1. Lake Geneva
Lake Geneva may be known as a summer hotspot in Wisconsin, but fall brings a whole new list of adventures! You can marvel at the beautifully dense fall foliage from a hot air balloon, or tap into your adventurous side on a zip line at Lake Geneva Canopy Tours. With everything from boat shows, to historic estates, to one of Wisconsin’s best Oktoberfests, there’s no place like Lake Geneva in the Fall! Click here for a list of even more great fall activities in Lake Geneva!
Another summer favorite, many don’t realize how much Sheboygan has to offer in the fall! See the sights like never before as you zip around the town on a Segway, learning all about its vibrant history and even cruising through a 100-year-old shipwreck!
It may be too cold to swim in the lake, but you can still appreciate the beautiful shoreline at North Point. The smooth limestone is part of what’s known as the Niagara Escarpment, the same 400-year-old bedrock that lines Niagara Falls.
Oktoberfest in Sheboygan is a must, with food, culture, dancing, and plenty of beer! You’ll be feeling the Gemütlichkeit (a feeling of warmth, fellowship and goodwill for those around you) in no time!
Didn’t get enough to drink at Oktoberfest? The Blue Harbor Craft Beer Festival is just minutes away. The day kicks off at 11:30 with a VIP beer seminar and culinary pairings, followed by the Grand Tasting to the tune of live, local music and entertainment. The resort offers overnight accommodations and VIP packages, opening the festival to Wisconsinites far and wide. Admission to the festival is free for the designated driver in the group as well, so you can make it a safe, responsible day trip if you so choose.
3. Washington Island
6 miles off the Door County Peninsula rests the beautiful Wisconsin oasis that is Washington Island. But if you thought Island getaways were just for the summer months, think again. Schoolhouse Beach is breathtaking in every season, with remnants of the Niagara Escarpment forming the famous white stone landscape. Head inland to Stavkirke, an enchanting replica of an old Scandinavian church surrounded by vibrant birch trees, or climb to the Mountain Park Lookout Tower for a look at the treetops covering the entire island. Hit the tower by October and you’re guaranteed an unbelievable view!
4. Pepin County
Fall in Pepin County has something for everyone, from motorcycles to interactive pioneer history. During the semiannual Flood Run, over 50,000 motorcyclists zoom through Pepin county, stopping at diners and lookouts along the way for delicious food and live music. With beautiful trees of every color framing the river on either side of the road, it’s no wonder the Flood Run is the third largest single-day motorcycle event in America!
Away from the bustle of the roads, a replica of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s childhood home sits at her birthplace in Pepin. The popular children’s book character comes to life during Laura Ingalls Wilder Days in September, where children can learn about pioneer life and compete in the Laura Contest for who best identifies with and embodies her. The event is tons of fun for the whole family, and there is no purer way to see history than through the eyes of a child.
Just 20 miles northwest of Eau Claire, Menomonie sheds light on why people came to Wisconsin originally, and all the reasons we’ve stayed. The Rassback Heritage Museum is a must see, with exhibits on everything from Wisconsin’s first sports teams to the manufacturers who built our state. Feel the history beneath your feet as you follow the Red Cedar Trail, an old railroad turned bike path. The trail runs in the Red Cedar River Valley from Menomonie to the junction of the Chippewa River State Trail, passing beautiful bridges, waterfalls, trout streams and, of course, plenty of bright fall colors along the way.
When you’re red nosed from biking in the crisp air, head to the Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa Factory where they’ve been processing dairy from across Wisconsin for over 100 years! Because the milk they receive from Wisconsin farms becomes dry, finished cocoa powder in just three days, it’s one of the freshest, best quality mixes in the country. And there’s no better way to enjoy fall in Wisconsin that with a fresh cup of cocoa in hand!
Where are your favorite places to get away in the fall?
Mara Benowitz is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. She’s originally from Uptown Minneapolis and just got back from a semester in France. She’s excited to be back exploring Wisconsin in her senior year at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
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