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'No Reason To Be In A Hurry': Summer Road Trips In Wisconsin


The great American road trip can be a cross-country sojourn, a long weekend, or even an afternoon.

It’s those latter two ideas – the shorter road trip that got contributors Dan Harmon and Mark Savage talking. Normally, they talk about cars. But both contributors are encouraging people to actually sit and enjoy using their cars through a classic American pastime.

"I think what also makes a good road trip is having a cool destination," says Savage. "Someplace you want to go, something you want to see, ultimately, when you get there.  The trip along the way is fun, but you gotta have something that you’re aiming for at the other end too."

He notes that Wisconsin is full of great road trip destinations near and far, whether it's a state park or a simple drive into the country. Here are a few recommendations to hit the road:

Holy Hill: "It's a straight shot off the highway on 167 to get over to Holy Hill. But there's so many nice roads around there, a couple of rustic roads in the area. It's just fun because there's a lot of winding roads that are kind of narrow and tree lined," says Savage.

Madison: Instead of taking I-94 W out to the state capital, take Highway 12 and 18 instead and take some time to stop and explore. "I think all of the road trips that are fun are the ones where you get off the main highway and explore a little bit on the side roads and see what there is to see...I enjoy driving through small towns all the time."

Hartford: Drive out to Highway 83 and head up from I-94 towards Hartford. Savage says there are "some pretty houses along the way, golf courses, lakes, the Stone Bank area, and the Wisconsin Automotive Museum."

Door County: While most people go directly to their destinations of Ephraim or Egg Harbor, Savage suggests driving up the lake side to Gills Rock and driving down around the other side. This route is not as congested, and while you're there you can take a ferry to Washington Island or Rock Island. "It's a road trip, but you're also trying to find something that's a little different and out of the way and some place maybe a lot of people haven't been."

With cars becoming more comfortable with better mileage and built in GPS, Savage says that's all the more reasons to take a road trip. "Wisconsin is a beautiful state, so get out there and drive around different places and see all of it. I've been to pretty much every corner of the state and there's something to be seen in every one of them. It is amazing how different it can all be."

And remember, when you're on a road trip: "There's no reason to be in a hurry."

Mark Savage writes the auto review column, Savage On Wheels, for WUWM (formerly for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and Savageonwheels.com. He is the former executive editor of American Snowmobiler magazine and FineScale Modeler magazine, both part of Kalmbach Media in Waukesha.
Dan Harmon was one of the original members of Lake Effect (formerly At Ten). He started at WUWM in November of 1998 and left December of 2015 after 17 years of production.