Green Bay Packers, “Cheeseheads” and breweries. Wisconsin is known for a lot of things, but not many of them sound particularly romantic. Look beyond the surface, however, and you’ll find a state that caters to lovers with an assortment of cultural attractions and opportunities for relaxation. You'll find these activities amid the state's diverse settings, from rustic farmland, to lavish lakeside properties, to sleepy coastal towns.
Sheboygan County in eastern Wisconsin is home to an assortment of romantic little villages. Enjoy a stay at the high-end American Club Resort Hotel in Kohler. Pay a visit to the hotel’s elite Kohler Waters Spa, which earned the Five-Star Award by Forbes Travel Guide in 2013, and sign up for a twosome treatment, such as a couple’s massage or hydrotherapy session. Take the five-minute drive to Sheboygan Falls and stroll through the historic downtown dotted with over 40 late 19th-century buildings, many of which are filled with antique shops and cozy cafes. End your day with a leisurely stroll along the rustic parkland that lines that city’s rushing waterfall. Just 20 minutes north of Sheboygan Falls, set in Kettle Moraine State Forest, you’ll find Elkhart Lake. Explore the sparkling blue waters via a romantic kayak trip or a horseback ride around the lake. Book a stay at Osthoff Resort, an elegant Victorian resort with lakeside restaurants and guest rooms.
Lovers in the Big City
Who says romance is restricted to quaint little towns? Make your way to Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee, and stay at Pfister Hotel, a lavish and historic 1893 hotel. Grab a drink with your honey at Blu, a martini and wine bar on the hotel’s 23rd floor with sweeping views of Lake Michigan. Take a walk along the city’s famed two-mile-long RiverWalk lined with galleries, shops and elegant restaurants. Pack a picnic for a lunch at Lake Park, set on the shores of Lake Michigan, before climbing the 74-foot, 1887 North Point Lighthouse with panoramic vistas of the water and skyline. Madison may be known as a college town and Wisconsin’s capital, but the city provides a host of romantic activities as well. Treat your sweetie to a night of high-brow culture at Overture Center for the Arts, home to such resident companies as Madison Ballet, Madison Opera and Madison Symphony Orchestra. Take a stroll through the 16 acres of Olbrich Botanical Gardens, filled with colorful flowers, waterfalls, gazebos and bridges. In the evening, retire to your private whirlpool suite at the upscale Madison Concourse Hotel.
Tucked away on eastern Wisconsin’s Door Peninsula, Door County has more than 300 miles of rugged Lake Michigan shoreline, dotted with cozy little villages, sprawling cherry orchards, 11 lighthouses and over 50 beaches. Enjoy an afternoon of picnicking, light hiking and bike rides in the county’s five state parks, including the 3,776-acre Peninsula State Park and 2,400-acre Newport State Park. While the area is filled with quaint log cabins and bed and breakfast inns, there are also elegant hotels throughout the region, such as Bay Breeze Resort in Ephraim. Relax in the comfort of your own in-room whirlpool tub or take a walk along the hotel’s private sand beach.
North and South
Tucked away in the upper northwest region of Wisconsin, set along the shores of Lake Superior, is the small town of Bayfield. Enjoy a day of berry picking on surrounding farms or wine tasting at nearby vineyards. Visit the Apostle Islands, a chain of 22 islands in Lake Superior off the coast of Bayfield, where you and your honey can explore sea caves, go for a swim or just lounge on the sandy shores. Travel to the southern edge of Wisconsin and visit Lake Geneva, a nine-mile-long lake surrounded by lush forests. Enjoy a stay at Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, a luxury hotel where some guest rooms have fireplaces, jetted tubs and balconies with views of the hotel’s own private lake. Book a charter cruise on Elmer's Lake Geneva Boat Line and embark on a sunset cruise on the lake complete with champagne and appetizers. You can also take a horse and carriage ride along Lake Geneva or go on a wine tasting tour from the host of nearly 10 nearby wineries.
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