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20 of the Best Things to Do in Wisconsin



Outdoor journeys, foodie adventures, or a stopover at an architectural marvel. Everyone has their own travel style and it depends on what you’re interested in. Good thing Wisconsin has everything you’ll need and want for your next vacation and getaway.

Now, you get to experience all the exciting activities in one place. Look no further because here are the best things to do in Wisconsin.

1. Visit the House on the Rock

This famous tourist attraction features distinct rooms, gardens, streets, and shops designed by Alex Jordan Jr. The original idea from when it was made in 1945 was to build a “man-made” retreat that is as awe-inspiring as the view from the rock upon which the house would eventually be built. Today, the House on the Rock showcases a wide collection of the exotic that can be viewed through separate tours.

2. Explore the Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Wisconsin
Source: Olbrich Botanical Gardens | Iva Jasperson

Imagine being in a tropical-feeling oasis. It’s most likely that your visualization will look a lot like the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison named after its founder, Michael Olbrich. It includes a perennial garden, rose garden, rock garden, sunken garden, wildflower garden, herb garden, and a tropical conservatory.

3. Try Bouldering at Devil’s Lake

Care for some extreme adventure? Devil’s Lake is home to some of the best rock climbing in the Midwest with its quartzite rock cliffs of upwards of a hundred feet! A lot of famous climbers have already left their marks here such as Joe and Paul Stettner, and Eric Zschieschie.

Tip: If you are planning to top rope, remember to bring plenty of sling materials. Boulder with caution at all times.

4. Enjoy the Trail at Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest

Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest Wisconsin
Source: Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest | Flickr/Aaron C. Jors

The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest covers more than a million acres of Wisconsin’s north woods. With that said, you’re sure to find a lot of space and trail if you plan on going on an impromptu outdoor adventure.

Tip: You should visit during Fall to see the forest in a whole new light. Guests are always in awe of the brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows that fill the views as far as the eye can see.

5. Be in Awe of a Live Performance at Circus World

Circus World Wisconsin
Source: Circus World

Have you ever been to a circus? I guess not. Head over to Circus World and see a western-themed big top show that features horses, elephants, goats, and other critters. You will be amazed by the daredevil thrills that will take place right before your eyes. After all, Circus World has some of America’s finest equestrienne and mixed animal presenters.

Tip: Remember to check out Tiger Adventures and Big Top Circus.

6. Check Out the 1800s Lighthouse at Cana Island

Cana Island Lighthouse
Source: Cana Island Lighthouse | Flickr/Randy Scherkenbach

Make sure to squeeze in a trip to see Door County’s most iconic lighthouse because it’s certainly one of the best things to do in Wisconsin! The lighthouse at Cana Island was the tallest brick structure in Door County when it was constructed in 1869. Today, thousands of visitors flock to this place to climb the 97-step spiral staircase and get a bird’s eye view of the peninsula and Lake Michigan.

7. Enjoy the Rides at Bay Beach Amusement Park

Bay Beach Amusement Park
Source: Bay Beach Amusement Park

The Bay Beach Amusement Park is located in the mouth of the Fox River in Green Bay, Wisconsin. It gives off a certain retro charm just like other classic parks. While it is relatively small, many guests still find this place enjoyable with its rides, roller coaster, food pavilion, and other concessions.

8. Have Fun at MagiQuest

If you’ve always been curious about live-action role-playing games, you better give MagiQuest a try! Here, you’ll be using a wand to interact with objects as you explore the enchanted kingdom, discover hidden treasures, and solve puzzles.

MagiQuest is a good combination of video gaming, role-playing, and storytelling that is perfect for people of all ages!

9. Embrace the Serene Vibe As You Walk Along the Shore Path of Geneva Lake

The well-kept lawns and gardens is a good spot to see the clear blue water of Geneva Lake, as well as the other excursion boats in the area. Don’t worry about running out of a spot. The shoreline of Geneva Lake is at around 20 miles, so the path reaches up to almost 26 miles.

Note: Since there are also properties along the lake, path walkers must give respect by maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness of their land. Visitors should also not venture into their piers, lawns, gardens, and boathouses.

10. Explore the Roots of the Beer Family at The Pabst Mansion

Pabst Mansion Wisconsin
Source: Pabst Mansion | Wikipedia/Sailko

Captain Frederick Pabst is the founder of the Pabst Brewing Company and visiting his house is considered one of the best things to do in Wisconsin. Why you ask? Well, his house is not just any ordinary house. The Pabst Mansion, a grand Flemish Renaissance Revival-style house, is an award-winning historic museum and architectural landmark of Milwaukee, Wisconsin!

11. Ski Down Cascade Mountain

Looking for a place where you can hone your skills in winter sports? Head over to Cascade Mountain and work on trails that are over a mile long as you have fun. This place caters to the adventurous type and can accommodate skiers ranging from beginner to expert. You can even try their snow tubing activity!

Cascade Mountain Info:

  •  Elevation: 389 m
  • Longest run: 5,300 feet
  • Vertical: 137 m
  • Base elevation: 250 m
  • Top elevation: 387 m
  • 47 trails
  • 4 terrain parks
  • 800-foot-long chute for snow tubing
  • 11 lifts (with 2 high-speed chair lifts)

12. Taste The Organic Beers at Lakefront Brewery

Lakefront Brewery
Source: Lakefront Brewery | Cally Reinder

Get a taste of Milwaukee’s brewing heritage by checking out this famous brewpub! Lakefront Brewery offers a wide array of beers, including organic and gluten-free brews, as well as delicious bar bites.

13. Check Out Boerner Botanical Gardens

Boerner Botanical Gardens Wisconsin
Source: Boerner Botanical Gardens | Iva Jasperson

Witness thousands of plants bring the seasons to life as they showcase colorful and fragrant displays in Boerner Botanical Gardens. This beautiful destination is only 15 minutes outside of Milwaukee in the village of Hales Corners. You can enjoy the view of blossoming crabapples and daylily gardens as you have a light lunch in the cafe or a holiday brunch in the Garden Room.

14. Wait For the Tommy Bartlett Show

Stay on the edge of your seat because the Tommy Bartlett Show is indeed a GREAT live entertainment. You will feel the crowd’s thrill and excitement as the celebrated Tommy Bartlett water-ski team struts its stuff on Lake Delton from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. There will be 90-minute live shows packed with amazing stunts on water, on stage, and high in the sky.

Don’t miss out! This is one of the highest-rated shows in Wisconsin Dells!

15. Visit the Chazen Museum of Art

Get a strong physical connection with this art museum at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and see the wonderful collection of many different artists.

Which is the best thing to do in Wisconsin that you want to do the most?

A writer big on nature, travel, and dogs. If you can't find Suny with her furry pal, then she's probably out exploring, doing ninja training or Calisthenics.