take a road trip to your Wisconsin cabin rental. Either way, you will be glad to have the independence of a car. Chicago and Milwaukee are both located on the lake while Madison is located more inland. Be sure to check the distances between certain attractions as a map might be deceiving. With a few airports to choose from, finding affordable airfare will be a breeze.

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Why Wisconsin vacation rentals?

The only way to enjoy the freedom and peaceful environment of Wisconsin State Parks is with a vacation rental. In order to get that true "escape" feeling during your vacation, leave hotels in the dust and choose rentals where you can unwind with your family or get close to your loved one. With lakes, rivers, and forests right on your doorstep outdoor adventure will be just a few steps away.

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