Traveling in Wisconsin

Traveling in Wisconsin

The medium sized state of Wisconsin is located in the northern part of the US, or near the center of the North American continent. Wisconsin was originally owned by the French, with the first French explorer entering the area during the 1600s. As you can see from the flag above, Wisconsin was added as the 30th state to the Union in 1848, but still has lots of descendants from Europe. The majority of the population still celebrate many European festivals such as Norway’s Syttende Mai, Italy’s Festa Italiana, and France’s Bastille Days to name a few. Today most Americans know Wisconsin for its cheese, beer, and for bordering Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.
Wisconsin Madison Capitol Wisconsin Madison Capitol Lawn
Wisconsin’s capital of Madison is the state’s second largest city. Above are two pictures from Madison, the state capitol and part the capital grounds on the right. The area around the capitol building is known as the state capitol square, where many come on weekends to buy produce at the farmers markets or to visit the shops and cafes. Below are two photos I took from the farmers market here, a woman selling produce on the left and two Amish men selling baked goods on the lower right. A few years after I visited massive protests took place here in state capitol square having to deal with government cuts that were due to the recession. I wasn’t in Wisconsin at the time but it received a lot of national attention.
Wisconsin Madison Old Lady Wisconsin Madison Amish
Milwaukee Downtown Wisconsin Milwaukee Downtown
Madison isn’t well known to the rest of the country, but Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city is famous and said to be found largely on beer. All over the city are breweries, with many major beer companies having their headquarters here. These two photos above are of the downtown areas that I visited with one of my best friends from the Marines. The weather unfortunately wasn’t good and it was a Sunday so there wasn’t too much going on, but I do plan to return again like most places I visit..
Old Town Milwaukee Wisconsin Milwaukee Miller
The restaurant on the upper left is “Old World on Third Street”, near the downtown areas of Milwaukee. Like I said about the beer, on the right is a large billboard for Miller Genuine Draft, one of several beers which was also founded in the city.
Wisconsin Milwaukee Maders Wisconsin Milwaukee Irish Pub
Like I had mentioned earlier, Wisconsin received lots of immigrants from Europe and their influence is easily seen all over the city. Above are two European restaurants in Milwaukee.
Wisconsin Milwaukee German Restaurant Wisconsin Milwaukee

Of all the European influence I saw in Wisconsin, Germans seemed to have left the largest mark. I wasn’t surprised to later find out that almost 50% of people in Milwaukee can trace their roots to Germany with many others having ties to other countries in Scandinavia or in Poland. The surrounding four photos are from German restaurants, above the main dining area and a German statue on the right. I didn’t eat any food at the restaurants but I was happy to try one of the famous boot beers that I’ve always heard about. The beer we had was from the city of Munich.
Wisconsin Milwaukee German Paintings Wisconsin Milwaukee German Beer
Wisconsin Lake Superior Sunset Wisconsin Lake Superior
Next famous in Wisconsin Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake in the world. The lake borders much of Wisconsin and Michigan as well as southern Canada. To get an idea of how large and deep Lake Superior is, the entire lake has enough water to put an area the size of North and South America under a foot of water! Above are pictures of the coast during the sunset.
Wisconsin Bayfield Wisconsin Lily Pads
Above is the town of Bayfield which is on the Great Lakes and seemed to be home to many fisherman and other sailors. The great lakes are large enough to support large ships, and sailing the lakes can be similar to sailing in the open ocean. Though the Great Lakes get all the attention, Wisconsin seemed to have numerous smaller lakes and ponds everywhere I looked, one of them I visited to take the picture of the lily pads on the upper right. The photos below are of one of Bayfield’s mansions, and a large boat flying a pirate flag on the lower right.
Wisconsin Bayfield House Wisconsin Bayfield Pirate Ship
Wisconsin Apostle Islands Cabins Wisconsin Apostle Islands Shore
One of the most scenic parts of the great lakes in Wisconsin is the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The two photos above are when my boat just left Bayfield showing some cabins along the shore and scenery. There are many lighthouses here, tales of shipwrecks, and lots of wildlife. In the winter the lake freezes enough to where its possible to even drive your car to the islands!
Apostle Islands Apostle Islands Caves
The two photos above are both from the Apostle Islands and show some of its most beautiful scenery. At the time I wasn’t using a good camera, so I hope to one day revisit and pay better respect to the islands. The area in right hand photo are called the ‘sea caves’ due to the holes in the shore that the waves and tide have created over tens of thousands of years.
Wisconsin Apostle Islands Sailboat Wisconsin Apostle Islands Gulls
Dozens of other ships and sailboats were out in the water while I visited the Apostle Islands. I’m not sure what the guy on the right was doing, but he must have brought out a fish or something because he immediately was attacked by a flock of seagulls..
Wisconsin Castle Cliff Wisconsin Nicolet Trees
The Great Lakes are probably the most interesting geographic feature of Wisconsin, as most of the state is very flat with, with the highest point not even reaching 2,000 feet above sea level. In the western part of the state there are some random rock formations which stand out against the Wisconsin’s flat terrain. Above is a photo of a sandstone cliff hanging over the forest. The right hand photo shows the trees with the white bark that are seen in northern latitudes of North American and Eurasia.
Wisconsin Castle Rock Wisconsin Castle Rock Tower
The sandstone cliff you saw earlier actually breaks up in the larger towers in the surrounding forests. This was a pretty unique place for me and I was surprised to find it here in Wisconsin. The area is known as Castle Rock, and its soft sand stone unfortunately attracted people who carved random messages and tags into the lower areas of the towers.
Wisconsin Nicolet Squirrel Wisconsin Pelican
I never really associated nature with Wisconsin for some reason, but the entire northern part of the state is very rural and filled with wildlife. One of the islands I mentioned earlier from the Apostle Islands actually has the largest concentration of black bears in the North American continent. On the left is a squirrel from Nicolet Forest, on the right is a pelican from one of Wisconsin’s small inland lakes.