April 23, 2024

How to best enjoy your Wisconsin road trips on this Memorial Day Weekend!

Almost all State Parks are now back open (with a few restrictions), Drive-Ins for food and movies are opening up, some craft breweries, wineries and distilleries have tap and tasting rooms available again, and for events and sights, it varies. Here’s what you need to know!

Copper Falls

Wisconsin State Parks

The state parks are open now, with the exception of four State Natural Areas: The Dells of the Wisconsin River, Gibraltar Rock, Parfrey’s Glen, and Pewits Nest. Every other park in the system has resumed regular hours of 6am-11pm, seven days per week.
Restrooms are still not open during this holiday weekend. They are scheduled to reopen Wednesday, June 3rd. The DNR has stated to not expect hand sanitizer at the restrooms, however.
Campsites remain closed until June 7th; the policy after that is still under review.
Annual park stickers or trail passes are required to visit state parks and trails. They can be purchased online or by calling (888) 305-0398 daily from 8am-4pm.
Capacity limits are being enforced due to COVID-19.
Note that most facilities currently closed such as towers, shelters, playgrounds, nature centers, headquarters, entrance stations and concession buildings remain closed to the public.
Also, if COVID-19 wasn’t enough, remember it’s the season where ticks are out and Lyme Disease can be a concern; please take the proper precautions!
Get more details from the Wisconsin DNR here.

The Kiltie, one of our classic Wisconsin drive-ins


Now that Memorial Day Weekend has arrived, most drive-In restaurants have been opening back up for the season all over Wisconsin. Some are offering take-out only for consumption off the premises (subject to local orders), but since sitting in your car enjoying a meal is a good social distancing practice, most places offering car hop service are in full swing. Check out over 20 options here, from Grantsburg, Land O’Lakes, and La Crosse, over to Oshkosh, Washington Island, and down through Milwaukee and Kenosha and more!

Drive-In Movies!

The 1950s and 1960s may have been the peak era of the classic drive-in theater, but some have held on across the state and we’re even seeing some new ones, like the Milky Way in Franklin, just outside Milwaukee. Some, like the Highway 18 Outdoor in Jefferson, have yet to open for the season. But others from Door County (the Skyway along Highway 42) to Monroe (the Sky-Vu along Highway 69) are ready to show you some great (and maybe some not-so-great, but fun) movies from the comfort of your car! Here’s a guide to drive-in theaters across the state from OnMilwaukee.com.

Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee during the COVID-19 pandemic
Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee during the COVID-19 pandemic

Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries!

Many of the state’s craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries have been offering their creations for curbside pickup through the COVID-19 pandemic (hey, alcohol kills the virus, right?) but now some of them are re-opening tap/tasting rooms – with social distancing enforced, some requesting masks – and some have their outdoor patios to offer. Now, this depends on the place and their layouts. New Glarus Brewing, for example, remains closed as their brewing facilities are so close to where people come they’re preferring to keep their tasting room and gift shop closed for now. Most others are open to some extent. For example, if you’re in New Glarus, just west on Highway 39 from town will bring you to Bailey’s Run Winery, which offers indoor and outdoor seating. The options are many across the state!

Get out and explore Wisconsin, just be safe – and ENJOY! It’s been a looooong spring.

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