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33 Fun Wisconsin Fall Getaways [2024 Update]

A guide to cool fall getaways in Wisconsin and other fun things to do in Wisconsin in fall

Although the weather may be getting colder and the days shorter, the arrival of fall is no reason to give up on traveling.

Especially when Wisconsin has so much to offer all year round – and Wisconsin fall getaways are truly something special.

If you are looking for somewhere great to go in the fall, travel Wisconsin and explore all the amazing places the state has to offer in autumn.

While winters in this USA state are severely cold, fall still offers pleasant conditions for enjoying all the events and attractions the state offers.

Without further ado, let’s look at some of the best fall getaways in Wisconsin to suit the needs of every traveler.

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Table of Contents

Overview: Top 5 Wisconsin Fall Getaways

  • Do a Wisconsin Fall Color Road trip
  • Go Hiking in Door County
  • Visit the Holy Hill
  • Do the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive
  • Attend Northern Wisconsin Pumpkin Patches

1. Do a Wisconsin Fall Color Road trip

Best fall color getaway in wisconsin, White-tailed deer crossing a road in Wausau, Wisconsin with a corridor of leafy trees in various shades of fall colors to the sides

As a state rich in varied glacial topography, woodland, and state parks, Wisconsin is the perfect place to enjoy the arrival of fall.

And luckily there are a lot of amazing places to see the fall colors in Wisconsin!

Leaves typically begin to change color in Wisconsin in mid-September and continue to burn red, orange, and yellow until mid-October.

To make absolutely sure you visit at the right time, check out the fall reports or online pictures.

Take the 70-mile Hilltop Color Tour from Wausau to Neillsville in central Wisconsin to witness the colorful spectacle from the comfort of your car.

Interestingly, this route will take you to three of the state’s highest mountains.

Two of these feature 60-foot observation towers, so you’ll be able to get a breathtaking view of the forest from above.

Another great location is The Hayward Lakes Area in the north of the state.

The region is home to some of the best lakes in Wisconsin, and it features six routes designed specifically for viewing Wisconsin fall colors while driving.

Conveniently, the routes, ranging from around 45 to 70 miles in length, are marked with leaf-symbol road signs, so there’s no danger of getting lost!

2. Stay in a Romantic Cabin

front of lake view cabin in Wisconsin with lit campfire in the foreground and tall trees to either side during sunset

Fall is the perfect time for a quiet getaway for just the two of you, and there are many Wisconsin weekend getaways for couples.

So, take a break from your daily routine and head to best fall vacations for couples in Wisconsin for a romantic cabin stay!

There are plenty of romantic cabins in Wisconsin to choose from in case you’re planning romantic getaways in Wisconsin.

Here is a list of some of the most romantic cabins in Wisconsin in fall:

The Cabin by the River in southwestern Wisconsin has a wonderfully rustic feel and will make for a cozy location for romantic fall getaways in Wisconsin.

The Musky Lodge in Eagle River, meanwhile, offers an upscale experience with lake views and a large patio.

For a truly special time together, consider renting the Seth Peterson Cottage in southern Wisconsin, 120 miles west of Milwaukee.

Located in the Mirror Lake State Park, the cottage is famous for being the final Wisconsin project of the world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

No wonder that this State Park is often considered as one of the best state parks in Wisconsin and the best fall vacations in Wisconsin.

3. Visit Lake Geneva in the Fall

calm waters of the lake in the foreground and a rolling collection of trees in fall colors on the opposite bank

One of the most popular Wisconsin fall getaways is Lake Geneva – and for good reason!

Lake Geneva is southeastern Wisconsin’s most popular resort town for a series of very good reasons.

The city has it all: beautiful lakeside views, luxurious spas, gorgeous architecture, and plenty of activities for visitors of all ages.

Coming to Lake Geneva in the fall, you can enjoy the town at its best, surrounded by fall colors and without the typical summer crowds.

The best things to do in Lake Geneva include enjoying fine dining at local restaurants, exploring the shops and museums, and taking a scooter or a boat tour.

I also enjoy simply relaxing and taking in the atmosphere in some of the best spas and resorts in Wisconsin.

Families will enjoy the Tristan Crist Magic Theatre, the Lake Geneva Ziplines and Adventures park, and the safari featuring animals from around the world.

As for where to stay in Lake Geneva, consider the Mill Creek Hotel, The Geneva Inn, or the Geneva Beach House holiday home for a “home away from home” feel.

Alternatively, stay in nearby Fontana at the Abbey Resort, one of the best spa resorts in Wisconsin.

If you are based in Milwaukee, Lake Geneva is one of the best fall day trips in Wisconsin, too!

The city is also one of the best fall weekend getaways in Wisconsin for couples, and there are some great romantic getaways in Lake Geneva.

4. Stay in a Sumptuous, Luxury Cabin in Wisconsin

a view of a cabin with lights turned on, trees at the back and grass on the yard with a dark sky

If busy resorts are not your thing, or you’re looking to go on a short getaway with a large group of friends, consider renting one of the many luxurious cabins in Wisconsin.

You can enjoy hiking, fishing, or simply spending time together during the day and gather around a crackling fire in the evening, all while surrounded by beautiful autumn colors.

The Lakefront Hayward Home is a great recommendation, located in the middle of a large system of lakes in northwestern Wisconsin.

The large, luxurious cabin has a fire pit, a dock, and a game room, so there’s always plenty to do together.

It’s one of the best luxury cabins in Wisconsin and is perfect for Wisconsin fall getaways for couples.

The beautiful Waterfront Eagle River Lake Home is equally worth considering, featuring a large patio.

5. Go Kayaking in Apostle Islands

group of people kayaking in door county

Famous for their unique red sandstone cliffs and sea caves, the Apostle Islands are located in northwestern Wisconsin, on Lake Superior.

Although this area is especially popular in the summer and during the winter months, when the lake freezes, and visitors can explore the ice caves, it’s just as beautiful in the fall.

You’ll find some of the best outdoor activities in Wisconsin here – including kayaking!

Kayaking is one of the Apostle Islands’ most popular activities, given that it’s the perfect way to view the cliffs and explore the islands and sea caves.

The town of Bayfield is the main access point for the islands, where you can rent kayaks or join a kayaking tour of the area.

If you’re looking for other things to do in Apostle Islands, consider hiking, camping on one of the remote islands, taking a cruise tour, or visiting the city of La Pointe on Madeline Island.

No wonder that the Apostle Islands are often considered as one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin in the fall. Feel free to check out kayaking tours in Wisconsin.

6. Go Hiking in Door County

people hanging out lakeside at low sunset with the bright red sun reflected in the still waters of the lake in the distance

Thanks to the broad choice of trails and gorgeous views, hiking is one of the best things to do in Door County.

In fall, there is much less traffic on the hikes in Door County in fall, and the fall colors make the trip all the more memorable.

More demanding, expert hikers should head for the Door Bluff Headlands County Park.

The Newport State Park, meanwhile, offers easier trails, characterized by being long but fairly flat.

Nature-lovers should head to The Ridges Sanctuary, to take part in a guided tour focusing on the diverse fauna and flora observable from the trails.

Door County is also known for having some of the best fall colors in Wisconsin, which is why hiking is one of the best things to do in Door County in October.

Door County in September is also a favorite time to visit as the colors are beautiful, the weather is ideal, and there are fewer people on the trails.

Door County, Wisconsin, looks spectacular during these months of fall foliage and provides many fall activities in Wisconsin for you to enjoy during your stay.

No wonder many consider it to be one of the most popular weekend trips in Wisconsin.

7. Make a city trip to Milwaukee

skyline view of Milwaukee at sunset with a series of tall skyscrapers lit by sporadic lights standing on the banks of a large body of water under a clear sky

Though Milwaukee is famous for its beer and cheese production, it has a lot more to offer!

In fact, it’s the perfect city for short Wisconsin fall getaways as a couple, a family, or a group.

There is a series of museums in the city to explore during colder fall weather, including the Harley-Davidson Museum and the iconic Milwaukee Art Museum.

You can also take part in a food tour to taste authentic local delicacies, visit one of the many breweries and learn about Milwaukee’s rich beer history, or enjoy a day out at the zoo.

As Kenosha is also only 45-minute drive from Milwaukee, it might be a great idea when looking for day trips from Milwaukee.

There are several best things to do in Kenosha, such as visiting the Dinosaur Discovery Museum and the Civil War Museum.

If you visit at the end of October, be sure to enjoy all the fun events on Halloween in Milwaukee.

Of course, there are many more fun things to do in Milwaukee in October, not just for Halloween.

You’ll also find a lot of great Milwaukee fall festivals to enjoy throughout September and October.

If you are looking still for where to stay in Milwaukee, I recommend having a look at The Pfister Hotel, one of the top addresses in town.

The city is an ideal city for a romantic getaway, and there are also many great romantic hotels in Milwaukee to make your stay extra special.

Milwaukee is also home to two of the most haunted hotels in Wisconsin, which are the perfect place to stay during a fall getaway.

If you are more of an Airbnb fan, have a look at my curated list of the best Airbnbs in Milwaukee.

8. Do a weekend getaway in a Luxury Resort

interior of resort with high beams, couches and stone walls

Fall is the perfect time to take a little time for yourself and spend a relaxing weekend in a luxury resort.

As it happens, there are plenty of great accommodation options in Wisconsin.

Take advantage of the indoor pool and hot tub at the AppleCreek Resort in Fish Creek, Door County.

If you do stay in Fish Creek, be sure to check out the Alexander Noble House, one of the most haunted places in Wisconsin.

Alternatively, go for the full celebrity treatment at the Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, offering a private beach and on-site spa.

For a fun and luxurious take on fall weekend getaways in Wisconsin, consider The Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee, just west of Milwaukee.

This resort features an indoor waterpark free for guests of the hotel, as well as great dining options, including local Wisconsin specialties, such as Friday fish fry.

All these facilities make this resort one of the best luxury resorts in Wisconsin.

9. Do the Marinette County’s Waterfall Tour

fall folliage with trees cut piled on the side with brown leaves on a walkway

Why not combine admiring the state’s fall colors with visiting some of the spectacular waterfalls the state has to offer?

The Marinette County Waterfall Tour is the answer to this question, forming a 125-mile loop that offers marvelous views of 14 waterfalls.

This place is home to some of the best waterfalls in Northern Wisconsin and is one of the best places to visit in the fall in the whole state!

The tour starts at Menominee River near Niagara and winds its way to the village of Crivitz, stopping at observation points for the waterfalls.

You can complete the whole tour in one day or take it slow and stop along the way for camping, a spot for hiking, or simply to relax and take in the views and atmosphere.

It’s also the perfect occasion to bring your vegan hiking boots or backpacks made from recycled material.

10. Explore the Upper Mississippi River Valley

view of mississippi and wisconsin rivers surrounded by a sea of green trees all under a wide open blue sky

For more opportunities to enjoy Wisconsin’s fall colors, as well as many other attractions, consider exploring the Upper Mississippi River Valley by driving the so-called Great River Road.

The route takes its name from the fact that the river is very wide here, with sandstone bluffs on either side.

The 250-mile trip will include much more than stunning views of the river and the surrounding woodland, though.

There are plenty of villages along the way, with attractions well worth a visit.

For instance, the Potosi Brewing Company Museum is a popular stop, as are the historic towns of Genoa and La Crosse.

There are five wine tasting venues to visit, too, including free samples of locally produced wine at the Seven Hawks Vineyards.

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11. Cycle one of Wisconsin’s “Rails to Trails” routes

person on a bike cycling along a path surrounded by fall colors

Another great way to enjoy the last of the good weather and admire Wisconsin’s fall colors is cycling one of the many rails to trails routes in the state.

Because the trails are, in fact, converted rail corridors, they’re wide and mostly flat. Bikers of all ages and experience levels can easily manage the trip.

The 41-mile Badger State Trail, for instance, connects Madison to the border with Illinois and runs mostly through farmland and forests.

With several small communities along the way, there are plenty of places to stop for food and rest along the way.

The trail also features a 1,200 ft (365 m) tunnel and several bridges to cross.

The Ahnapee State Park Trail is another great recommendation, located in the famously scenic Door County.

Stretching for almost 40 miles between Sturgeon Bay and Casco, the trail offers cafes, vineyards, and rest stops, as well as truly spectacular views, of course!

When in the area, don’t forget to taste the legendary Wisconsin beer cheese soup in any of the restaurants close by. You can also see Wisconsin biking guides here.

12. Do the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive

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
  • 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.

If you’re up for a long but thoroughly interesting drive, check out the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive. You won’t be disappointed!

This scenic drive covers a total of 115 miles one way between Elkhart Lake and Whitewater Lake.

You can take the route from north to south or south to north. It’s one of the best scenic drives in Wisconsin.

Just follow the acorn signs beside the road and the driving instructions available at all Kettle Moraine State Forest offices.

Along the way, you’ll get to enjoy the glorious fall colors, see some fascinating historic sites, and rest at one of the many recreation areas.

The route’s main selling point, however, is its unique landscapes and views of the glacial terrain of Wisconsin.

In fact, the name “Kettle Moraine” comes from one such type of glacial landform, which is an accumulation of rocks left behind by a retreating glacier.

13. Stay in a resort in Northern Wisconsin

the shallows resort with wooden jetty next to stony beach with several kayaks resting next to green trees and grass with a series of apartments behind
Shallows Resort in Northern Wisconsin

To get away from crowds, enjoy a relaxing weekend at one of the many resorts, especially in Northern Wisconsin.

This region is one of the best for fun weekend getaways in Wisconsin, and you’ll find lots of wonderful things to do in Northern Wisconsin.

There are also many options for great resorts in Northern Wisconsin, no matter what your travel style.

For a fun-filled, active stay, consider heading to Minocqua and staying at the Waters of Minocqua.

With an in-house waterpark and a volleyball court, this resort will be the perfect choice for families and those looking for adventure.

The Minocqua Northwoods Zip Line Park is another one of the best things to do in Minocqua and is perfect for hours of fun zipping in the fall-color canopy!

For spectacular fall landscapes, visit Northern Door County and discover all the amazing things to do in Door County!

14. Have fun in Wisconsin Dells

aerial view of Mt. Olympus Resort with a big pool and small islands, trees, and rides

Wisconsin Dells, in the south of the state, is a city known primarily for its many adventure centers and theme parks.

So there’s no better destination for fall Wisconsin getaways to suit the whole family. This is one of the best destinations for family vacations in Wisconsin.

When looking for fun things to do in Wisconsin Dells, you can go for watersports, spa treatments, shopping, or enjoy outdoor sports.

There are several water parks in the area, including Noah’s Ark Waterpark, Kalahari Resorts Dells, and Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park Resort.

Nature lovers will enjoy the wide selection of wildlife parks and animal-related attractions in the area, including the Wisconsin Deer Park and Timbavati Wildlife Park.

Wisconsin Dells also offers more unusual and unique attractions, such as the Alligator Alley Adventures, where you can feed a real gator!

The city is home to some of the best escape rooms in Wisconsin, which is a fun way to spend an afternoon with friends and family or even as a romantic outing.

There’s also a magic theater and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a curious museum filled with illusions, puzzles, and oddities to fascinate kids and adults alike.

Wisconsin Dells in the fall is just as fun as in the summer, except with fewer queues and smaller crowds.

Plus, it’s the perfect place to spend Halloween in Wisconsin for families!

15. Go hiking near the best waterfalls in Northern Wisconsin

a waterfall cascading through rocks with autumn trees at the top

For a state with such flat terrain, Wisconsin boasts a surprising number of waterfalls, the products of glacial, varied topography.

For unforgettable fall hiking memories, head to Copper Falls State Park, around 25 miles south of the city of Ashland.

The park features some of the best waterfalls in North Wisconsin, made all the more scenic in the fall by the falling red leaves.

The Copper Falls and Brownstone waterfalls are particularly worth visiting. Both can be reached by hiking the 1.7-mile Doughboy’s Trail.

These great natural views make this trail one of the best hiking trails in Wisconsin.

To make your vacation in Wisconsin extra special, go to Pattison State Park in Douglas County to see the tallest waterfall in the state.

Big Manitou Falls is 165 feet (50 m) in height and is the fourth-highest waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains.

The waterfall can be admired from a viewpoint near the parking area, but it’s well worth hiking the 1.5-mile trail to see it up close.

Along the way, you’ll also see the 30-foot Little Manitou Falls. It’s thus definitely a great Wisconsin vacation idea.

16. Go Apple Picking in an Apple Orchard

people apple picking in orchard with lush red apples hanging on the branches of rows of green apple trees

Fall is the time of harvest, and in Wisconsin, harvest is almost synonymous with apples.

Apple orchards make for some of the best fall weekend getaways in Wisconsin, so start planning yours now!

The Erickson Orchard in Bayfield is one of the most popular apple-picking spots in the north of the state.

If you time your visit for the first week of October, you’ll get to take part in the annual Apple Festival!

This is one of the most popular fall Wisconsin festivals, with live entertainment and lots of fun contests and activities.

In southern Wisconsin, consider the Eplegaarden Orchard & Pumpkin Farm, just a 20-minute drive away from central Madison.

As well as apples, the old-fashioned orchard also offers pumpkins and raspberries, as well as special events with live music, hayrides, and much more!

17. Attend Northern Wisconsin Pumpkin Patches

couple and baby at a pumpkin patch in Wisconsin

If visiting a pumpkin patch sounds boring, think again!

In addition to pumpkins, most patches offer plenty of other attractions that will make for a fun day out and ensure you never run out of things to do in North Wisconsin.

For example, at the Schultz’s Country Barn in Eleva, Trempealeau County, you can play in a corn maze, visit a petting zoo, and buy fresh local produce in addition to picking pumpkins.

The Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Lodi, Columbia County, offers similar attractions, as well as wagon rides and a tractor tire playground.

18. Do a fall hike to Timm’s Hill

Aerial view of wide valley full of lush green and yellow trees from rocky ice age hiking trail during sunset hours

At 1951.5 ft (595 m), Timm’s Hill is Wisconsin’s highest natural point, and you can reach it by hiking one of the many trails in the surrounding County Park.

The shortest trail is less than half a mile long and suitable for all skill levels.

For the full experience, consider hiking the Timm’s Hill National Trail, which connects the hill to the Ice Age Trail.

The full Timm’s Hill National Trail stretches over 10 miles, passing a series of lakes as well as other glacial formations.

To hike the trail, head to Timm’s Hill County Park near the town of Ogema.

The views from the observation tower at the top of Timm’s Hill will be worth the trip as you can see the varied surrounding terrain swimming in red, orange, and yellow Wisconsin fall foliage from above.

19. Ride from Osceola to St. Croix Valley via Train

close up shot of some people looking out of the window of a long orange train

The small, unassuming town of Osceola, located on St. Croix River, which constitutes part of the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota, hides several hidden tourist gems.

One of the most charming of these is the historic train station offering scenic tours on vintage trains.

In the fall, take the Fall Colors Train Ride for extra special Wisconsin fall getaways.

This 1.5-hour round-trip will take you to the most scenic woodland in the area, giving you the opportunity to experience fall foliage from aboard a historic train.

If you’d like to learn more about the history of railways and historic trains, take the Transportation Museum Historic Tour.

The Marine Tour is well worth recommending, too, as you’ll get to see the gorgeous St. Croix River Valley with gorgeous waterfalls along the way and views of the beautiful sandstone bluffs.

The landscape is absolutely stunning and has been the setting for several movies set in Wisconsin.

Speaking of waterfalls, don’t miss the Cascade Falls waterfall while you’re in the area, hidden away in a quiet gorge right in the middle of the village.

20. Go on a football weekend in Madison

close up shot of football players squaring off against each other and about to resume play

Football fans can’t miss the thrill of attending a football game in the capital of Wisconsin.

With the football season in full swing in fall, it’s the perfect time for sports-fueled Wisconsin weekend getaways.

The Camp Randall Stadium in Madison is the home turf of the Wisconsin Badgers, so named after the early 19th century Wisconsin prospectors allegedly “living like badgers.”

Make sure you arrive early, too, to take advantage of the fun events and activities preceding the game.

The Badger Bash and Badgeville tailgate parties start around 2.5 hours before the game and involve food, drink, and lots of live entertainment. You can buy tickets online.

21. Holy Hill

view of the Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary with its two large pointed towers sitting atop a hill covered in trees bearing fall colors all under a bright clear sky

Standing on a hilltop surrounded by 435 acres of beautiful tree-covered land, Holy Hill is one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin in November and one of the best places to visit in fall in general.

Located a short car ride from downtown Milwaukee, this 140-year-old Catholic shrine began as a hermitage in the late 19th century.

The buildings standing today, which replaced some of the original structures, are one hundred years old and a feast for the eyes of history and architecture lovers.

Make sure to take the family fruit picking in the apple orchards – the rich soil means the fruit here is tangy and delicious.

When visiting, remember to be respectful because while it is one of the best places to go in fall, it is still a sacred religious site.

22. Lapham Peak

View looking down an outdoor flight of wooden steps set into the side of a hill all covered in fallen autumn leaves with green trees and shrubs either side

If you travel directly west of Milwaukee on the I-94, you’ll find Lapham Peak, one of Wisconsin’s State Parks nestled in the Kettle Moraine State Forest.

This lush nature area is one of the best fall trips for couples who love the outdoors and who like to be active.

There are more than 17 miles of loop trails to explore, including the Prairie Path and the moderately challenging Ice Age Trail.

Make sure to climb the 45-foot observation tower at the highest point of the hill for sweeping views of the park!

If Lapham Peak is on your itinerary for places to visit in fall in Wisconsin, the changing leaves will take your breath away.

You can also learn about the natural world at the park’s Hausmann Nature Center, which is an excellent educational stop for families taking weekend trips from Milwaukee.

23. Rib Mountain State Park

view from Granite Peak over miles of fields and trees in the fall on a sunny day

The hill at Rib Mountain State Park in Wisconsin is one of the oldest geological formations on Earth – it’s over a billion years old.

It’s also a great answer if you’re wondering where to go in Wisconsin for a weekend.

This central Wisconsin green space has plenty of outdoor things to do for all ages, including hiking, picnicking and hunting, as well as winter activities in the colder months.

The park also has an observation tower and an amphitheater, with fun live music events running throughout the year.

If you’re after some quality skiing or winter hiking with some great scenery thrown in, then Rib Mountain is one of the best fall trips for couples in Wisconsin.

24. Havenwoods State Forest

view of a long dirt path through woodland covered in fallen fall leaves with many trees surrounding the path

Thinking of planning some Wisconsin weekend getaways at a more relaxed pace? Havenwoods State Forest will suit you nicely.

These 237 acres of serene grasslands and wetlands can be enjoyed by hikers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts alike, making this one of the best fall places to visit in Wisconsin.

Because this is the state’s only urban state forest, you can treat this as one of the best hidden Wisconsin getaways. This park is like an island of natural beauty in the city of Milwaukee.

Like many of the vacation spots Wisconsin has to offer, Havenwoods State Forest has plenty of hiking and biking trails for you to discover.

There’s also the Trek Through Time Trail, which is a geocaching paradise for both history lovers and puzzle solvers.

25. University of Wisconsin Arboretum

view of Arboretum in Madison, University Of Wisconsin with large rooftop covered in solar panels sitting among some tall brown grass under a clear azure blue sky
Arboretum in Madison, University Of Wisconsin

As the name would suggest, this university arboretum is a utopia of ecological restoration research and learning.

This vast collection of natural areas, including savannahs, prairies, woodlands, and wetlands, lies in the state capital of Madison and is one of the most unique places to visit in Wisconsin.

There are thousands of different plants, trees, and shrubs to be seen here, as well as 17 miles of walking trails on which to enjoy them.

Those wishing to learn should head to the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden, which has more than 300 species of native plants that have been restored on the arboretum’s grounds.

If you or your partner love the natural world, the Arboretum makes for one of the most romantic getaways in Wisconsin in November.

26. Blue Mound State Park

view of large rocky cliff standing amongst some green grass and shrubs under a clear blue sky

For one of the most beautiful places in Wisconsin in the fall, make sure to head down to Blue Mound State Park to enjoy the wonders of nature.

The park is less than 40 minutes drive west of Madison WI, perfect for anyone looking for some relaxing Wisconsin fall weekend getaways.

There are over 20 miles of scenic trails to be found here, with opportunities for mountain biking and hiking, as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing later in your Wisconsin fall break.

In fact, Blue Mound State Park is part of the Military Ridge State Trail, which passes straight through the park on its way from Fitchburg to Dodgeville.

One reason why Blue Mound is one of the best places to visit in fall in Wisconsin is that it contains the highest elevated point in all of southern Wisconsin.

From 1,719 feet you’ll be able to see a vast view of the changing fall leaf colors from one of the two observation towers – it’s a great place for a photo.

There’s another unique reason to add Blue Mound to your Wisconsin fall destinations checklist: it has the only swimming pool to be found in a Wisconsin State Park!

Make sure to bring your furry friends because this entire park is pet friendly, and don’t forget to visit the nature center for some fascinating natural history exhibits.

Who said the best fall trips in Wisconsin can’t involve a bit of learning?

27. Attend the Warrens WI Cranberry Festival

field of bright red Cranberry marsh with more in the distance

One of the best parts of fall are the seasonal foods and flavors.

But while most people fill their Wisconsin fall vacations with apples and cinnamon, there’s one ingredient that you shouldn’t forget: cranberries.

More than half of the nation’s cranberry supply comes from Wisconsin.

To celebrate this fact, there’s a little event that’s held every year in a small place between Milwaukee and Minneapolis, just off I-94.

Head to Warrens WI in the Fall, and you can take part in the annual Warrens Cranberry Festival. It’s one of the places to visit in Wisconsin in September for this reason!

Here you can enjoy all the fun of a county fair, with market stalls, competitions, handicrafts and a parade, plus all the cranberries you can carry.

The Cranberry Festival is one of the best Wisconsin fall getaways for families – there’s so much to do!

Plus, attending the festival is part of a good cause, as much of the proceeds are given to various charities and scholarships in the area, encouraging local education and amenities.

So if you want to have a fun day out and experience one of the most unique fall weekend getaways Wisconsin has to offer, Warrens is where you need to be.

28. Explore the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

view of paved path leading through trees showing fall colors with plenty of fallen leaves on the ground all under a bright blue sky
  • Accommodation Options: The best way to enjoy the beauty of this area is by renting a cabin or a cottage. This cabin is tranquility in a nutshell and comes with its private dock. I am also obsessed with this secluded cabin.

It’s time for one of the biggest and best places to visit in Wisconsin in fall: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest!

This sweeping area of natural beauty covers more than one and a half million acres of Wisconsin land, with all kinds of flora and fauna to enjoy in gorgeous fall colors.

There are plenty of cute and majestic animals to encounter as well.

By wandering among the trails here, you might see foxes, beavers, river otters, chipmunks, elk and white-tailed deer, as well as plenty of birds and fish in the rivers and lakes.

This truly is one of the best fall destinations in Wisconsin to enjoy the natural world!

You can spend plenty of Wisconsin fall day trips visiting all the beautiful waterfalls (I’ve mentioned a few above), the expansive lakes and all the hiking trails and tracks among the trees.

Bring your partner and a picnic and enjoy one of the most memorable romantic fall getaways Wisconsin can give you!

29. Visit New Glarus

an old brick building with a stone archway and stairs in front of it with a white building and green roof at the back
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Known as “America’s Little Switzerland,” New Glarus offers a unique blend of Swiss heritage and Midwestern charm, making this one of the best fall spots in Wisconsin. 

The town’s distinctive architecture, with its chalet-style buildings and colorful murals, creates a picturesque setting that feels like a European village. 

In the fall, the surrounding rolling hills burst into vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor activities. 

If you don’t know where to go in Wisconsin in the fall, New Glarus is the answer!

30. Check out Lighthouses

Cana Island Light Station in an island surrounded with green and orange trees surrounded by a body of water

Exploring lighthouses in Wisconsin is a fantastic fall activity, offering scenic beauty and a glimpse into the maritime history of the region.

One of the highlights of the season is the Door County Fall Lighthouse Festival, which is one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin in October. 

This festival offers guided tours, both by land and water, allowing visitors to explore lighthouses that are often not open to the public.

Participating lighthouses include Cana Island Lighthouse, Eagle Bluff Lighthouse, and the newly restored Chambers Island Lighthouse.

Special photography tours and night tours may be available, providing a different perspective on these storied beacons.

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31. Enjoy a Scenic Train Ride

a red and white train traveling down the tracks with trees around
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Taking a scenic train ride is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of Wisconsin’s countryside, especially in the fall. 

Two standout options are the East Troy Electric Railroad and the Mid-Continent Railway Museum.

The East Troy Electric Railroad offers a charming journey through the picturesque landscapes of southeastern Wisconsin and operates vintage electric trolleys.

The Mid-Continent Railway Museum in North Freedom offers a different but equally enchanting experience. 

This heritage railway features historic steam and diesel trains that take passengers on a leisurely trip through the scenic Baraboo Hills.

Both train rides offer a unique and relaxing way to enjoy Wisconsin’s natural beauty, making this one of the best things to do in wisconsin in November.

32. Explore Corn Mazes

View down a long corridor in a corn field with ears of yellow brown corn either side of the path under a bright cloudy sky

Explore corn mazes at places like Treinen Farm in Lodi, Schuster’s Farm in Deerfield, or Creek Bed County in Poynette for some classic fall fun.

Treinen Farm in Lodi is known for its elaborate and challenging corn maze designs. They offer a fun-filled adventure for visitors of all ages, along with other activities like pumpkin picking and hayrides.

Schuster’s Farm features a variety of attractions, including a well-designed corn maze, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, and hayrides.

Creek Bed Country Farmacy in Poynette offers a unique twist on the traditional corn maze experience with themed designs and interactive challenges.

These are Wisconsin places to visit in fall for children and adults wanting to have some fun!

33. Attend Fall Festivals

closeup of a woman blowing confetti

Wisconsin is home to numerous vibrant Wisconsin fall festivals that capture the essence of the season with food, music, and a plethora of fun activities.

The Cedarburg Wine & Harvest Festival in September offers wine tastings, grape stomping, arts and crafts, live entertainment, and delicious local food. 

Cedarburg’s historic downtown provides a charming backdrop for this celebration. This city is truly one of the best places to visit in Wisconsin in September!

Another one of the most notable is the Cranberry Festival in Warrens, held every September. As the largest cranberry festival in the world. 

A highlight is the Bayfield Apple Festival, which takes place in early October. This festival celebrates the apple harvest with an array of apple-related products, a grand parade, and local arts and crafts. 

Visitors can enjoy apple picking, live music, and the beautiful autumn scenery of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands, making these places to visit in Wisconsin in October.

For those who love a good beer and a lively atmosphere, the Oktoberfest in La Crosse is a fantastic option. It features traditional German music, dancing, parades, and, of course, plenty of beer.

Short FAQ about amazing Fall Getaways in Wisconsin

What are the best fall day trips in Wisconsin?

Lake Geneva, hiking in Door County, or do the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive are some of the best fall day trips in Wisconsin.

Where to do a fall color drive in Wisconsin?

As a state rich in varied glacial topography, woodland, and state parks, Wisconsin is the perfect place to enjoy the arrival of fall. The Hayward Lakes Area in the north of the state, features six routes designed specifically for viewing Wisconsin fall colors while driving.

Where to go on a Wisconsin fall train ride?

Osceola & St. Croix Valley are best places to go on a Wisconsin fall train ride.

Where are the best fall colors in Wisconsin?

Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary, Lake Geneva, Havenwoods State Forest and Devil’s Lake State Park.

What is there to do in Wisconsin in the fall? 

National Parks with hiking trails and outdoor activities, picking fall fruit such as apples, skiing and snowboarding on some peaks and much more.

What are the best places to visit Wisconsin in the fall?   

There are so many choices for unforgettable Wisconsin fall getaways. From the cities of Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay to the apple orchards and pumpkin patches in the countryside, Wisconsin has gorgeous fall scenery wherever you look!

What are the best fall towns in Wisconsin?

The best fall towns in Wisconsin include Door County, Bayfield, Lake Geneva, New Glarus, Minocqua, Fish Creek, and Cedarburg. Each offers stunning fall foliage, charming settings, and seasonal activities.

What are the best places to visit in Wisconsin in September?

The best fall places to visit in Wisconsin in September include Door County for its charming towns and scenic drives, Milwaukee for its vibrant festivals, Madison for the bustling farmers’ markets and University events, and the Kettle Moraine State Forest for hiking and enjoying early fall foliage.

What are the best places to go in Wisconsin in the fall?

The best places to visit in Wisconsin during fall include Kettle Moraine State Forest, Bayfield and the Apostle Islands, Holy Hill Basilica, and Lake Geneva for their stunning fall foliage, outdoor activities, and charming atmospheres.