Despite its reputation as a predominantly rural state, Wisconsin offers everything from urban hot spots to vast expanses of wilderness to vacationing couples. So whether your idea of romance is a sunset cruise on a sparkling lake, getting cozy before a fireplace in a skiing lodge or indulging in fine dining, Wisconsin will spoil you for choice in romantic getaways.
Nicknamed the 'City of Four Lakes, Madison in Wisconsin makes for a picturesque backdrop for couples looking for romance. Located between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota, Madison is boasts of many miles of lakefront pathways, abundance of city parks, and majestic architectural structures – all of which offer ample romantic sights and activities for couples. A prime draw for couples here is the 16 acre Olbrich Botanical Garden in which interconnecting paths lead to ten different outdoors gardens including an Herb Garden, Rock Garden, Sunken Garden, Thai Pavilion, and an award-winning Rose Garden. The Botanical Garden also showcases an impressive glass pyramid, the indoor Olbrich Bolz Conservatory, which can provide an exotic ambience with its free-flying birds and tropical flowers. If you are looking for some beach action, Madison again has lots to offer like the Hudson Beach with an effigy mound and Olbrich Beach where couples can rent pontoon boats or canoes. Vilas Beach, in one of the city's oldest parks, is a popular Madison swimming beach because the lake water is usually warmest. Located along the north shore of Lake Winga, Vilas Beach boasts a lakeshore trail, two piers, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, and the scenic Park and Pleasure drive. Between May and October dinner cruises navigate around both Lake Monona and Lake Mendota and a sunset on the water is a romantic way for couples to end a day in Madison.
This is one of the most popular summer destinations in Wisconsin and makes for a romantic hot spot too. One of the favorite activities of couples is taking a boat tour which even offers an in-depth historical narration about the several estates and mansions that line the shores of beautiful Geneva Lake. You and your partner can choose from a sightseeing tour like Geneva Bay Tour, Full Lake Tour, Ice Cream Social Tour, Sundowner Cruises or the far more romantic dining cruises such as a Luncheon Tour, Champagne Brunch and Evening Dinner Cruises. For couples of special interest, there is the famous US Mailboat Tour as well as the unique Black Point Estate and Boat tour which passes along an authentic 1888 lake estate.
Again Lake Geneva has several beaches where you can swim, stroll or simply laze on the sand with your sweetheart. The Lake Geneva Beach is a long stretch of sand and water next to the Riviera Pier while the Williams Bay beach is located east of Edgewater Park and offers shaded grass areas. Besides there is the Village of Fontana Beach and the Big Foot Beach State Park for a wider range of recreational activities.
One of the most romantic things you can do here is to walk through the 21-mile Geneva Lake shore path which will take you both through the back yards of striking century-old mansions. For more action, you can go golfing at luxurious resorts or public courses or horseback riding along the lake. Fantasy in nearby Delavan offers horseback rides, carriage rides and sleigh rides.
Lake Geneva and its nearby areas offer various entertainment options too which is the perfect way to bring a romantic day to a close. Enjoy superb dining and hit Broadway musicals and revues at Fireside Dinner Theater, Wisconsin's only Equity Dinner Theatre or catch a show at the Animal Gardens and The Dancing Horses Theatre. Culture enthusiasts will enjoy the Orchestra which performs three "classical" concerts each season or the annual Gala Music by the Lake brings world-class musical entertainment to the shores of Geneva Lake in Williams Bay. Presented by George Williams College of Aurora University, the summer festival presents a mix of classical, big band, jazz, pop and classic rock to audiences of thousands each year.
Bayfield is Wisconsin’s true north, and makes for a great romantic getaway destination in winter. When the snow falls, the landscape is transformed into a wonderland of winter splendor. If you and your partner are the adventurous kind, explore the ice caves of the Apostle Islands. Winter makes the caves accessible along the frozen beach and over the lake ice. The famous Apostle Islands sea caves thus become magical sparkling cathedrals of ice, amazing all those who hike out to glimpse them. Even if you prefer not to get out into the elements, you can admire the dramatic ice formations on the lake from the comfort of their cars on a drive along the shoreline. Between Bayfield and Madeline Island, the Bay freezes over, creating the perfect conditions for ice fishing and ice skating. Downhill skiing is particularly popular at Mt. Ashwabay which also offers Nordic Skiing and snowboarding with its 13 runs and a chairlift. To warm your spirits, Bayfield Winery has wine tastings and breathtaking winter views of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. On the contrary if you and your beloved are keen on some gaming action to fire things up, your best bet is the Legendary Waters Resort & Casino at Red Cliff.
A variety of accommodations are available in the town of Bayfield, including a quaint bed-and-breakfast, a lakeside inn, or even a rustic cabin or campground. Favorite options of lovers are the Bayfield Inn, a quiet lakeside retreat that provides lodging within walking distance of the island's cruises and ferries, as well as Old Rittenhouse Inn, a Queen Anne-style mansion where you can get a room with a working fireplace and enjoy a romantic gourmet meal in its dining room.
Billed as "The Cape Cod of the Midwest," Deer County has so much to offer that you would be better of spending a week here than planning a weekend getaway. Situated on the long peninsula that separates Green Bay from Lake Michigan, the romantic attractions of Deer County include some 250 miles of shoreline and as many galleries, boutiques and gift shops as you care to visit. Once you are through with the sights, have fun picking fruits at its cherry and apple orchards or raising a toast to your love at any of its several local wineries. Accommodations include numerous inns, cottages, hotels and bed-and-breakfasts, and you could also spend your weekend camping, hiking, swimming and fishing in any of five state parks. Potawatomi State Park has an observation tower where you can take in a 16-mile panoramic view across Green Bay. Later on you and your beloved can retire at any of the 123 campsites offered at by the Park or a fully accessible cabin for those interested in a rustic setting.
Apart from being the largest city in the US state of Wisconsin, Milwaukee is also the cultural and economic hub of the region. The city thus offers great possibilities for recreation and entertainment to its vacationing couples. Here you must experience the city’s brewing culture. German immigrants who arrived in Milwaukee during the mid-nineteenth century brought along their love of beer and brewing know-how and even today Milwaukee continues to be proud of its beer-making and consuming tradition. Beer bars, brewpubs and taverns are abundant in the city and the best of them like the Von Trier and Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery are sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience. Milwaukee’s location on Lake Michigan means that you can take advantage of a vast range of sporting and recreational opportunities. Here you can go sailing, windsurfing, kite-surfing, rowing, kayaking or just plain swimming on Lake Michigan or take a boat from the Milwaukee Harbor. The city also offers ample nightlife to its couples. Hip bars, dance clubs and restaurants can be found in several areas of the city though Juneautown in downtown Milwaukee is as famous for its expensive gourmet establishments as for its traditional Irish pubs and laid back coffee shops. Here Eagan’s on Water, [email protected] at the Intercontinental Hotel and Karl Ratzsch’s are some of the most famous dining establishments where you can have romantic dinner while Fuel Café is a hip little coffee shop serving a variety of coffees, teas, sandwiches and salads. If you want to get jiving with your sweetheart, don’t miss The Rave Eagles Club which apart from a hip bar is one of the most happening event venues in town.