By Daniel Rose
Special to TravelWisconsin.com
Fireworks, ice cream, campfires and the Wisconsin wilderness – there's no better combination.
In Wisconsin, we have to relish the warm weather and great views before the sweet days of summer pass us by. The Fourth of July is the perfect opportunity to do just that by planning a camping trip around one of the many fireworks celebrations in the state. Our picks for campsites, nearby fireworks shows and unique local eateries will get you started on a holiday to remember!
At the very tip of the Wisconsin "thumb" everything is nearby! First, get your campsite set up in Peninsula State Park. This property offers it all, from calm beaches to biking trails. Once you're settled in, treat yourself at Wilson's. Established in 1906, this ice cream parlor takes you back to the good old days of soda fountains and stainless steel stools next to the counter! For the grand finale, enjoy Bailey's Harbor before the fireworks celebration takes place there at dusk.
The Dells' Bonanza Campground & RV Park has a heated pool and mini-golf course, and is just two blocks away from Noah's Ark. It's the perfect spot for those who want to go camping but have easy access to activities in the heart of the Dells. After a long day enjoying the "Waterpark Capital of the World," cool off with a mango basil margarita at the High Rock Café. Their food is affordable, seasonal and eclectic so you can always try something new. Nearby, both Mt. Olympus and Downtown Dells hold fireworks extravaganzas that the whole family can enjoy!
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Get away from the city rush up in Eagle River at the Hi-Pines Campground. Tucked away in the woods, this campground offers hiking trails, bike routes and a private pond for swimming. Don't miss the Fourth of July parade through downtown Eagle River that boasts more than 60 floats. After enjoying the parade, stop by Soda Pops for soup and a sandwich or just enjoy a shake at their ice cream bar. Once dusk rolls around, the campground hosts a citywide fireworks celebration.
The Apostle Islands Area Campground offers plenty of spacious sites to pitch your tent, or you can reserve one of the hand-built log cabins. Take a short ferry ride from Bayfield and enjoy the Madeline Island parade earlier in the day. Enjoy magnificent water views while eating lunch at The Deck at Bayfield Inn, a great spot for rooftop dining with an outdoor bar and live music. The magic begins when the sun sets. You can watch fireworks from both Bayfield and Madeline Island at the same time on the mainland city's Memorial Park.
Big Foot Beach State Park has more than 100 wooded campsites and a sandy swim beach on this resort community's eponymous lake, along with a family friendly environment especially good for those traveling with young children. A stone's throw from the campground is Simple, an amazing Korean-infusion breakfast café with fresh and healthful food choices, playfully modern décor and exceptional staff. Finally, enjoy the fireworks celebration at the Grand Geneva Resort and Spa.
Looking for more? Read about Wisconsin's Top 10 Fireworks or search the events directory for holiday activities. Know of another great camping spot for Fourth of July weekend? Let us know in a comment below.