If you live in Milwaukee like I do, northwestern Wisconsin seems impossibly far away. In fact, after 24 years of actively exploring my home state, I’d still never set foot in either Burnett County or Polk County until last weekend! Despite the distance, it is definitely worth visiting. If you’re headed to northwestern Wisconsin this winter, you won’t have to scramble to find things to do with this handy weekend travel guide.
Lodging in Northwestern Wisconsin
As mentioned above, my decision to stay at the Best Western Northwoods Lodge in Siren was sparked by my recent selection as one of Best Western’s “Travel Your Passion” contributors. I had the flexibility to search nationwide for a location to visit, but was hoping to find a cabin-style hotel that aligned with my #PursuitOfCoziness movement. Imagine my excitement upon finding one right here in Wisconsin!
The lodge is cozy and well-maintained in general, but the lobby is what sets this place apart. It is a cabin-lover’s paradise and has every cozy touch you could imagine. They also offer complimentary breakfast! I truly felt like I was relaxing at my own northwoods retreat and not a chain hotel. Best Western went out of their way to make this location unique and represent its locale. I would absolutely visit again!
Recreation in Northwestern Wisconsin
Even this water skier likes to hit the slopes every once in a while! Trollhaugen is the perfect place to enjoy a downhill ride on skis, a snowboard, or tube. Their runs vary in distance and difficulty, making it great for even a full day at the hill. Warm up with a cup of homemade hot chocolate in the chalet when you need a break!
The first of its kind in the country, Interstate Park is a coordinated effort between Wisconsin and Minnesota to preserve the ecosystem around a breathtaking waterway. Bring winter boots or snowshoes to enjoy a brisk hike!
Clubs throughout Wisconsin work hard each year to maintain an extensive array of snowmobile trails. You can monitor their condition with the Travel Wisconsin Snow Report; note that some counties do not open their trails until all hunting seasons are over.
My Northwestern Wisconsin Trip Recap
I was truly impressed with my first visit to northwestern Wisconsin. Siren is the perfect blend of homey and touristy; I love that I visited in the winter for more of a “homey” off-season experience. The northwoods lodge we stayed at was what I dreamed it would be and more. I felt a little concerned when bringing my dad along for a hotel collaboration that it wouldn’t live up to the expectations I had for it, but it totally did. Literally from the minute I stepped through the front door.
I didn’t have a notable experience at any of the restaurants we dined at, so I didn’t include a dining section in this itinerary. I will say that there are so many restaurants in the area that sounded awesome and I wish I’d had time to visit them! You can read reviews of places I have visited by visiting my Yelp profile. If you opt to stay at Best Western, they offer an awesome complimentary breakfast, which we enjoyed both days. You can sign up for a free Best Western Rewards membership to get even more perks!