From a stunning national scenic byway to award-winning Wisconsin cheese, northwest Wisconsin is full of surprises! Head off the beaten path to this corner of the state for an unforgettable road trip. Here are just five ways to explore Wisconsin’s northwestern region.
1. Stop in at Burnett Dairy Cooperative in Grantsburg.
…because what’s a road trip without a place to stop and load up on award-winning Wisconsin cheese?!
Founded over 100 years ago, Burnett Dairy Cooperative is one of the only full agricultural cooperatives in the U.S. In addition to the fully-operating cheese factory, you can also swing through the general store, retail store and bistro, including a full-service deli and ice cream parlor. Choose from more than 100 varieties of Wisconsin cheese and over 100 wines—and treat yourself to fried cheese curds, pizza or a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich, including our recommendation: “the Wisconsin” with Alpine-style cheese on cranberry and wild rice bread!
2. Try a Neapolitan-style brick oven pizza at Lucette Brewing Company in Menomonie.
Heading south to Menomonie in Dunn County, dine inside or grab a table on the patio at Lucette Brewing Company. Pick out a cold brew (perhaps Farmer’s Daughter or a Birkie Brew-ski!) and a delicious woodfire pizza – made fresh in the brewery’s Neapolitan-style brick pizza oven. Lucette Brewing Company’s pizzas are made with 24-hour fermented dough, fresh hand-pulled mozzarella cheese and other locally-sourced ingredients. Their ‘not-to-miss’ bruschetta is unique and amazing! You won’t forget this meal and neither will we if you post a photo to Instagram using #wisconsincheese!
3. Float your way down the gorgeous Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway.
With over 200 miles to discover, the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers come together to form a national park in Wisconsin: the Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway. And there’s no wrong way to explore this treasure: kayak, canoe, standup paddleboard or tube down America's first Wild and Scenic River National Park.
4. Explore the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.
In total, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest covers 1.5 million acres of Wisconsin’s Northwoods. The Chequamegon side of the forest includes federally protected land in five northwest Wisconsin counties: Ashland, Bayfield, Sawyer, Price and Taylor. First, pick your adventure: hiking, biking, horseback riding, ATVing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Then hit up a trail!
5. Cruise along the Great River Road National Scenic Byway.
Voted “The Best Drive in America,” Wisconsin’s segment of the Great River Road National Scenic Byway follows the Mississippi River for 250 miles through 33 river towns. The northern end of Wisconsin’s Great River Road starts in Prescott. Along the way, make pit stops at towns like Stockholm, where you’ll want to grab some Carr Valley cheddars and Ellsworth Cheese Curds for the road at Stockholm Pie & General Store. And keep your pantry furnished with the very best Wisconsin cheeses, wines and gourmet oils, sauces and more when you stop in at Nelson Cheese Factory in Nelson.
For a getaway that takes you off the beaten path, it doesn’t get any better than Northwest Wisconsin. Chime in with your itinerary favorites below!