Sleeping in Wisconsin? It’s time to discover these unique attractions
With destinations that feature a mix of Wisconsin places as satisfying as the squeak of a fresh cheese curd, how could you go wrong?
As the heart of America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin often goes unnoticed by travelers looking for a memorable vacation. Rich in German and Scandinavian history, unexpectedly natural beauty, and uniquely American charm, the quirky attractions of this underrated Midwestern state are sure to make an impression.
This list features a mix of Wisconsin spots as satisfying as the squeak of a cream cheese curd. Sit back, grab a brewski, and prepare to be amazed by all that Wisconsin has to offer besides the Dells.
9 The domes of Mitchell Park
Located in Milwaukee, the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, also known as The Domes, reflects the city’s status as the most diverse in the state. Plants from around the world populate three visually stunning domes, inviting visitors to travel to the ends of the earth in one place. Escape to a warmer climate in the Desert Dome, showcasing flora from three different continents. Or venture through the Tropical Dome, where guests can explore over a thousand different species of plants from the world’s rainforests. Stop to smell the roses in the flowered dome, which features rotating attractions throughout the year.
8 Devil’s Lake State Park
Millions of visitors flock to Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo every year. Less than 15 miles from Wisconsin Dells, this natural playground offers a variety of activities. It is not uncommon for hikers to pass rock climbers scaling cliffs that overlook Devil Lake, which is teeming with a variety of fish for anglers. In summer, water is a perfect escape from the heat. In winter, park enthusiasts enjoy snowshoeing, sledding and ice fishing. Come just for the day for a quick getaway, or spend a little more time in this beautiful location by purchasing one of the over 400 campsites available.
7 Fromage de Mars Castle
The best charcuterie boards are built on cheese, and there is no shortage of dairy at this royal Wisconsin location. Open for nearly 75 years, The Mars Cheese Castle is an iconic quick stop that should be on everyone’s Wisconsin list. It’s not just cheese in this palace, which offers a wide variety of fresh baked goods, meats and craft beers. Visitors can shop for items on the go or sit down at the restaurant and bar for a satisfying Wisconsin-style meal.
6 Fast Fiberglass Mold Graveyard
Fiberglass Animals, Shapes, and Trademarks (FAST) specializes in building giant sculptures that dot many restaurants and gas stations across the country. In Sparta, Wisconsin, mussels from past work lie in a large field open to the public. Guests enjoy the special views of everything from elephants and sharks to demons and trains. Take a photo with a scaled-down Mount Rushmore or look for molds of well-known statues like the Cat in the Hat and the Big Boy.
5 Cave of the Mounds
Just an hour and a half from Milwaukee lies a damp and eerie limestone cave. This gem, located in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin, has been awe-inspiring for decades. The rock found inside Cave of the Mounds dates back over 400 million years! Branches of mineral formations called speleothems hang from the ceilings, glittering in the warmly lit tunnels of this geological wonder. After exploring the cave, visitors can browse perennial wildflower gardens, restored forests, and meadows.
4 Washington Island Stavkirke
It is undeniable that churches tell remarkable stories about the history of their location. Enjoy a ferry ride to this unique Scandinavian church located on Washington Island, Wisconsin. The medieval look of the Stavkirke was inspired by sketches from AD 1150 of a similar structure in Norway. This unique stone and wood church is open for Sunday services or simply for visits. After enjoying the smell of fresh wood permeating the interior of the church, visitors can breathe in the sweet scent of lavender at the Midwest’s largest lavender farm.
3 The house on the rock
Atop a boulder in the small town of Spring Green sits a structure filled with unmistakably bizarre attractions called The House on the Rock. With over 3,000 windows, the visually stunning Infinity Room has been a popular spot for photos over the years. Exhibits include The Organ Room, a series of spiral staircases encircling some of the largest organs ever built, and The Doll Carousel Room, where hand-crafted and exquisitely dressed dolls ride two extravagant carousels. House on the Rock is sensory overload in the best possible way, with countless indoor and outdoor exhibits designed to please.
2 Harley-Davidson Museum
As American as apple pie, the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. A traveler does not have to be a motorcycle enthusiast to get carried away by the history found inside the facility. The museum has exhibits that show visitors everything they need to create a classic bike, and tours include time travel with decades of historical archives. As expected, hundreds of motorcycles over the years are on display for examination from tire to tire. Savor casual American cuisine at the Motor Bar and Restaurant located inside the museum, or explore the endless culinary choices available in Milwaukee.
1 Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
This shore of Lake Superior at the top of Wisconsin is the perfect place to disconnect from it all. Tree-covered sandstone cliffs jut out above the stunning waters of the Apostle Islands National Lake. Visitors can take a boat trip to the nine historic lighthouses that line the shores or hire a kayak to explore on their own. The area is teeming with wildlife, including birds, black bears, and red foxes. There are plenty of hiking opportunities for those who wish to explore on foot, and the unpolluted night sky offers breathtaking stargazing views.
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