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Wisconsin Attractions: Popular Favorites and Hidden Gems
Last Updated: 9/4/2013
Hiding among Wisconsin’s most iconic attractions are a number of lesser known must-see places of interest. If one of these headlining attractions left you wanting more, check out these other treasured exhibits of Wisconsin history, culture and claims to fame:
House on the Rock and Circus World
House on the Rock – Spring Green
Alex Jordan dragged stones one by one up a 60-foot rock tower in Spring Green to create his architectural masterpiece, now a popular tourist attraction. He amassed an assortment of eclectic collections, including the world’s largest carousel, which required several warehouse-sized buildings to contain and display it all.
Circus World – Baraboo
Just 40 miles away, it is the original winter quarters of the Ringling Bros. Circus and home to the world’s largest collection of circus wagons. This Wisconsin Historical Site features seasonal circus performances, a variety of circus exhibits and the buildings of historic Ringlingville.
Taliesin and Ten Chimneys
Taliesin – Spring Green
The legacy of one of the greatest American architects of all time, Frank Lloyd Wright, is preserved in his Spring Green estate. Docents lead visitors through this 700-acre National Historic Landmark, which includes his home, artifacts, buildings, and the serene valley for which he loved.
Ten Chimneys – Genesee Depot
One hundred miles east in Genesee Depot is another National Historic Landmark, the estate of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontane. Docents reveal a house full of memorabilia and mementos that has been restored with collections intact. Even the kitchen drawers and cabinets contain items untouched from when Alfred and Lynn lived there.
National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum
National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame – Hayward
You can’t miss the five-story fiberglass musky that lives outside in the Hayward home of the world’s largest fishing museum. Outdoor enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to see hundreds of mounted trophy fish, thousands of artifacts, lures, antique and classic outboard motors.
Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum – Spooner
This brand new museum pays homage to the simple, lightweight and narrow boat propelled by paddle. See a diverse array of canoes showcasing the tradition and history of canoe-making as well as contemporary models.
EAA Museum and the Bong Heritage Center
EAA Airventure Museum – Oshkosh
It’s one of the most extensive aviation museums in the world. In addition to its more than 200 historic airplanes, the museum also has over 20,000 historic aviation objects and a number of interactive and educational exhibits.
Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center – Superior
Richard I. Bong was a decorated Wisconsin hero and WWII flying ace. This museum, located in Superior near Bong’s home town of Poplar, honors Bong, his WWII comrades and those who served in other conflicts.
Milwaukee Art Museum and the Museum of Wisconsin Art
Milwaukee Art Museum – Milwaukee
Wisconsin’s flagship art museum and Milwaukee’s architectural landmark showcases 30,000 works of art dating as far back as the 15th century and rotated between forty galleries.
Museum of Wisconsin Art – West Bend
Formerly the West Bend Art Museum, it’s now the state's chief venue for Wisconsin-homegrown historic and contemporary art. The Wisconsin Art Collection holds approximately 2,000 pieces from the early 1800s-1950s.
Milwaukee Brewers and the Timber Rattlers
Milwaukee Brewers – Milwaukee
A trip to Miller Park is a visit to the shrine of Wisconsin major league baseball. Experience the nation’s only fan-shaped retractable roof, watch sausage mascots race, and eat fried cheese curds.
Timber Rattlers – Appleton
The Timber Rattlers are the Milwaukee Brewers’ Class A affiliate and their home at Fox Cities Stadium has a family-friendly vibe. For just $25, you get first baseline field level seats plus an all-you-can-eat buffet. Or for $5 have your own picnic in the outfield grass.
The La Crosse Queen and the Chief Waupaca
La Crosse Queen Cruises – La Crosse
It’s a modern-day replica of the grand river boats that paddled the Ol’ Mississippi, America’s longest and historically significant river. It departs from Riverside Park in La Crosse and offers passengers a variety of daily sightseeing tours.
Chief Waupaca – Waupaca
This double-decker authentic sternwheeler takes guests on a narrated cruise of the crystal-clear waters forming the Chain O’Lakes.