12 of the most Instagrammable spots in Wisconsin
From serene waterfalls and striking architecture to dramatic sea caves and the state's "selfie Mecca", here are 12 of the most Instagram-worthy spots to snap during a visit to Wisconsin.
Even though "America's Dairyland" generates 2.5 billion pounds of cheddar, Gouda and myriad other varieties – a quarter of America's total cheese produce – there's more to Wisconsin than just the smelly stuff.
In a state known for its love of the good earth and clean waters, I thought it would be fun to create a list of the most 'gram-worthy spots in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin is famous for its Great Lakes coastline (Video: Travel Wisconsin)
Most Instagrammable spots in Wisconsin
I've put together a list of the most popular #ScenicWisconsin Instagram locations either as inspiration for your visit to the "Badger State" or to share with your hungry band of followers.
1. Parfrey's Glen State Natural Area
Parfrey's Glen, Wisconsin's first State Natural Area, is a spectacular gorge deeply incised into the sandstone conglomerate of the south flank of the Baraboo Hills.
Just a short walk from the parking lot to the gorge where large boulders and the glen walls are covered in moss, creating a soothing cool temperature on even the hottest summer days.
This natural gem allows visitors to walk through the gorge to a small waterfall, located less than one mile from the parking lot.
Tread carefully, because the mossy stones can be tricky to navigate, but the views are spectacular.
2. Wyalusing State Park
The 2,700-acre Wyalusing State Park overlooks the confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers and is one of Wisconsin's oldest parks.
Indian burial mounds, canoe trail, bird watching, camping, canoe rental are all worth visiting in the park.
Wyalusing also has more than 14 miles of hiking trails, Bluff, Mississippi Ridge, Old Wagon Road, Sand Cave, Sentinel Ridge, Sugar Maple Nature, Turkey Hollow, Walnut Springs and Whitetail Meadows Trail.
3. Cave Point County Park
Cave Point is a popular sightseeing stop for visitors who know the area well. It is often missed by many because it is a County Park and not a State or National Park.
However, this does not mean that the views on offer here are anything short of spectacular. the park is known for its underwater caves and wave-worn limestone cliffs by fishermen, scuba divers, photographers and nature observers alike.
4. Apostle Island Sea Caves
The Apostle Islands and striking ice caves are located 18 miles west of Bayfield. When Lake Superior freezes over, these sea caves and rock formations are reachable by crossing the Great Lake about a mile on foot.
While you may feel the ice moving on the water below it, the lake is solid, and park officials monitor the ice conditions carefully.
The Apostle Islands mainland ice caves feature some of the most sensational cliffs and sea caves found in the Great Lakes. The features are different every year, as is the route to see them.
5. Holy Hill National Shrine of Mary
Standing atop the observation deck at Holy Hill Basilica in Hubertus is an almost spiritual feeling. Maybe it’s the view – at 192 feet tall, you’ll see a stunning view of the Kettle Moraine Southern Unit.
Or, maybe it’s the history of the location. Holy Hill Basilica was declared a Shrine of Mary in 1903 and in 2006 became a Minor Basilica. History and divinity aside, there’s something to be said about the climb to the top.
With 178 steps to the observation tower (the highest point in southeastern Wisconsin), it’s practically a miracle when you make it to the top.
Look to the east and make out the Milwaukee skyline 30-some miles away.
6. Cascade Falls
This outrageously scenic waterfall in downtown Osceola makes for an idyllic backdrop to any photograph and are also easy to access.
The falls are located just off Cascade Street near the millpond and statue of Chief Osceola. At night the falls are lit up with LED lighting that can mimic the light of the full moon or change for the season.
Sitting in a small grove a beautiful prayer path leads the way to the structure. The Stavkirke has become a vital part of the ministry of Trinity Lutheran and it is used year-round for special worship services and as a place for meditation.
Additionally, every summer and fall thousands of people visit and spend a little time going back in time and listening for God's "still small voice" in the quiet and peacefulness that this place provides.
It has also a very popular location for weddings and it's easy to see why.
8. North Point Lighthouse
First established in 1855, then rebuilt in 1888, then raised to 74-feet high in 1912, the North Point Lighthouse has quite a story to tell.
For over 150 years, the lighthouse has stood tall, overlooking the water and beaming out its light to protect and guide ships and watercraft.
Keepers and their families lived and worked at the North Point Light Station, ensuring that the bright light was broadcast through fair weather and foul.
It symbolizes a time in history when waterways were the highways between cities and lighthouses facilitated this mode of travel and commerce on Lake Michigan, throughout the Great Lakes and beyond.
9. Anderson’s Dock
The graffiti-adorned walls of Ephraim’s Hardy Gallery on Anderson’s Dock in Ephraim, Door County. have become a bit of an “Instagram darling”.
The dock was constructed in 1858 when steamers plied the waters and their merchandise offloaded and stored within the building.
These days, the building is hard to miss thanks to its colorful exterior which sees visitors from all over the globe decorate the wooden slatted walls with their creative flair.
10. Devils Lake State Park
Devils Lake State Park may just be Wisconsin's selfie Mecca with two dedicated selfie stands located in the park.
One is positioned on the north shore around 100 yards west of The Chateau. The other at the southwest corner of the lake on Cottage Grove Rd. Stop for a fun photo. Share yours with us on Instagram using #ScenicWisconsin.
Wisconsin's largest state park offers magnificent views from 500-foot Quartzite bluffs overlooking a 360-acre lake.
Enjoy lakeshore picnic areas, sandy swimming beaches, bird watching, or ease into the backcountry solitude. A beautiful year-round park with an intriguing natural history along the 1000-mile Ice Age Trail.
11. Milwaukee Art Museum
The Museum's permanent collection includes nearly 20,000 works from ancient objects to art of the present.
The museums' most esteemed exhibitions include 19th- and 20th-century American and European works, contemporary installations, American decorative collections, American and European folk artwork, and an outstanding Haitian gallery.
However, it's the dramatic new Santiago Calatrava-designed expansion that steals the show and makes for a sensational Insta-shot.
12. Wisconsin State Capitol
Reaching a height of over 265 feet, the Capitol dome is topped by Daniel Chester French's elegant gilded bronze statue, "Wisconsin".
Edwin Blashfield's mural "Resources of Wisconsin" lavishly decorates the interior dome of the rotunda, which is the only granite dome in the United States.
Inside, visitors are treated to the unique textures of 43 varieties of stone from around the world, hand-carved furniture and exquisite glass mosaics.
Both the inside and outside of the building make for stunning photography.