What are the 10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours?  Edible Antics has been on tour for over 9 months searching Wisconsin highways and byways for people places and adventures that are examples of our moto “Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin”.  Supper Clubs, bakeries, butcher shops, brew pubs, wineries, Bed and Breakfasts, parks and attractions, bike, hike and snowmobile trails and anything fun, beautiful, delicious or special.  Just so you can enjoy all the beauty that is Wisconsin.  Our archives link above can help you find our recommendations in all 72 counties.

Wisconsin’s Best

Over the next few weeks we will be featuring “Top Ten” listings from our 72 Wisconsin county research efforts.  These will be the best of the best.  Multiple examples of Wisconsin artisans that weekly put forth their best efforts that are Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.  This week we sort down our research to a specific category.  10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours.  Where are the Wisconsin forests fall foliage best observed in the fall season?  And it would be helpful to identify a few lodging and dining spots to compliment the tours.  We are looking for quality food, outstanding service and an atmosphere worthy of a drive to each destination.

10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours

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“Wi Made” Miata on Hwy 70

It is fall in Wisconsin.  Days are shorter, nights are cooler and Mother Nature has broken out her paint brushes to add beautiful colors to the landscape.  Far Northern Wisconsin has already begun the display and the rest of the state will follow over the next few weeks.  Apples, cherries, cranberries and pumpkins are being harvested along with our traditional crops of corn, soybeans, potatoes, peas, carrots and green beans. Wisconsin provides a large contribution to the nation’s food pantry.

So if you have the time to take a short tour to enjoy this fall beauty, where would you go?  Here are our favorites:

10. The Upper Mississippi Great River Drive.  Highway 35 follows the Mississippi River.  This drive works best the 2nd to 3rd week in October.  The view from the top of Grandad’s Bluff in LaCrosse offers a panorama of fall colors up and down the valley.  The drive includes views of towering bluffs and the hard working locks handling the barges filled with the results of the fall harvest.  If you have the time visit the Charmant Hotel, Piggy’s Restaurant and the Waterfront Restaurant in La Crosse.

9. The Ashland Bayfield Apostle Islands area. This far north area is usually at its best the first week in October.  Drives overlook Lake Superior and the forests of Northern Wisconsin.  Madeline Island with its Big Bay State Park is a special attraction in the fall.  The 55th Annual Bayfield Apple Festival runs October 7-9, 2016 and is one of the best fall festivals in the country.   For extra credit visit the  Hotel Chequamegon in Ashland and the Old Rittenhouse and Wild Rice in Bayfield.  And see if you can find the Delta Diner.

Bayfield Harbor in fall

8. Kettle Moraine State Park in eastern Wisconsin offers lakes and forests in a meandering drive at its best usually in the third week of October.  The rolling hills and valleys in this part of the state resulted from the receding glaciers of the last ice age.  The diverse foliage paints a rainbow of color.  Outstanding lodging in this area includes The American Club, The Osthoff and 52 Stafford.

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Flock of Sandhill Cranes in cut corn field

7. Wisconsin River Valley from Prairie du Sac to Prairie du Chien.  Wisconsin Highway 60 follows the Wisconsin River valley and has numerous scenic overlooks.  It is usually at its color peak in the third week of October.  Along the way in Spring Green there are art galleries and historic attractions.   The Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac is beautiful in the fall.  This time of year the Sandhill Cranes flock together to begin their migration south.  This drive includes some of their gathering places.

6. The Central Wisconsin Wausau area includes Rib Mountain State Park.  The 60 foot observation tower on top of the mountain offers spectacular views of the Wisconsin River and the surrounding countryside.  The fall colors are usually peaking during the second week of October.  The Jefferson Street Inn in Wausau offers a great lodging spot for this trip.

5. The LaCrosse County and Monroe County area contains rolling hills and valleys with small towns and Amish charm along the way.  Winding roads enhance the fall color experience that usually peaks in the second week of October.  The Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Sparta provides a good home base for this tour.

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Tip of Door County fall drive

4. Door County.  This special Wisconsin touring area usually peaks during the third week of October.  With five state parks and beautiful county parks this area offers many opportunities to enjoy the fall colors.  The quaint villages also include good restaurants and lodging choices.  The drive from Gills Rock to the ferry landing on the northern tip of the peninsula is an often photographed winding road that is beautiful in the fall.

3. The Eagle River area in northeastern Wisconsin is located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National forest.  Foliage usually peaks during the second week of October.  These forests are a national treasure and the color attracts many visitors each fall.

2. Highway 8 from Niagara to St. Croix Falls. This east-west highway transverses north central Wisconsin from St. Croix Falls in the west to Niagara in the east and usually peaks in the second week in October.  The Carnegie Hall Bed and Breakfast in Ladysmith is a unique lodging stop.  It is a Carnegie funded library converted to a B&B.  There are two casinos along this route; the St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake and the Mole Lake Casino in Crandon.

1. Highway 70 transverses northern Wisconsin from Florence to Danbury.  Along the way Minocqua and Spooner offer diversions.  This area usually peaks during the first week in October.  The Inn at Pinewood Bed and Breakfast and the Chanticleer Inn in Eagle River both offer food and lodging for your enjoyment.

Do you have a favorite Wisconsin road tour?  Where in Wisconsin do you enjoy the fall season?  Let me know at email rick@wisconsinmade.com

The beauty of the state is dressed up in its fall garb.  Multicolor earth tones blend with blue skies and sparkling waters.  We hope you can find some time to hit the road and enjoy the wonders of Wisconsin in this fall season. For up to date information on the progress of Wisconsin fall color transition the State Department of Tourism website travelwisconsin.com has fall color report map  that shows the status of change in each of our 72 counties.

The hard work of skilled Wisconsinites compliments the beauty of Mother Nature and we are proud to bring you their products.

Join us next week as we continue to sort down the very best of Wisconsin searching for people, places and edibles Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin