Summer is a sacred season in the Frozen Tundra, where it is common to hear locals joke that “last year, summer fell on a Wednesday!” With only a few short months of sun and heat, it’s important to make the most of every summer day. If you happen to find yourself planning a trip to Wisconsin, this is an awesome time to visit. There is so much to do and see here, including some classic Wisconsin activities, that can only be experienced during this short period when the weather permits. I’ve noted five of Wisconsin’s best summer excursions to help you make the most of your trip!
You Must… Visit the Milwaukee Art Museum!
Designed by legendary architect Santiago Calatrava in 1997, the Quadracci Pavilion at the Milwaukee Art Museum has arguably been Wisconsin’s most distinguishable structure since its completion in 2001. Its wings (yes, wings!) span 217 feet and open and close daily, weather permitting. The structure itself is amazing, especially set against the backdrop of Lake Michigan, though the museum’s interior is also worth a gander. Its permanent collection totals more than 30,000, and it always features a variety of special exhibits. The museum also has a great hands-on learning station for kids, as well as both a café and restaurant to fuel up for your adventures!
You Must… Hike the Ice Age National Scenic Trail!
You might know that the last major Ice Age in North America ended about 10,000 years ago, but you might not be familiar with its moniker – the Wisconsin Glaciation. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail winds around the entire state and offers over 1,000 miles of hiking. While dedicated hikers may aspire to become a “Thousand-Miler,” there are plenty of smaller trail segments that are perfect for a short hike or day trip! If you find yourself in the Milwaukee area, the Scuppernong Segment is a great and popular option because of its breathtaking forest and unique terrain, though there are segments surrounding many of Wisconsin’s major cities for you to explore.
You Must… Watch a Water Ski Show!
Known as the Water Ski Show Capital of the World, the Wisconsin Water Ski Federation has nearly thirty registered amateur water ski show teams in the state. These family-friendly theatrical shows are often free and take place once or twice per week at parks and other venues throughout the state. They include impressive pyramids, crazy jumps, beautiful water ballet, and more! If you want to splurge on a professional performance, the Tommy Bartlett Ski, Sky, and Stage Show in the Wisconsin Dells features some of the best show skiers in the country, as well as professional actors and stunt performers!
You Must… Boat along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore!
The Apostle Islands along Wisconsin’s northern coast have received acclaim in recent years for the ice caves created along the shoreline during especially cold winters. What hasn’t gone viral is how picturesque this place is during the summer! Though certainly beautiful for hiking and camping, the Apostle Islands are designated by the NPS as a National Lakeshorefor a reason; hop aboard a charter boat or sea kayak for a guided tour and take in the rock formations and sea caves that make this place a literal hidden gem.
You Must… Take In a Milwaukee Brewers Home Game!
The 2018 National League Central Division Champions are just getting started! Catch the Brew Crew’s magic for yourself by attending a home game at Miller Park. The stadium’s name is set to change after the 2020 season, so whether you stop by right before or right after that takes place, you will be witnessing a major transition in Brewers history! Milwaukee Brewers fans, who make up the smallest market in the MLB, are actually attending more games than ever before, despite the league’s overall drop in attendance. Experience the unique culture that continues to draw fans back each season by arriving early for a tailgate in the parking lot and staying until at least the seventh inning to sing “Roll Out the Barrel” (lyrics provided) and watch the Famous Racing Sausages!
Whether it’s an outdoor adventure or downtown destination that you’re looking to explore this summer, Wisconsin has it all!
Have you experienced any one of these adventures yet? Comment below and let us know!
Latest posts by Chelsey Knuth
- 5 ‘Musts’ for a Summer Trip to Wisconsin - April 24, 2019