Plan your next weekend getaway in Wisconsin to enjoy hundreds of miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Outdoor enthusiasts can embark on hikes along the trails in Spring Green in the fall, while families with kids can venture to the water parks of Wisconsin Dells in the summer. When you stay at one of numerous Wisconsin vacation rentals, you can be situated in the heart of historic cities such as Madison, where you can tour the state capital; or the big city of Milwaukee, which is rich with cultural attractions. When making your weekend getaway itinerary, consider these top Wisconsin cities.

1. La Crosse

La Crosse
Source: Flickr/Aaron Carlson

Find fun and adventure during all four seasons with a weekend getaway to La Crosse, a popular Wisconsin city along the western border. A vacation rental in La Crosse gives you access to three rivers to enjoy fishing, kayaking, or paddling in the summer and the Green Coulee, a hotspot for winter skiing. Hike or bike the Hixon Forest, or get in a game of golf at the La Crosse Country Club course. This quaint city features a historic downtown that is home to specialty shops, wineries, and breweries. Stop in at the Pearl Street Brewery for a sample of local brews, or participate in the annual street festivals in the historic downtown that include the Riverfest, Airfest, and Oktoberfest.

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2. Racine

Racine
Source: Flickr/James Jordan

When you’re seeking a beach getaway for the weekend, head to Racine for some fun in the sun on North Beach. The 1.2 miles of sand outlining Lake Michigan is home to the Extreme Volleyball Professional tour during the summer months. Get wet and wild in the water when renting kayaks or a boat tour from Pier 29 Water Sports Rental, or stop in at the Yacht Club’s marina to see the sailboats floating by. Let the kids burn some energy at the Kid’s Cove playground that borders the 50 acres of the Racine Zoo before heading back to your vacation rental.

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3. Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells

Wisconsin Dells is one of the most popular cities in Wisconsin when it comes to family-friendly vacation destinations. Time your weekend getaway for the summer months, and spend a few days at the Mt. Olympus Water and Theme Park or Noah’s Ark Water Park. Head out to the Wisconsin River to see the unique rock formations with Dells of the Wisconsin River. Treat the nature enthusiasts to a hike through Mirror Lake State Park to see the Dells. Wisconsin Dells is also home to the Circus World Museum for members of your crew who want to clown around.

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4. Madison

Madison
Source: Flickr/Richard Hurd

For a family-friendly getaway, consider Madison as your vacation destination. Home to the expanded Madison Children’s Museum complete with interactive exhibits, a dinosaur bone bridge, and tree-truck huts, this city also offers historical lessons for everyone in your crew with landmarks such as the Wisconsin State Capital and the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. See the butterfly show at the botanical garden, then treat the family to ice cream made at the University of Wisconsin’s dairy and available at the Babcock Hall Dairy Store. Spend an afternoon exploring the exotic animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo before retreating to your cozy Wisconsin vacation rental for the evening.

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5. Milwaukee

Milwaukee
Source: Flickr/Jeramey Jannene

Combine fun and education with a visit to Milwaukee to tour the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, or Discovery World. The educational attractions continue when your vacation rental is in close proximity to the Milwaukee Art Museum or the 40 acres of the Lynden Sculpture Garden. Close out a weekend evening with a performance by the Milwaukee Ballet or the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Milwaukee is also home to the Lakefront Trail, where you can hike for miles, or paddle along Bradford Beach with the Milwaukee Kayak Company. When you feel the need for speed, head over to the Harley Davidson Museum to see the antique motorcycles on display.

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6. Spring Green

Spring Green
Source: Flickr/fitzgene

Nature lovers flock to Spring Green for some fresh air and a breathtaking view of the Wisconsin River. Hike the bluff trails of Tower Hill State Park, or take a kayak or canoe out on the water with a guide from the Wisconsin Canoe Company. History buffs enjoy the Spring Green area, since it is known as the site of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architect and features estates you can tour on the weekend. Take a guided tour through the Taliesin, or visit the House on a Rock to see its oddities and unique layout. Top off your Friday or Saturday evening with an entertaining performance at the American Players Theatre.

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7. Green Bay

Green Bay
Source: Flickr/Phil Roeder

If the kids love all things related to trains, then Green Bay is the ideal weekend getaway spot for your family. Spend the weekend touring the National Railroad Museum, where the kids can take a train ride and wander in and out of antique locomotives. If sports are more your style, you can’t miss a game at Lambeau Field, where you can snap a picture with the bronze statue of Vince Lombardi. When you need some fresh air and outdoor adventures, hike or walk the 47 acres of the Green Bay Botanical Gardens.

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8. Bayfield

Bayfield
Source: Flickr/Aaron Fulkerson

Get to know the peninsula on the northern tip of Wisconsin with a visit to Bayfield. The Brownstone Trail is a popular attraction for tourists wanting to hike around Lake Superior or make a splash in the water. Rent bikes for the day from Bayfield Bike Route for a faster way to navigate the coast of the lake, or opt for a boat tour on the water with Dreamcatcher Sailing.

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