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From the northern shores of Door County to the city streets of Milwaukee, we have a feeling you’ll fall head over heels for Wisconsin’s most romantic destinations.
While Wisconsin’s reputation is that of cows and football, you may be surprised to learn that there are some pretty lovey-dovey destinations to be explored. You’ve likely heard of the usual suspects such as Door County and Lake Geneva, but there are plenty more worthwhile places to explore. No matter your love language, the Badger State is home to luxurious hotels, outdoor resorts, and charming vacation rentals.
So pour yourself a glass of locally made wine (or beer) and grab a fresh cheese platter—it’s time to find your match made in heaven with one of these romantic Wisconsin getaways.
Editor’s note: We updated this article on December 7, 2023 with a new emphasis on the cities and towns surrounding the lodging. We also added new accommodations.
Best Locations for a Romantic Getaway in Wisconsin
- Best Big City Romantic Getaway: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Best Romantic Getaway in a Big City with Small Town Feel: Madison, Wisconsin
- Best Small Town Romantic Getaway: Cedarburg, Wisconsin
- Best Romantic Getaway for Wine Lovers: Door County, Wisconsin
- Best Romantic Getaway for Sports Lovers: Green Bay, Wisconsin
- Best Romantic Getaway for Pampering and Relaxation: Kohler, Wisconsin
- Best Romantic Getaway for Lake-Filled Fun: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
- Best Adventure-Filled Romantic Getaway: Bayfield, Wisconsin
- Best Seclusion-Meets-Luxury Romantic Getaway: Barron County, Wisconsin
1. Best Big City Getaway: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
There’s tons to do in Wisconsin and the state’s largest city has something for every couple in Milwaukee. Experience a world of art at the Milwaukee Art Museum, a history lesson at the Wisconsin-founded Harley Davidson Museum, or fresh fare at the Milwaukee Public Market. And if you can, I recommend timing your visit to catch a show at one of Milwaukee’s iconic venues like the Pabst or Riverside Theater.
Personally, one of the first stops I make in Milwaukee is for brunch at Cafe Hollander. From there, you’re in a prime location for exploring the Historic Third Ward and following the scenic Riverwalk.
After a full day exploring the city, I recommend grabbing dinner at the Odd Duck for a gourmet yet relaxed dining experience. Other noteworthy dining spots include the Lakefront Brewery and Colectivo Cafe’s lakefront location in the gorgeous and historic Milwaukee River Flushing Station.
Recommended stay: The Pfister Hotel
Elegant elements and attention to detail make The Pfister Hotel one of Wisconsin’s best romantic getaways. It’s up there as a local favorite and comes highly recommended to me by more than a few good friends.
Although I’ve never had the pleasure of spending the night at The Pfister, its reputation has brought me to admire the ornate lobby on a day spent wandering the city. Upon entering the hotel, I immediately felt transported to the Gilded Age thanks to the ornate and exquisite marble accents, original hardwood, and impressive Victorian art collection.
For those considering The Pfister for a romantic getaway, the hotel’s onsite WELL Spa + Salon makes it all too easy to indulge in various body treatments and a massage session for two. The Blue Bar and Lounge mixes up refreshing libations with exceptional city views from the 23rd floor, offering an excellent place to enjoy a nightcap. On top of fabulous amenities, The Pfister boasts a convenient location within walking distance of the famous Milwaukee Art Museum and the scenic shores of Lake Michigan.
Best Romantic Getaway in a Big City with Small Town Feel: Madison, Wisconsin
Madison will always hold a special place in my heart. Having gone to undergrad in Madison and then spent the next few years of my young professional career soaking up all the vibrance the city has to offer, I can wholeheartedly say it’s a wonderful destination for a bit of romance. And the city’s walkability makes it all too easy to hop from place to place.
Home to a large university campus and the exquisite state Capitol building, the city has a hip and thriving art, food, and bar scene. For something casual, visit The Old Fashioned for a classic Wisconsin cocktail and a fresh plate of fried cheese curds that I can confidently say are some of the best around (after Curd Girl, that is). For something a little more upscale, consider L’Etoile Restaurant for a gourmet set menu.
Other romantic things to do in Madison include visiting the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, strolling the famed State Street during the Saturday Farmer’s Market, and watching the colorful sunset at the Memorial Union Terrace.
Those up for a bit of a drive should take a day trip to nearby Devil’s Lake State Park for some of the most exciting hiking in Wisconsin. Wollersheim Winery is on the way, an award-winning vineyard on a sprawling estate with a historic brick shop and bistro on site.
Recommended stay: The Madison Concourse Hotel
The Madison Concourse Hotel is a three-star hotel conveniently located on the capital square. I had the pleasure of visiting the hotel for a designated staycation because that’s how much I love Madison.
The rooms at the Madison Concourse are tastefully decorated and feature a view of the capitol building or the lake. We opted to book the room with a whirlpool tub, which came with hotel-provided terry robes, a nice touch for a romantic escape. Other thoughtful amenities I appreciated were the complimentary breakfast and its exceptional location feet from State Street.
Best Small Town Romantic Getaway: Cedarburg, Wisconsin
About 20 minutes from where I grew up, Cedarburg is one of those small towns I’ll always enjoy exploring. Founded in the 1840s by German immigrants, the city is dotted with historic landmarks and placards everywhere you go.
That, paired with its pedestrian-friendly main street brimming with things to do, makes it a fabulous romantic destination any time of year. During your visit, there are numerous cafes, boutique shops, and restaurants to explore. There are even multiple confectioneries, wineries, and breweries for a classic dessert and nightcap pairing. Some of my must-go stops include Fiddleheads Cafe and the ivy-covered Cedar Creek Winery.
If you can time your visit for one of Cedarburg’s festivals, my favorites include the summer’s Strawberry Fest and the fall’s Wine and Harvest Fest. For a romantic walk, I recommend visiting the nearby Covered Bridge County Park where you can stroll through one of Wisconsin’s last remaining wooden, covered bridges.
Recommended stay: Washington House Inn
The Washington House Inn is a warm and welcoming bed and breakfast on the main strip in Cedarburg. Housed in a historic, cream-brick building dating back to 1846, it provides a lovely place to relax in one of Wisconsin’s most charming little towns.
The Inn is an intimate hotel with 34 guestrooms, each featuring old-world charm details like original hardwood. Not to mention, each room is outfitted with amenities like jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces. Guests are treated to a highly-rated continental breakfast every morning.
From the hotel, you have everything at your fingertips, from cozy cafes, cute boutique shops, highly-rated dining, and Cedarburg’s best wineries and distilleries.
Best Romantic Getaways for Wine Lovers: Door County, Wisconsin
Door County is arguably one of the most romantic places you can go in Wisconsin. Nestled on the Door Peninsula with the waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay on either side, visitors are treated to small-town charm and views of rolling orchards and vineyards.
As you drive through the area, you’re spoiled for choice between different wineries, distilleries, and breweries to visit, as well as local shops serving up some of Wisconsin’s best locally made goodies. But my favorite stops include Door Peninsula Winery and Renard’s Cheese Shop.
The region also features five impressive state parks showing off Lake Michigan’s beautiful rugged bluffs and scenic shoreline. Peninsula State Park is one of the state’s most popular, home to a golf course, the favorite Eagle Trail, and a panoramic tower.
Some of the best places to stay during your visit to Door County include Fish Creek, Baileys Harbor, Egg Harbor, and Ephraim. But no matter where you choose, you’ll only be a short drive away from all that Door County has to offer.
Recommended stay: The Blacksmith Inn On The Shore
The Blacksmith Inn On the Shore is an intimate guesthouse with suites in a half-timber frame home and a renovated red barn. The home stands as a landmark that graces the list of the National Register, and when you step inside, you’ll feel immediately transported to the German countryside—I know I did. The Inn’s exceptionally friendly staff welcomed me with classic Midwestern hospitality and warmth.
Every suite at the Inn features a tub for two, a fireplace, and a balcony with lake views. Not to mention the eye-catching rustic touches like exposed stone walls and original wooden frames. Those visiting to celebrate something special can add romance packages like wine, flowers, or chocolate on arrival.
When the weather is warm, be sure to take advantage of the hotel’s private stretch of beach as well as the provided kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. The Blacksmith Inn On The Shore is in Baileys Harbor, one of Door County’s quieter towns.
Best Romantic Getaway for Sports Lovers: Green Bay, Wisconsin
If there’s one thing Green Bay is known for, it’s its unrivaled love for football. You’re sure to see pops of green and gold everywhere you look in celebration of the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin’s beloved football team. And if you ever have the opportunity to visit for a game, it’s a lively experience I promise you won’t soon forget, nearly doubling the city’s population every home game. Football fans visiting in the off-season can book a stadium tour around the historic Lambeau Field.
Although cheering on the Green Bay Packers stands out as the primary thing to do in Green Bay, this mid-sized city is home to so much more. As a university town, it exudes an artsy and hip atmosphere you can feel in the art murals and local bars. Especially along the Broadway and Downtown neighborhoods where highly reviewed dining and the idyllic river walk await.
For a taste of classic romance, consider booking a wine tasting at Captain’s Walk Winery and visiting the charming Green Bay Botanical Garden.
Recommended stay: Lodge Kohler
Conveniently located across the street from Lambeau Field, The Lodge Kohler is a luxurious four-star hotel that has it all. Couples seeking relaxation should consider booking a session at the renowned Kohler Waters Spa, known for its beautiful layout and long-list of treatments. The hotel offers two onsite dining options: a rooftop bar and restaurant overlooking the stadium and a ground-floor cafe with outdoor seating.
In your room, you’ll be treated to the upscale touches crafted and designed by Kohler, a manufacturing company founded in Wisconsin over 150 years ago. Besides elegant decor that’ll make any interior design aficionado swoon, guests are treated to Kohler’s premier complimentary toiletries, two-hour e-bike access, and more.
Green Bay’s vibrant Titletown is right next door, a community park home to a football field turned ice rink in the winter, a sledding hill, and dining options. Hinterland Brewery is also nearby, serving cold brews and Wisco favorites like pub food and cheese curds.
Best Romantic Getaway for Pampering and Relaxation: Kohler, Wisconsin
When I first arrived in Kohler, what struck me the most was how European the downtown area felt. With tree-lined streets and endless brick buildings, Kohler is unlike most places in Wisconsin.
As the headquarters for Kohler, a manufacturer in the home design and plumbing industry, you can feel the company’s influence everywhere you turn—especially in the town’s upscale, five-star resort, The American Club, and its neighbor, the Kohler Waters Spa (which are musts for romance). The opulence and luxury oozes from every crevice, making it a great pick for a weekend of relaxation.
Some of Kohler’s best things to do include visiting The Shops at Woodlake where specialty and boutique shopping await. While there, be sure to stop by Kohler Chocolate to savor the famed original pecan terrapins. Other worthwhile attractions include the Kohler Design Center, Blackwolf Run Golf Course, and the Art Preserve of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center.
Recommended stay: The American Club
The American Club offers guests an upscale five-star experience and is Wisconsin’s only AAA Forbes five-diamond resort. You can feel the luxury when you pull up to the iconic brick building, manned by a friendly doorman. The hotel was originally a dormitory for the male immigrant employees of the Kohler Company built in 1818, before its transformation into a resort.
During your stay, book a visit to the five-star Kohler Waters Spa, where you can choose from unique treatments that include lavender rain hydrotherapy, specialty massages, and couples pampering sessions. The resort features the aptly named Greenhouse Cafe and The Immigrant Restaurant, a fine dining experience where you can indulge in a five-course tasting menu.
Best Romantic Getaway for Relaxation on a Lake: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
Long revered as a peaceful resort town, Lake Geneva has attracted visitors seeking peace and quiet on the lake for decades. As one of Wisconsin’s best vacation destinations, the city is brimming with cute and historic bed and breakfasts, resorts, and vacation rentals ready to host you and your loved one.
As a lake town, the best time to visit is in the summer, when visitors can relish the opportunity to beach, swim, and paddle on the waters of Geneva Lake. However, Lake Geneva is also considered a premier destination for golfers, with about 25 golf courses in and around the area, the Grand Geneva National Resort and Club being one of the best. The town also offers miles of hiking and walking trails to enjoy.
Lake Geneva is also bustling with things to do in the winter. From their famous ice castles to an ice carving festival, skiing, hovercraft rides over the frozen lake, and more, wintertime in Lake Geneva is a totally different experience from the summer, but equally beautiful and exciting.
Recommended stay: Grand Geneva Resort & Spa
When the Grand Geneva first opened in 1968, it was the very first Playboy Club-Hotel. It even had its own shuttle plane that would fly celebrities, executives, and politicians from Chicago to Wisconsin’s secluded little lake town. As the decades moved on, Playboy eventually sold the property and it became its own resort, complete with a massive indoor sports complex that has a pool, basketball court, fitness center, and more. The Grand Geneva also has an on-property golf course and its own ski and sled resort, making it perfect year-round.
Get a lawn-facing room and wake up to stunning sunrises over the golf course and surrounding woods, or settle in for the night next to the in-room fireplace. And don’t forget to grab a drink in the sprawling lobby bar, complete with massive floor-to-ceiling windows, a fireplace, and a live pianist, to get a glimpse of what the resort was like back in its Playboy days.
Best Adventure-Filled Romantic Getaway: Bayfield, Wisconsin
Bayfield is best known as the “Gateway to the Apostle Islands” and boasts some of the most incredible natural attractions in the Badger State. Bayfield has even recently been named one of the best places to visit in the United States because of the town’s fresh berry offerings, Victorian-era mansions, and booming arts scene.
However, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore offers the biggest draw to Bayfield. One of only a few Wisconsin parks in the National Parks system, the lakeshore comprises 22 islands in Lake Superior, offering exciting sea kayaking and hiking trails to be explored.
The summer is the best time to take advantage of the Great Lake, but don’t discount a wintertime visit! In the frigid months of January and February, the Mainland Ice Caves transform into glittering works of natural art that visitors can walk to when the lake’s surface is frozen solid.
Recommended stay: Sanctuary at Little Sand
Escape to the Sanctuary at Little Sand, a well-appointed glamping tent near Bayfield. Although a simple tent, the hosts have gone above and beyond to outfit it with comfortable touches, including a real bed and a lovely seating area on the front porch. This site is nestled so deep into the Northwoods that you’ll be treated to excellent star gazing on clear nights.
This romantic stay is best for those seeking a more rustic experience with nature. That’s because the tent doesn’t have plumbing, But don’t fret; the hosts provide guests with fresh drinking water and a complimentary bundle of firewood. Romantic string lights set the scene, illuminating the tent in the evenings as you sit next to the blazing fire.
Best Seclusion-Meets-Luxury Romantic Getaway: Barron County, Wisconsin
There’s nothing quite like “Up North” in Wisconsin. Generally considered the northern half of the state, Wisconsinites have a deep love for escaping to a cabin getaway far from home, and Barron County offers just that.
Besides its many lakes, rivers, and hiking trails, the biggest draw to Barron County is the fabulous Canoe Bay outdoor resort. This four-star lodge is the epitome of romantic getaways in Wisconsin thanks to its picturesque grounds and adults-only policy.
Outside of Canoe Bay, quaint attractions like the Stardust Twin Drive-In Theater, Lehman’s Supper Club, and Norske Nook are our favorite local haunts. The county doesn’t offer much more to do, but that’s the point. It provides a place to unwind and relax with your loved one in quiet seclusion.
Recommended stay: Canoe Bay
Catering specifically to couples, Canoe Bay ensures all guests enjoy a restorative and romantic experience. As the only Relais Chateaux member in Wisconsin, Canoe Bay is part of a prestigious collection of hotels recognized for its luxury. All booking options are private cottages or tiny homes featuring delightful amenities like a whirlpool tub, fireplace, and deck.
On the weekends, you won’t have to lift a finger as all locally sourced dinners are cooked fresh and delivered right to your cottage. The hotel grounds sit on a sweeping 300 acres of forest 30 minutes north of Chippewa Falls, promising utmost tranquility during your stay. When the itch to be active hits, kayaks, and paddle boards are available for guests to use in the summer.
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