I may be biased but I’m here to make a declaration: Wisconsin is one of the most gorgeous states in the entire nation. From the ridges and valleys of the Driftless Area to the tall pines in the Northwoods to the rolling farmland throughout the entire state, Wisconsin is a stunner. Here are just 10 drive-to destinations that are out-of-this-world beautiful:
- Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Bayfield)
[Photo by @noelleelvehjem, Instagram]
Consisting of 21 islands located at the northern tip of the state, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore offers endless beauty in its historic lighthouses and sandstone caves.
2. Pattison State Park (Superior)
[Photo by Larry and Linda Dunlap]
One of my favorite state parks in Wisconsin, Pattison State Park is located in northwest Wisconsin and is home to Wisconsin’s tallest waterfall, Big Manitou Falls.
3. Pewits Nest (Baraboo)
Picture a deep gorge surrounded by tall pines and majestic bluffs plus a beautiful stream that runs right through it. That’s Pewits Nest State Natural Area in Baraboo and it was formed during the retreat of the last glacier.
4. Door County (Northeast Wisconsin)
[Photo by @creativespew, Instagram]
From Cave Point County Park in Sturgeon Bay all the way up to the famous Winding Road in Gills Rock to Washington Island, Door County is literally bursting with spectacular places to discover.
5. Driftless Area (Southwest Wisconsin)
[Photo by Eric Paulsen]
Exceptionally underrated and generally overlooked as a travel destination, the Driftless Region challenges Wisconsin’s reputation as a flat state. The topography in southwest Wisconsin is diverse and fascinating and worthy of being at the top of any traveler’s bucket list.
6. Holy Hill (Hubertus)
[Photo by Doug Tomas]
The Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill is located in Hubertus near Milwaukee. People of all faiths find comfort and peace at Holy Hill as well as magnificent beauty—it is one of the most photographed places in Wisconsin during the fall months.
7. Marinette County (Northeast Wisconsin)
[Smalley Falls | Photo by Ted Nelson]
Renowned as the Waterfall Capital of Wisconsin, Marinette County boasts 14 exquisite waterfalls. Hike or camp your way across this northeastern region.
8. National Ice Age Scenic Trail (Statewide)
[Photo by Rod Stent]
Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail is a 1,000-mile foot path that meanders throughout the entire state. Throw on your best pair of hiking boots and explore Wisconsin’s glacial landscapes.
9. Vilas County (North-central Wisconsin)
[Photo by Steve Moorhead]
Vilas County is home to an assemblage of iconic Northwood’s towns, such as Eagle River, St. Germain and Phelps, plus the world’s largest inland chain of freshwater lakes.
10. Wisconsin Dells
[Photo by tobyp/tripadvisor]
The Dells area may be overshadowed by its bustling waterpark scene but you don’t have to go far to find quiet splendor. After all, this popular destination did build its tourism empire off of its deep, narrow gorges and unusual rock formations along the Wisconsin River.
Share your photos of your favorite places in Wisconsin with me on social media: #discoverwisconsin.
Mariah Haberman hosts the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show, Discover Wisconsin. She hails from Evansville, where she was brought up in a family of seven in a small farmhouse outside of town. Some of her favorite memories include Lake Michigan fishing trips with her Dad, showing sheep at the Rock County Fair and buzzing around the farm on an ATV with her little brother. Watch Discover Wisconsin Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin’s outdoor block. (Twitter: @DiscoverWI)