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15 Fantastic Fall in Wisconsin Destinations

Guide to the best fall things to do in Wisconsin and places to visit for fun fall activities and events

Fall is the most beautiful season in Wisconsin – a time of year when the landscape turns magical, with colorful leaves, crisp air, and golden sunshine.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that fall is one of the best seasons to travel Wisconsin!

Whether you’re looking for charming small towns or camping sites surrounded by nature, there are plenty of fall in Wisconsin destinations.

From lakeside restaurants perfect for sunset dining to excellent biking trails through wooded areas, I’m going to share my favorite hidden gems and popular tourist spots across this wonderful state so that you can have an incredible fall adventure!

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1. Madison

places to visit in Wisconsin in fall , Autumn landscape with a group of canadian geese on a pond. Cloudy blue sky, yellow colored fall trees and a bridge reflect in a water in the Tenney city park in Madison, Wisconsin
Tenney City park. Madison, Wisconsin, Midwest USA

Known locally as Mad Town or Mad City, Madison is the capital city of Wisconsin.

The five lakes around which the city is set (Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa) form a magnificent backdrop to all the fun things to do in Madison.

A visit to the fall farmers’ market is a great way to spend an afternoon.

You’ll find numerous vendors selling all manner of seasonal goodies such as dried bouquets, apples, apple cider, winter squash, and pumpkins.

Wisconsin has a historically renowned brewing industry with the city of Madison being especially famed for its superb selection of craft beers.

One of the great fall activities Madison has to offer is a tour around some of the city’s brewers.

A fascinating fact for music lovers: Nirvana recorded their breakthrough album, Nevermind in Madison.

Book here the best tours in Madison, WI

2. Ephraim

door county wisconsin in fall , a view on ephraim, Wisconsin from the lake on a cloudy day
A view of Ephraim in Door County Wisconsin.

Door County. Wisconsin. Fall. You really can’t go wrong!

To spend some time in the beautiful harbor of Ephraim is to witness the fall in Door County at its absolute finest.

Bountiful colors and a stunning bay…what more could you possibly ask for?

Ephraim has a rich heritage and is famed for its white buildings.

Whether you want to kick back and relax or engage in some of the numerous fantastic hikes in Door County, there are so many things to do in Door County that Ephraim has you covered.

If you’re seeking some exercise, head to the Ephraim Preserve at Anderson Pond where you’ll find a 1-mile loop hiking trail over level ground.

Ephraim also presents opportunities for kiteboarding, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

In addition to the natural splendor you’ll encounter at every turn in stunning Ephraim, there are so many unique things to do in Door County in October.

If you are visiting Door County in September, you can also enjoy several regional festivals and activities.

And this charming village is a great base from which to explore them.

Book here the best Door County tours

3. Green Bay

fall events in Wisconsin, A view of the downtown of Green Bay Wisconsin with the court house, catholic church and other buildings in the center of the city.
View of downtown Green Bay, Wisconsin

Green Bay is a vibrant place where you’ll never be short of things to do in Wisconsin in the fall.

As well as being home to the famous Green Bay Packers, the city features a whole host of other attractions to make it a great place to stay in the fall.

While there are multiple attractions around this small, friendly city, the one that supersedes all others is the mighty Green Bay Packers.

The gridiron season begins in the fall and a trip to Lambeau Field to witness these trophy-hoovers in action is an absolute treat.

Tickets for the Packers can be expensive and sometimes hard to come by since it’s one of the top things to do in Green Bay.

However, if you’re a sports fan, don’t be discouraged as you can always visit the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame and Museum.

The place is packed with interesting sporting artifacts from the Packers’ rich history and is very reasonably priced too.

Book here the best Green Bay tours

4. Holy Hill

The best places to enjoy fall in Wisconsin, Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary
Fall in Holy Hill, WI

Holy Hill Basilica is located near Hubertus and is one of the most popular places to visit in Wisconsin in the fall and it’s easy to see why.

The Basilica is just a short drive from Milwaukee yet is a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Holy Hill is a great place from which to view the incredible fall colors in Wisconsin.

From atop the hill, you’ll be presented with magnificent views over the surrounding natural areas.

If the Basilica’s Scenic Tower is open, then the views from the top are even more spectacular.

There are many great hiking trails that weave through the woodland around Holy Hill so active types can combine a hike with a visit to the Basilica.

Remember that the Basilica is a Catholic place of worship, so when visiting ensure that you are respectful towards all worshippers.

Buy here the perfect Wisconsin itinerary

5. Osceola

best places to visit in Wisconsin in the fall, large waterfall with yellow leaves at forefront
Cascade Falls in Osceola, WI

Osceola bursts with small-town charm and is a great place in which to experience Wisconsin in the fall.

Amd there can be no better way to experience the beautiful fall colors than from the window of a vintage carriage on the magnificent Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway.

The Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway provides the ultimate fall train rides in Wisconsin.

This heritage railroad has been painstakingly restored to transport you back to a bygone era in the ornate, period-detailed carriages.

The leaf viewing trips begin in September. Departures are from the splendid SOO Line Depot in Osceola and run at 10;00, 12:00, 14:00 and 16:00 daily throughout the fall.

The 20-mile journey takes you along the St. Croix River, into Minnesota over the Cedar Bend Drawbridge, stops in Marine on St. Croix, then returns to Osceola.

Fall in Wisconsin takes on a whole new perspective throughout this magnificent journey.

Book here the best vacation rentals in Northern Wisconsin

6. Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells in the fall, Rocky cliffs and vegetation in the Wisconsin Dells
Wisconsin Dells in early fall

Wisconsin Dells in the fall offers a plethora of wonderful things to do on those Wisconsin fall getaways.

The whole city is based around providing you with three vacation necessities: fun, fun, and more fun.

In addition to all the fun theme parks, in late September every year the fun-packed Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival is one of the most fun-packed fall festivals in Wisconsin.

It gets boisterous so make sure you enter into the party spirit.

Wisconsin Dells is one of the most entertaining places to visit in Wisconsin in fall and the three days over which the Wo-Zha-Wa Days Fall Festival takes place are among the most convivial you’ll encounter.

What a great way to spend fall in Wisconsin!

There are many activities over the duration of the festival including a parade, an arts and crafts fair, antique flea market, street carnival.

If you’re visiting in the fall, things to do in Wisconsin don’t come much more fun than this!

Book here the best tours in Wisconin Dells, WI

7. Milwaukee

Fall activities in Milwaukee, wooden bridge in the forest connecting the seven bridges hiking trail
Seven Bridges, just outside of Milwaukee, WI

Fall in Milwaukee is a great time in which to spend some time in the city; all the better if your schedule allows you to celebrate Halloween here.

There are many things to do in Milwaukee in October, but Halloween is the king of them all.

Do you dare to stay in a haunted hotel? Because there’s a perfect one to stay at during Halloween in Milwaukee!

When it comes to haunted hotels in Wisconsin, none is more spook-infested than the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

Ghosts have been scaring the life out of guests here for years, which is why it’s one of the best fall activities in Milwaukee.

There have been numerous reports of strange sounds and sightings over the years so brace yourself.

Dating back to 1893, the magnificent Pfister Hotel is actually a great place to stay (if you don’t mind ghosts, of course).

The ornate grandeur of this majestic building sets the hotel out as a destination in its own right.

The city also offers perennials such as the Harley-Davidson Museum and Milwaukee Public Museum, which are some of the most unique things to do in Milwaukee.

To get a different perspective on the city, a boat trip out onto the awe-inspiring Lake Michigan is best experienced in the fall, allowing you to see the city at its most colorful.

There are many other great fall activities Milwaukee has to offer, including fun Milwaukee fall festivals, Halloween events for kids, and fall hikes to enjoy the colors!

Families will have their pick of things to do in Milwaukee with kids.

Book here the best tours in Milwaukee

8. Kettle Moraine State Forest

Where to go in Wisconsin in fall, Beautiful hillside of the Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin covered in flowers
Kettle Moraine State Forest in Wisconsin

Kettle Moraine State Forest is at its finest in the fall and what a great time to indulge in some fun outdoor activities in Wisconsin.

Fall presents the perfect climate to explore the magnificent mountain bike and hiking trails in Wisconsin.

The Scuppernong Trail System in Southern Kettle Moraine is home to many of the finest mountain bike trails in Wisconsin.

There are over 60 miles of purpose-built single-track mountain bike trails to suit all abilities, conveniently color-coded to indicate difficulty levels.

The countryside is at its most colorful at this time of year and the trails winding through the forest really come to life, making this one of the best fall activities in Wisconsin.

The fall climate is perfect for outdoor pursuits, so if you’re an active type looking for things to do in Wisconsin in fall, look no further because mountain biking is one of the greatest Wisconsin fall activities.

Buy here the perfect Wisconsin itinerary

9. Sturgeon Bay

What to do during fall in Door County Wisconsin, Sturgeon Bay Lighthouse at sunset
Sturgeon Bay Lighthouse at sunset

Magnificent Sturgeon Bay is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin in the fall.

The town is not only a fisherman’s mecca, it’s also a great place to take to the water with numerous opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, sailboat rides and jet-skiing.

While Sturgeon Bay is the largest town in Door County, the population is under ten thousand so the place has a very laidback, relaxing vibe, making it a great place in which to spend fall in Wisconsin.

Until the middle of October, the Sturgeon Bay Farmers Market operates on Saturday mornings, allowing you to sample some of the locally produced goodies on offer.

This charming town is a great base from which to tour the winding country roads of Door County, witnessing the fall in its full splendor.

A road trip through beautiful Door County is one of the best Wisconsin road trips, and fall is the perfect time to do it!

This is one of my favorite spots to visit in Wisconsin in November.

Book here the best vacation rentals in Door County, WI

10. Devil’s Lake State Park

things to do in Wisconsin in fall, Aerial view on the South shore beach and lake from rocky ice age hiking trail during sunset. Devil's Doorway location.
Devil’s Lake at the start of fall

For those seeking outdoor activities in Wisconsin, Devil’s Lake State Park is home to one of the finest Southern Wisconsin hiking trails.

If you’re looking for challenging Wisconsin fall activities, then the magnificent Ice Age National Scenic Trail is as hard as you want to make it.

The trail actually extends for around 1200 miles, but no one’s expecting you to walk it all at once!

Walking through the park in the fall is simply one of the best things to do in Wisconsin in fall.

Whichever part of the trail you attempt, you’ll be sure to encounter stunning scenery and those magnificent fall colors at their absolute finest.

There are many great camping sites in the park and fall shouldn’t be too cold for those wishing to bed down under canvas.

Book here the best Wisconsin Dells cabin rentals

11. Lake Geneva

best places for Wisconsin in the fall, View of Lake Geneva in the fall
Lake Geneva in fall

Lake Geneva is one of the most amazing places to visit in Wisconsin in fall.

A stroll along the sensational Lake Shore Path soaking in the magnificent colors of the season is a life-affirming experience that you’ll never forget.

In Lake Geneva, you’ll find countless opportunities to engage in outdoor activities.

However, if that’s not your thing, don’t worry as wherever you are in this beautiful location in fall, things to do in Wisconsin don’t come much finer than just sitting back and taking it all in.

The annual Oktoberfest takes place in downtown Lake Geneva around Broad Street and Flat Iron Park.

Held every October, in addition to the ubiquitous beer, you’ll find options for kids such as bounce houses and pony rides. There’s also a craft fair.

Above all, simply seeing the amazing fall colors reflecting off the lake is a sight to leave you with memories you will treasure all your life.

Book here the best tours in Lake Geneva, WI

12. Sister Bay

where to do in fall in Door County, aerial view of a coastal bay town surrounded on one side with bright green and blue waters and and on the other with miles of orange and yellow trees on a sunny day
Sister Bay in Fall

Sensational Sister Bay is a great place to just kick back and relax.

This laidback tourist town also provides a marvelous base from which to explore all the very best that stunning Door County has to offer.

If you’re planning on spending October in Wisconsin, then make sure to take in the Sister Bay Fall Festival.

Known as the ‘Granddaddy’ of all fall festivals Wisconsin has to offer, the festival features an arts and crafts fair, live entertainment and a joyous parade.

Fall in Wisconsin is an exquisite time of year.

To witness the dramatic autumnal colors throughout the region is something never to forget.

Delightful Sister Bay provides an extraordinary location in which to witness all of this and an amazing festival to boot.

So if you’re looking for things to do in Wisconsin in October, look no further!

Book here the best cabin rentals in Door County

13. Minocqua

best lake places in Wisconsin for fall foliage, hillside fall foliage with reflection in lake
Lake Wisconsin in fall

Beautiful Minocqua is a great place to visit at any time of year but it springs to life in the fall so don’t miss out!

There’s so much to do here that it makes a magnificent place in which to base yourself for a vacation, however long you plan on staying.

Taking to the water is a splendid way in which to see the beautiful autumnal colors of fall in Wisconsin from a different perspective.

With the splendid Lake Minocqua to the east and Kawaguesaga Lake to the west, Minocqua is perfect for those wishing to take to the water.

Boat rentals in Minocqua, WI can be made through R&R Rentals, located near the Boathouse Restaurant.

They offer a variety of boats and you can rent by the day, or longer if you wish.

This is a great place from which to launch a voyage into the Lake Minocqua Chain, which features some of the best lakes in Wisconsin, including the awesome Tomahawk Lake to the South.

Book here the best cabin rentals in Northern Wisconsin

14. Rib Mountain State Park

things to do in Wisconsin in the fall, view from Granite Peak over miles of fields and trees in the fall on a sunny day
View from Granite Peak in Rib Mountain State Park, WI

If you’re seeking things to do in Central Wisconsin a visit to the magnificent Rib Mountain State Park is a must.

Rib Mountain is the tallest in the whole state and offers spectacular views out over the sensational hues of fall in Wisconsin.

To experience those spectacular views, throughout the fall you can take a scenic chairlift ride at the Granite Peak Ski Area of the park.

The ascent on the chairlift provides you with a bird’s eye view of the stunning countryside.

The chairlift is open from early September through to late October – but check before departure for the exact dates and times.

Buy here the perfect Wisconsin itinerary

15. Kenosha

places to enjoy fall in Wisconsin, Kenosha Dunes Trail
Kenosha Dunes Trail

Kenosha is a city packed with great museums and significant cultural highlights.

But for those seeking less cerebral activities what better way to celebrate fall in Wisconsin than by sampling the finest brews on offer at the Great Lakes Brew Fest?

This expansive beer festival is held every September on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan.

If you’re a beer (or cider) lover, then fall events in Wisconsin simply don’t get better than this.

There are over 300 craft beers and ciders from almost 75 brewers to choose from!

Wisconsin’s brewing tradition dates back to the first settlers, with influxes from northern Europe bringing brewing traditions and establishing what was to become the largest brewing industry in the country!

So what a great way to immerse yourself in this culture!

This festival is great value as your admission ticket includes unlimited sampling of all the brews.

Ticket prices start at $50 and are even less for designated drivers.

Book here the best vacation rentals in Kenosha, WI

Fall in Wisconsin is a truly magical experience. To see the magnificent colors is to witness nature at its finest.

Not only that, the range of activities at this time of year is truly spectacular and provides the opportunity for a vacation that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

In this article, I’ve presented an overview of many of the great places to go and things to do throughout the state so that you can combine some fun things with your sightseeing.

So book that trip and prepare to be amazed!

Short FAQ About Fall in Wisconsin

What are the fall months in Wisconsin?

Officially fall starts on Septeber 22, but really it starts to feel like fall in Wisconsin from early to mid-September. Fall activities in Wisconsin continue until Thanksgiving, then it starts to feel like winter.

What is the best time for fall colors in Wisconsin?

It varies from city to city, and especially North to South, but generally from late-September to mid-October is the best time to visit Wisconsin in fall if you want to enjoy the changing colors. The further north you go, the early the leaves change.

What are the best fall activities in Milwaukee?

The fall activities Milwaukee offers change a bit every year, but you can always count on fun Halloween festivities and fall festivals. Hiking in the surrounding areas is also a great fall activity. For the brave, try staying in a haunted hotel!

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