Travel Wisconsin | Exploring the Midwest Broadcast Episode 13

Last Updated on May 5, 2021 by Jody Halsted

My guest today is Amanda Weibel, Communications Officer at Travel Wisconsin

My family travels to Wisconsin a few times each year. We love the northern part of the state in the hot summer months- Hayward & tubing on the Namekagan are an annual tradition. And in August you can usually find us in Milwaukee for Irish Fest.

Wisconsin is Best Known For…

Most people know Wisconsin for cheese.

Renards-Cheese-mouse-Door-County-Wisconsin
This way to cheese!

Wisconsin produces 600 varieties of cheese, which is more than double the amount of cheese produced by the runner-up state, California.

Wisconsin Travel Highlights

Eating in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is the largest producer of Cranberries in the world, producing 60 percent of the world’s supply of the fruit. Be sure to check out the Cranberry Highway!

Wisconsin is also a leading producer of Ginseng in the United States.

Regional Wisconsin Favorites

Rowleys Bay Boil Over- photo credit Door County Visitor Bureau
Boil Over at Rowley's Bay Resort. Photo credit- Door County Visitor Bureau
  • Door County fish boil – and cherry pie!
  • Sheboygan is the bratwurst capital
  • Glendale is the root beer capital of the universe (it's the home of Sprecher)
  • Madison & Milwaukee have excellent restaurants and many James Beard award-winning or nominated chefs
  • Farm to fork (because… Midwest)
  • Find a pizza farm
  • Wisconsin Supper Clubs are an institution
  • Breweries, cideries, distilleries….

Wisconsin Outdoor Adventure

Wisconsin has fabulous outdoor activities- especially the miles of Great Lakes coastline! From the Apostle Islands to the Door County peninsula – it has a similar feel to the northeastern or northwestern parts of the US.

Wisconsin has over 1,000 miles of Great Lakes and Mississippi River shoreline, and over 15,000 inland lakes. 

lighthouse_Apostle Islands National Lakeshore_Wisconsin
Lighthouse in the Apostle Islands
  • Apostle Island National Lakeshore
  • Tubing on the Namakagan in Hayward
  • Adventure tours in RIB boats skimming the waves in Door COunty
  • kayaking
  • hiking
  • cycling
  • 4×4 Segways

Wisconsin is an outdoor adventure mecca, with 49 state parks, 15 state forests, 44 state trails, two National Scenic Trails plus many more county and local parks and trails.

Golf in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is the premiere golf destination in the US, and one of the most accessible, as the state is home to 10 of Golf Digest’s top 100 public courses (and around 500 public courses total).

Golfing_ House on the Rock Resort_ Wisconsin
Golfing at House on the Rock Resort

Nine of these top courses are within 3 hours from Milwaukee airport, and your car would barely register 500 miles on a road trip to visit all nine in one vacation.

One of these courses, Whistling Straits, is host to the 2020 Ryder Cup in September this year, so golfers should time a visit this summer to play in advance of the pros this year. 

City Getaways in Wisconsin

Madison and Milwaukee are the largest cities in Wisconsin. In addition to the incredible food scene there is plenty of arts and culture.

For outdoor recreation, Milwaukee has a state park in the city. There are tons of city parks and trails too. Madison is located on an isthmus, so surrounded by two lakes, and has an Arboretum.

And Green Bay – home of the Packers. Tour Lambeau Field then stay for a game.

harley-davidson-museum-milwaukee
Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee

Brands you know from Wisconsin

Wisconsin is Home to top outdoor recreation brands such as Johnson Outdoors, Wigwam, Trek Bicycles, Saris, Kohler, and Harley Davidson; the ties from manufacturing product to experiencing it run deep in Wisconsin.

Another well-known name that hails from Wisconsin

Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright was born in Wisconsin’s rugged Driftless Region and spent his boyhood summers working his uncle’s farm in the small village of Spring Green (population of 1,641) and eventually built his own famous home and studio, Taliesin, just a mile away. Wisconsin’s Frank Lloyd Wright Trail takes travelers on a self-guided architectural tour through nine counties in southern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin's Native American History

Wisconsin is home to 11 Native American tribes, more than any other state east of the Mississippi River. The Ho-Chunk Tribe and their ancestors have lived here for more than 500 years.

indian-summer-festival-Milwaukee
Indian Summer Festival in Milwaukee is a traditional Native American pow wow

Copper Culture State Park near Oconto contains a 2,000-year-old Indian burial ground.

Copper Crow Distillery in Bayfield, WI – currently the nation’s first and only Native American owned distillery. Copper Crow recently debuted whey-based spirits, using the byproduct from local cheesemakers. Only about a dozen distilleries in the world are experimenting with this base.

2021 marks the 10 year anniversary of Frog Bay Tribal National Park (Bayfield, WI), an 89-acre portion of protected land inside Red Cliff Reservation and the first tribal national Park in the nation. The park is an ecological gem where visitors can meander along the two miles of rustic trails that wind through this undeveloped Lake Superior shoreline, learning about the ecology and Anishinaabe heritage and the nearly 90 species of birds, rare and endangered plants, and bobcats, black bears and wolves that reside here.

3 Big Wisconsin Events in 2021

This September, The Ryder Cup will return to Whistling Straits, the host of the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships. The Pete Dye-designed course on the shore of Lake Michigan will provide a stern test for the world's best golfers as the United States tries to avenge its loss in the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National. Dating back to 1927, the Ryder Cup is a biennial event that pits 12 of the best players from the U.S. against 12 of Europe's best.

Wisconsin is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 specifies of cranes, and is home to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo. The International Crane Foundation will host a grand opening celebration for its newly renovated $10 million Cranes of the World attraction on May 1st, 2021. At the new George Archibald Welcome Center, guests will be introduced to the cranes of the world and learn about the International Crane Foundation’s work to save them. The spectacular indoor Sandhill Crane viewing window and exhibit showcases cranes in a natural wetland and tells the amazing comeback story of this resilient bird.

With road trips making a BIG comeback, it’s the perfect time to discover Wisconsin’s brand new National Scenic Byways.
The 70-mile Lake Superior Scenic Byway follows the southern shoreline of Lake Superior, offering road-trippers breathtaking scenic views of forests, pristine sandy beaches, and the clear waters of Lake Superior.
Door County’s Coastal Byway, meanwhile, stretches over 66 miles of the beautiful Door Peninsula, highlighting such spots as the Bay of Green Bay and the Niagara Escarpment bluffs. 
The Wisconsin Great River Road National Scenic Byway has been awarded the designation as an “All American Road” by the US Department of Transportation. The road covers 250 miles in Wisconsin and passes through 33 Mississippi River towns.

Plan Your Wisconsin Vacation

Visit Travel Wisconsin.com to order your vacation guide or download a digital guide.

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