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Trip Ideas

10 Greatest Small Cities in Wisconsin

Wisconsin actually has all the things, from epic pure wonders to dynamic cities to a thriving farm-to-table scene. However what units this Midwestern vacation spot aside is its bevy of pleasant small cities sprinkled throughout the state. We have rounded up the perfect small cities in Wisconsin — all with a inhabitants below 15,000 — that provide one thing for each kind of traveler.


Courtesy of Journey Wisconsin

Fairly Stockholm is ready on the Nice River Street, a newly designated Nationwide Scenic Byway. This enclave, way back settled by Scandinavians, provides a plethora of cute outlets and eateries that epitomize small city allure. Cease for a recent, domestically grown meal at Hop Dish & Vine, which serves an ever-rotating menu based mostly on the bounty of close by farms. For a candy one thing, longtime favourite Stockholm Pie is bound to please. On the memento entrance, contemplate Scandhihoo for sustainable Nordic-inspired wares, The Palate for foodie finds, and Iris & Oak for work from regional artists, together with space favourite Stockholm Pottery.

Sister Bay

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Probably the greatest-known Midwest locations is Wisconsin’s Door County, a jagged thumb of a peninsula that juts into Lake Michigan on the state’s japanese aspect. Although each village right here has its personal treasure trove of sights, Sister Bay is a wonderful small city decide. Keep at The Dörr, a brand new Scandinavian-inspired lodge with a main central location. From there, stroll to the waterfront for weekly live shows or films within the park, which friends can get pleasure from seasonally. Lastly, do not miss the farm excursions from Door County Creamery or the well-known rooftop goats at Al Johnson’s. Tip: Summertime guests ought to make sure to pattern the lingonberry-forward Swedish Swirl ice cream at Al’s.


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Because the gateway to the Apostle Islands Nationwide Lakeshore, Bayfield is a can’t-miss small city within the Badger State. Guests can anticipate sea caves (or ice caves, relying on the time of yr), orchards (organized into the aptly named Fruit Loop), and stellar paddling (for all ability ranges). Moreover, this space, recognized for its native tradition, is residence to the nation’s first tribal nationwide park, Frog Bay, and the nation’s first Indigenous-owned distillery, Copper Crow. Keep at a basic Bayfield bed-and-breakfast, the Outdated Rittenhouse Inn, which has a number of personal residences below one roof.

Prairie du Chien

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The bluffy fantastic thing about western Wisconsin is greatest epitomized within the small city of Prairie du Chien, set alongside the majestic Mississippi River Valley. Guests right here can get pleasure from a standard barbecue at The Barn, hike for beautiful views at Wyalusing State Park, and decide up smoked fish and recent cheese curds from Valley Fish & Cheese Market. After a day spent exploring this Driftless port of name, lay your head on the family-owned Waterfront Resort proper downtown.

Elkhart Lake

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Racing fans will acknowledge the village of Elkhart Lake, positioned on Wisconsin’s japanese flank. This small city is residence to Street America, a historic (and quick) everlasting racing monitor set on a 600-acre complicated. Elkhart Lake itself, for which the city is called, is commonly ranked the cleanest within the state. It is also noteworthy for its signature aqua shade, resembling a slice of Caribbean paradise within the Midwest. For an ideal getaway, keep on the famed Osthoff Resort, dine on the Paddock Membership or Lake Avenue Cafe, and revel in a sundown beverage on the Tiki Bar at The Shore Membership.


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One cannot consider Wisconsin with out acknowledging its agricultural bounty, and whereas the nickname of America’s Dairyland is correct (hey, cheese path), tons extra is produced right here. Set within the rolling hills of the Driftless Space in southwestern Wisconsin, Viroqua is residence to one of many highest concentrations of natural farms within the U.S. Pattern some farm-to-table goodness on the James Beard-nominated Driftless Cafe, seize breakfast and a solar-powered cup from Wonderstate Espresso, and pop into the Viroqua Meals Co-Op for edible souvenirs. For lodging, benefit from the Victorian stylings of Viroqua Heritage Inn or the country Scandinavian allure of the cabins at Driftless Creek.

Lake Geneva

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A widely known southeastern Wisconsin locale, Lake Geneva is residence to a storied assortment of Gilded Age waterfront mansions. Not like different upscale second residence spots, these properties are accessible for ogling by way of the 26-mile-long Geneva Lake Shore Path. After a hike, seize a chunk at Lake Metropolis Social, then wash it down at Geneva Lake Distilling. Spend the evening on the stylish Grand Geneva Resort & Spa, a reimagined former Playboy Membership.

Spring Inexperienced

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Structure buffs will acknowledge Spring Inexperienced as Frank Lloyd Wright central. The architect’s 800-acre Taliesin property is conveniently positioned south of city. The location, now acknowledged by UNESCO for its cultural significance, contains highlights just like the Taliesin residence and Hillside Studio. One other quirky attraction, The Home on the Rock can be architecturally related. For a extra pure providing, go to close by Tower Hill State Park, recognized for mountain climbing, birding, and paddling.


Courtesy of Journey Wisconsin

Typically referred to as the Island Metropolis attributable to its location on the pristine Lake Minocqua, Minocqua is a small city in northern Wisconsin. Water recreation actions abound in Minocqua, residence to the Min-Aqua Bats, one of many nation’s oldest water ski present groups. Seize a lakeside beverage on the more-than-a-century-old Thirsty Whale and revel in a meal on the Boathouse, earlier than retiring to one of many space’s many rustic, lodge-style lodging. Beer is a lifestyle in Wisconsin, so contemplate stopping at Rocky Reef Brewing Firm simply north of city. It is recognized for its giant choice of craft beers with enjoyable names like Staycation, a basic gentle providing, and Musky Chew, a well-liked IPA.

Mount Horeb

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For the kitschiest small city in Wisconsin, look no additional than Mount Horeb. Roughly 25 miles west of state capital Madison, this spot is understood for its trolls. To identify the whimsical picket creatures — an ode to the realm’s Norwegian heritage — try the downtown Trollway information, which incorporates a number of maps of notable trolls. Different space highlights embody the Driftless Historium museum, Shake Rag Alley Heart for the Arts (in equally lovable Mineral Level), and Cave of the Mounds, a Nationwide Pure Landmark. Earlier than leaving, remember to cease by the tasting room at Brix Cider for a domestically crafted beverage.

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