Whether you’re dreaming up some creative honeymoon ideas or just trying to spice up Wednesday night date night, Wisconsin has plenty to offer all you lovebirds! Read on for seven of the state’s most romantic destinations:
What I love most about Bayfield is that you can choose to do a lot or a little in this quaint harbor town. With a front row view of beautiful Lake Superior and a population of just 530, Bayfield is the perfect place to escape the chaos of city life and take delight in a dose of small town charm. Hop on a pair of bicycles and cruise past orchards or trek through the Chequamegon National Forest. Hit up the Wisconsin Lake Superior Byway for a truly spectacular road trip. Test your wildlife expertise at one of the many accessible birding sites in the Chequamegon Bay. For the more adventurous couple, kayak in and around the Apostle Island sea caves or hit the slopes at Mt. Ashwabay.
This casually elegant community is another hot spot for folks seeking a romantic escape. Take a stroll through Cedarburg’s historic downtown, stock up on goods at the farmer’s market on Friday morning and sample some vino at Cedar Creek Winery. Square away a few hours to explore more of the Big Mill—it’s home to the winery, a cafe, blacksmith forge and a handful of shops and galleries. (And might I add: I highly recommend seeing the mill around the holidays!)
Door County has long established itself as a vacation destination thanks to its Utopia-like quintessence. And when it comes to igniting a little romance on vacation, Ephraim is as alluring as it gets. For starters, the sunsets here are nothing short of magical. Rent a pontoon boat, cuddle up with your sweetie and witness one together. Secondly, Ephraim has Wilson’s, an iconic Door County ice-cream parlor (and hey, nothing says “I love you” like a yummy Wilson’s sundae).
- Elkhart Lake
Heading south to Sheboygan County, I’m a huge fan of the oh-so-romantic Elkhart Lake. You may decide to challenge each other on the greens at Quit Qui Oc Golf Club, pamper yourselves at The Osthoff Resort’s Aspira Spa or indulge in a few tropical cocktails at Barefoot Bay Tiki Bar. Outdoorsy duos will really appreciate Marsh Park, Tower & Wildlife area, where campsites, fishing piers, picnic areas and a boat launch are all awaiting your next night out with your love.
Places to Stay: Osthoff Lake Resort, Victorian Village Resort
This river town is an up-and-coming vacation hot spot. With the St. Croix River as its backdrop, it’s no wonder why more couples are spending their time together in Hudson. Browse American craft and fine art at Seasons on St. Croix, dine at one of Hudson’s many trendy downtown restaurants, get a wintry view of the city from above during the Hot Air Affair or spend a few hours taking in the scenic view that is Willow Falls. For the history lovers, take a stroll down Third Street, where you’ll discover a series of impressive historic homes that were built for town leaders and lumber barons in the late 1800s.
Places to Stay: Phipps Inn B&B
- Lake Geneva
No matter the time of year, Lake Geneva is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. Consider visiting in the winter for horseback riding at Dan Patch Stables, ice-skating at The Abbey Resort or taking a picturesque ride through downtown, lakefront, and historic Maple Park District with Field Stone Farm Carriage & Pony. If visiting in the summer, you’ll want to explore the lake via Lake Geneva Cruise Line, head to Big Foot Beach State Park or sign up for a sailing lesson at Geneva Lake Sailing School. While in town, be sure to do a little stargazing from the nearby Yerkes Observatory and take in the unique Dancing Horses Show.
- Spring Green
If you’re looking for something a bit more whimsical, make your way to Spring Green in Sauk County. The renowned American Players Theatre, located on 110 rolling acres a few miles south of Spring Green, provides a unique ambiance thanks to the driftless area that surrounds this natural amphitheater. After you’ve taken a spin through the Frank Lloyd Wright® Visitor Center & Taliesin, do some underground spelunking at Cave of the Mounds in nearby Blue Mounds or discover eclectic exhibits and a fabulous view of rural Spring Green from the House on the Rock.
…And let’s face it, heading home from any vacation in Wisconsin sans cheese would be a major faux pas: To satisfy those curd cravings, don’t forget to make a pit stop at Cedar Grove Cheese in nearby Plain.
Mariah Haberman is the co-host of 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.