Road Trip! Wisconsin Vacation Ideas on a Tank (or Less!)

The road trip is an American classic. Think about it: the windows are open and the tunes are cranked. The wind is teasing your hair.

Wind Point Lighthouse
Wind Point Lighthouse | Photo Credit: Donald S. Abrams

What’s better on a summer afternoon?

How about cruising to your destination on a single tank of gas?! If you need a getaway, try a trip that’s only a few hours away. We’ve crunched the mileage and provided multiple trips that are perfect for a weekend getaway.

Chicago to Kewaunee ( < 200 miles) – For our Chi-town friends, you’re one cruise away from one of Wisconsin’s best-kept secrets, Kewaunee. The only logical route to this lakeside community has you going through Kenosha, which happens to be home to the famous Mars Cheese Castle. So you might as well stop on by for some Wisconsin cheddar and a craft beer.

Head further north and you’ll hit the quiet, picturesque town of Kewaunee. Take a stroll through the Marquette Historic District and see houses featuring everything from Queen Anne to Prairie architecture. Go hiking or biking on Wisconsin’s “thumb” on the scenic Ahnapee State Trail. The freighters and fishing boats along Lake Michigan’s rocky shore provide some great photo opps!

Forest Hills Golf Course | Photo Credit: RJ & Linda Miller
Forest Hills Golf Course | Photo Credit: RJ & Linda Miller

Minneapolis to La Crosse ( < 160 miles) – La Crosse is a haven located off I-90. Make your first stop Grandad Bluff. Located 600 feet above the city, the park offers views of Minnesota and Iowa, as well as Wisconsin. Play a round of golf at public courses Forest Hills and Fox Hollow, and later on admire wildlife at Myrick Hixon Ecopark, a popular spot for bird watching. Enjoy a relaxing dinner and drink at the Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern, and an evening of bar- and club-hopping in vibrant downtown La Crosse.

Cedar Rapids to Racine ( < 250 miles) – Racine boasts one of the best beaches in the Midwest, as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed SC Johnson Wax Administrative Building, a must-see for architecture buffs. For an uninterrupted view of the lakefront, climb up the Wind Point Lighthouse, which is open for tours on the first Sunday of the month in June through October. Art lovers can enjoy the Racine Art Museum's renowned collection of contemporary crafts, and nearby galleries on Main and Sixth streets. Before hitting the road again, pick up a sweet kringle at O&H Danish Bakery, a Racine specialty.

Have any annual road trips you go on? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below.

This entry was posted in Trip Planner, Museums & Galleries, Golf, Trails and Hiking, Local Foods, Transportation & Roads and tagged Attractions, Outdoor Fun, Exploring, Family Fun, Golfing, Nature, State Parks, Summer, Tours & Trails, Vacation, Travel Wisconsin, Hiking / Running / Walking