When you’re in need of an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, head to Wisconsin. With its easygoing atmosphere and Midwestern charm, the city of Madison offers a bounty of exciting things to do. The surrounding areas also feature vibrant points of interest. From wildlife excursions in Kennan and scenic drives in Stockholm to festivals in La Crosse and sports-themed activities in Green Bay, there are plenty of attractions near most Madison vacation rentals to explore. Plan your next weekend getaway in Wisconsin — take a look at the top destinations in the state.

1. Kennan

Make Kennan your vacation destination, and spend the weekend snapping photos of the wildlife at the Steve Creek Flowage Wildlife Area. Kennan is a small Wisconsin village that’s located three hours and 40 minutes from Madison. You can also stop into Big Falls County Park, with trails along the Jump River and granite boulders that you and the kids can explore on a hiking or biking trip. Stop in for lunch or dinner at Happy Daze for some comfort food before you head back to your vacation rental for some family time. If you time your trip for early September, enjoy a toe-tapping time at the Jonesfest Music Festival in downtown Kennan.

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2. Ephraim

A three hour and 30-minute drive lands you in Ephraim, a Wisconsin village known for its spectacular views of the bluffs of Green Bay. This historic city offers plenty for the history buffs to see, with village landmarks such as Pioneer Schoolhouse and the Ephraim Moravian Church. Indulge the art enthusiasts with a tour of the Francis Hardy Gallery during your weekend getaway to Ephraim, or get in some rest and relaxation with a massage at the Spa at Sacred Grounds. Head to South Shore Pier Boat Rentals when you want to get out on the water for the weekend.

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3. Stockholm

A vacation rental in Stockholm, three and a half hours from Madison, lets you take a scenic drive along the Great River Road. Kick back and enjoy some time with the adults at the Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery. Treat the kids to a day at the Black Cat Farmstead, where you and your family can tour the grounds, see free-roaming animals, and grab a bite to eat. Stockholm sets off a small-town vibe, and you can check out Scandinavian-American culture on a tour of the historical downtown area. Sample traditional Scandinavian cuisine when you pick up sweet treats at the Stockholm Pie Company.

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4. Green Bay

Make Green Bay your vacation destination for the weekend after a two hour and 20-minute drive from Madison, and immerse yourselves in the city’s history and culture. Start your Saturday with a tour of the National Railroad Museum, where the kids can climb on the antique locomotives and take a train ride for a thrilling adventure. Explore the great outdoors when venturing through the Green Bay Botanical Gardens’ trails complete with blooming flowers and 47 acres of natural wonders. When traveling during football season, make your way to Lambeau Field to catch a thrilling game and take a picture with the Vince Lombardi bronze statue.

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5. Fish Creek

If your crew enjoys relaxing days of fishing off a pier, then Fish Creek is the perfect destination for your weekend getaway. Located three hours and 30 minutes from Madison, this quaint city is home to the Fish Creek dock, which dates back to the mid-19th century. Reel in some fresh fish to fry up for dinner at your vacation rental, and then set out to explore the city’s sights, including a stop at the historic Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. Fish Creek is a vibrant arts community, with galleries and specialty shops along the Fish Creek Harbor. When hunger strikes, fill up on the fresh fish at Pelletier’s Restaurant and Fish Boil.

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6. Egg Harbor

Venture three hours and 20 minutes from your Madison home to enjoy a weekend in Egg Harbor, a lakeshore community in Wisconsin. A stop at Bayshore Blufflands provides you with spectacular views of the lake and the limestone outcroppings of the Niagara Escarpment. Get in some pampering with a pedicure, facial, or massage at the Newport Resort, and then sit back and savor a glass of Riesling at the Harbor Ridge Winery. Dive into Egg Harbor’s scrumptious food options when dining at the Wisconsin Cheese Masters or Fat Louie’s Olive Oil Company for the evening.

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7. La Crosse

All it takes is two hours and 20 minutes to drive from Madison so you can reach your vacation rental in La Crosse. This Wisconsin city sits on the state’s western border and is a hot spot during the summer and winter. When the temperatures are warm, you can kayak, fish, or paddle through the three rivers in La Crosse. When the frigid temperatures arrive in Wisconsin, head out for some winter skiing at Green Coulee. La Crosse hosts several festivals throughout the year that can add even more excitement to your weekend getaway, such as the Oktoberfest, Riverfest, and Airfest. During any season, stop in at the Pearl Street Brewery to kick back on those weekend evenings.

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