Summer Destinations to Score a Discount in Winter

Discount Winter Vacation Ideas

Winter is the perfect time to check out destinations around Wisconsin on a budget. Many hotels offer discounted, off-peak rates and winter vacation package deals, top-rated restaurants have more availability and the peacefulness of the winter surroundings offer a unique perspective to Wisconsin’s gorgeous landscapes.

Here are some destinations for you to explore this winter:

Door County

Door County’s winter season is filled with nights by the crackling fire, scenic explorations by day, as well as leisurely dining and shopping opportunities throughout your stay. Whether you like to get outside for exciting winter adventures or stay in with a warm beverage and hot meal, Door County has plenty to offer this winter.

Check out the Stone Harbor Resort in Sturgeon Bay, which offers rates that are 25-40% less during off-peak times. Another option is the Waterbury Inn in Ephraim with rates that are discounted 35-45% during off-peak times and rooms that can accommodate two to six guests.

While you’re in Door County, explore hundreds of miles of quiet trails, perfect for skiing or snowshoeing. Enjoy the pristine parks during special candlelight events scheduled at each of the peninsula’s five state parks in January and February. Also available are 250 miles of snowmobile trails, or you can check out a winter trail on horseback at Kurtz Corral near Carlsville.

For those who’d prefer indoor adventures, follow the Door County Wine Trail, comprised of eight different wineries providing you with the unique tastes of the peninsula. If you’re feeling creative, make an art project at Hands On Art Studio in Fish Creek. Or visit one of the dozens of galleries, studios and museums that charm this part of the state with original work from local painters, potters, sculptors, craftsmen and weavers.

Bayfield & Apostle Islands

When the snow falls, the landscape in Bayfield and the Apostle Islands is transformed into a wonderland of winter splendor. Between Bayfield and Madeline Island/La Pointe, the bay freezes over, creating the perfect venue for ice fishing. With rare exception, Lake Superior freezes deep enough to allow the famous “Ice Road,” allowing visitors to drive, hike, ski or ride fat bikes back and forth to Madeline Island.

The famous Apostle Islands sea caves become sparkling cathedrals of ice. The caves aren't always accessible, so be sure to call ahead and check it out.

The area has more than 100 miles of snowshoe trails and 130 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails. Or if you enjoy a truly back country experience, join a guided dog sledding expedition to experience the snowy solitude of the surrounding landscape.

For indoor adventures, check out one of the several galleries and working studios that offer beautiful and unique collections. Boutique stores with handcrafted jewelry and one-of-a-kind clothing are also at your disposal.

While in the area, stay at the Winfield Inn, which offers rooms at rates 30-40% less during the off-peak season. Or check out the Bayfield Inn, which offers a 40-45% discount on rooms starting in November.

Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells in winter is the perfect destination for those who want to visit the area on a budget and also have a little extra room to breathe.

As the Waterpark Capital of the World®, the resorts with indoor parks have consistent pricing year round, but here are just a few options that offer discounts in the off-peak season. Check out the Cedar Lodge right on the shores of the Wisconsin River. From November through April their prices are discounted 30-35%. They have rooms that accommodate two to six people and offer passes to the Chula Vista indoor waterpark with your stay. Another great lodging option is the River’s Edge Resort. They offer discounted rates of 30-40% off during their off-peak season which starts after Labor Day and lasts until June. The Pub and Grub is located on the property and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner every day in an unforgettably rustic atmosphere.

While in the Dells, try a winter zipline tour for a different perspective of the frozen landscape. Both Bigfoot Zipline Tours and Vertical Illusions are open year round. For another unique look at Wisconsin’s winter wonderland, head to the Red Ridge Ranch Riding Stable for a guided trail ride through 250 acres of scenic woods, or just sit back and enjoy a sleigh ride.

Wisconsin Dells is also home to one of the world’s top spa destinations, Sundara Inn and Spa. Take a break from winter and allow yourself to get pampered. 

This area of Wisconsin is known for its outdoor splendor with breathtaking canyons, lakes and abundant forests. Rent skis or snowshoes and see its beauty at your own pace.


No matter where you visit this winter, be sure to check out the local visitor centers to get coupons and scoops on the best discounts for the season.