Where to See Fall Colors in Wisconsin This Year

Posted: Thu-Sep-2022

In just about every corner of the country in September and October, you'll find some vibrant fall foliage. Some destinations are better than others, of course - but we think the fall colors in Wisconsin warrant a closer look. Though Wisconsin isn't New England's powerhouse fall foliage destination, with gorgeous states like Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire, you'd do yourself a disserve by not getting out and exploring the spectacular fall colors in Wisconsin. 

You'll find a kaleidoscope of colors in all reaches of the state, too, with the northern portions reaching peak colors before the southern reaches of the state. With the state's handy foliage tracker, you can keep an eye out for the development of fall colors in Wisconsin. As of early September, fall colors in Wisconsin are only in their earliest stages, with the most vibrant shades expected towards the end of the month through mid-October (and even later the further south you get). 

Apart from being exquisitely beautiful, fall also offers us a chance to slow down, unwind from the hectic pace of summer, and nourish relationships and self. It's the perfect time of year to treat your sweetheart to a break, too - and there's nowhere better to do it than one of our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts

The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association features inns from around the state, in one jaw-droppingly beautiful destination after another. As the leaves turn from their vibrant greens to varying shades of gold, pink, and amber, Innkeepers look forward to welcoming the return of the cozy season - a season filled with romantic getaways and indulgent weekend escapes. If you're looking for someplace unforgettable to enjoy the best fall colors in Wisconsin, now is the time to find and book your favorite Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast. 

See the best of fall Colors in Wisconsin This  Year

The Best Places to See Fall Colors in Wisconsin

The gradual change of seasons begins each fall and brings a charged energy to the state's top destinations. From beautiful state parks like Devils Lake State Park, Peninsula State Park, or the Kettle Moraine State Forest to top cities like Madison, Bayfield, and LaCrosse, there are plenty of incredible destinations worth visiting this summer - each made more spectacular by the presence of brilliantly-hued fall colors in Wisconsin. 

Though the annual weather conditions dictate when fall colors in Wisconsin will show up and how vibrant they will be, you can generally expect much of the state to be awash in the fiery fall hues by the second week of October. More generally, however, fall colors in Wisconsin begin in early September and continue through early November. 

Just as there are plenty of fantastic destinations around the state to enjoy fall colors in Wisconsin, so, too, are plenty of ways to enjoy them. Whether you prefer to get active with hiking and biking or prefer a more passive activity like scenic drives and fall chairlift rides, there's something here for everyone. At the start of every excellent fall getaway is a Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast. 

Below, we've included a list of some of our favorite scenic drives to take in Wisconsin during the fall and a few other ideas to round out a fantastic getaway. Once this unique state has thoroughly inspired you, follow links to our Inn finder, and book your getaway at one of the best places to stay in Wisconsin

Fall Drives are one of the best ways to enjoy fall colors in Wisconsin

8 Gorgeous Scenic Drives in Wisconsin to Take This Fall

We love a good scenic drive, and during the fall months, scenic drives in Wisconsin certainly do not disappoint. Scenic drives are easily one of the quickest and best ways to take in the dramatic fall colors in Wisconsin. Below, you'll find a few of our favorites spread throughout the state.

  1. There are several great scenic drives in Wisconsin. All you have to do is head out your door, and you'll likely be wowed by the gorgeous fall hues everywhere you turn. For something extraordinary, though, consider one of these fantastic scenic fall drives on Wisconsin Rustic Roads
  2. Add some rushing water to your fall scenic drives on the popular Marinette County Waterfall tour in northeastern Wisconsin. It features 14 waterfalls over its 125 miles and offers some impressive fall scenery as you go, too. 
  3. In northwestern Wisconsin, near the Hayward Lakes Area, there are six self-guided scenic drives worth taking, teaching leading you through some of the best fall colors in Wisconsin. These drives range in length from 45 - 70 miles.
  4. Drive along the Upper Mississippi River valley along the Great River Road, and enjoy the dramatic colors of fall set against the sharply rising sandstone bluffs of this western border of our state. This is also a marvelous place to do a little birdwatching while you take a break from the car. 
  5. The fall colors are beautiful on the Bayfield Peninsula, where you'll find the Wisconsin Lake Superior Scenic Byway.
  6. Take the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive through both the north and south units of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, and enjoy some of the best fall scenery in the state. 
  7. Drive along one of the most scenic stretches of road in Door County. Hit the Door County Coastal Byway, and in particular, don't miss the 25-mile stretch of County Road 42. Door County's Department of Tourism has also put together several excellent scenic drives to consider, each offering a fantastic way to see and experience fall colors in Wisconsin. 
  8. Take a drive through Wisconsin's scenic Driftless Area on the Baraboo Hills Scenic Drive, and enjoy these gently rolling hills dappled in fall's vibrant hues. This unique area is one of our favorite places to see fall colors in Wisconsin. 

Couple hiking with their dog and enjoying the best fall colors in Wisconsin

More Ways to Enjoy Fall Colors in Wisconsin

  1. Fall is a fantastic time of year to enjoy hiking in Wisconsin, and we have an excellent guide for you that includes a number of the top Wisconsin hikes around the state. Of course, the stunning Kettle Moraine State Forest is not to be missed. 
  2. You can take in some of the same views you'd get while hiking without effort by going to places like Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau. They offer scenic fall chairlift rides so you can enjoy the beauty of the Wisconsin River Valley without breaking a sweat.
  3. Wisconsin State Parks offer some of the best scenery in the state - a fact just as true in the fall as it is in the spring, summer, and winter. There are plenty of Wisconsin State Parks to choose from, but here are some of the best Wisconsin state parks to visit for fall colors in Wisconsin. 
  4. Go apple picking at one of the area's many orchards. Of course, you'll be treated to colorful orchards, but you'll also get to enjoy a time-honored fall tradition - and plenty of yummy fall-themed treats - along the way. We created a roundup of some of our favorite places to go apple picking in Wisconsin last month. 
  5. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy a wine tasting, as harvest events are taking place at wineries and vineyards around the state - and, of course, we have a guide to the best wineries in Wisconsin.
  6. Go birding at one of Wisconsin's great natural areas, such as Horicon Marsh Wildlife Preserve.
  7. Scenic drives are a great way to explore Door County, but don't miss all the other ways to enjoy Door County fall colors in Wisconsin, too! From hiking, biking, and kayaking, to exploring the charming coastal towns in the area, it's a spectacular place to visit in the fall. 
  8. Take a bike ride on one of the many fantastic Wisconsin Bike Trails. Popular choices each fall include the Elroy-Sparta Trail, the Badger State Trail, the Fox River State Trail, and so many more.  

Couple enjoying a getaway and the best fall colors in Wisconsin

Find the Best Places to Stay in Wisconsin

As fun as these things sound, they are just suggestions - you don't have to do much to enjoy the best fall colors in Wisconsin. In fact, you'll likely find some fantastic fall scenery on-site at your favorite Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast, many of which are surrounded by beautiful gardens, forests, and other natural surroundings in some of the most picturesque parts of the state. 

Seeing the explosion of fall colors in Wisconsin is merely an excuse to get away with your sweetheart and to enjoy some uninterrupted time together at one (or more) of the most romantic places to stay in Wisconsin. We're pleased to offer a diverse array of properties from which to choose a getaway, too. 

Ranging from urban and contemporary to rural and historic, Wisconsin is home to the finest Inns in the country and incomparable hospitality that you won't find anywhere else. Our Innkeepers have incredible knowledge about their state and local areas and will be your best guide to making the most out of a fall getaway to one of our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts. If you're ready to enjoy fall colors in Wisconsin - and maybe a few cozy minutes or two - make sure to book a room at one of our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts today! 

Receive our Newsletter for B&B travel, seasonal packages, Wisconsin fun, and tasty recipes, all delivered to you in our quarterly e-newsletter.