Things To Do In Wisconsin – Top 20 Attractions

If you are visiting Wisconsin and you aren’t sure what to do during your stay then you have come to the right place. We have put together this list of the best attractions to give you some inspiration.

What To Do In Wisconsin - Top 20 Attractions

From the world-famous Harley Davidson Museum (perfect for any motorcycle enthusiast) to the perfect family day out at Madison Children’s Museum, there truly is something for everyone in Wisconsin.

1. Harley Davidson Museum

If you are interested in Motorbikes, or even in American history or design, then this is a fantastic museum to visit. The exhibits are exciting and showcase an important element of American culture.

You can purchase a general admission ticket and explore the museum at your own pace, or book onto one of the guided tours. There are several options – 1 hour, 1-2 hours, or 2 hours, depending on how in depth you would like the tour to be.

All guests will be able to visit the museum shop filled with Harley Davidson themed items, and go to the restaurant onsite for some tasty food in a fun setting. The building where the museum is located is also an important part of the history.

2. The House On The Rock

This seasonal attraction is a great day out for the whole family. What began in 1945 as a awe-inspiring retreat has become a collection of exhibits full of curious things and interesting sensory experiences.

We recommend the ‘Ultimate Experience’ which includes admission to all three sections.

You will be able to visit the sculpture garden and the Asian garden, the wonder around the nostalgic exhibits with items from history, immerse yourself in the heritage of the sea, view the world’s largest carousel, and much more.

You can visit for the day, or you can stay in the onsite resort and spend a few days exploring. There is a restaurant for guests to enjoy a meal, and you can also take a relaxing dip in the pool.

There is even a spa and a golf course. This would make a great long weekend getaway, with plenty to see and do.

3. Wisconsin Dells Water Parks

Wisconsin Dells is known as the waterpark capital of the world as it has the largest concentration of indoor and outdoor water parks on the planet (see also “Best Water Parks In Wisconsin Dells“).

It is also home to the largest waterpark in the United States. Each waterpark needs to be booked separately. There is plenty of choice, and you may decide to visit several waterparks over a few days.

As well as water parks, this area has amusement parks, rope courses, brewery tours and wine tastings, casinos, petting zoos, golf, museums, restaurants and much more.

There is plenty to do in this area, so it is a great place to come and stay. The night life is also fantastic, with live entertainment, alfresco dining and interesting bars.

4. Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is a treasured natural area with many visitors each year.

Guests can stroll through 16 acres of outdoor gardens including a rose garden, a wildflower garden, a perennial garden, a Thai garden, a rain garden, a serenity garden, and much more.

There is also a 50 foot high tropical conservatory in the shape of a pyramid. It is filled with exotic plants and flowers and even has a waterfall.

You can walk around the gardens at your own pace, or take one of the guided tours to learn more about the various species of plants and the wildlife.

Different events are held at the botanical gardens including educational classes, art classes, music events and social events. You can check the calendar online to see if there are any events that might interest you.

There is a gift shop filled with interesting items, including offerings from local artists, jewelry makers and other artisans. The profits from the gift shop go towards keeping the botanical gardens open and maintained.

5. Milwaukee County Zoo

This is a great day out for animal lovers.

Milwaukee Zoo is home to many different species including penguins, seals, caribou, snow leopards, mongoose, otters, starfish, armadillos, hyenas, tapirs, camels, jaguars, cheetahs, hippos, elephants, lions, tigers, alpacas, snakes, octopus and many more.

Book onto an animal encounters tour if you want to get up close and personal with some of the animals and have a truly memorable experience. You can also try out the Gorilla Trek Virtual Reality Experience – a unique 4D adventure.

Some of the most popular activities are the sea lion show and the giraffe experience, as well the goat farm with friendly Norwegian dwarf goats.

You can also book onto an open air tram journey through the zoo with a tour guide to give you information about the animals and the zoo itself.

There are 11 different food options on site including snack vendors and dine in restaurants. This means that there is something for everyone.

You can also check out the other activities on offer at the zoo – pony rides, the safari train, the carousel, the zip line or the rope course. There is plenty to do to fill a day with exciting activities, and don’t forget to visit the gift shop before you leave.

6. Milwaukee Art Museum

Even if you don’t step inside the museum, it is worth a visit to check out the architecture of the building. This modern structure is stunning and unique, and makes an interesting addition to the Milwaukee skyline.

The collection of artwork at this museum is impressive, with over 32,000 works of art on display. There are paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, textiles and various installations.

As well as the permanent collection, there are temporary exhibitions – check online for more information about what is coming up.

There are also special events like story time in the gallery for children, art workshops, gallery talks and guided tours.

Admission is free for children under 12, so it won’t cost too much if you want to bring the whole family.

You can also pick up a free art activities park for children at the entrance which helps younger guests to engage with the art in a non-disruptive and educational way.

The museum cafe is a great place to stop for a coffee or a bite to eat. You might also want to check out the Cudahy Gardens or the Oak Leaf trail to explore the outdoor areas.

Before you leave, have a look in the museum shop for some art prints, stationary or other gifts.

7. Wisconsin State Capitol

The Wisconsin State Capitol is a treasured building and has great historical significance. In 2001 it was awarded historic landmark status.

You can take a tour around the building on weekdays or weekends. No reservation is needed if you are in a group of less than 10 people, but you might need to wait if it is busy.

Some key features of this attraction are the rotunda- a beautiful round room, the lantern balcony with a fantastic view of the city, the governor’s office, and the chambers.

The tour will take you through the key areas and more, and provide you with interesting information about the history of the building and its current use.

8. Circus World

Circus world is an exciting family attraction that draws many visitors each year. It has a live action circus, a museum dedicated to circus related history, the largest collection of authentic circus wagons in the world, live music, animals and much more.

There is so much to do that you will easily fill a whole day with different activities, and there is something for everyone. Families love going to Circus World because it is fun for people of all ages.

There is a gift shop on site so you can purchase a souvenir of your visit. There is also a grill restaurant to stop for something to eat in between all of the fun.

Families travel for miles for a day out at Circus World, so you don’t want to miss out if you are in the area. Make sure you book online to avoid disappointment.

9. Cave Of The Mounds

The Cave of the Mounds is a fascinating geological feature in Wisconsin that is definitely worth visiting.

It has been open to visitors since 1940, but has come a long way since then. These days you can explore the trails above ground to look at local wildlife, spot birds, and learn about different plants.

You can then take a self-guided tour of the caves, or book onto a traditional guided tour to learn all about the cave from an expert, including the stunning crystal formations.

The paths are lit, but can be wet or uneven so make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes.

Once you have learned more about the cave, you can have a go at gemstone mining or fossil hunting on the grounds.

Head to the visitor center for information on all of the activities that are available. In the cave gift shop you can buy crystals and gemstones and various exciting gifts and souvenirs.

10. Lake Geneva

Lake Geneva has many visitors from both inside and outside of Wisconsin. It is a beautiful body of water with a 21 mile shoreline.

The shoreline is dotted with luxury homes, and the Geneva Lake Shore Path is a great way to look at these properties from a respectful distance whilst also appreciating the natural beauty of the lake.

The path is 26 miles in total, so you may just want to walk a smaller portion of it. You will need sturdy shoes, as the path can be uneven at some points.

There are lots of other things you can do when you visit Lake Geneva – hiking, biking, kayaking, boating, sports, ziplining, archery and much more.

There are beaches and parks to explore, adventure camps, arcades, a water park, a fairground and many fun places to go.

There are plenty of places to stay around Lake Geneva and the surrounding area, some with amazing views over the lake.

The selection of restaurants is impressive, from Italian to Asian, steakhouses, sports bars, Mexican, seafood and more.

You can also visit wineries, breweries, distilleries and bakeries to learn about how the products are made and sample some goods.

Lake Geneva is fun in all seasons, with various activities for winter and fall as well as the classic spring and summer time adventures.

11. National Railroad Museum

At the National Railroad Museum you will find an impressive collection of historic trains as well as other fascinating exhibits.

You will learn about the trains themselves, but also their historical significance and how they relate to American history.

You can also take a 25 minute train ride around the grounds of the museum, including wooded areas and the shoreline of the river.

You can purchase general admission tickets, train ride tickets, or book onto a trout by going online. Spaces on the group tours are on a first come first serve basis and must be booked at least 2 weeks in advance.

If you are booking a group tour, there is a dining option available provided by the museum. If you are not on a group tour then there is no food available to purchase on site. However, you can bring your own food.

12. Wisconsin Deer Park

Wisconsin Deer Park has 40 acres of land that guests can explore via a series of trails.

These trails allow the guests to get close to different species, as well as seeing them play, feed, and enjoy their habitat. As well as the different types of deer in the park, you will also see elk, bison, goats, horses, lamas, game birds, lemurs, and emus.

There are several feeding areas that allow you to interact with the animals. Some of them are very friendly, and will even stop and have a photograph with you.

The deer park has been open for over 50 years. They are passionate about the comfort and welfare of the animals, as well as educating their guests about the different species. They also provide zoos with animals and breed deer.

The park is open from Mid April through until late October. Guests are encouraged to visit at different times of year to appreciate the seasonal changes in the park, but also in the animals themselves.

You can watch them grow and see how their markings change. Feeding the deer is safe for people of all ages as they do not bite, but children must be supervised.

13. Milwaukee Public Market

This is a very interesting place to visit in downtown Milwaukee. It is the perfect day out for foodies, as there is so much on offer.

From produce to street food and a food court, all of the units are rented by independent merchants. You can also watch cooking demonstrations and even attend cooking classes.

You will be amazed at the variety of food on offer- seafood, ribs, eastern cuisine, Mexican, vegan, french, pizza, thai and more. You can also get drinks like craft beer, wines and coffee.

If you want to buy some produce, you will be able to browse the bakery, the chocolatier, the deli, and find high quality spices and olive oil.

We recommend arriving in the morning and getting coffee and maybe a sweet treat from the bakery. Wonder around the stalls, taking in the sights and smells and buying some produce.

Finish off with lunch from one of the vendors which you can sit and enjoy on the second floor with a view over the market.

14. Cave Point County Park

Door County is a popular area of Wisconsin with plenty of natural features and historical landmarks. Cave Point County Park is a perfect example of why so many people come to Door County.

It has amazing views of Lake Michigan and interesting geological features like limestone ledges and underwater caves.

The park is popular with hikers who want to explore the trails. Photographers find it a great spot for nature photography, and wildlife waters enjoy spotting various species of birds and other animals.

Scuba divers come to check out the caves, and kayakers love to get out onto the water – there is something for everyone. You can relax on the beach or watch the water crash against the rocks.

There are plenty of picnic tables dotted around so you can enjoy different views of the park. There are also cooking grills, so you can bring your family and have a BBQ.

You might spot a wedding during your visit, as the picturesque setting makes it a popular wedding location.

15. Taliesin Preservation & The Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center

Frank Lloyd Wright was an American Architect who built well known structures such as FallingWater in Virginia, and Frederick C Robie House in Chicago.

Taliesin was an area of land that Wright used to experiment with design concepts and materials. It features various structures designed by Wright or commissioned by his family members who lived in the valley.

A lot of work has been done to preserve the structures, as well as unearth the foundations of previous structures.

There are various tours available that will take you around the estate. If you have time, we recommend the 4 hour estate tour which will show you everything there is to see.

If you have less time, you could try the one hour house tour or the one hour landscapes tour.

Tours can be booked online and should be booked in advance as they do sell out. As the estate is privately owned, you cannot take a self-guided tour.

There is a cafe on site with a view over the Wisconsin river. This is open seasonally, as are the public tours. Private tours can be arranged all year round.

16. Devil’s Lake State Park

Devil’s Lake is the largest state park in Wisconsin. Start your visit by heading to the Nature Center. The staff will be able to recommend the best nature trails and let you know what activities you can do within the park.

You can also look at the 3D bird’s eye view model of the park to help you plan your day.

Devil’s Lake State Park is an ideal spot for birdwatching, with over 100 species to look out for.

There are also 880 different species of plants. Keep an eye out for wildlife as you make your way through the park, whether on foot or on a bike. The lake makes this a popular area for fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming.

You can also take part in rock climbing, or winter activities such as snowshoeing. Snow shoes are available to rent from the Nature Center on a first come first serve basis.

If you want to take your time exploring the park, you can stay overnight at one of the campgrounds. The campgrounds vary when it comes to facilities, and you need to book a space online.

17. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary

This urban wildlife refuge stretches over more than 500 acres and is the second largest animal rehabilitation programs in Wisconsin.

Each year they look after over 6000 injured or orphaned animals. The sanctuary features animal exhibits, educational displays, and plenty of hiking trails.

There are lots of opportunities to view the wildlife, and to learn more about the different species. It is a popular location for hikers, birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, students, and families.

Fishing is allowed onsite. Please check online for the rules and regulations. There is also a gift shop, with profits going towards the sanctuary.

You do not need to book online before visiting the sanctuary, simply turn up on the day. Please do not bring pets with you, as it frightens the animals.

Whilst you are in the Bay Beach area, you could also check out Bay Beach Amusement Park. There are fun roller coasters, tasty snacks and hours of fun to be had.

18. Mitchell Park Domes Horticultural Conservatory

Mitchell Park was created by Alexander Mitchell in the late 1860s. He was the richest man in Wisconsin at the time, and he commissioned a horticultural greenhouse on his grounds.

Mitchell developed 30 acres of land into a private park, including the conservatory. After his death the mansion house was sold and the park was bought by the city of Milwaukee. The domes were added in the 1960s.

There are three domes – the show dome which has seasonal plantings around specific themes, the tropical dome which is a humid rainforest microcosm, and the desert dome with a world class collection of cacti and succulents.

You can also explore the park and look at the various plants and gardens.

You do not need to book online, simply arrive on the day and pay admission as you enter. There is a gift shop where you can buy a souvenir of your trip, with lots of plant-themed items.

This is not only a great day out for plant enthusiasts, but also for people who are interested in the local history.

19. Basilica Of St Josaphat

Located on the south side of Milwaukee in Lincoln village, the Basilica is a stunning Catholic building. It was built between 1896 and 1901 as a place of worship for Polish Catholics who settled in Milwaukee.

There were over 12,000 parishioners in this immigrant community by this time, and they needed a building that would be suitable for them. You can learn more about the fascinating history of building during your visit.

There is a visitor center with various exhibits and displays. You can also take walking tours of the Basilica. These must be done at certain times of day so as not to interrupt services.

The staff at the visitor center will tell you everything you need to know about exploring the basilica.

20. Madison Children’s Museum

If you are looking for something hands-on to do with your children then this museum is ideal. There are plenty of interactive exhibits that are fun and educational.

With a mixture of outdoor and indoor play, your child will have new sensory experiences and learn more about the world around them.

The exhibits are themed around art, architecture, history, science and nature, and are suitable for children of various ages.

There is also a cafe on site which is community focused and sustainable. It is a pay what you can cafe, so the items are not priced. This is to encourage all families to visit the museum and to make it more accessible.

You can book your tickets in advance to guarantee a space, or buy your tickets when you arrive. If the museum is too busy and you haven’t booked online then you may be asked to wait or turned away.


These top attractions will guarantee a fun day out in Wisconsin for you and your family.

Alex Kallen
Scroll to Top