7 Perfect Midwest Fall Getaways

By Melanie Radzicki McManus

The Midwest offers several amazing destinations within a few hour’s driving distance from Madison. Take advantage of fall fun at these seven vibrant locales.

Elkhart Lake’s Elktoberfest is Back

After a successful debut last year, Elktoberfest is returning to Elkhart Lake Sept. 29–30. The weekend celebration, which honors German heritage, is Elkhart Lake’s creative twist on the traditional Oktoberfest celebrations held in other locales.

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Experience Cold-Cut Culture in Chicago’s North Shore

From cold-cuts to plays and pigskins, there’s plenty happening when you visit Chicago’s North Shore this fall.

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Explore Miles of Trails in Janesville

Thirty miles of recreational trails wind through the Janesville area, making it the perfect place to recreate outside, especially during the colorful fall foliage season. Most of these paths are paved, too, and perfect for walking, hiking, biking and rollerblading.

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Mineral Point Loves Art

When Bob Neal and Edgar Hellum began restoring the stone and log homes located along Mineral Point’s Shakerag Street in 1935, they likely had no idea their work would eventually cause artists and craftspeople to flood into town. But that’s exactly what happened in the 1960s and ’70s. Today, this historic village in southwestern Wisconsin is one of the state’s most artsy communities, filled with potters, painters, weavers, woodworkers, glass artists and more.

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Sip and Savor at Bailey’s Run

Tucked into the scenic, rolling hills of New Glarus, Bailey’s Run Vineyard & Winery is a great place to sample some fine wine, especially during the fall when the countryside bursts into color. Opened in 2018 by Todd and Janet Kuehl, the winery produces some 30 varieties of wine, including dry reds and whites such as Carménère and Seyval Blanc. Sweet and sparkling wines are available, too, plus wine slushies, mimosas, Bloody Marys and craft beer.

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Catching a Great View in La Crosse

Tucked between the Mississippi River and majestic, rocky bluffs, La Crosse is the perfect place to drink in Wisconsin’s superb fall color.

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Check Out Beloit’s Cultural Arts Scene

The Beloit area has a wealth of artful things to do.Visitors can expect to see Modernist art works, historic automobiles and hear classical music performances — all at the area’s arts and cultural attractions.

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