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planning a week in wisconsin!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi! We live in southern MN and are planning to spend a week in Wisconsin with our 4.5yo dd this June. SO excited! We're leaving on a Saturday morning, would like to spend that night in Madison, then somehow through Milwaukee (maybe Sunday and Monday nights?) and into Door County. We have camping reservations at Peninsula State Park for that Tuesday and Wednesday, and I'm trying to figure out if we'll want to stay in Door County for longer than that, and if we should then plan on another day or two in Milwaukee- or if we should try to spend a little time around Baraboo/Dells on the way home. Since we're close enough to theoretically drive to the Dells for a weekend if we wanted, I'm leaning towards allowing for more time in Door County and Milwaukee. What do you think? I'm a geologist, so very interested in seeing neat natural areas, but my dh likes to be entertained- so we're hoping to get a good balance and keep things fun for our dd as well. Would love any and all suggestions!!

ETA: I should also mention that we're going to OshKosh in July for the airshow and could potentially stop in the Dells on our way there-- but if there's a lot of really neat stuff to see there, then I'm totally happy to incorporate it into our bigger trip. So hard to know how long to stay in each place!
post #2 of 12
The Dells....while I know there must be some other types of activities there, what I know the most about is the touristy stuff. There are amazing water parks and some fun shops; things like the Ducks rides are amazing and should help a geologist have a little more fun in such a campy place! I have never been to Door County and hear it is great--but I would guess your child would have a good time in the Dells.
post #3 of 12
If you are from SW Minnesota and haven't spent much time in SW Wisconsin I would recommend a day La Crosse or Viroqua or Traumpleau. If you live in SE and go to La Crosse for groceries feel free to ignore this advice.

Peninsula State Park is wonderful. Washington Island is neat too and might be worth a day or two if you have time.
post #4 of 12
If you're in Madison, you must go to Ella's Deli. Too much fun!
post #5 of 12
I agree with the PP on visiting Ella's when in Madison. It's a one-of-a-kind place!

Other Madison ideas:
The UW-Madison campus has a geology museum that is family-friendly and free. It's several blocks from the Henry Vilas Zoo, which is also free and next to a fabulous park. The state capitol is at the top of State Street, which is lined with great restaurants and shops. If you come to Madison on a Saturday morning, the Dane County Farmer's Market can't be missed.

The Moms in Madison webpage has lots of other ideas for kid-friendly activities in Madison.

Enjoy your visit to Wisconsin!
post #6 of 12
Stuff to do in Milwaukee"

Milwaukee County Zoo

Doctors Park or Grant Park to see the lake and walk around and enjoy the scenery. More nature, less people than going downtown by the lake.

Discovery World


Summer Festivals

Have fun!!

ETA: I agree with PP about spending some time in La Crosse. I went to college there and loved it. You can check out the Mississippi River and then hike in the bluffs. For lunch: Lindy's Subs For dinner: Big Al's or Fiesta Mexicana - I still miss eating at those places.
post #7 of 12
Oh, and if you're in La Crosse you must go to The Pearl for ice cream. YUMMY!

Also, if anyone in the family is into guitars, Dave's Guitar Shop is amazing. He's got his personal collection on display upstairs. No signs telling you that, but it's perfectly fine to go up and look (but don't touch).
post #8 of 12
We spend a week just in Door County, bring bikes if you can, although you can rent, we always just rent the burley rather than bringing that with. The playhouse in the park is great fun, it is at night, and family friendly, we have brought children younger than 4.5 and it was fine. Washington Island is great, the boat ride is good for little ones, check out the white sand dune beaches on the lake side too, We love going there, it is touristy but no major chains, so you are supporting the locals. The only thing we don't do there because we have children is go to the art galleries and nicer places to eat. Also, there is a good grocery store in Egg Harbor, just off the main drag. Have fun. Should also put in a plug for Madison, that is where my husband grew up.
post #9 of 12
We love going to Devil's Lake State Park. It's close to Baraboo. I think as a geologist you would really enjoy the area. It has a beautiful clean lake with canoe and row boat rentals.
post #10 of 12
I am personally in LOVE with Door County. I spent 5 days up there for my honeymoon this past summer. You could spend a week there easily and not be bored. There are at least 4 state parks in Door County and the scenery and hiking are awesome! My personal favorite is Newport State Park: http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/parks/specific/newport/ . The food is great up there and there's plenty of stuff to do with the family. So if I were to vote, I'd want to spend more time in Door County than I would in Madison or Milwaukee... but I'm more of a wilderness girl than I am a city girl anyway )
post #11 of 12
Summermommy-We are interested in discovering Door County this summer as well. Newport State Park looks great however they only have backpack sites which are pretty much filled up on the weekends this summer. Do you think it is worth it to try any of the other campsites in the area?? Which ones would you suggest?
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by aylaelise View Post
Summermommy-We are interested in discovering Door County this summer as well. Newport State Park looks great however they only have backpack sites which are pretty much filled up on the weekends this summer. Do you think it is worth it to try any of the other campsites in the area?? Which ones would you suggest?
I replied to your PM
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