10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Wisconsin

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:

 

  1. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Bayfield)

ApostleIslands_Photo by noelleelvehjem_Instagram
[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)

PattisonStatePark_BigManitouFalls_ LarryandLinda Dunlap
[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)

[Photo by Matt Anderson Photography]
[Photo by Matt Anderson Photography]
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)

DoorCounty_@creativespew
[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)

DriftlessArea_EricPaulsen
[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]
[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]
[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) 

IceAgeTrail_DevilsLake_RodStent
[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]
[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]
[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)

15 Responses to “10 of the Most Beautiful Places in Wisconsin”

  1. Teresa Parker

    Please send me this article w pictures. I want very much to send it on to many people from the different older generation.

    Reply
  2. Jack. Prior

    I have been to Wisconsin a lot of times but never to these fabulous places mainly around EauClaire ,Chippawah area which is beautiful in the winter .

    Reply
  3. Mandy

    the minocqua area is beautiful!!! I wish I had pics to post but I was always so busy with the biking hiking and shopping….they even have a maurices which is one of the better ones I’ve found when it comes to customer service

    Reply
  4. Jose nunez

    I’m from Indiana love the state of Wisconsin especially in the fall to see the color it’s a beautiful time of the year thank you for all the great imfotmation looking forward to traveling this fall to all these nice places Thank you!!

    Reply
  5. Jerry Cortez

    It’s one of the most beautiful states all in all ,been to many other states they may have one thing or other, I feel wisconsin has it all.

    Reply
  6. Sue Emerson-King

    Beautiful sites! I am however, partial to Jackson County wonders!

    Reply
  7. Judi Fellows

    I am partial to sunsets on the Reservoir Pond in Townsend, WI

    Reply
  8. Anna L Bradfute

    My father was born in Sevastopol, Wisconsin. He grew up in Sturgeon Bay. I was born in Texas. Indeed Wisconsin is one of the most beautiful places. I visited Eagle River twice last year. It is a photographers paradise. !!

    Reply
  9. Russell Breneman

    Gibraltar Rock near Lodi.

    Reply
  10. Joseph Northrup

    If you come to these beautiful places, PLEASE please, respect them and take care of them, we have a lot of people carving stuff into the rocks, walking off the marked trails destroying vegetation and causing erosion. The last time I was to Pewits nest, I saw a guy tearing up the back part of the parking lot with his car on a wet day, also sick of seeing the garbage people dump out of their cars in the lots or litter along the trails ect, It’s baffling at how little respect a lot of people have..

    Reply
  11. Mary J Cordes

    I’ve never in my life have heard anyone say that WI is a flat state! How does WI have that reputation just because of the drift-less area?

    Reply
  12. Leonard Norton

    I have been many of these places and I will add one more that is one of my favorites, Willow Falls (river) State Park…I would add a photo but can not add one in the comment box

    Reply
  13. Dom Ambrose

    While in one of my visits last fall I saw Holy Hill from far away. The spires were sticking above the fall colors on top of the hill. I was considerably far away but could still see them. It was awesome, without knowing what it was I followed them and saw it up close. A beautiful piece of architecture surrounded by natural beauty.

    Reply
  14. Richard

    One of the most beautiful and scenic places to visit in Wisconsin in Lake Geneva. Plenty of things to do and amazing boat tours. The Lake and boats are beautiful. Lots of little shops. I would highly recommend staying at either Grand Geneva Resort or Bella Vista Suites . Also recommend you have breakfast at Egg Harbor and dinner at Popeyes Diners

    Reply

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