Milwaukee itself is filled with life, music, history, food, and events on a regular basis. But, are you looking to get out of the city a bit and see what else Wisconsin has to offer? There are tons of amazing places to visit throughout the state, but here are some of my favorite:
1. Pewit's Nest
A secret series of waterfalls in the woods in quiet and low-key Baraboo, Wisconsin. Bring your suits and camera because this treasure is gorgeous. You can hike all the way up to the top of the waterfalls, or swim in the drop off area less than a quarter mile down stream. A short two hour trip from Milwaukee makes Pewit's Nest the perfect day trip for any adventurer.
2. Wisconsin Dells
Right by Baraboo is the famous Wisconsin Dells. In a day, you can go to the water parks at Noah's Ark, pet the animals at the Deer Park, get some pizza from Moosejaw, take a ride on the Ducks through the rivers, shop downtown, and so much more. The Dells is a great tourist attraction in the heart of Wisconsin, but again is a little under two hours away from Milwaukee. It's the perfect place for families but you're never too old. There's plenty of nightlife and attractions for adults as well!
3. Devil's Lake
This trip is a little farther, reaching about two and a half hours away, but it is worth it. If you're coming from Milwaukee, you have to take a ferry over for the last chunk of the road trip. Devil's Lake is an amazing stop for hikers, swimmers, bikers, and campers. Walk the paved trails on the mountains or take a thrill ride and scale right up the side of the mountain, going nearly vertical. There are over 29 miles of trails reaching 1,329 feet in elevation. In the winter, you can go snowshoeing, too! Individuals of all ages can enjoy the scenic views and challenges the trails offer.
Who can forget about the state's capital? Madison is located just about an hour and a half west of Milwaukee. There's the free Henry Vilas Zoo, the capital building, all of the shops along state street, the free museums located right by the capital building, the Memorial Terrace, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, and so much more! Madison is the perfect place to get away from Milwaukee for the day. Experience Wisconsin's history while enjoying a nice Badger Game in Camp Randall Stadium! On Wisconsin!
Just another mere two hours south is Chicago, Illinois. No, this is not in Wisconsin, but there is still so much to do in the Windy City! You can get the city pass for the day and check out the Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry, see The Bean, visit the Sky Deck, experience the Shedd Aquarium, and so much more! Branch out of your Wisconsin comfort zone and check out Chicago for the day! You can even take the train right form the heart of Milwaukee to Chicago.
6. Up North
This location is very broad, but anywhere in Northern Wisconsin is the perfect getaway for the weekend. There will most likely be little to no WiFi, so submerge yourself in the woods and become one with your surroundings. You can go boating on the lakes, try out wake boarding or skiing, go hunting, check out the family owned shops downtown. Being up north is always an amazing time whether it be in summer or winter. Finishing off the night around the bonfire with some smores and sparklers is always the perfect way to end a busy and exciting day on the water.
7. The State Fair
No, this is not technically a location you can go to year round, but at the end of summer is the Wisconsin State Fair! The 50 cent milk is always a hit with the exciting flavors. There's the cream puffs that are of course the best when you can see them getting made. Almost half of the fair food is either deep fried or on a stick. At night, there are concerts galore! You can't forget about the Big Giant Slide that's smack dab in the middle of the fairgrounds. It's a blast for young and old alike. It's the highlight of every summer that nobody in Wisconsin can pass up, no matter how far away you have to travel to get there. The State Fair is located in West Allis, Wisconsin, a mere 15 minutes away from Downtown Milwaukee and is always a family favorite.
Again, this isn't technically a day trip; it's an eleven day experience. Summerfest is the world's largest music festival with eleven days full of all genres of music. Performers range from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Luke Bryan to Rise Against and more. This festival truly is for anyone and should be on everyone's bucket list whether you're from Wisconsin or not. There's also street performers, tons of food vendors, and more right on Lake Michigan.
9. Cave of the Mounds
Located a little under two hours from Milwaukee, right outside of Madison is the Cave of the Mounds. This is a site for those thrill seekers and history lovers. Cave of the Mounds is in fact a cave that you can take an hour long walking tour through. You'll learn how the caves and structures were made. There are also walking paths through fields and woods surrounding the cave entrance. This is definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
10. Seven Bridges
Located in South Milwaukee, Seven Bridges is an amazing series of hiking trails right along Milwaukee's Lakefront. During the fall season, leaves change color and add to the already gorgeous scenery. There are hills and cliffs that overlook the lakefront as well as a secluded beach on Lake Michigan. It is free and open to the public, and is an amazing photography spot. It is a classic spot that many locals love to visit and I urge you all to visit on your next trip to Milwaukee.