Wisconsin Weekend: Films, Lights, Leaves, Art, Spells, and more!

We’ve had a beautiful stretch of weather which we HOPE will stretch at least into Saturday, and another great Wisconsin Weekend awaits. Fall colors continue to peak in a southward direction in the state (see the “live feed” Fall Colors Report from Travel Wisconsin to the right for details) and plenty of fun events and beautiful drives are there for you to enjoy, plus Badgers, Packers, and Bucks games. And check out these State Trunk Tour-recommended Wisconsin Weekend highlights!

Baraboo to Mineral Point: Fall Art Tour

Wisconsin Weeked: Fall Art TourThe Fall Art Tour is perfect for State Trunk Tourers with a love of the Driftless Area and art. It’s a self-guided driving tour where you can meet up to 45 area artists and watch them at work as you make your way through Baraboo, Spring Green, Dodgeville and Mineral Point! Potters, weavers, glassblowers, woodworkers, painters, jewelers, quilters, photographers & sculptors are all part of it. Meet the artists, experience their work spaces, and witness as they create unique works of art. A wide variety of high-quality artwork is available for purchase in every price range.  This is their 21st Anniversary Tour and it’s become one of the most popular art events in the Midwest. Highway 2323 figures prominently in this!

Pepin & Alma: Flyway Film Festival

Flyway Film Festival 2017 logoThe 10th annual Flyway Film Festival is held in Pepin and Alma along Highway 35, our gorgeous Great River Road, and across the river along U.S. 61 in Red Wing, Minnesota. Over 50 national and international independent films will be shown across multiple venues, with many filmmakers and industry professionals in attendance to interact with audiences via Q&A and networking events. It’s four days of films, workshops, music, and parties along the beautiful bluffs of the Mississippi River.

Jefferson: Harry Potter Festival

Harry Potter Festival LogoHarry Potter fans: ready your wands, cloaks, and brooms and enjoy a magical weekend! The third annual Harry Potter Festival brings the magic to Jefferson for 2017 to allow an even bigger and better event with all of your favorite activities and vendors– plus a whole range of new experiences for Potter fans of all ages!

Wristbands (available in various locations, get details here) allow access to specialty events and venues such as live Wizards Chess, Dragon’s Alley, Serpent’s Alley, Festival Village, Quidditch Matches, the Greenhouse, and more! You’ll also be granted access to free shuttles from parking to the events. U.S. 18 and Highways 26 and 89 bring you to Jefferson; it’s just six miles south of I-94!

Hales Corners: China Light at Boerner Botanical Gardens

China Lights at Boerner Botanical GardensThe beautiful Boerner Botanical Gardens , part of Milwaukee County’s award-winning Park System, hosts China Lights and the Chinese Lantern Festival this weekend and through October 29. China Lights brings stunning illuminated sculptures to select venues around the world, including right in Hales Corners to celebrate Asian life and culture. The 9-acre Gardens transform into a magical paradise of enchanting illuminated displays. Dragons, glowing pagodas and iridescent pinwheels add color, vibrancy, and excitement. Check out a backstage tour of the lanterns and participate in the nightly parade. Or simply enjoy wandering through the thrilling spectacle, which includes live performances of music, juggling and other arts. Enjoy a variety of Asian and Western cuisine from numerous local vendors, celebrate Asian culture with entertainment and live performances and a bustling marketplace. It’s just off Highways 24 and 100/U.S. 45, two miles south of I-41/43/894.

More for your Wisconsin Weekend

There are MANY more events to check out, including the NEW Zoo Boo in Green Bay, haunted houses, and much, much more. Run around during your Wisconsin weekend. Enjoy the fall weather, check out the changing leaves, explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, trails, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!

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The State Trunk Tour Logo for Wisconsin highways and great trips

Wisconsin highways, road trips, attractions, quirks… just what IS the State Trunk Tour?

The State Trunk Tour is all about Wisconsin highways, drives, road trips and celebrating the fun of the Badger State by selecting state highways and riding them end to end, reporting everything along the way.

Wisconsin’s state highways – the first system of numbered highways in the world (first done in 1917 – which means 2017 marks its 100th anniversary!) – connect all sorts of points of interest, attractions, cities, towns, recreation trails, scenic byways, lakes, rivers, bridges, historical sites, geographic markers, taverns, antique shops… you get the idea.

Wisconsin is one of the most fun and unique states in the country. We’re in the smack dab in the middle of the northern and western hemispheres. We have plenty of “world’s largest” entries: the musky, the corkscrew, a talking cow, an indoor water park, a six-pack, and a can of chili are just some of them. Wisconsin also claims a number of “world’s firsts” and inventions including the snowmobile, malted milk, the hamburger, hydroelectric power, outboard motor, rail-to-trail, and a bunch more.

We have two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and beautiful drives along all of them. Dynamic cities like Milwaukee and Madison offer incredible options for things to do. Vacation hot spots like Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Door County, Minocqua, Eagle River, and Hayward draw people from all over the country. Quaint, relaxing towns like Ephraim, Shullsburg, Hudson, Bayfield, Princeton, Green Lake, Oconomowoc and more offer great boutique shopping and plenty of charm.

Follow one of our Wisconsin highways end-to-end – or in sections – and enjoy everything along the way. Sample Featured Routes below or pick your own from the State Trunk Tours menu. We’ll help guide you, provide fun history, insight, and trivia, and welcome your feedback and additions as we continue to build our web and mobile sites. We’re on a new platform, adding and updating more routes, attractions, photos, points of interest and more constantly, so check back often. Updates will be sent out via Facebook and Twitter, of course!

"Wind around from a Genoa lock through the Driftless Area"

State "Trunk" Highway 56 runs through the beautiful Driftless Area from the Mississippi River to the middle of Richland County, near Richland Center. The hilly landscape makes for beautiful vistas and it's very pleasant drive through farmlands and small towns like Viola and Viroqua - and even some places that don't start with the "v."...

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"Coast to Coast covering Circuses, Canoes, and Coulees (and more)"

State “Trunk” Highway 33 is a "coast-to-coast" state highway, connecting La Crosse on the Mississippi with Port Washington's scenic harbor on Lake Michigan. From the big blue waters of the Great Lake to the beautiful coulees framing La Crosse, you encounter hairpin turns in what seems like a mountain range, Baraboo's famous Circus Museum, ski slopes of Cascade Mountain, the natural wetlands of Horicon Marsh, and some of the best canoeing in the nation along the Kickapoo. It's a great cross-section of southern Wisconsin....

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Historic Mindoro Cut on the original route of Highway 108

"'Cutting' between West Salem and Melrose"

State “Trunk” Highway 108 is a short but very scenic ride through Wisconsin's "Driftless Area". A popular motorcycle ride as well as drive or bike ride, Highway 108 is best known for the "Mindoro Cut", which cuts through a particularly beautiful area where the highway twists, turns and zigzags. Highway 108 has essentially been the same route since 1919...why mess with such a great drive?...

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LaCrosse Brewery

La Crosse To Lake Country

A former U.S. highway, State “Trunk” Highway 16 comes in from Minnesota at La Crosse and works its way toward Milwaukee through routes so popular they were supplanted by Interstates in most areas. Paralleling I-90 and/or I-94 much of the way, Highway 16 goes through many of the towns the interstate highways bypass. Highway 16 used to continue into downtown Milwaukee and across Lake Michigan on a ferry to Muskegon, where it then ran all the way to downtown Detroit just short of the Canadian border, hey. Today, though, it ends at I-94 in Milwaukee's western suburbs, but not before passing by a ton of interesting things along its almost 200-mile journey....

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Wisconsin Fall Color Report

Road Conditions

GO Chippewa Falls
Visit Marshfield via State Trunk Tour
Oconto County.org and Highway 64