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Madison, die Hauptstadt von Wisconsin, Bild: Mihai_Andritoiu / shutterstock

Wisconsin – Welcome to the land of milk and cheese

In the northwest of the USA, the state of Wisconsin nestles against two of the “Great Lakes”, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Here, nature is the trump card, dominated by farms and forests and invites you to cycle and hike tours. The large dairy industry has earned Wisconsin the nickname “Dairy Country” as a dairy country. But regardless of whether you are a farmer or a city dweller, it is certain that a good 50% of Wisconsin’s residents have their roots in Germany .

Milwaukee – beer city with a lot of culture

View of Milwaukee, Wisconson
View of Milwaukee, Wisconson, Image: Jayne Lipkovich / shutterstock

The German influence has also had a lasting impact on Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city. The immigrants began to brew their local beer here. This is how the city on Lake Michigan with its 600,000 inhabitants got its nickname “brewery city”. Many of these breweries can be visited on guided tours – with a good sip of beer to top it off. At the lakefront on the lake, visitors not only enjoy a beer in the summer, but also countless festivals that are held here almost every weekend. The pier is also home to the “Discovery World” museum of technology and science with a three-masted ship, which is moored next door in the harbour to conquer. Motorcycle fans won’t be able to resist Harley Davidson’s factory and museum. Culture enthusiasts can be inspired by the Broadway Theatre Center or the Florentine Opera Center. In general, the various museums of the city are impressive, which also has a public museum with replicas of worldwide villages and an architecturally impressive art museum.

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Charming and tolerant – the federal capital Madison

Despite all its size, Milwaukee is not the capital of Wisconsin, but the smaller Madison with its approximately 250,000 inhabitants. The city center nestles on a headland between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota. The university town is rather tranquil and charming, but is considered the friendliest of all cities in the USA – with particularly tolerant inhabitants. The roads have been so well developed for cyclists that Madison is considered an example of environmental friendliness among US cities. Madison’s lakes are wonderful to walk around on foot or by bike. All this makes Madison a livable seat of government for old and young.

In the imposing “State Capitol” of Wisconsin, the parliament meets. The building, built in 1907, is not only reminiscent of the Capitol in Washington D.C., but is also the second largest Capitol after the one in the capital of the USA. The guided tours offered to visit the building are extremely worthwhile. But even the square on which Wisconsin’s seat of government stands offers a special sight: On Saturdays, it hosts the Farmers Market of Dane County, to which Madison belongs. As one of the largest U.S. markets for farm products, it has made a name for itself in particular with dairy products and home-made cheese. It thus does credit to the “Cheeseland” state and is a highlight for visitors. If you prefer to sit in one of the cafés or a bar, you should try your luck on State Street, which runs west from the market square. There is also the “Contemporary Art Museum”, which is well worth seeing.

The Mecca of aviation enthusiasts – Oshkosh and its “AirVenture”

Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Air show in Oshkosh, Image: Wirestock Creators / shutterstock

Once a year, the town of Oshkosh is turned upside down. That’s when aviation enthusiasts from all over the world gather at Lake Winnebago – and many come with their small planes. The largest exhibition of private aircraft in the world, the “EAA AirVenture“, has been taking place at the end of July for over 50 years and makes Wittman Airport the “busiest airport in the world” for a whole week. Several 10,000 aircraft such as old World War II bombers, biplanes and ultra-modern light aircraft then make a stop here. For one week, there will be countless exhibitors, lectures and events on the subject of aviation. The “Who’s Who” of the aerospace industry will be speaking here, including the astronauts of the Apollo missions. Even an Airbus A380 visited here in 2009. The highlight is the daily “airshows” with aerobatic demonstrations and spectacular overflights. These shows also take place at night, where they are supplemented with fire shows. The AirVenture is a spectacle that attracts more than 600,000 visitors every year. If you come to Oshkosh, you should also visit the associated “EAA Aviation Museum“.

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Wisconsin’s nature through the seasons

Wisconsin’s nature is extremely diverse and is characterized by the “Great Lakes” and the many rivers. If you hike here, you will experience impressive waterfalls, countless lakes, ancient forests and species-rich wetlands. Wisconsin does not have a national park, but “National State Parks” worth seeing can be found in all parts of the state. Paddling, camping and swimming are not only popular with visitors here. Rock cliffs and caves are also worth exploring, such as Crystal Cave near the town of Eau Claire. A special highlight in winter are the caves of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore on one of the 21 islands in Lake Superior. Then they become enchanted ice caves. In winter, Wisconsin often experiences strong sub-zero temperatures, while in summer it gets very hot with around 30 degrees.