Travel doesn’t always need to be some big, extravagant vacation. Sometimes it can simply mean leaving the city you live in and getting a change of scenery for a day.
I’ve compiled a list of some of my favorite places to day trip from Milwaukee. If you’re looking for a quick escape to switch things up -check out the destinations below!
Quite frankly, what I enjoy doing in Sheboygan doesn’t require a full day, but it deserves a spot on this list. I LOVE taking Kona to hike at Kohler-Andre State Park. It’s a beautiful area right on the shores of Lake Michigan. We typically head there right away in the morning – it’s about an hour drive from Milwaukee.
After taking what ends up being about a 3-mile hike, we stop on the way home to grab some lunch. Not only does Cedar Valley Cheese Store have some of the best cheese in the state – they also cook up delicious daily specials. Stopping here on the way home is always a must for us.
Madison is an obvious choice, but I’ll give you a few of my favorite things to do. I LOVE the Dane County Farmer’s Market and try to make it at least once a year. The markets are held on Capitol Square on Saturday mornings. There are so many wonderful things to choose from including my favorite: Spicy Cheese Bread from Stella’s Bakery (I’d eat it every single day if I could).
Nearby in Middleton, you can take a tour of the National Mustard Museum. I went here in a whim once, and it’s a super fun adventure. Lots of local mustards, dips, and snacks to purchase along with a very interactive history lesson!
The best part about Oshkosh is the water. You can bring a boat or rent one and hang out on Lake Winnebago. Stop at TJ’s Harbor for lunch – they have some of the most delicious food. Polito’s Pizza is also located in Oshkosh and that place will forever hold a pizza my heart.
On your way home (if taking hwy 41), stop at Held’s Meat Market. It’s right off the exit in Slinger. They have some of the freshest meat and cheeses, as well as locally made snacks. I stop almost every time I head north.
I went to Beloit in fall of 2021 for the first time. It’s such a cute town! They hold a Saturday morning farmers market with tons of local and homegrown goodies. The CUTEST coffee shop, Blue Collar Coffee Co., is right around the corner of the market. Stop to get some caffeine!
If you are visiting during the fall, the Apple Hut is a must-see. They make homemade cider donuts on a regular basis and they are extremely delicious. Not only can you pick your own apples, but they have a small market inside full of pies, juice, and other goodies.
Manitowoc is a bit further of a drive from Milwaukee than the rest listed, but it is worth the trip. The downtown city is right on the water leaving you some of the prettiest views.
The Warf is an awesome restaurant right on the water and they serve tons of good food and drinks. They have a huge outdoor seating area and live music some evenings. If you like craft beer, PetSkull Brewing is also an awesome place to visit. Seasonal beers and tons of appetizers.
Pine River Dairy is also located in Manitowoc. I have not actually been to their store yet, but they make my favorite cheese spreads!
Do you have a favorite city to visit outside of Milwaukee? Let me know where to head next!