Skip to Content

24 Cool Weekend Trips in Wisconsin

A personal selection of the best weekend trips in Wisconsin, US for an amazing getaway.

Bordered by Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, the state of Wisconsin offers an array of diverse landscapes that are an absolute pleasure to explore.

From outdoor activities to quiet romantic getaways, travel Wisconsin and experience whatever you need for a vacation in all seasons. 

While many consider that the majority of the activities are located in Madison or Milwaukee, there are so many other cool weekend trips in Wisconsin to explore!

Hey! Don’t forget to grab my free Wisconsin Getaway Checklist below!

Top center photo is an empty winding road with some autmun leaves for the trees. Bottom left is a lake with a castle near it. It a sunny day. The bottom right photo shows a river with some strong curent and white rapids.
Like it? Pin it!

You, dear reader, support this blog. When you purchase through a link, I may earn a small commission. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Pssst…! You can’t get enough of visiting places in Wisconsin? Have a look at my other posts:

Overview: Best Weekend Trips in Wisconsin

  • Devil’s Lake State Park
  • Lake Geneva
  • Milwaukee

1. Big Manitou Falls

For those looking for: Sightseeing and picture-taking

strong narrow waterfalls in between rocks with a leafless tree on the corner
  • Accommodation Options: The best way to enjoy the beauty here is by renting a cabin. You’ll love this beautifully decorated Home near Spirit.

Among all the top attractions in Wisconsin, The Big Manitou Falls area is especially known for its waterfalls, rivers, and best lakes in Wisconsin.

In this popular destination in Wisconsin, you will find some of the most unique visual sights you will ever come across. Big Manitou is home to the highest waterfall in the state, clocking in at over 160 feet.

No wonder it is often considered one of the best waterfalls in North Wisconsin and one of the best northern Wisconsin getaways.

When you first look at the waterfall, you will notice that the water is of a brownish color rather than a crystal blue color.

The reason? The water is uniquely colored due to the assortment of minerals found in the water- known as tannins.

When deciding to visit Big Manitou Falls, you will come across a ton of exciting walking paths. Expect quite a bit of walking, so pack comfortable shoes and a camera with you.

It is truly a sight to see since you will be surrounded by beautiful greenery everywhere you go.

You will be taking a ton of pictures, so prepare yourself for a new screensaver and loads of selfies!

There are 2 types of falls you will need to see: small and large falls. Luckily, the falls can be viewed from any of the viewpoints located at the park.

Expect a good 30-minute walk from where you park your car, in order to reach a viewpoint to see the falls. If you have little ones with you, they will be also able to see it with relative ease.

Overall, walk around, enjoy the beautiful sights, and take some beautiful pictures. It will be well worth it!

2. Devil’s Lake State Park

For those looking for: A visit to one of the largest parks you will ever see for a Wisconsin family getaway

A large rock positioned on top of another large rock surrounded by tall thin trees on the side of a hill overlooking a lake with rolling hills covered in green trees stretching off into the distance all covered in a layer of soft white snow under a cloudy grey sky
Winter hike at Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin

The largest state park in Wisconsin; the Devil’s Lake State Park, is an extremely popular spot for fishing, boating, and swimming.

A must-see for all ages, Devil’s Lake is easily one of the most beautiful spots for taking photos in Wisconsin.

An absolute must-see when visiting Wisconsin, and luckily you will be able to as it is open all year round! No wonder, that it is considered one of the best Wisconsin State Parks.

As soon as you arrive, you will notice extremely wide picnic areas with people relaxing and enjoying the weather. Overlooking the park is a massive lake; over 300 acres of beautiful water.

As such, you will have the opportunity to engage in Wisconsin’s finest activities: fishing, boating, and rock-climbing! It also has some of the best hiking in Wisconsin Dells.

The hills around the lake, known as Baraboo Bluffs, make it especially easy to do some rock climbing.

You can enjoy the experience by climbing slowly and peering across to the lake or challenge yourself with more complex climbs.

You can also decide to entertain yourself and your family with some hiking in Wisconsin, stopping for a mini-picnic, or taking some memorable photos.

If you are willing enough, you can take one of the more difficult paths in order to reach a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the lake. Once you find the spot that is to your liking, you certainly won’t regret it.

The key is to just enjoy the experience, and just stop whenever you feel like it.

Otherwise, take the time to simply soak in the scenery and experience true Wisconsin nature at its finest. The nature changes in winter, that’s why the area is a great Wisconsin winter getaway, too!

3. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

For those looking for: Adventure

a boat cruising along a lake in Apostle Islands

If you want an adventure when visiting Wisconsin, look no further than the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

With a collection of 21 islands alongside a lakeshore, this is one of the most adored spots by tourists and locals, especially if you want to enjoy long weekend getaways.

You are free to enjoy the lakeshore how you like.

By enjoying the views, listening to music, or watching the assortment of birds in the sky. The area is also home to some of the most romantic cabins in Wisconsin, it’s thus perfect of a couples’ getaway.

You will be hard-pressed to find a more relaxing experience. Always among one of the top 10 things to do in Wisconsin, the Apostle Islands is one of the best places to go in Wisconsin.

Make sure to check the full guide on things to do in Apostle Islands.

But the beauty of this lakeshore lies in the variety of activities that are available for you to explore. Consider renting a kayak, so you can venture from island to island.

Do not let this opportunity go to pass: it is very enjoyable to reach each island and enjoy the variety of amenities and recreational there.

Many islands offer scuba-diving and fishing activities for a very good price!

If you really want to make it an adventure, try camping at one of the 19 available islands. Don’t worry, each island offers great camping sites with excellent amenities.

If you want to stay on a budget, there are remote camping sites for you as well.

What makes these islands so wonderful is the freedom and options it offers. Many tourists decide to camp out on these islands, and you will surely make a couple of friends if you do decide to stay!

4. Elkhart Lake

For those looking for: A romantic or resort experience

the sun setting over a lake
Sunset at Elkhart Lake Seaside

For a wonderful resort experience, consider Elkhart Lake in the south of Wisconsin.

Elkhart Lake is home to the famous Road America race dating back to the ’50s. Every year, you will find many races being hosted; with the most popular ones hosted in summer.

Being an international event, you will find people coming from all across the United States to enjoy the events.

Elkhart Lake is home to some of the most beautiful resort experiences in Wisconsin. Whether you want an option to relax or be adventurous on your stay, this is the place to be.  

Elkhart Lake resorts have some excellent live theatre and music at night, along with great food.

When it comes to water experiences and some family fun in Wisconsin, enjoy one of the best getaways in Wisconsin by checking out Broughton Sheboygan Marsh Park or Fireman’s Park.

Fireman’s Park offers a typical picnic area with a sandy beach, while Broughton Sheboygan Marsh Park offers more of a variety of activities including campsites, fishing, and picnic areas.

Most resorts in the region also offer access to similar picnic areas and sites close to both of these parks.

In addition to the top-end resort choices in Elkhart Lake, there are also some great hotels in Sheboygan, which are more budget-friendly.

Plus, you don’t want to miss out on some of the great things to do in Sheboygan.

5. Door County 

For those looking for: A truly relaxing experience

a lakeside boardwalk by a small dock, with a street with trees with no leaves
Road Trip Wisconsin, Relax and watch the sunset at Door County

Door County is a popular spot for tourists and locals from Wisconsin and even neighboring states such as Illinois. As a result, Door County is one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin.

This place offers a variety of opportunities to relax and enjoy the sunset. The reason? Door County has multiple state parks that tourists flock to during their off days, such as on Memorial Day.

Typically, the acres of land offer wonderful hunting, camping, fishing, and hiking opportunities. It’s particularly quaint when in fall foliage and considered one of the best things to do in Wisconsin in fall.

In fact, Door County in October is one of the best times to visit as there are many festivals on, and it’s the perfect time to see the fall colors in Wisconsin.

Quite frankly, Door County may simply end up being one of the most memorable visits when it comes to these activities.

If you’re still looking for a place to stay, have a look at my list of the best Airbnbs in Door County.

There are seemingly endless acres of land for you to enjoy as you do one of the most scenic drives in Wisconsin, so definitely give it a try if you love the great outdoors.

Almost limitless hunting, camping, and fishing capture the majority of things to do in Northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. It is no wonder why tourists visit from across these two states.

For some more northeast Wisconsin activities, Door County has an assortment of beaches and resorts that are more than a safe bet.

No wonder the beaches of the peninsula are often considered some of the best beaches in Wisconsin.

Some beaches have pebbles and rounded rocks which make it difficult to walk but are very relaxing with plenty of amenities nearby for a picnic.

Other beaches offer softer sand, perfect for kids to swim in the nearby shallow water. 

If you are able to stay a few days, I recommend checking out some of the best wineries in Door County. Just be sure not to drive to and from your wine tastings!

6. Marinette County

For those looking for: A unique touristic experience in the state of Wisconsin

a picture of a short waterfall filled with rocks and brownish water

When deciding on fun places to go in Wisconsin, Marinette County is a great choice.

You will find a host of communities that cater to the tourism experiences available in Marinette County.

From outdoor activities to unique food and dining, Marinette County is one of the best places to vacation in Wisconsin.

For all you foodies out there, there are a host of options for some good-old Wisconsin fun and Wisconsin activities.

The Fire Winery and Seguin’s House of cheese will be some of the best Wisconsin stops you will have!

The House of Cheese offers lots of creamy curds. Ranging from sweet to spicy; along with fantastic wines and fresh fish.

Prepare your taste buds for a memorable dairy and wine-filled experience! The Fire Winery is a fantastic choice for a variety of wines to help end an entertaining afternoon with your loved one.

If you get the chance, take a day to visit Dave’s Falls in the south of Amberg. It is an excellent choice for a wonderful outdoor experience and gives you another chance to view Wisconsin’s beautiful waterfalls.

It is picture-worthy and certainly memorable.

Easily one of the best getaway places to vacation in Wisconsin; Marinette County offers great food, and a beautiful waterfall experience.

7. Amnicon Falls State Park

For those looking for: A big park and even bigger Waterfalls!

Amnicon Falls State Park waterfall with a covered bridge, over the Amnicon River in Northern Wisconsin
  • Accommodation Options: The best way to enjoy the beauty here is by renting a cabin. You’ll love this beautifully decorated Home near Spirit.

Amnicon Falls State Park is one of the top Wisconsin vacation destinations. In the Amnicon Falls Park, you will find an absolutely stunning park, as if it was made out of a drawing.

You will find varying watercolors in the waterfalls, once again due to the minerals from the rocks.

When you decide to go see the Falls, you will find both upper and lower falls. In both falls, you are more than welcome to have a dip or go for a swim. The streams are pure and the rocks dot the park beautifully.

You will eventually reach Amnicon Falls State Park bridge, connecting two parts of the park. Get a chance to take some pictures, and learn a part of its historical significance.

If you go in winter, prepare for a different experience in one of the best things to do in Wisconsin in winter.

Prepare to walk across soft snow-covered trails, with an opportunity to reach the famed snow-covered bridge. It is a truly exceptional experience and a chance for a Wisconsin winter weekend getaway.

While swimming is out of the question, there are still possibilities for catered hiking and exceptional opportunities to take pictures.

For a Wisconsin winter vacation, a trip to the Amnicon State Falls Park may be an underrated and exceptionally beautiful experience.

Wisconsin Classic SweatshirtWisconsin Classic SweatshirtWanderust Box SignWanderust Box SignWisconsin HoodieWisconsin HoodieBest Loop Hikes Wisconsin GuideBest Loop Hikes Wisconsin GuideUnder Armour BackpackUnder Armour BackpackWisconsin Haunted Travel GuideWisconsin Haunted Travel Guide


8. Lake Geneva

For those looking for: A wonderful time at a major state park

aerial view of the Geneva Inn seen from the lake in Wisconsin
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Lake Geneva often tops the list of Wisconsin lake vacations. The reason is greatly due to the fact that it is a resort city based along Geneva Lake.

It is greatly popular with tourists from Illinois and neighboring cities in Wisconsin.

It’s the ideal weekend getaway in Wisconsin from Milwaukee and there are plenty of things to do in Lake Geneva.

How about deciding on one of the romantic weekend getaways in Wisconsin? Enjoy the fresh air and cool breezes coming from Geneva Lake.

From the assortment of beaches, cruises, and water sports, Lake Geneva is an exceptionally relaxing experience for you and your loved one.

You can also spend a day at Lake Geneva State Park, where you can have a lovely picnic or take a long stroll.

For a bit more excitement; try zip-lining! For the first time, it can be an unbelievable experience, and a must-try if you want to make it a part of your memorable romantic getaways in Lake Geneva.

The staff are very helpful, and will gladly answer any questions you may have. But the activity is quite simple: hop on and have the ride of your life!

Another fun activity is the Lake Geneva Clue Room where you can search for classified documents or outsmart Al Capone!

Lake Geneva Clue Room is one of the best escape rooms in Wisconsin, and a great way to spend an afternoon.

There are plenty of things to do in Lake Geneva in winter, the escape rooms are also a fun indoor activity to escape the cold!

For a shorter stay, Lake Geneva is also one of the best day trips from Milwaukee in winter.

And if you’re looking for a festive romantic getaway, one of the best things to do in Lake Geneva in December to treat yourself is a spa getaway.

For an excellent choice of Wisconsin lake vacation rentals or a chance of romantic day trips in Wisconsin cabins, check out the Ridge Hotel.

The Ridge Hotel offers a variety of packages for lovebirds. This includes spa, massage, and chocolate and flower deliveries to your room.

Within the area of the hotel, you have close access to Kettle Moraine, shopping centers, and a myriad of excellent bars and restaurants.

9. Madison

For those looking for: A visit to the capital for some exciting moments

View looking along an empty tree-lined street of a large white stone building with columns on the front and a large pointed dome on top under a bright blue sky with occasional white fluffy clouds

Being one of the most vibrant scenes in Wisconsin, you will find an assortment of touristic activities and some beautiful scenery in the city of Madison.

In the warmer months, the fun things to do in Madison, Wisconsin are quick trips and outdoor activities.

Cycling along the excellent trails is a great option to work your leg muscles and enjoy a long, relaxing ride with your loved ones.

If you prefer keeping your feet on the ground, hiking in Madison, is a must.

You’ll find some of the best Southern Wisconsin hiking trails, especially the hikes around the University of Wisconsin – Madison Arboretum.

Madison is one of the most quaint and safest cities in the United States, so this is truly one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have.

In colder months, things to do in central Wisconsin include joining the majority of tourists by skating or playing hockey.

People are really friendly in Madison and very welcoming, and it is a very natural and relaxed culture and a great place to vacation.

For some proper touring, head to the Wisconsin State Capitol for a view of a massive white dome, and a chance to see some beautiful murals.

If you happen to visit during winter in Madison, WI, the Capitol building puts up a huge Christmas tree, which is a must-see!

Also, take the time to check out the Henry Vilas Zoo for a view of some amazing animals including bears, lions, alligators and an assortment of underwater creatures. 

Otherwise, definitely head over to the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art for some interesting architecture and famous landmarks that make it one of the best places in Wisconsin.

As a result, Madison is normally a top choice for Wisconsin vacation ideas.

Don’t forget to bring your Wisconsin hiking guidebook in order to explore the best trails in the area.

10. Milwaukee

For those looking for: An exciting city trips in Wisconsin

a white state of the art building in milwaukee with a walkway surrounded by grass and buildings at the back
Weekend Getaway Wisconsin at Milwaukee Art Museum

Fear the deer! A city with many exciting spots and many unique things to di Milwaukee, it is one of the cool and fun places to stay in Wisconsin. What is there to do?

Well, you can hit up a massive 200-acre zoo, or plan a day to view the Harley Davidson Museum. How about dining at one of the most popular steakhouses in the city?

The options are plentiful, so get ready for a fun time on your one-day trip to the largest city in Wisconsin!

Among the many southern Wisconsin, attractions include the Milwaukee County Zoo, one of the most famous zoos in the United States.

The Milwaukee Zoo combines an assortment of rare breeds of animals with really fun events. It is perfect for a family visit, or a trip with a significant other.

You probably won’t believe it, but there are seasonal days when admission is absolutely free! This zoo is really a must-see if you find yourself in Milwaukee.

For meat lovers out there, consider the “Rare Steakhouse” for delicious cuts of meat and fine wines.

Easily one of the best steakhouses you will go to, with an older-school vibe and excellent service. A must-try for the hungry carnivores looking for a tasty dinner.

If you are looking for something unique in Wisconsin, what to do besides hitting up a Harley museum?

The museum certainly contains hundreds of motorcycles but also sports a fantastic cooler vibe with a chance to see proud owners showing off their own personalized bikes.

Even if bikes aren’t your cup of tea, this museum gives you an opportunity to see how intense the passion is. For a bike-lover, this very well could be your heaven.

While in the city, be sure to enjoy all of the top things to do in Milwaukee at night, including the cars on Brady Street and the spy-themed bar, SafeHouse.

If you are visiting with kids, winter is also a great time to visit. There are many festive things to do in Milwaukee in December that kids will love.

11. Kettle Moraine

For those looking for: Outdoor family fun

Beautiful hillside of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin with red flowers and tall green brush stretching out into an area of green trees all under a vibrant blue sky with some wispy white clouds
Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin.
  • Accommodation Options: The Hidden Serenity B&B is a great hideaway. But a cabin getaway is the best way to enjoy the natural beauty here. You’ll love the GGG Log Cabin close to trails and the lake. The Lillibridge Lake Home is just steps from the water on quaint Tittle Lake, nestled in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Kettle Moraine, or the Kettle Range, is one of the best Wisconsin weekend packages. You will find yourself learning more about geography, and experiencing one of the most popular spots in all of Wisconsin.

Kettle Moraine is essentially a massive moraine; glacier and boulder-formed debris, with kettles all around it.

Quite simply, you will have the experience of seeing a massive state park with a variety of different moraines.

Naturally, there is a variety of outdoor activities for you to entertain while visiting Kettle Moraine including fishing and camping.

For an excellent fishing experience, definitely make your way to Ottawa Lake where there is a wide area for you to fish, swim, and hop on a boat.

There is excellent accessibility for any impaired, along with wide, vast areas for you to enjoy in your time.

For a unique weekend trip to Wisconsin, have a shot with target shooting or even hop on a snowmobile if you are there in winter.

The target shooting is located in a sports center in Kettle Moraine State Forest, and provides you with either guns or bows to fire some ammunition. An exhilarating experience!

Otherwise, make an initiative to go snowmobiling if you visit in winter. You will twist and turn your way along beautifully shaped trails, among tall trees and boulders around you.

Most of the time, you will receive an immediate city-wide notification if there is availably snowmobiling at the time depending on the weather or other circumstances.

In Kettle Moraine, the Tiki Beach Resort on Kettle Moraine Lake is one of the cool places to stay in Wisconsin. It has a wonderful ambiance and is perfectly located.

It is the perfect place to stay if you want more of a variety of activities when you stay in Kettle Moraine.

It is also one of the very best romantic places to stay in Wisconsin, thanks to its fun ambiance and relaxing layouts.

Whether you decide to fish, go hunting, or just relax under the sun, outdoor activities in Kettle Moraine is one of the best Wisconsin things you can do.

12. Bayfield

For those looking for: Restaurants, Hotels, and an enjoyable Cruise.

boats docked in a small pier with trees at the back
Mini vacations in Wisconsin at Bayfield Wisconsin 

A city in Bayfield County, Bayfield was originally a fishing community that is now home to an assortment of tourist activities.

In Bayfield, you can expect to find cheap getaways in Wisconsin, along with some of the excellent romantic places in Wisconsin.

It’s also the perfect place for a getaway with your beloved one since Bayfield is home to some of the best romantic cabins in Wisconsin.

A popular event in Bayfield known as the AppleFest is hosted in October. It is a celebration of Bayfield’s cultural heritage, where you can find stands or booths offering tons of food and refreshments.

Furthermore, you can expect a variety of shows, events, and even an amusement park.

In other sunny months, consider registering for a Grand Tour Cruise Service for at least a 4-hour long cruise and tour.

The captain will show you the assortment of rocks, sea caves, and islands scattered around from Bayfield onwards.

You will also come across some unique wildlife, and get close-up views of nature at its finest.

Consider this a romantic experience, or an adventure worth taking when looking for things to do in Northern Wisconsin.

In Nearby Bayview, you’ll find the Bayview Trail, which has some of the best trails for hiking in Northern Wisconsin and is perfect for outdoorsy couples.

For those looking for a northern Wisconsin vacation rental, consider the Old Rittenhouse Inn.

The Old Rittenhouse Inn is one of the best places to stay in Wisconsin considering the service, location, amenities, and excellent help for wherever you need to go.

Meanwhile the Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast is one of my favorite romantic hotels in Wisconsin, and perfect for a couples getaway to the Apostle Islands.

13. Wausau

For those looking for: A green weekend getaway with the family

an aerial view of a town with a lake, trees, and a few houses or buildings
Wausau Wisconsin Lake Seaside Nature

If you ever really want to know what’s in Wisconsin, Wausau offers a host of affordable romantic getaways in Wisconsin for families and vacations for couples. 

A city right next to the Wisconsin River, Wausau is best visited in summer (due to the beautiful weather and soft sunshine) or winter (a chance for walking on snowfall trails).

In summer, take the time to visit the Rib Mountain State Park for a chance to go hiking on beautifully formed trails or to view the unique habitats that surround the park.

You also have an opportunity to hop on a ski lift, in order to see the beautiful colors of the natural forest all around you.

This is also an excellent option for fall, where you can see the ever-changing colors of nature.

Nonetheless, you will have the opportunity to soak up some sun, and enjoy a relaxing day in nature. One of the best choices you can make in Wausau.

Hitting the slopes at Granite Peak for some skiing fun is also one of the best Wisconsin trips in winter. This lodge is just the perfect skiing spot for anybody in the midwest.

They have everything you need, from wide slopes to a beautifully formed drop for you to enjoy. Be sure to get your tickets a few weeks in advance if you want to get up there without a problem.

It is one of the most popular ski resorts in Wisconsin – so be on time!

The rides are fun and expect less traffic than in Mt. Olympus. Either way, you are going to have a wail of a time.

14. Chippewa Valley

For those looking for: A Great valley, with some fun summer activities

two kayaks, one with 2 people and 1 with a single person kayaking down a river
Chippewa Valley Wisconsin Kayak Activity

If you decide to have a weekend in Wisconsin, Chippewa Valley offers the Big Falls and opportunities to fish or paddle alongside the Chippewa River.

Two great options for some summer fun and entertaining activities in Chippewa Valley.

Look at any of the maps of attractions in Wisconsin, and the Big Falls of Chippewa Valley will surely come up.

Big Falls offers what you would expect: tumbling waterfalls on rock ledges surrounded by small islands everywhere you go.

Chippewa Valley and Falls were named originally by the Indian settlements, and you can clearly see the cultural and historical remnants of these lands.

Next, take the opportunity to fish or paddle alongside Chippewa River, or do both! You will find many canoers or kayakers strolling across the river, which flows on at about 180 miles.

It is an extremely popular spot for fishermen looking to land their next batch of sea bass.

It’s also the perfect occasion to bring your inflatable kayak to enjoy this weekend getaways in Wisconsin for friends!

For more fun stuff to do in Wisconsin, check out Irvine Park; home to the Irvine Zoo which is a very popular attraction for locals and tourists.

15. Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

For those looking for: A massive forest for a memorable adventure

view of paved path leading through trees showing fall colors with plenty of fallen leaves on the ground all under a bright blue sky
Majestic Forest at Chequamegon-Nicolet

If you find yourself wondering what to see in Wisconsin, look no further than the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Over a million acres of wide forest land for you to explore, so make sure you have a small map and your car nearby at all times!

The National Forest is one of the fun places in Wisconsin, and certainly one of the top things to do in Wisconsin.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is home to remote areas of pure natural forest including a vast array of bogs, rivers, meadows, and giant trees.

Expect to see some interesting animals, such as owls, raccoons, and chipmunks as soon as you arrive. The forest is so vast, that it is very easy to get lost.

Always have your map handy, and keep the car close by so you can retrace your steps. Luckily, you will most likely find similar tourists around no matter where you decide to venture into this massive park.

Naturally, the National Forest is home to a variety of recreational activities including camping and fishing making it cheap weekend getaways in Wisconsin.

If you decide to go in winter, expect hiking on snowy trails and seeing the forest in a completely different light.

It is up to you to decide which experience you prefer, but know that there will be thousands of tourists similar to you! 

Be sure to carry an excellent camera with you, in order to snapshots the forest’s heritage and natural history.

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is easily an excellent option for fun day trips in Wisconsin, whether you decide to go in June or November.

16. Eagle River

For those looking for: Best Lake experience

a riverbank along the wisconsin River during sunset

Eagle River is another one of my favorite destinations in Wisconsin. During the summer months especially, the natural beauty of this destination is unbeatable.

You can stay in a Cabin, an Airbnb or in one of the many resorts found in the area.

Eagle River offers an amazing lake-life experience where you can go Kayaking, Canoeing, or Paddle Boarding. If fishing is your thing, this is a lovely peaceful place for fishing.

In the evening you can enjoy a quiet campfire and make some S’mores. It’s the perfect place to bring your own inflatable kayak too.

Don’t forget to step aboard a Pirate ship for a cruise around the lake.

17. Elroy-Sparta State Trail

For those looking for: Nature and Bike trails

taken from behind of two kids dressed in coats and wearing back backs and sitting together on a rock looking over a mountain with another mountain in distance

Accommodation Options: Best Western PLUS Sparta Trail Lodge features an indoor pool and a restaurant! For Airbnb fans, you’ll love this country cabin with panoramic views.

If you are a nature lover and like to bike, the Elroy-Sparta State Trail is the place to be. It is one of the most populate trails in the USA with three rock runners and five small towns along its 32.5-mile route.

It will take you past wetlands, prairies, farmland, and unglaciated area. Don’t forget to have flashlights with you as you will need them when passing through the tunnels.

Another best weekend trips in Wisconsin is doing the Elroy-Sparta State Trail. It is a fabulous idea since it’s considered one of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin.

18. Spring Green

For those looking for: Architectural Marvels and Arts

A gallery of tiered seats in which sit a collection of mannequins dressed as musicians holding orchestral instruments all lit by spotlights in an otherwise dark room
Photo by edward stojakovic on Flickr
  • Accommodation Options: Spring Valley Inn features an indoor pool and comes with top reviews! For Airbnb fans, you’ll love this picturesque golf course home and this Historic Farmhouse is truly unique!

If you are fascinated by architectural wonders, you will want to make a stop at Spring Green. It is home to the Frank Lloyd Wright’s magnificent Taliesin, and Alex Jordan’s mysterious “House on the Rock”.

The House on the Rock is one of the strangest museums I’ve ever seen with its architectural jumble and an astonishing collection of toys and unique marvels.

Spring Green offers a diverse array of activities that make for one of the most memorable and enriching weekend trips from Madison.

19. Wisconsin Dells

For those looking for: Water fun

a pathway inside the Witches Gulch, a beautiful slot canyon in the Wisconsin Dells.
Witches Gulch, Wisconsin Dells

Other things to do involve hitting Wisconsin Dells, right next to the Wisconsin River. Things to do near Wisconsin Dells include heading to a water park, for fun rides and family experiences.

There are also many waterfalls near Wisconsin Dells.

Mt. Olympus is your safest bet here and is large enough to accommodate the floods of tourists and locals in summer.

Noah’s Ark is another great option, and anyone who loves water parks will know why.

Luckily, the parks are also open year-round and are even one of the top things to do in Wisconsin Dells in winter.

If you’re still wondering where to stay, check my guide on the best Airbnbs in Wisconsin Dells.

20. New Glarus

For those looking for: A Taste of Switzerland in Wisconsin

bottles of beer on a conveyor belt in a factory
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Best Thing to do: New Glarus Brewing Company tour
Accommodation Options: the Best Western Premier Park Hotel has great views of Madison’s main attraction, while the Hotel Indigo – Madison Downtown, an IHG Hotel, comes with a cool interior design downtown!

If you want weekend trips in Wisconsin that are less crowded with tourists, try having a trip to New Glarus.

New Glarus, also known as “America’s Little Switzerland,” offers a delightful escape that feels worlds away.

This picturesque town boasts a charming downtown filled with Swiss-themed architecture, giving visitors a unique and immersive cultural experience.

Local dining options are also plentiful and affordable, with many restaurants serving Swiss specialties such as fondue, bratwurst, and delectable pastries.

The New Glarus Brewing Company, famous for its craft beers, is also a main attraction offering self-guided tours and tastings, one of the best brewery tours in Wisconsin.

Truly, this place offers a perfect blend of cultural richness, natural beauty, and small-town charm, making it ideal for a weekend getaway in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Classic SweatshirtWisconsin Classic SweatshirtWanderust Box SignWanderust Box SignWisconsin HoodieWisconsin HoodieBest Loop Hikes Wisconsin GuideBest Loop Hikes Wisconsin GuideUnder Armour BackpackUnder Armour BackpackWisconsin Haunted Travel GuideWisconsin Haunted Travel Guide


21. Richland Center

For those looking for: Architectural Marvels and Natural Splendor

an aerial view of a neighborhood with houses and trees

Accommodation Options: The Ramada by Wyndham Richland Center is highly recommended as it is near the city center. For a private getaway, try this modern large cabin.

Richland Center presents a captivating blend of architectural heritage and natural beauty, making it an intriguing Wisconsin weekend getaway. 

The city is home to several buildings designed by the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright, including the iconic A.D. German Warehouse. 

These architectural gems provide a fascinating glimpse into Wright’s innovative designs and are a must-see for architecture enthusiasts. 

The picturesque Ocooch Mountains surround Richland Center and provide a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures, especially for hikers of all levels.

Bird-watching opportunities abound, as the diverse habitats of the Ocooch Mountains attract a wide variety of bird species. 

22. La Crosse

For those looking for: Affordable Adventures on the Mississippi

view looking across a valley with buildings and a bridge surrounded by green trees with a large green hill behind

One of the places to go in Wisconsin for the weekend is at La Crosse, nestled along the mighty Mississippi River.

The city’s standout feature is Grandad Bluff, a towering landmark that provides breathtaking panoramic views of the river and surrounding area. 

Hiking to the top of the bluff is a rewarding experience, and the vista is especially stunning at sunset. 

Additionally, Riverside Park, located along the banks of the Mississippi, is a wonderful spot for a leisurely stroll, picnicking, or simply watching the boats go by.

The city also hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, including the La Crosse Oktoberfest and the Riverfest, which celebrate the region’s heritage and community spirit.

23. Minocqua

For those looking for: A Year-Round Wonderland

people snowmobiling in Minocqua with a road filled with snow and trees lining on the side

Nestled in the heart of Wisconsin’s Northwoods, Minocqua is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts with a plethora of activities that make it one of the best Wisconsin getaways. 

Renowned for its sparkling lakes, the town is a haven for water sports lovers. Whether you enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, or simply lounging on the shore.

In the warmer months, the area’s hiking trails come alive, inviting visitors to explore the lush forests and scenic vistas. Wildlife parks like Wildwood Wildlife Park offer close encounters with native animals.

When winter blankets the town in snow, Minocqua transforms into a winter wonderland. Snowshoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling are also popular pastimes.

It’s one of the best places to visit as fun continues year-round!

24. Monroe

For those looking for: Swiss Charm and Scenic Beauty

two cows standing on top of a hill in the middle of a field with autumn trees at the back

Accommodation Options: The Super 8 by Wyndham Monroe and AmericInn by Wyndham Monroe located in the center is recommended.

Tucked away in the rolling hills of southern Wisconsin, Monroe is a charming town known for its rich Swiss heritage and cheese-making traditions. 

A must-visit is the National Historic Cheesemaking Center, where you can learn about the art of cheese-making and the region’s storied history in dairy production.

The scenic landscape surrounding Monroe adds to its allure. The rolling hills and picturesque countryside make for excellent scenic drives, allowing visitors to soak in the natural beauty at a leisurely pace. 

For those who prefer a more active approach, the area offers fantastic biking trails that wind through the lush terrain, offering both challenging and breathtaking views.

It’s not hard to say that Monroe offers fun weekend getaways in Wisconsin for everyone!

Short FAQ about Weekend Trips in Wisconsin

What are affordable romantic getaways in Wisconsin?

If you want an intimate getaway in Wisconsin, Elkhart Lake is one of the most beautiful resorts in Wisconsin. You will surely enjoy the sunset or the live theatre and music at night, along with great food.

What are the best Wisconsin weekend getaways for couples?

If you want to walk around, enjoy the beautiful sights, and take some beautiful pictures, Big Manitou Falls is the best for you and your loved one. For island hopping activities, Have a mini-vacation at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

What are the best Wisconsin weekend getaways for singles?

Marinette County is a great choice for a beautiful waterfall experience, If you just want a food trip in Wisconsin The Fire Winery and Seguin’s House of cheese will be some of the best Wisconsin stops you will have!
You can also check Madison City, People here really friendly and very welcoming. It is a very natural and relaxed culture and a great place to vacation. Maybe after your trip here, You’ll end up with your special one already.

Where to go in Wisconsin for a weekend?

For Wisconsin weekend trips, Spend a weekend exploring the charming small towns, scenic beauty, and outdoor adventures like Door County, New Glarus, or Wausau.

What are the best Wisconsin trips for adults?

Some of the best Wisconsin trips for adults include exploring the breweries and culinary scene in Milwaukee, experiencing the vibrant arts and culture scene in Madison, or relaxing at luxury resorts and spas in Lake Geneva.

What are the best cheap Wisconsin getaways?

Some cheap weekend getaways in Wisconsin include camping and outdoor adventures in Devil’s Lake State Park, enjoying affordable outdoor activities and festivals in La Crosse, or experiencing the natural beauty and hiking trails of Kettle Moraine State Forest.

Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip 

For a quick overview, have a look at my Web Story about Weekend Trips in Wisconsin.

Jeff Krueger

Saturday 4th of February 2023

Hi Paulina, great article. But a note of correction... I grew up in the Devil's Lake area and the region was not known as the "Baraboo Hills", it is the "Baraboo Bluffs" which was created by ancient glaciers.


Monday 6th of February 2023

Hi Jeff, thank you for the heads up! This has been amended :)


Saturday 15th of August 2020

Victorian Village in Elkhart Lake closed in 2018. It reopened as The Shore Club in 2019.


Tuesday 25th of August 2020

Thank you so much dear Rea for your comment! It's updated now :) Happy travels!


Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Milwaukee seems amazing. We must visit him one day.


Monday 25th of February 2019

Hey! Yes it really is such a cool place to visit! When will you go?