Wisconsin is a perfect place for a travel nursing adventure. The state offers endless natural beauty, including access to the Mississippi River and two of the legendary Great Lakes — Lake Michigan and Lake Superior.
Wisconsin is part of the American Midwest, featuring a diverse landscape of deep river valleys, lush forests, rich farmland, and thousands of glacial lakes that is a paradise for outdoor enthusiast travel nurses. Major cities like Madison and Milwaukee are centers of culture and entertainment, and the state’s rural areas offer a warm small-town charm and a snapshot of the area’s German American and Scandinavian American heritage.
Read on for a list of popular attractions and hidden gems to explore on your next travel nursing assignment in Wisconsin!
Olbrich Botanical Gardens
The Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located in Madison, Wisconsin, and features 16 acres of incredible outdoor landscapes and one indoor conservatory. It’s a great place to visit to enjoy the beauty and complexity of nature, and visitors can easily spend an entire day checking out the grounds.
The gardens are divided into 7 sections, including a traditional English garden, a Thai garden, and a Rose Garden. Tranquil reflective pools, limestone terraces, and lovely pavilions are located throughout the territory. In addition, the Bolz Conservatory lets you visit the tropics without ever leaving Wisconsin! The Bolz Conservatory is a tall glass pyramid that contains a wide variety of tropical plants, a waterfall, gorgeous orchids, and exotic birds.
Viroqua & Driftless Wisconsin
The Driftless Area is a region in Southwest Wisconsin and other states in the Midwest that is characterized by deep river valleys, dense forests, and beautiful waterfalls and streams. The town of Viroqua is in the heart of Driftless Wisconsin and offers a unique mix of entertainment, culture, cuisine, arts, and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Viroqua is home to a large artist and artisan community who find inspiration in the area’s peaceful beauty. Check out Main Street to find local artist cooperatives offering a variety of different products including paintings, ceramics, jewelry, photography, artisanal foods, literature, and more. Or visit the public market for a selection of antiques and other crafts.
Viroqua and its nearby towns (Prarie du Chien, Gays Mills, Ontario) also contain many historic attractions. The Bekkedal Leaf Tobacco Warehouse, a National Historic Place, was built in 1906 by Martin H. Bekkedal, a Norwegian immigrant who became the largest tobacco wholesaler in the region.
Located in northern Wisconsin along the shore of Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is a collection of 21 islands and 12 miles of coastline that offers a truly unique outdoor experience. The lakeshore features stunning scenery of sandstone cliffs, beaches, historic lighthouses, sea caves, quarries, logging and fishing camps, and a picture-perfect view of legendary Lake Superior.
Visitors can camp on 19 of the lakeshore’s 21 islands, and the park also offers over 50 miles of well-kept hiking trails. The lakeshore is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, as over 240 species of birds breed in or migrate through the area over the course of the year.
Visitors can hike, paddle and sail to experience the fascinating sights of the lake. Lake Superior’s water is very clear, providing a great opportunity for discovering underwater rock formations, shipwrecks, and the diverse array of sea life.
Wisconsin Great River Road
Want to take a relaxing drive and soak in the scenery? The Wisconsin Great River Road is the state’s only official National Scenic Byway, extending 250 miles through over 30 historic tows along the Mississippi River. Along the road, travel nurses will find a huge variety of attractions and adventure opportunities. Stop along the road for biking, birdwatching, fishing, wine-tasting, and more.
There are also lots of scenic overlooks along the Great River Road, where travel nurses can experience the beauty of all four seasons along the Mississippi River. Visit Nelson Dewey State Park to see the Mississippi from a 500-foot bluff. Or check out Buena Vista State Park, which has the largest natural balcony overlooking the Mighty Mississippi, and observe barges traveling through Lock & Dam #4.
Milwaukee Art Museum
The Milwaukee Art Museum is a world-class museum in Wisconsin’s largest city, a must-visit for art-loving travel nurses. The museum has over 30,000 works of art on display within its 341,000 square feet of exhibits, including the War Memorial Center, the Kahler Building, and the Quadracci Pavillion.
The Milwaukee Art Museum offers four floors of rotating exhibits showing 15th to 20th-century European and 17th to 20th-century American art with work from artists like Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Andy Warhol and more. It also contains one of the largest collections of work from legendary Wisconsin artist Georgia O’Keeffe.
Door County is a prime location for those who want to experience the Great Lakes. Located in East-Central Wisconsin, Door County offers 300 miles of shoreline, 11 historic lighthouses, and 5 beautiful state parks.
Door County is home to 19 distinct communities with their own unique charm. There are endless opportunities for outdoor adventure including boating, sailing, biking, skiing, fishing, or simply relaxing on the beach.