Wisconsin has no shortage of relaxing weekend getaways, from serene outdoor retreats and romantic nights out to thrilling outdoor adventures that are fun for the whole family. Unplug from the real world and explore all of what beautiful Wisconsin has to offer.
Because the state has so much to offer, we’ve put together this list of the best weekend getaways in Wisconsin for 2022.
Great Wolf Lodge – Wisconsin Dells
Wisconsin Dells is unofficially known as the Waterpark Capital of the World, boasting more waterparks per capita than anywhere else and 16 million gallons of water to splash around in. Great Wolf Lodge is one of the city’s popular water resorts, offering a fun-filled family vacation.
Hit the Northern Lights Arcade and play the latest and greatest games for cool prizes. MagiQuest and ShadowQuest offer enchanting interactive adventures that last for hours and span across the entire lodge. Create and take home a new fuzzy friend from the Build-A-Bear Workshop.
Four dining options are available that will keep both the kids and parents happy all day. Extend your visit and book a relaxing overnight stay in one of their spacious condos or standard, themed, or premium suites.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Take your weekend getaway to a whole new level at Apostle Islands. Located in the far north corner of Wisconsin, this group of 21 islands in Lake Superior offers magnificent rock and sea cave formations, hundred-year-old lighthouses, and incredible panoramic water views.
A variety of tours are available, including kayak tours, nonstop guided cruises, and glass-bottom boats to view the many historic shipwrecks in the area.
Swim and fish in clear water on sandy beaches, or get up close and personal with the island wildlife with hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, and overnight camping on 19 of the islands. A number of bed and breakfasts, luxury cabins, and more line the shore and are just a short drive away, perfect for couples looking for a romantic weekend away.
The charming small town of Cedarburg is just half an hour outside of Milwaukee and makes for the perfect day trip with art galleries, antiquing, and a quaint downtown district that has a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Intriguing shops and restaurants line the popular district of Cedar Creek Settlement, where you can also find a variety of events and festivals held year-round.
Couples looking for a romantic getaway can take advantage of Cedarburg’s many wineries, breweries, and distilleries before booking a stay at one of the historical inns or cozy bed and breakfasts in and around the area, like Washington House Inn.
Chippewa Falls, just an hour’s drive to the Minnesota border, brings small-town charm and outdoor fun to your weekend getaway.
Hike, backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski through the Ice Age Trail, a 1,200-mile trail entirely in Wisconsin created by the remnants of a glacial ice flow over 12,000 years ago. The trail travels through 30 counties, including a stop in Chippewa Falls. On this particular route, you’ll cross through creeks, lakes, glacial ridges, beaver ponds, and tons of wildlife.
Lake Wissota State Park is a well-loved spot for canoeing, kayaking, and water skiing, plus swimming on the beach, hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There are 116 wooded and secluded campsites when you’re ready to call it a night, plus tons more camping areas in and around Chippewa Falls.
The oldest business in town and seventh oldest brewery in the U.S. is Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Stop by for a tour of the historical brewery and enjoy their seasonal brews or Summer Shandys. The Chippewa Falls area is also home to a number of wineries and orchards, so kick back with a glass or a fresh-picked apple.
Round out your girls’ weekend or romantic getaway with relaxing spa treatments at Bravo! Salon & Spa and picking up something sweet from Josef’s Cheesecake Cupcakes or Chippewa Candy Shop.
Devil’s Lake State Park
Devil’s Lake State Park in Baraboo sees over 3 million visitors annually— and it’s no surprise why. There are more than 27,000 acres of parkland to explore with year-round outdoor fun. Options include hiking, biking, and tons of water activities (like scuba diving) in the warmer months and skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding in the colder months.
When you need a break from the outdoors, Driftless Glen is a 10-minute drive from the lake and serves up spirits and a food menu, plus a tour of the distillery. Baraboo is also home to the International Clown Hall of Fame and Research Center, so have some kooky (or spooky) fun.
Back at Devil’s Lake, you can bring your RV or tent for camping under the night sky. On-site cabins and cottages are also available to rent, or you can book a stay at a bed and breakfast or resort in the area.
Often referred to as the “Cape Cod of the Midwest,” Door County is nestled between Green Bay and Lake Michigan. The county encompasses multiple small coastal towns and villages, stretching across 300 miles of shoreline, and is chock full of exciting tourist attractions.
Take part in popular local activities like making cherry bounce, attending a fish boil, or apple picking at an orchard. There are a dozen historic lighthouses to check out, five state parks to hike through, and plenty of waterfront views. Other well-loved outdoor activities include biking, kayaking, and fishing.
Door County is also home to many unique shops, from antiques and art to boutique shops with apparel and home decor. Explore the county’s vibrant arts community with live theatre performances, art galleries, and live music. Couples looking to spend a romantic weekend in the county can enjoy wineries, breweries, and relaxing bed and breakfasts.
Eau Claire considers itself to be the “Indie Capital of the Midwest,” with an arts scene, frequent live music, and lively downtown area bursting at the seams. This university town offers a range of nightlife, festivals, and coffee shop fun, making it the perfect day trip for friend reunions or an exciting new experience for couples.
While you’re here, you can indulge in a classic Wisconsin delicacy— cheese— with tons of cheese shops in and around the Eau Claire area. There’s also a variety of unique lodging options to turn your Eau Claire day adventure into an overnight one, from bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels to no-fuss motels and luxury resorts.
The tiny village of Elkhart Lake is a little over an hour north of Milwaukee and packs a punch when it comes to enjoying the great Wisconsin outdoors. Get out on the lake’s crystal turquoise waters with a pontoon boat Coffee Cruise or Evening Cruise, or rent water skis, wakeboards, and tubes.
There are tons of biking and hiking trails, recreational sports, and beach bonfires held on sandy Fireman’s Park and Beach. Spend your winter getaway at the lake and enjoy some ice fishing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.
There’s more to Green Bay, Wisconsin than its Green Bay Packers fame (although sports buffs can enjoy stopping by the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame while in the city). Green Bay is Wisconsin’s oldest settlement and grew from entrepreneurs, a spirit still seen and felt today. It’s only about a two-hour drive from Madison and Milwaukee and makes for a fantastic weekend getaway.
Experience the great outdoors with the whole family with activities like fishing, hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and more in parks and trails across the city. You can also plan a girls’ weekend or a romantic getaway and visit the city’s wineries, breweries, shopping, or enjoy some spa pampering.
In addition, there’s a bustling nightlife scene of bars and eclectic restaurants with unique museums, art galleries, and botanical gardens rounding out this cool city.
The city of Lake Geneva’s crown jewel is, obviously, Geneva Lake. Get out on the water with kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, or sightsee on the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. Other popular outdoor activities include zip lining, golfing, hiking, and biking.
Plan the perfect couples or girls weekend complete with wineries, distilleries, beaches, and decadent desserts from local favorite Lake Geneva Pie Co. For animal lovers, Safari Lake Geneva or Dancing Horses in nearby Delavan offer unique animal experiences. Or, get involved yourself and go horseback riding at Dan Patch Stables.
Book a stay in Grand Geneva Resort & Spa for the ultimate relaxing staycation complete with restaurants and lounges, year-round outdoor activities, and, of course, a plethora of spa treatments and beautiful lodging to choose from.
Wisconsin’s capital and second-largest city in the state, Madison, is home to the University of Wisconsin’s main campus, making the vibe here young and fresh with a cool, cultural scene. It’s said to be one of the U.S.’ most ‘quintessentially American cities.’ Here, you’ll find farmers markets, art galleries, and quirky coffee shops amongst hiking trails, recreational sports, and plenty of lake fun.
Madison is home to more than 200 miles of hiking and biking trails and 15,000 acres of swimming and kayaking water. If you’re in Madison for a winter getaway, you’ll find many people skating, playing hockey, or ice fishing. History and politics buffs can enjoy visiting the Wisconsin State Capitol building (for free!) with murals, ornate marble work, and a massive colorful skylight.
Keeping in tune with the relaxed atmosphere of Madison, you can find plenty of bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels all across the city.
Marinette County, aka “the real north,” is across the bay from Door County and offers plenty of outdoor fun near Green Bay in a more quiet and serene setting. Here, you can find hundreds of miles of trout streams, hiking and biking trails, and even winter outdoor activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
Local favorite Mickey-Lu Bar-B-Q has been flipping burgers, mixing shakes, and turning out jukebox songs for nearly 80 years. Rail House Restaurant & Brewpub produces 11 microbrews, and Seguin’s House of Cheese brings the best of Wisconsin cheese.
Lodging options may not be as bougie as other places, but there is a selection of charming bed and breakfasts and inns in the area which promise plenty of comfort and hospitality.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city, makes the perfect day trip or weekend getaway for Chicagoans or those coming from Madison— it’s only an hour and a half drive. You can find a number of unique museums in the city, like the Harley-Davidson Museum, Pabst Mansion (historic family home of Pabst Blue Ribbon fame), and Discovery World, a science and technology museum that’s fun for all ages.
After you’re done exploring, stop by Milwaukee Public Market for a bite to eat from local food vendors. Foodies, shoppers, art lovers, and night owls will enjoy the Milwaukee RiverWalk District, which winds through the city and ties three major Milwaukee riverfront neighborhoods together.
Get a taste of Europe at the Basilica of Saint Josaphat, a stunning Renaissance-style basilica that opened in 1901. There’s even a spot for lighthouse aficionados, North Point Lighthouse, which offers a 360-degree view of the city.
While travelers can enjoy a huge variety of trendy shopping, dining, entertainment, and drinking experiences (there are over 30 breweries across the city), having some outdoor fun isn’t off the table, either. Biking and kayaking are popular pastimes, plus Bradford Beach and the city’s nearly 200 parks (including 22-acre Lakeshore State Park) offer even more fun in the sun opportunities.
Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is perhaps best known for OshKosh B’Gosh, the children’s apparel company that was found here. This city is an hour and a half north of Madison, near the heart of Wisconsin. It’s also home to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the world’s largest airshow held each summer; aviation fans can also enjoy the EAA Aviation Museum.
Downtown Oshkosh features antique shops, boutiques, book stores, candy shops, and more, plus restaurants, parks, and a riverwalk. Braywood Inn offers boutique bed and breakfast digs, helping you have a comfortable stay without missing any of the city’s action (it’s only a block away from the historic downtown square).
Whether it’s a romantic trip for two or a resort stay for the whole family, there are tons of weekend getaways in Wisconsin! Enjoy exploring the beautiful Midwest with your loved ones.