Wisconsin is famous for being named as America’s Dairyland. This is because it is the leading dairy product producers among the many states of the nation. But this state is not only a place for dairy. If you love the outdoors, this place is also one of the states in the US that you need to see.
Wisconsin is actually blessed with so many beautiful natural wonders. In fact, it is the third country in the US that is big in tourism. But with so many of the attractions that it has to offer, where should you go first? Where to next? Don’t worry, we got your back as we listed some of the best natural wonders in Wisconsin. In case your interest is piqued, read on for our recommendations.
Natural Wonders in Wisconsin
Wisconsin has a good number of natural wonders to offer its visitors. If it’s your first time visiting the state, here are the best ones we highly suggest.
1Cave of the Mounds
Ah, probably everyone’s favorite. If you look up on the attractions to explore in Wisconsin, Cave of the Mounds is always on the list. It’s not a surprise, though, as it is not just an old cave but it is also one of the largest. Thus, you can get to see lots of calcite crystals all over the cave. From its ceiling to its floor, you can spot countless beautiful crystal formations.
The best part of it is that the cave or Mounds’ temperature doesn’t change. This means you don’t have to fret much about the date of your visit as the cave’s temperature remains the same at 50 degrees every day of the year.
But that aren’t the only things that make locals and tourists alike love and frequent the site. Outside the Cave of the Mounds, a lot of fun outdoor activities also awaits everyone.
One of the fun activities that both adults and children can enjoy is mining. But, it’s not the kind of mining you’re thinking of. Cave of the Mounds apparently has Quarry’s Edge Mining Sluice area. Here, you’ll need to purchase a “mining bag” with gemstones, fossils, treasures, or even arrowhead mixtures. You’d have to sift through it at the sluice to see what kind of treasure you got.
If mining sluice isn’t for you, you might want to dig for fossils instead. In Cave of the Mound’s newly installed area for Quarry’s Edge Fossil Dig and Crystal Quest, you can dig for treasures such as gems, minerals, and fossils. And, of course, you’re free to take home what you’ve dug.
Apart from fun, Cave of the Mounds also provides room for learning through its Geological Timeline attraction. Basically, the landmark recreated a huge timeline for its visitors so everyone can get a closer look and immerse themselves in the many geologic processes, as well as forms of life, that evolved throughout time on the earth.
What we love more about the Cave of the Mounds is that it also offers Instagrammable and relaxing spots via its gardens. Here, you can explore three gardens where you can get to see a dazzling array of blooms, interesting rock formations, and even many species of butterflies.
And if you are an active type of person, the site also has a spot for you. At the Cave of the Mounds, you also have a number of trails to explore where you can hike and bike. On top of that, you will be treated with rolling hills, karst topography, as well as stunning views that will make your visit all the more memorable. What we love about it even more is that the hikes are easy and the kids will enjoy it too. So there’s no need to worry about bringing your whole family.
2The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
Aside from the Cave of the Mounds, it’s also hard to talk about the natural wonders of Wisconsin without mentioning the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. Thanks to the calm waters surrounding it, the tranquility of the place, and its stunning caves, many people who have been here never stop buzzing about it.
For starters, the Apostle islands National Lakeshore is actually an archipelago of more than 20 islands that dot the waters of Lake Superior. Here, you have a handful of activities to do.
Because it is surrounded by water, you have a ton of water activities to enjoy. One of which is sailing and boating. These activities are one of the most popular things to do in the area, thanks you the island’s protected bays, pristine beaches, historic sites, public docks, and natural beauty that makes boating opportunities outstanding.
Kayaking is also one of the popular water activities in the area. In fact, it is a popular way to get around the Apostle Islands. There are also kayaking tours being offered. And because of this, you will find a lot of kayakers in the area. You can also get to explore the site’s fascinating natural caves perfectly carved out for years by the rhythmic waves.
Fishing is a popular activity in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore too. In fact, this activity has brought people to the place for centuries. Here, you can catch brown trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, brook trout, and coho salmon. However, weather conditions on Lake Superior can rapidly chance. Thus, don’t forget to check the weather forecast for your safety.
You can also explore its waters and dive deeper into it. Beneath its clear waters, you can also get to explore underwater rock formations, as well as fascinating shipwrecks.
What we love about this place is that the activities available vary depending on the season. Even winter is a nice time to explore the place as you can hike out to the caves to see frozen waterfalls and chambers that glisten with icicles.
Big Manitou Falls
Big Manitou Falls is also a popular natural wonder of Wisconsin. This is because it is apparently the state’s highest waterfall boasting of 165 feet drop into the Black River. But its height isn’t the only reason why it is one of the most talked about destinations in Wisconsin. Located at Pattison State Park, this waterfall also offers unparalleled views that make a perfect backdrop for photos. In fact, it is one of the favorite natural backdrop for wedding photos.
In addition to that, locals and tourists alike also enjoy the activities available near the waterfall. Depending on the season, you can get to enjoy a lot of different activities near this Wisconsin’s natural wonder.
During off-season, people of all ages can hop on a sled, rafts, inner tubes, or even kayaks to slide down the state park’s snowy hill. Some even use shovels to get down the slopes.
Cross-country skiing is also a popular activity in the area during the colder months. The site has a number of miles of trails that you can choose from.
You can also enjoy treasure hunting, thanks to the geocaching activities that the park provides. You can even take home what you found. However, note that if you plan to take the trinkets or toys you found, don’t forget to replace it with one of your own on the same spot where you found the treasure. In this way, others can easily find it too.
Meanwhile, during in-season, you can bond with your whole family through the fishing activity that the site offers. Bringing your sunblock is also a must as the site also has a sandy beach, a bathhouse, plus plenty of waterfront for everyone to enjoy.
The park where the Big Manitou Falls sits also has picnic areas to offer. So don’t forget to pack your lunch as well. The site also has grills in case you want to barbecue something.
In addition to that, the site has miles of trails where you can hike. Along your way, you can also get to see wildlife. In fact, the site is home to more than 50 species of mammals and 200 species of birds.
3Devil’s Lake State Park
And speaking of state parks, another place to see in Wisconsin is the Devil’s Lake State Park. It is regarded as the most visited state park in Wisconsin because of many reasons.
First off, is because of its unusual rocks piquing the interest of many. For starters, the park houses quartzite rocks that are colored pink and purple. This unique color of rock often intrigues its visitors. But they are all-natural. Apparently, this natural color is caused by the iron and other impurities on the rock.
Another thing about the Devil’s Lake State Park that intrigues many locals and tourists is its unique balanced rock that has become the symbol of the state park. Apparently, it is a piece of the East Bluff which cracked off, tumbled, and perfectly landed right on top of a flat rock to be balanced on a pedestal.
In addition to that, the park also offers various fun activities for families to enjoy. This, of course, makes people come back time and again. Here, you have a good deal of fun things to do no matter what the season is, just like in Pattison State Park.
In warmer months, you can enjoy swimming, thanks to the park’s sandy beaches. You can also explore what’s under water as scuba diving is allowed too. Boating, canoeing, and kayaking are also some of the popular water-related activities in the area during the warmer months. The site also houses wildlife and various species of birds that you can spot all over the place.
If you’re feeling a little adventurous, the park has various trails available for biking and hiking too. In addition to that, bouldering and rock climbing activities are available.
Meanwhile, during the colder months, everyone in the family can enjoy skiing down the snowy hills in the park. Snowshoeing and sledding are available too.
4Eagle River Chain of Lakes
One lake in Wisconsin can give you numerous activities to enjoy and unparalleled views of nature. But what if you have 28 lakes all interconnected?
Located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, the Eagle River Chain of Lakes is actually the largest inland chain of lakes in the whole world. The lakes are actually 100 percent made by nature. However, it was the work of humans that connected them all. And with such a huge area, you will surely have plenty of things to do. And no matter what kind of travel experience you’re looking for, you will surely find something that floats your boat on this unique Wisconsin natural wonder.
For starters, there are actually countless of water-related activities in the area. One of which is doing water sports. Here, you can go kayaking, rafting, sailing, waterskiing, boating, jet skiing, and windsurfing. In addition to that, you can, of course, enjoy swimming. Snorkeling and diving are also some of the popular water activities in the lakes.
If you’re not much of a fan of water activities, don’t worry. There are also plenty of off-lake activities that you can enjoy with your family and/or friends. In the warmer months, we’re sure you will love mountain biking and horseback riding. The site even has a golf course and a miniature golf course.
There are also hiking trails available. The site serves as a home to wildlife too. Hence, you can spot them nearly everywhere, especially when you go hiking.
The fun never stops even when the colder months have arrived. Here, you can enjoy cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and tubing.
The place is also nice if you want to enjoy snowmobiling. In fact, the Eagle River Chain of Lakes is nicknamed as the Snowmobile Capital of the world.
What we love about the place is that it’s not too far away from the town. Thus, you can also enjoy shopping an even fine dining.
At first glance, it’s so easy on passing on the idea of visiting Horicon Marsh because of how it often looks like in photos. But don’t be fooled. Apparently, this natural wonder is also worth visiting for many things.
First, it is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the U.S. Located in Southeast of Wisconsin, this place is also known as a migratory stop for flocks of Canada geese. In addition to that, the marsh is a place to spot 300 species of birds, including the largest nesting population of redhead ducks. Thus, if you plan to visit, don’t forget to bring your binoculars so you can enjoy this fascinating sight of birds without disturbing them.
Apart from that, the site is also frequented by many because of the recreational activities that it has to offer. Here, you can also hike, thanks to its nice trails, including the 1,400-foot boardwalk. Both young and old will also enjoy geocaching. The place has biking trails too.
For those who love the water, there are a number of water-related activities in the area too. One of which is paddling. Fishing is also a popular activity in the area.
During colder months, the activities available also changes. In winter, Horicon Marsh serves as yet another fun place for snowshoers and cross-country skiers.
And no matter what time of the year it is, the marsh will always treat you with fascinating views of nature. So don’t forget to bring your cameras with you too to make sure that you capture every fun and Instagram-worthy moments.
Wisconsin has far more activities and attraction than these. That said, if you want to explore more of Wisconsin, you might want to stay a bit longer. If you do, we listed some of the most unique accommodations in Wisconsin that you might want to check out.
Wisconsin actually has a good deal of hotels and other types of accommodations that will provide you comfortable rooms to stay. It would take us forever to show you every hotel that the state has, though. But we listed a handful of good hotels that will make your stay even more memorable for its quirkiness. If your interest is piqued, read on.
Wisconsin actually has numerous hotels that are rumored to be haunted. Karsten Hotel is one of them. If you’re up for some spooky experience, this place is for you. Founded in 1912, this hotel has witnessed so many stories of its guests through the years. Some probably even lingered as it is reportedly haunted by three spirits.
The first is the hotel’s founder, who was also the city’s former mayor, who passed away in the hotel. To this day, people say that they can still smell his cigar smoke.
The former mayor’s grandson is said to haunt the hotel too. Reports say that he plays with the children at the hotel.
The third spirit allegedly belongs to Agatha, a former maid. People say she loves to play tricks on construction workers, as well as maintenance men. Some also hear her crying.
But, of course, those haunting stories aren’t the only thing that keeps this hotel running for years. Karsten Hotel also boasts of its charming rooms that blend arts and crafts with architecture and comfort.
Candlewood Cabins actually has different types of cabins to offer. But one that always catches our attention is its Glass House. As its name suggests, this cabin is really made with glass. It’s not all glass, though. The walls are the ones made with reclaimed glass and its roof is made with a recycled tin roof. Still, this cabin will give you a unique experience, especially because of its location. Surrounded by trees, you will definitely feel closer with nature. It’s so unique and beautiful that it got featured in the New York Time and Midwest Living.
The best part of it is that it is pet friendly. However, if you’re traveling with your family, note that kids under 10 years are not allowed.
Don Q Inn
Whether you’re on the air or on land, Don Q Inn is hard to miss because of its Boeing C97 in its front yard. But that’s not the only thing that makes the hotel unique. Apparently, Don Q Inn offers suites with unique themes. From hot air balloons to a forest, you will surely love how its suites are designed. They also have a suite with an igloo and Northern Lights. Some rooms even come with an accompanying CD of sound effects!
However, note that adults are only allowed in the suites. But if you’re traveling with your family, there are standard family rooms available.
Another unique accommodation that you need to check out is Caboose Cabins. Here, you will stay in a train. This is because the owners of the hotel converted old trains into cabins. Apart from that, you can also check out books and videos available on the site to see how these trains operated and transformed into a cabin.
Wisconsin has far more natural wonders than these. There’s plenty more to see, though, but we’re sure that our suggestions are enough to give you a memorable vacation at Wisconsin. These attractions will not just get you closer to nature but you will also have fun experience with your friends and/or family.