12 Top-Rated Romantic Getaways in Wisconsin
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The natural backdrop of Wisconsin is perfect for romantic getaways, whether you're looking for quiet cabin seclusion in the Northwoods or active urban excitement on the waterfront. The state has plenty of things to do, from hiking, biking, and beaches to professional sports. Take a romantic drive along one of the four scenic byways in Wisconsin, indulge in a couple's massage, and dine at some of the state's farm-to-table restaurants.
Summers mean enjoying the dramatic Wisconsin sunsets on a porch surrounded by the natural beauty. And, winters in remote regions like the Northwoods mean taking advantage of Mother Nature's playground for one of the best winter vacations in the United States. Each of Wisconsin's regions are unique, so you can create the ideal romantic weekend based on the mood of the moment.
For ideas, see our list of the top romantic getaways in Wisconsin.
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1. Door County
Couples who love the outdoors as much as they do each other can enjoy the best of both in Door County in Wisconsin's eastern peninsula. With 300 miles of shoreline, historic lighthouses, quaint eateries, and beautiful scenery, a romantic itinerary is easy to make. Choose from outdoor activities like kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, and paddleboarding in nearly any community you choose, since water and parks surround the county.
Spend an afternoon picking cherries in the summer at one of the area's orchards or picnic at one of 19 county parks, each with its own unique appeal. Wind down your evenings at a traditional supper club, like the Sister Bay Bowl family-owned historic restaurant, or enjoy upscale dining at the Whistling Swan Inn. Be sure to work in at least one traditional Door County Fish Boil during your stay.
While Door County is spectacular in the summer, it is also a great destination for a romantic winter getaway. Take advantage of the snowy outdoor playground on the peninsula with activities like cross-country skiing, fat tire biking, and quiet winter hikes. It is a perfect couples getaway, especially when you can hunker down in the evening by a fire at a local resort or bed and breakfast.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Door County
2. Scenic Byways
Hit the road for a romantic getaway by following one of Wisconsin's four scenic byways and stay at bed-and-breakfasts along the way. The Great River Road National Scenic Byway, which runs along the western border of Wisconsin, is part of a multi-state byway that begins in Minnesota and ends in New Orleans, Louisiana. The drive along this road is romantic because it takes you through many small towns and villages where you can stop along the way.
Wisconsin Lake Superior Scenic Byway is in the northern part of the state. The Lower Wisconsin River Road runs 100 miles along Highway 60, and the Door County Coastal Byway is 66 scenic miles along the peninsula. During your drives, be sure to plan extra time to stop and enjoy some famous Wisconsin cheese curds that are served at almost every restaurant and eatery in the state.
The state capital of Madison gets high marks for romance, with plenty of tourist attractions and things to do year-round. Madison is an easily walkable city, and bike rentals are available on most streets. No building is taller than the Wisconsin State Capitol building, so you always have a point of reference as you wander.
A great couples retreat is at The Edgewater, where you can plan a day at the spa, including a couple's massage and a romantic dinner at The Statehouse restaurant on-site. There are a number of great hiking trails near Madison if you want to spend some time outdoors. You can also take advantage of lakefront activities just outside your door, like kayaking and stand up paddleboarding on any of the five connected lakes in the Yahara Lakes Chain.
If you enjoy architecture, take a Frank Lloyd Wright Tour. Madison has many farm-to-table restaurants, so you can plan a romantic foodie weekend with delicious meals at places like Marigold Kitchen for brunch.
Accommodation: Best Hotels in Downtown Madison
One the most charming small towns in Wisconsin is Cedarburg. This quaint historic town is flush with scenic landscapes, decorative details, and brick buildings that date back to the 1800s. Stroll down Washington Avenue for a dose of nostalgia as you browse antique shops, historic inns, and art galleries.
Stop for scenic photos at the Cedarburg Grist Mill or on the Last Covered Bridge in Wisconsin. Satisfy your culinary curiosity at PJ Piper Pancake House or share a jumbo apple (that serves 8-10 people) at Amy's Gourmet Apples. You can catch an evening performance at the Cedarburg Performing Arts Center and settle in for quiet time together at the Stagecoach Inn Bed and Breakfast, a restored historic stagecoach hotel from 1853.
Since it is only 20 minutes north of Milwaukee, you can make a day trip to the big city and return to small-town USA in the evening.
5. Green Bay
If you are looking for an active romantic getaway, the city of Green Bay has non-stop action. It is Wisconsin's oldest community and one of the most recognizable cities in the state as the home of the NFL's Green Bay Packers. Spend a day together with a Packers theme at Lambeau Field. Take in a Packers game or take a behind-the-scenes tour to learn about the rich history of the stadium and the team.
On the ground floor of the Lambeau Field Atrium stop by the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame that showcases 15,000 square feet of memorabilia and history. Spend a day exploring the museums and entertainment in Green Bay like the Neville Public Museum, Automobile Gallery, or Green Bay Botanical Garden. Be sure to leave time during your stay for a day to satisfy your inner child at the Bay Beach Amusement Park.
There are plenty of hotels in Green Bay, like Country Inn and Suites. If you want a luxury local experience, you can stay at the Lodge Kohler, which has romantic suites and a great view of the downtown stadium.
A big city romantic getaway awaits in Milwaukee, Wisconsin's largest city. During the day, take in the art scene with a visit to the Milwaukee Art Museum - the architecture outside is as interesting as the masterpieces inside. You can easily pack in several museum visits by including Discovery World and the Harley Davidson Museum.
In the evening, enjoy romantic dinners at some of Milwaukee's farm-to-table eateries and wind down with a romantic stroll along the two-mile RiverWalk that buzzes with waterfront nightlife. Since Milwaukee is known as the city of festivals, be sure to see what is taking place during your visit.
If you are looking to explore more than one city in Wisconsin during your getaway, you can make day trips from Milwaukee to places like Racine which has nautical, historical, and artistic attractions.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Hotels in Milwaukee
7. Bayfield and the Apostle Islands
Few things are more romantic than the stunning natural beauty of Bayfield and the Apostle Islands. This iconic harbor town has orchards, golf courses, boutique shops, and a maritime museum. Bayfield serves as a gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, which is a series of 21 coastal islands with endless jaw-dropping scenery and outdoor activities that you can do together.
Visit several of the islands to photograph ice caves and lighthouses or hike on the trails. During the summer, you can kayak on Lake Superior or take the three-mile ferry trip to Madeline Island, where you can spend time visiting Big Bay State Park or the museums on the island.
8. Lake Geneva
Watching a romantic sunset along the shores of Lake Geneva will be a moment you never forget. The sunsets are just one of the many reasons this city is perfect for couples. From horseback riding through the snow and sleigh rides in the winter to a romantic boat cruise in the summer, there are things to do year-round.
Stay at one of Lake Geneva's quaint bed and breakfasts or resorts and head out on your own each day to explore by renting kayaks or hitting the hiking trails. You can spend a day skiing or at the waterpark on the premises and wrap up the day with a luxury spa treatment and a romantic dinner at the resort.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
9. Vilas County
The serenity of the Northwoods in Vilas County, Wisconsin makes this a great spot to reconnect with your partner. Cabin lodging is the norm in this secluded part of the state, and the location is perfect for couples who want to be surrounded by nature.
More than 1,300 lakes are in this small region, with endless opportunities to kayak, swim, hike, or just sit on a bench and watch the eagles during the lavender sunrise. This region is home to one of the best fishing lakes in Wisconsin, where you can hire a guide and try your hand at catching the elusive musky.
You can enjoy the wilderness together, with more than 60 multi-use trails and 700 miles of snowmobile trails throughout the county. Settle in at night around a fire pit to enjoy a clear view of the stars in the dark northern Wisconsin skies.
The city of Kohler is best known for the Kohler Design Center and the premier golf courses in the community. Take a Kohler factory tour through the three-level showroom featuring innovative design and technology for the home. Walk through the village or take in a round of golf at one of the world-class golf courses.
You can plan a day together at Kohler-Andrae State Park and hit the beaches of Lake Michigan or settle in for a picnic near the sand dunes. The American Club resort in Kohler is an option for couples who do not want to go far for relaxation and amenities or who want to enjoy a spa getaway.
11. Eau Claire
The waterfront beauty of Eau Claire, in western Wisconsin, gives you plenty of romantic options. Eau Claire, which is the French term for "clear water," sits at the junction of the Chippewa River and the Eau Claire River. The Chippewa River Recreation Trail has 30 miles for biking and walking if you want to indulge in the outdoors.
You can spend a day on a self-guided tour following the Timber Trails that take you through Eau Claire, La Fayette, Augusta, Fall Creek, and Altoona. Or, you can stay in the area to enjoy the Chippewa Valley Museum and the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum. You can also relax at a summer concert at the Sarge Boyd Bandshell in Owen Park.
12. Wisconsin Dells
Indeed Wisconsin Dells is a family-friendly destination, but it has some great options for a romantic getaway. There are several highly rated spas in Wisconsin Dells, where you can book couples massages and relax. Most offer couples packages that combine lodging, spa treatments, and fine dining.
If you are an outdoorsy couple, you can go to one of the nearby state parks for hiking, biking, and kayaking. Mirror Lake State Park, Rocky Arbor State Park, and Devil's Lake State Park are all a short drive from Wisconsin Dells. You can spend evenings walking along the Dells River Walk or taking in local dishes at a variety of downtown restaurants and a music or comedy show.
Accommodation: Top-Rated Resorts in Wisconsin Dells
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More Romantic Getaways: If you are keeping your couples getaway options open, you will want to review some of the top romantic vacations spots for couples in the U.S. like New York, San Francisco, and the Hocking Hills region in Ohio. There are some nice romantic getaways in North Carolina, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Crystal Coast.
Where to Stay: You can complement your couples getaway with lodging options in Wisconsin that range from cozy cabins in the woods to historic bed and breakfasts and luxury resorts. Pennsylvania is another popular state for romantic getaways. Stay at one of the resorts in the Poconos or take a driving trip through the state's small towns. Your Pennsylvania weekend getaway options can also include a romantic retreat in the Allegheny National Forest or an indulgent chocolate weekend in the town of Hershey.