Take a fall drive: 8 day trip adventures

Some say fall is the best time to take a drive in Wisconsin. Just hop in the car and choose one of our routes!
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Kettle Moraine State Forest

Lake Geneva
A 90-minute drive from the Madison area, the cozy, lakeside town of Lake Geneva is a perfect fall destination. See the turning foliage from your car on the scenic Rustic Road 11 or opt for a stroll on the Geneva Lake Shore Path that follows the rim of the lake. Bikers can take advantage of the miles of picturesque bike trails with Avant Bicycle & Cafe providing bike rentals and coffee fuel. After a long day, enjoy lakeside pizza at Oakfire downtown.

Grandad Bluff and Bliss Road
Grandad Bluff in La Crosse has become a scenic destination for visitors all over the state. The bluff sits nearly 600 feet above the surrounding land, offering a beautiful, panoramic sight of the Coulee Region. Bliss Road leads small vehicles up the bluff to find what Wisconsin Trails readers voted “the most scenic view in the state.” Just a few miles from the bluff, stop for a coffee, crepe or beer at The Root Note or enjoy sky-high scoops and other handmade sweets at The Pearl Ice Cream Parlor. 

Door County Highway 57
If you’re lucky enough to get up to Door County this time of year, Highway 57 offers some of the most scenic fall views of the area. Running from Milwaukee to Sister Bay, the highway passes through countless quaint Wisconsin towns. Once in Door County, Highway 57 runs through Sturgeon Bay, a tourism-heavy town offering the Door County Maritime Museum and local favorite Sonny’s Pizzeria. Continuing on, Highway 57 reaches the cozy towns of Bailey Harbor and Sister Bay before terminating.

A Scenic Ride in the Driftless Region
DriftlessWisonsin.com provides an itinerary for the perfect day-long road trip through the Driftless Region. The route starts off in La Crosse and then makes the picturesque drive to Hillsboro, passing “beautiful timber covered hills, lush green valleys, numerous trout streams, limestone cliffs and scenic farmland.” Make an additional stop at Wildcat Mountain State Park for beautiful views of the Kickapoo River. Moving onward to Viroqua for more small-town charm, spend an afternoon in the historic downtown district or visit Vernon Vineyards for locally-made wines.

Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive
This 115-mile route traveling from Elkhart Lake down to Whitewater Lake is arguably one of the best drives to see fall foliage in full effect. The Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive showcases the geological diversity in Wisconsin and offers plenty of historical landmarks, picnic spots and shops along the way. Stop at Old World Wisconsin outdoor museum to explore over 60 restored historical structures and buildings or The Wade House, a Stagecoach built in the 1800s featuring reconstructed sawmills and horse-drawn carriages.

Wisconsin Great River Road
Wisconsin Great River Road is another drive with hop-on-and-off destinations to see some of the autumn’s best in Wisconsin. The road follows the Mississippi River over 250 miles and passes through 33 unique communities. Along the route, stop at “rustic chic” The Barn Restaurant in Prairie Du Chien for its reputable pizza and expansive cocktail menu. To find unique gifts and home decor, visit Practically Posh in Onalaska.

Wisconsin Rustic Roads
Don’t want to stray too far from Dane County? Green County has four rustic roads – routes deemed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to have “unusual or outstanding natural beauty.” Rustic Road 27 offers access to the Sugar River State Trail and landmarks of Native American campsites. Rustic Road 90 and 94 showcase the area’s history with holes from lead mining, 300 year-old oak trees and former cheese factories.

The Ultimate Cheese Lovers Road Trip
To round off this list is one of the more ambitious road trips: the one made for Wisconsin Cheese lovers. Only In Your State crafted this ultimate guide in 2016 that traverses over 600 miles of the Dairy State, but you don’t have to commit to the full journey to enjoy the best of what makes Wisconsin, Wisconsin. Highlights include Kraemer Wisconsin Cheese in Watertown, which has been in the game nearly 100 years and offers gift boxes and novelty cheeses. Also notable is Carr Valley Cheese, whose award-winning cheeses can be found in eight different locations in the central and southwest regions of the state.

 

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