Officially known as ‘The Badger State’ but perhaps better recognized for being the home of the Green Bay Packers and awesome cheese selection, Wisconsin is next on our list of states we want to share with you. Having recently experienced the 2015 US PGA Championship on the banks of Lake Michigan at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin, I am ready to explore more of this beautiful state and find out why it is known as ‘America’s Dairyland’.
Samantha Bilkey from Samantha En Route has offered to share her experiences in Wisconsin and hopefully this will inspire you to pay a visit to this state to explore everything she recommends. You can follow her while she travels around Wisconsin and beyond at the following social networks:
Twitter – @samanthaenroute
Facebook – Samantha En Route
Instagram – Samantha En Route
I recently read an article that suggested Wisconsin accounts for the top four drunkest cities across the nation. In fact, twelve of the top twenty are located in this very state. The folks here clearly love their alcohol!
Where can you find beautiful landscapes, gorge on delicious local and cultural cuisine, and drink your brains out?
Wisconsin’s got all that and more in its statewide hiking trails, festivals, craft beers, and cheese, don’cha know (those of you born and raised in Wisconsin will know this is a pretty common phrase to end a sentence)?
Wisconsin throws amazing festivals all summer long, particularly in the Milwaukee area. Are you a foodie? Visit Cedarburg for its annual Strawberry Fest, ChocolateFest in Burlington, or hit up the Wisconsin State Fair for bratwurst galore and to see what new deep-fried concoction prevails this year, such as chocolate-covered bacon or fried butter on a stick (really).
Travel the world each weekend at Asia Fest, Festa Italiana, Irish Fest, Bastille Days, Greek Fest, India Fest, among others! Of course, you can’t miss Summerfest – Milwaukee’s eleven-day music festival bringing in artists from all over the world, with most of them being on free stages all throughout the grounds!
Have you heard about Green County Cheese Days? Every two years in Monroe, Wisconsin there is a true celebration of America’s Dairyland primary product – cheese!
America’s Favorite Waterparks
Wisconsin basically has an entire town devoted to its waterparks – Wisconsin Dells. Between Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, Kalahari Resort Waterparks, or Noah’s Ark Waterpark (America’s largest), there are both outdoor and indoor options to keep everyone entertained for days on end.
Besides Wisconsin Dells, Sheboygan boasts its Blue Harbor Resort with an indoor waterpark and Green Bay has the awesome Tundra Lodge Resort & Waterpark – a perfect addition to a winning cheesehead weekend!
Cheese, Cheese….and More Cheese
It’s all about all the cheddar, mozzarella, pepper jack, and Muenster you can eat when you visit Wisconsin!
Speaking of cheese, when you’re in Wisconsin you won’t care about who cut it – all you’ll want to know is where you can get more of that delicious creamy piece of heaven you’re stuffing in your mouth.
Wisconsin was recently named home to the world’s best cheese by Huffington Post – no surprise coming from America’s Dairyland.
Naturally, you have to try Wisconsin’s extra-famous cheese curds, to be found at any fair, grocery store, or family-style restaurant. Try them hot and coated with bread crumbs (similar to mozzarella sticks) or cold and squeaky against the teeth with each bite.
Thanks to Bethaney Davies from Flashpacker Family for sharing the above image of Wisconsin’s finest cheese. Are you salivating at the thought of sampling some of this delicious looking cheese?
If that’s not enough, how about Bethaney’s shot of these amazing deep-fried Cheese Curds from the Wisconsin Cheese Mart?
Glacial Path Walks
Hiking and backpacking enthusiasts will fall in love with Wisconsin’s Ice Age trail, winding its way across the entire state. Although summer will have the warmest weather, it’s recommended to visit in autumn to witness the reds, yellows, and oranges dotting the trees above you.
Really feeling up to nice, long hike? Challenge yourself (and ask for a lot of time off of work) to walk the entire trail, earning the title of Thousand-Miler along with just a handful of others.
Wisconsin has so many breweries scattered all over the state, there’s no way you could visit them all.
Of course, everyone knows that Miller comes from Milwaukee, but special attention should be paid to the smaller (but just as amazing) breweries in other parts of the state, such as ‘Grumpy Troll Brew Pub’ in Mt. Horeb, ‘Titletown Brewing’ in Green Bay, or ‘3 Sheeps’ in Sheboygan.
Want to drink like a local? Make sure you order a New Glarus – only served and sold in Wisconsin.
Visit Wisconsin – Our Thoughts
Our first visit to Wisconsin was during a trip to Minneapolis when we decided to hop across the state line and St. Croix River to the small town of Hudson.
On a cold winter’s day, there wasn’t much going on in Hudson aside from the morning church goers and a few folks strolling along the banks of the river which was completely frozen over.
I mentioned earlier that I made a return trip to Wisconsin in 2015 to watch the US PGA Championship in Kohler, on the banks of Lake Michigan. This was a completely different experience as I was able to spend some time in Milwaukee exploring the downtown history and cool architecture.
If you love a combination of history and architecture, the city of Milwaukee is definitely one that you should be visiting. Although I only spent a couple of hours here, mainly driving around trying to capture a glimpse of as much as I could in a limited time, I enjoyed visiting the beach area by Lake Michigan and seeing some of the quirky backstreets of the downtown neighborhoods.
As you can see from the above photo (courtesy of Karla Fritz), Bradford Beach in Milwaukee is a popular spot for folks to relax and enjoy a few games of volleyball.
Don’t forget to take some time to check out the historic Old Soldiers Home in Milwaukee! For those of you with more time to spend in Milwaukee, why not check out the Upper East Side as presented by another of our friends in the travel blogging world.
Karla Fritz from Pink Carry On shares some of her favorite images from this neighborhood , a trendy neighborhood full of young professionals and University of Wisconsin students alike.
I also took a drive north to the home of the Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field. Visiting such an iconic NFL stadium was a cool experience and of course walking by the Vince Lombardi statue in front of Lambeau was certainly a memory I will cherish.
You may be thinking that we have seen many of the top sights in Wisconsin. But neither of us have experienced the ‘real’ reason for visiting Wisconsin. Samantha’s recommendations on breweries and reasons to visit ‘America’s Dairyland’ have us eager to visit Wisconsin again.
I could just imagine heading to Green Bay to watch the Packers in action (come on folks, being a cheesehead for the day sounds cool right?) and then enjoying a fine local brew to wind down the evening. Oh and by the way…did I mention that the home of Harley-Davidson is Milwaukee, Wisconsin? Do you need any more convincing that Wisconsin should be on your travel radar?
I would like to reiterate our appreciation to Samantha, Bethaney and Karla for sharing their favorite experiences and memories from Wisconsin.
What are your experiences in Wisconsin? What is your favorite beer and cheese that originates in Wisconsin?
I don’t think I’ve had beer or cheese from Wisconsin. I’ll keep an eye out in future…
I don’t think we ever need any more excuses to sample either right 🙂 It’s all about trying new experiences!
Wisconsin was my 50th state to visit and though I did eat some delicious cheese curds I did a few things not on your list – we visited the beautiful Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, stayed on a lake “up north” and went to a very typical Wisconsin bar and had an “old-fashioned”. I absolutely loved visiting Wisconsin and can’t wait to go back someday and do all the things you’ve mentioned. What a fun state!
We are already itching to get back to Wisconsin after reading some of Samantha’s additional tips and recommendations! Along the banks of Lake Michigan is really beautiful and I definitely would like to go back there and relax before heading inland to explore more of the state including Green Bay and more of Milwaukee. But clearly there is so much to do and many trips needed 🙂
Having just spent 4 days in Milwaukee, I fell in love! I can’t wait to go back and explore more of Wisconsin…and visit Milwaukee again 🙂
We were envious of you getting to Milwaukee on that trip Lauren and we really wished that we could have attended! But just seeing all your pics and stories makes us want to go back again.
I recently spent some time in Wisconsin before and after TBEX. The cheese alone is reason to visit. Cities like Madison and Milwaukee have so much to offer visitors. I absolutely fell in love with Door County, where you can hike a beautiful state park, kayak Lake Michigan, drink wine, go cherry picking, and eat some delicious food all in one day. #WeekendWanderlust
Thanks so much Erin for the additional information on things to do. Go cherry picking sounds intriguing, not something I would normally associate with Wisconsin but definitely cool 🙂
I love Wisconsin! Being from neighboring Illinois, I’ve visited there many times. So much to see and do, from beautiful rolling hills landscape to awesome German heritage areas…and of course, lots of cheese.
Who can forget the delicious cheese Connie! 🙂 Would love to head back there and explore some of these German heritage areas that you mentioned, do you have any in particular that you are intrigued to explore next?
My dad grew up in Wisconsin so it has a big place in my heart. I’ll echo what everyone else is saying: CHEESE! But yeah, the state is gorgeous, with lots of beautiful lakes to explore and enjoy. It’s interesting to note which cultures gravitated there. Where else would you find a town called Scandinavia, than Wisconsin?
Definitely agree with you Linda! Clearly there are A LOT of multi-cultural regions of Wisconsin and this is probably not something that many people would associate with this state. We all know about the cheese, beer, Harley Davidson and Green Bay Packers but the diversity across the state is certainly something very intriguing and what I would love to learn more about.
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Thanks so much for linking up with us for Weekend Wanderlust!
I’ve only been to Wisconsin once, very briefly on a road trip. I didn’t have time to stop except for dinner (where I made sure to get some delicious cheese curds at a local diner). Wisconsin seems pretty cool, and I’d love to go back a see some more of the state one day. I mean breweries and cheese and festivals, you can’t go wrong with that.
I’ve honestly never thought about visiting Wisconsin, but now it looks like it’s definitely worth visiting! I’m looking forward to partaking in your weekly link-up! I’ve only just discovered it! #TheWeeklyPostcard / #WeekendWanderlust
I will not mind getting stuff trying as much cheese as possible. I am sure it is delicious in Wisconsin. Thanks for sharing interesting things to do and nice places to go in the state.
The best cheese curds anywhere, is what you will find in Wisconsin. Hudson is a fantastic community and offers some great foodie experiences. San Pedro Cafe is our go to place, when visiting Hudson. Hockey is huge in the area, as well.
Hello from Wisconsin! 😉
I’m glad you loved our beautiful state. You definitely need to take in Green Bay for Packer game day. Even if you can’t get tickets, you’ll love the atmosphere outside the stadium. Then, follow that up with a few days in Door County!
Though I have lived here all my life, I actually haven’t seen much of the “Northwoods.” My husband and I have a cabin getaway near Superior planned for the end of the month (finally!).
Michigan girl, been to 27 states and I can’t believe Wisconsin isn’t one of them.. yet
Only 23 more to go Justine 🙂 Sounds like a trip to Wisconsin is in order for you pretty soon! Thanks for your comments 🙂