Wisconsin is amazing year-round but I have to admit, autumn is my favorite time of year. From the changing leaves to the start of football season, nothing beats fall in the Badger State! So before the snow starts flying, gear up to take advantage of Wisconsin’s top autumn offerings:
Put your party shoes on because Wisconsin celebrates fall every year like it’s never going to see another! You’ll find hundreds of fall celebrations honoring everything from apples and cranberries to wines and lagers. Your only difficulty will be deciding which festivals to attend.
I recommend: Bayfield Apple Festival, Nekoosa Giant Pumpkin Fest, Oktoberfest in La Crosse, and Warrens Cranberry Festival.
There are some phenomenal farmers’ markets all across the state and while many are year-round, I am particularly fond of visiting the market during the fall season. Pick one of the state’s 70+ outdoor markets this season and relish all of the fresh food your hungry eyes can handle. But hurry, most of them head indoors for the winter come October.
I recommend: Dane County Farmers’ Market in Madison, Fondy Farmers’ Market in Milwaukee, Hillsboro Farmers’ Market, and Stevens Point Farmers Market.
Harvest Fun on the Farm
If petting farms, corn mazes, pumpkin patches and apple orchards don’t scream “fall in Wisconsin,” I don’t know what does! Whether you’re craving a warm apple pie, crispy pumpkin seeds, or just looking forward to carving a jack-o-lantern, there’s a Wisconsin farm waiting for you.
My kids recommend: Busy Barns Adventure Farm in Fort Atkinson, Meuer Farm in Chilton, Mulberry Lane Farm in Sherwood and Polly’s Pumpkin Patch in Chilton.
Golf and Disc Golf
With more than 500 golf courses scattered across the state of Wisconsin, there’s no better time to test your skills than in fall. The best part about golfing this time of year are the views from the greens – from the wooded area that surrounds SentryWorld to the stunning two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline along Whistling Straights, you’re bound to experience a whole new side of Wisconsin. And, I’d be remiss if I didn't mention disc golf courses also are gorgeous in the fall.
I recommend: Bird's Ruins Disc Golf Course in Marshall, Rolling Ridge Disc Golf Course in Reedsville, SentryWorld in Stevens Point, Wild Rock Golf Club in Wisconsin Dells, Whistling Straits Golf Course in Sheboygan
Fall Foliage Road Trips
Hit the rustic roads for a stunning tour of Wisconsin’s fall foliage. I’ve been known to stop and take photos of rustic barns, historic churches and more. There’s so much to see! (Tip: Check out the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Rustic Roads program for a downloadable guide.)
I recommend: Great River Road (Highway 35), Interstate State Park in Polk County, Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Sawyer County
What do you love most about Wisconsin’s fall season? Tell us in a comment below!
Chad Diedrick is the managing producer for the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show, Discover Wisconsin. In his 12+ years of discovering Wisconsin, Chad has seen virtually every corner of the state. Between filming breaks, you’re likely to catch Chad trying his hand at a round of disc golf at a local course. (His goal is to hit every disc golf course in Wisconsin!) Watch Discover Wisconsin Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin.