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8 Great Day Trips Less than 90 Minutes from Waukesha

Late summer is the perfect time for a trip before school starts, but not everyone has time for a big vacation. Instead, take a day trip out of Waukesha to one of these nearby retreats.

1) Kettle Moraine State Forest, Northern Unit

1 hour drive


Pack your bikes in the car and drive up to this state park. Once there, you can walk through the forests of the Ice Age Trail and bike between kettle lakes formed by glaciers.


2) Old World Wisconsin

30 minute drive

At this living history museum, you can enter the homes and workplaces of 19th century Wisconsinites. Interact with costumed staff, explore the gardens and farms, or try your hand at handicrafts and games. A great activity for all ages!

3) Black Point Estate and Gardens

1 hour drive

Take a boat to this quirky Victorian mansion on the coast of Lake Geneva. You can also walk through its manicured gardens or hit the gift shop.


4) Horicon Marsh

1 hour and 15 minute drive

Visit this unique, 33,000 acre marshland--a safe haven for birds such as cranes, pelicans, and herons. You can hike its 1400 ft. boardwalk or go fishing, paddling, or biking.  


5) Milwaukee Kayak Company

30 minute drive

Rent a kayak or canoe and explore Milwaukee’s three rivers by boat. You can paddle alone, or check out their “guided paddles” for a guided tour, including educational tours and the “moonlight paddle.”


6) East Troy Railroad Museum

30 minute drive

Ride a 1930’s trolley through the countryside, or reserve your place on a dining car for a special treat.


7) Mequon Nature Preserve

35 minute drive

Pack your kids and a picnic lunch. You can stroll through its marshes, prairies, and woodlands, peer from the top of an observation tower, or visit the education center.


8) Milwaukee Art Museum

30 minute drive

With its swooping, winged architecture, this museum will be hard to miss. Its three buildings house a collection of over 31,000 works. After you’ve had your fill of art, you can stroll along the lakefront or meander through its gardens.


Safe travels! When you come back, remember to schedule your next dentist appointment.