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3 Breathtaking Scenic Drives in Wisconsin

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Wisconsin scenery
Photo: tpsdave

With its lush forests, clear lakes, rolling hills, and sparkling rivers, Wisconsin is famous for its natural beauty. If you’d like to tour the Badger State from behind the wheel, check out this list of three must-see scenic drives.

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Great River Road

Mississippi River in Wisconsin
Photo: MikeGoad

Officially known as Highway 35, the Wisconsin Great River Road follows the Mississippi River for a solid 250 miles. Famed for being Wisconsin’s only National Scenic Byway, this adventurous route takes you through 33 riverfront towns, replete with historic sites, quaint shops, art galleries, and wineries. If you’d rather explore off the beaten path, Highway 35 also takes you through numerous hiking, boating, and nature-watching hotspots. Try driving between Prescott and Kieler to experience this classic Wisconsin road trip.

Lake Superior Byway

Lake Superior
Photo: csbonawitz

If you’d like to experience 70 miles of coastal beauty, head over to the Lake Superior Byway. From sparkling, sandy beaches to serene forests, the Lake Superior Byway provides a breathtaking journey along the Bayfield peninsula, showcasing the majesty of Lake Superior’s southern shoreline. Notable stops along the journey include the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Area and the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

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Driftless Area

Wisconsin Driftless Area
Photo: USFWS Midwest Region via CC

Located in southwest Wisconsin, the Driftless Area avoided getting flattened by glaciers during the last ice age. As a result, it’s positively teeming with varied landscape features, including limestone bluffs, crystal-clear trout streams, waterfalls, and forested ridges. Along the way, there are plenty of places to stop and enjoy a hike or watch the local wildlife. You’ll even have the chance to visit some of Wisconsin’s finest orchards and vineyards. If you’d like to tour the Driftless Area, consider a drive on Highway 131 between Wauzeka and Wilton for a rural drive that takes you through the Kickapoo Valley Reserve State Natural Area.

Wisconsin is full of so many natural wonders, we couldn’t cover them all in one article. Tell us about your favorite scenic drives in the comments below!