The humble state of Wisconsin is the ideal place for making summertime memories with your family. Whether you enjoy splashing in the lake, slipping down a water slide, or enjoying the sights and sounds of the big city, Wisconsin has the perfect Fourth of July getaway waiting for you. From rustic cabins in the beautiful woods to spacious lofts in the city, there are plenty of Wisconsin vacation rentals to choose from. Check out the top family-friendly destinations in Wisconsin to spend Independence Day.

1. Wisconsin Dells

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How could you not spend your Fourth of July vacation at the “Waterpark Capital of the World”? With more waterparks per capita than anywhere else on the planet, Wisconsin Dells is the place for summer time fun. Float the day away or get a thrill on some of the biggest, fastest, and wettest water rides and slides in the world. Then, do some dining and shopping downtown before you settle into your lawn chairs for the fireworks show at dusk.

2. Apostle Islands

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If you want a little more adventure in your watersports, head to the Apostle Islands. This set of 22 coastal islands is highlighted by stunning rock formations and six historic lighthouses that are considered the finest in the country. Rent a kayak to explore sandstone cliffs, sea caves, and unspoiled beaches, and then store it in the garage of your vacation rental when it’s not in use. Apostle Islands provides some of the best blue-water paddlings in the country!

3. Madison

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Wisconsin’s capital city is sure to show you a great time filled with nature, culture, shopping, and plenty of food. Explore the great outdoors with 200 miles of biking and hiking trails. If you’d rather stay low-key, don’t miss the Dane County Farmers’ Market, a favorite among tourists and locals alike. There amazing outdoor events scheduled year-round, and Fourth of July is no different. There are multiple fireworks shows happening in and around Madison for Independence Day.

4. Hazelhurst

Night Sky
Source: Flickr/Joe Parks

If summer camping has been a longstanding tradition for you and your family, Hazelhurst will not disappoint. Described as the “Quiet Side of the Northwoods,” this town is known for its beautiful outdoor scenery, charm, and hospitality. The area was once used for logging, but it’s not a perfect destination any time of the year. Plus, Hazelhurst offers a variety of lodging options to suit your needs including resorts, vacation rentals, campgrounds, a motel and a bed and breakfast.

5. North Beach

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Think you need to travel to the ocean for a summer vacation? Think again! Wisconsin is home to multiple “ocean-esque” beaches along its Great Lakes coastlines, and North Beach has been voted by USA Today as one of the “51 Great American Beaches.” Located on the Lake Michigan waterfront, this beach has 2,500 feet of shoreline perfect for swimming, fishing, and picnics.

6. Sheboygan

Sheboygan
Source: Flickr/Jeffrey Wright

The name may look funny, but it’s pronounced exactly how it’s spelled, she-boy-gan. Resting on Lake Michigan, this city is known as “The Spirit on the Lake,” but we’d much rather prefer to call it by it’s another name, the “Bratwurst Capital of the World.” They even have a bratwurst festival in early August called Brat Days! Don’t worry if you’re only in Sheboygan for Fourth of July weekend because their festivities start on the 3rd and include beach volleyball, cardboard boats, live music, food, and fireworks.

7. Phelps

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This self-proclaimed best-kept secret of Wisconsin will provide a restful and relaxing weekend getaway or an active adventure for you and your family. There are plenty of opportunities for camping and hiking, and its abundance of lakes is perfect for boating, fishing, kayaking or canoeing. Head into town for Phelps’ 4th of July celebration to catch the parade, followed by live music, kids activities, refreshments, and of course, fireworks.

8. Marinette

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Marinette, the Waterfall Capital of Wisconsin, is nestled on the south bank of the Menominee River and on Green Bay’s Shoreline. With thousands of acres of forests and lakes, hundreds of miles of streams and world-famous waterfalls, it’s no wonder Marinette recognizes itself as “Nature’s Waterpark.” Take a waterfalls tour through the Marinette County Parks system or go whitewater rafting, jet skiing, and water skiing on the Peshtigo River. Stay for an extra week to celebrate the rich lumbering history, spirit, culture, and traditions of the area at the Logging and Heritage Festival.

9. Calumet County

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Even though Calumet County bills itself as the “quiet side of the lake,” it’s the good kind of quiet. Stretching about 30 miles along the eastern shore of Wisconsin’s largest inland lake, Lake Winnebago, Calumet County offers trails for hiking, observation towers for climbing, caves for crawling around in, and plenty of fish in the lake. It’s also the “Supper Club Capital of the Midwest,” so come hungry! The most iconic supper club to try is Schwarz’s. This family fun restaurant opened more than 50 years ago and is beyond famous.

10. Spring Green

 House on the Rock
Source: Flickr/nixerKG

If your sick of the outdoors and want to add a little art and culture to your Fourth, Spring Green is a must. Nestled on the banks of the Wisconsin River, this city is most famously known as the home of famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. He built his Wisconsin home in Taliesin, just outside Spring Green, in the early 1900s and established a still-functioning school for architects. If the kids don’t appreciate architecture yet, they’ll get a kick out of the House on the Rock. This idiosyncratic creation was built on top of 60 feet of chimney rock and houses a fantastical museum of oddities and collectibles.