Wisconsin is a state in the Midwest region of the United States of America. It is bordered by Lake Superior and Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the north, Lake Huron to the east, Illinois to the south, and Iowa and Minnesota to the west.
The majority of Wisconsin's population lives in areas located along the shores of Lake Michigan. The largest city, Milwaukee, forms Wisconsin's largest metropolitan area, while Green Bay and Kenosha are the third and fourth most populous cities in Wisconsin, respectively. Madison, the state capital, is currently the second most populous and fastest-growing city in the state. Wisconsin is divided into 72 counties and had a population of approximately 5.9 million as of the 2020 census.

Wisconsin's geography is diverse, with the exception of the Driftless Area, which was heavily glaciated during the Ice Age. In the western part of the state, the northern and western highlands are located along with a portion of the central plain, and the lowlands extend to the shores of Lake Michigan. It has the third longest Great Lakes coastline after Ontario and Michigan. The Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest is located in the northern part of the state. At the time of European contact, the area was inhabited by the Algonquin and Siouan tribes; today it is home to 11 federally recognized tribes. Most of them were German and Scandinavian immigrants. Wisconsin remains a center of German-American and Scandinavian-American culture, and is especially known for its bratwurst and kringle. Wisconsin is home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site consisting of two of the most important buildings designed by Wisconsin-born architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Taliesen studio near Spring Green and the Jacobs I house in Madison.

The Republican Party was founded in Wisconsin in 1854. In recent years, Wisconsin has been a battleground state, especially in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Wisconsin is one of the nation's leading dairy-producing states and is known as "America's Dairyland," especially for its cheese. The state is also famous for beer, and Milwaukee in particular has historically been home to the headquarters of Miller Brewing Company. Wisconsin is also well known for its drinking culture, with the most permissive alcohol laws in the nation. The economy is dominated by manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, and agriculture (especially dairy, cranberries, and ginseng). Tourism is also a major contributor to the state's economy, with a gross domestic product of $348 billion in 2020.



Southeastern Wisconsin
Southeastern Wisconsin is the most populous region in the state. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the region includes the major cities of Milwaukee (Wisconsin's largest city), Kenosha, and Racine (an industrial city separating the Milwaukee metropolitan area from Greater Chicagoland), and many suburban towns such as Waukesha. The region includes Lake Geneva, a popular summer getaway, and the scenic forests, glacial deposits, and trails that are part of Kettle Moraine State Forest Park.

Southwestern Wisconsin
Southwestern Wisconsin, also known as the "Driftless Area," is a very diverse region in many respects. It includes the university cities of La Crosse and Madison, which is also the state capital. Located around the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers, southwestern Wisconsin offers artistic towns, picturesque scenery, and many parks, lakes, and trails.

Northeastern Wisconsin
Located in Green Bay on Lake Michigan, northeastern Wisconsin offers nature at its finest. The Fox Cities of Appleton and Oshkosh are located around Lake Winnebago. The area also extends into the summer retreat of Door County's tourist cities and cherry orchards. The region also includes the industrial city of Green Bay, home of the Packers, and many forests in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

North Central Wisconsin
This quiet region of northern Wisconsin consists mostly of forested areas and has been nicknamed the "Gateway to the North Woods. Including the university town of Stevens Point and the metropolis of Wausau, North Central Wisconsin is dominated by small towns and communities nestled between numerous lakes and rivers that extend into Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Northwest Wisconsin
Northwest Wisconsin, including the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, is full of nature. The region is bordered by the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers from the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior through the major cities of Eau Claire and Superior. The area is home to many apple orchards, cheese factories, and ATV trails.



1 Madison - The capital city of Madison is notable for its location between 3 lakes (and some smaller ones). Capitol Hill with the symmetrical State Capitol is definitely worth seeing. Heading west from Capitol Hill is a very busy shopping street. Also recommended are the university and the ice cream at Michael's, a mix of soft serve and dairy ice cream.
2 Appleton
3 Eau Claire
4 Green Bay
5 Kenosha
6 LaCrosse
7 Milwaukee With around 600,000 inhabitants, Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin.
8 New Glarus : About 40 kilometers south of Madison is the community of New Glarus, founded by Swiss immigrants.


Other destinations

Secluded beautiful Devil's Lake is situated in the Sauk County, Wisconsin. Despite its name it is a pristine lake that offers many activities.

Wisconsin River is the longest river in the state of Wisconsin, United States. Its total length is measured at 430 miles.

Beautiful pristine wilderness of the Wolf River in North Wisconsin offers both beauty and thrill to those who like white water rafting and kayaking.

Fans of American cult architect Frank Lloyd Wright can visit the master's residence ("Taliesin") and many other works in Spring Green. See also the Wisconsin/Frank Lloyd Wright special article for details.


What to do

Tourism is one of Wisconsin's largest industries, with parks and recreational facilities such as fishing and the Wisconsin Dells in the summer, a very popular hunting season in the fall, and ice fishing, ice sailing, ice skating, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, and other activities in the winter that bring Illini tribe and others who depend on them.


Family Fun

The Wisconsin Dells, located in the Greater Madison area, is known throughout the Midwest as a major family tourist destination due to its numerous water resorts, including Noah's Ark, Great Wolf Lodge, and Kalahari. The Wisconsin Dells has many water parks, amusement parks, shopping, and shows. In addition, Tommy Bartlett's Watershow is one of the world's premier waterskiing shows. The Wisconsin Dells are also famous for their ducks, which are truck-like vehicles that can travel on land and sea, moving from lake to lake and along the river in the "Dells" to demonstrate sights and nature.



Wisconsin has sports teams to watch at any level and on any occasion, including historic franchises, exciting new teams, and fan-favorite staples. Green Bay is home to one of the oldest teams in NFL history, the Green Bay Packers. With countless Hall of Famers, MVPs, and 11 league championships, you can't go wrong watching a game at Lambeau Field. If you're planning to watch a Packers game, get there hours before the game starts. Tailgating is very popular among Midwestern sports fans and allows them to fully enjoy the game. Park your car in a parking lot around the stadium and open the trunk. Many fans bring along a small TV, a board or bag of cornhole (also known as a "beanbag" in the area), footballs, plenty of brats, cheese, and beer to watch the other games being played that day. Tailgating is a great way to get to know the locals and experience Wisconsin life to the fullest. Don't forget to dress warmly.

Another place where many tailgaters gather on summer afternoons is just outside of Milwaukee's Miller Park. This largest city in the state is home to the MLB's Milwaukee Brewers. After tailgating, head to American Family Field for one of the league's best experiences. When the Brewers hit a home run, be sure to catch Bernie Brewers sliding down the slide. Another not to be missed is the famous racing sausage.

But if you venture a little further into downtown Milwaukee, you'll find another professional sports team in a completely different setting: the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks. After threatening to relocate, the city of Milwaukee agreed to build the team an entirely new facility and surrounding neighborhood. A few years later, the team and the city of Milwaukee got the most state-of-the-art area in the NBA, the Deer District and Fiserv.Forum. Take a stroll through this district before the game. Grab a beer or a burger at one of the many restaurants (but don't overdo it) or go shopping at some of the nicest stores in the Milwaukee area.

As mentioned above, Wisconsin is home to many small league and high-profile teams:

Forward Madison FC: One of the fastest growing fan bases on the Wisconsin sports scene is Forward Madison FC of the newly launched USL League One (Division 3 of US men's professional soccer). The Flamingos have created a strong culture and atmosphere in just a few years in Madison.
Wisconsin Herd Currently in Oshkosh, the Wisconsin Herd can be seen playing at the Menominee Nation Arena as the top minor team for the NBA Milwaukee Bucks. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers The Timber Rattlers, who play at NeuroScience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, are the High-A Level affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers minor league baseball team.
Beloit Snappers The Snappers, who will move to ABC Supply Stadium in downtown Beloit, are the High-A affiliate of the minor league Miami Marlins.

Wisconsin has a number of teams that play in the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is a summer league and is located in Wisconsin, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ontario. College-eligible players can play in this league during the summer to improve their game.

Some of the most popular sports teams in Wisconsin are affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Wisconsin Badgers are members of Division I-A of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Badgers have had great success in the late 2010s, advancing to the NCAA Tournament in men's basketball, women's ice hockey, women's volleyball, women's rowing lightweight, men's rowing, and men's cross country. Madison has been repeatedly named a top college town by Sports Illustrated over the past several years. There are many traditions for Badger fans to enjoy, including the playing of "Jump Around" by House of Payne at Camp Randall Stadium. Union South is a building between the Kohl Center and Camp Randall that serves as a study space, tailgate center, restaurant, bowling alley, and hotel.

UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay, and Marquette University also compete at various levels of NCAA Division 1. Many of the state's private and public universities also compete in NCAA Divisions 2 and 3, NJCAA, NAIA, and WJCAA.


Outdoor Recreation

Hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing in the winter are popular land-based activities. Wisconsin was one of the first states to begin converting abandoned rail corridors into bike paths. The Ice Age National Scenic Trail traverses the entire state of Wisconsin, covering more than 1,600 kilometers, and is a testament to Wisconsin's recent natural history. The most popular part of the trail is the Kettle Moraine area, which is closest to the major cities.

Boating is a major activity during the spring and summer months. In addition to Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, Wisconsin is dotted with a variety of recreational lakes, including Lake Geneva, Lake Winnebago, and Lake Mendota and Lake Monona in the Greater Madison area. Many of these lakes are busy with boaters and jet skiers. Boating, canoeing, and kayaking are also prevalent on many streams and rivers.



Wisconsin's strong agricultural industry contributes to the strong growth of agritourism. Each year, thousands of people visit Door County and other areas to pick apples, berries, and most commonly, cherries. In the fall, corn mazes, farm stands, and apple picking dominate rural areas of the state.


Trade Fairs

Like other Midwestern states, Wisconsin has a strong county and state fair tradition. Held annually from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the festivities include shows, auctions, agricultural competitions, concerts, rides, fair food (fried and everything else), demolition derbies, and much more! The festival is held in the county of Baker County, and in neighboring counties. Neighboring counties often coordinate their schedules with each other so that dates do not overlap, so the fair is always held on a summer weekend.

The State Fair is held annually in early August at State Fair Park in West Allis.



Wisconsin, and Milwaukee in particular, hosts many festivals. In fact, Milwaukee is known as the "City of Festivals. In the summer, the city hosts Scottish Fest, Polish Fest, Greek Fest, Bastille Days, Asian Fest, African Cultural Festival, Festa Italiana, Croatian Fest, Armenian Fest, German Fest, Puerto Rican Fest , Irish Fest, India Fest, Mexican Fest, and many other cultural festivals. Many festivals! If you are looking for one of the best music festivals in the country, you should definitely look into Summerfest. This festival is held annually at Milwaukee's Henry W. Meyer Festival Park and features many mainstream artists.


The People

Depending on which part of Wisconsin you visit, you will meet a wide variety of people. The majority of Wisconsin's population is Caucasian of European descent, including British, German, Norwegian, Irish, and Polish. 6.3% of the state is African-American, with the remainder being Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.

Wisconsinites are 81% Christian (50% Protestant, 29% Roman Catholic, 0.5% Mormon), 0.5% Jewish, 0.5% Muslim, 0.5% Buddhist, 0.5% Hindu, and 15% have no religion.

The majority of Wisconsinites are very friendly, especially in small towns, where everyone knows everyone else in their community. If you go to a small town that doesn't have many restaurant reviews, don't be afraid to talk to someone on the sidewalk, tell them you are visiting, and ask for food recommendations! The people you meet will most likely help you become familiar with the area you are visiting.



Wisconsinites speak with a distinctly Midwestern accent (similar to that of Minnesotans) and tend to emphasize vowels and elongate them with long enunciations. For example, "bag" and "rag" (using the same vowel as "bagel" and sounding like "bayg" or "rayg").

State residents commonly refer to drinking fountains as "bubblers." Unlike most of the Midwest, Wisconsinites in the eastern part of the state (especially in the Milwaukee area) refer to soft drinks as "soda" rather than "pop".

In some areas, the "Uff da!" phrase is sometimes used as an exclamation.

In many parts of the state, ATMs are commonly referred to as "TYME Machines" (named for the most common type of ATM in many areas, meaning Take Your Money Everywhere).

Some people refer to traffic lights as "Stop 'n Go Lights."

You may also hear parking lots referred to as "parking ramps."

In rural areas where agriculture is prevalent, a midday meal may be called "dinner" and an evening meal "supper".

You will also often hear the phrase "Can you stop by da store, real quick?" or "Can ya get me a beer, or a tree (or three)" with the ending "or tree" meaning "Can you give me a couple of beers?

Many Wisconsinites, when asking where they are going, will say the distance in hours, not miles or kilometers. Another thing to remember is that when someone says they are "going" to something, they are not necessarily going north. Someone living in Green Bay might say they are going to a Brewer game in Milwaukee. Likewise, someone in Milwaukee might say they are "going" to a Badger game in Madison.

While these phrases may be Midwest-specific, and especially Wisconsin-specific, it is not that difficult to understand what a local is saying if you use context.



Wisconsin is in the Central Time Zone (GMT-6 during the winter and GMT-5 during daylight saving time), as are all neighboring states except Michigan, which is in the Eastern Time Zone (also in the Central Time Zone, except for parts of the Upper Peninsula).


Getting here

By Airplane.
For travel to southern Wisconsin, Milwaukee Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee or Dane County Airport in Madison are good choices. For travel to northern Wisconsin, Appleton International Airport in Appleton is a good choice with fares that are competitive with larger airports such as Milwaukee and Minneapolis. At these airports, Delta Airlines offers frequent flights from Minneapolis, Detroit, and Atlanta. United Airlines also operates frequent flights from Chicago O'Hare and Denver. American Airlines operates many flights from Chicago O'Hare. Other airlines such as Southwest Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Allegiant Airlines operate several daily flights from these airports.

In addition to the airports listed above, there are also airports in Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Mosinee, and Rhinelander that are served by commercial flights. However, these airports tend to have higher fares than Milwaukee, Madison, and Appleton, so be careful when choosing one.

If you want to enter Wisconsin by your own plane, there are more than 120 GA airports where you can fly.

By boat.
These services are only available from late spring through early fall.

Lake Express A car ferry between Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Muskegon, Michigan, a 2.5-hour trip that takes about one hour to reach Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and about one hour to reach Muskegon, Michigan, a trip that takes about two hours.
S.S. Badger. Car ferry between Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Ludington, Michigan; 4-hour trip; 2.5-hour trip; includes a trip from Ludington to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and a trip to Ludington, Michigan.

Greyhound and Megabus serve Milwaukee, Madison, and other cities; check Van Galder and Jefferson Bus lines. See their websites for availability, schedules, and fares.

By Train
Amtrak connects Chicago and Milwaukee on the Hiawatha. The Empire Builder line stretches from Chicago to Seattle/Portland through Wisconsin, stopping at six locations in the state (Milwaukee, Columbus, Wisconsin Portage, Wisconsin Dells, Tomah, and La Crosse).
RTA's Metra also extends its route to Kenosha.


Local transport

Public Transportation.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation publishes the Wisconsin Get Around Guide: Intercity Public Transportation Information. For more information on transportation, click here.

By Bus
Several bus companies operate within Wisconsin.

Badger Coaches. Operates at least six round trips per day between Milwaukee and Madison.
Greyhound Greyhound buses along major cities and towns such as I-43, US 45, I-90, I-94, Appleton, Brookfield, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Bay, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Racine, Stevens Point, Waukesha, Wisconsin Dells, and other locations throughout the state. They also sell tickets for other companies (often inexpensively).
Indian Trail Daily service from Chicago to Michigan's Upper Peninsula via Milwaukee with stops in Marinette, Green Bay, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan. Connections are available. Buses have wifi and power outlets.
Jefferson Lines Daily service to Milwaukee, Madison, and La Crosse, with stops throughout Wisconsin. Jefferson prides itself on its new "eco-friendly" buses. Connections available in Minneapolis.
Lamar's Coach. Daily service. Milwaukee, Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton, Waupaca, Stevens Point, Wausau, Columbus.
Wisconsin Coach, toll-free: +1 877-324-7767, wisconsincoach@coachusa.com. Wisconsin Coach offers multiple services to and from Milwaukee and around southeastern Wisconsin. $26.

By train.
Amtrak operates two lines. The Hiawatha makes seven round trips a day between Milwaukee and Chicago, with stops in the suburb of Racine and at Mitchell Field Airport. The Empire Builder makes one round trip per day, effectively paralleling I-94 from Seattle all the way to Chicago. The Milwaukee station has been renovated into a clean, modern building downtown.

By car.
As in most parts of the U.S., driving is one of the most popular modes of transportation. The following are major routes in Wisconsin:

Interstate 94 I-94, the main east-west route, enters Wisconsin from Kenosha County and connects Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, and Madison. After branching off at Tomah, I-94 passes through Eau Claire before entering Minnesota and heading to the Twin Cities.
Interstate 90 Another major east-west route, I-90 enters Wisconsin in southern Rock County and connects Beloit, Janesville, and Madison. North of Madison, it joins I-94 through the Wisconsin Dells. It splits off I-94 at Tomah and passes through La Crosse before entering Minnesota.
Interstate 43 I-43, the main north-south interstate highway, begins in Green Bay and travels south along Lake Michigan between Cheboygan and Milwaukee before turning southwest and ending at the junction with I-90 in Beloit.
Interstate 39 A north-south Interstate that runs concurrently with I-90 as it enters the state in Rock County and splits just north of Madison to connect Stevens Point and Wausau.
US 151 US 151, the main north-south route, connects Manitowoc with Fond du Lac and Madison before turning southwest into Iowa just northeast of Dubuque.
US 41, now also called Interstate 41: a north-south route connecting most cities along Lake Michigan, including Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee, before turning northwest to connect Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton, and Green Bay.
US 53: A north-south route starting in La Crosse and connecting Eau Claire and Superior to Duluth, Minnesota.
WI 29: An east-west route in northern Wisconsin, connecting Green Bay, Warsaw, and Eau Claire.
WI 11: An east-west route in southern Wisconsin, starting in Racine, connecting Janesville and Monroe, and ending on US 151 just northeast of Dubuque, Iowa.
Unless otherwise marked, it is legal to turn right after stopping at a red light. County Road Naming System
When traveling in rural Wisconsin, foreigners may be confused when navigating county roads. This is because Wisconsin is the only state in the U.S. that uses the alphabet rather than numbers to designate county roads. In Wisconsin, each county has its own roads. It is important to note that County Road A in Dane County is a different road than County Road A in Jefferson County. The two roads may be connected, or they may be completely different roads. It is also important to understand that county roads have more than one letter. Some roads have double letters, such as County Road AA and County Road AAA, while others have a mixture of different letters, such as County Road AB and County Road ABC.



As in other parts of the Midwestern United States, Wisconsin's traditional cuisine is generally simple, hearty meat and potato dishes.

As a result of the large German immigration to Wisconsin, German cuisine has become a part of the local diet. Bratwurst is commonly eaten, and Sheboygan is the home of bratwurst. Bratwurst is a state feast served at summer cookouts, preferably boiled in beer and then grilled.

It is said that the modern hamburger was first offered as a meatball-shaped product when its inventor realized that it was easier to sandwich in a bun when flattened. It was first sold at a fair in Seymour, Wisconsin.

Frozen custard is another Wisconsin delicacy not often found outside of the Midwest. Frozen custard resembles ice cream (but don't call it ice cream!). ). It is thicker and creamier because it contains eggs. In fact, most frozen custards are less healthy in that they contain fewer calories, less fat, less sugar, and slightly more cholesterol than ice cream. Culver's is a fast food chain from Wisconsin that has expanded throughout the Midwest and is known for its frozen custard, cheese curds, and other Wisconsin specialties, but while in Wisconsin, look for a few local places that have not expanded outside their home state. Examples include Kopp's, Leon's, and Gilles in the Milwaukee area, and Michael's in the Madison area, and ask locals for recommendations.

Wisconsin and the surrounding areas are famous for their dairy products, and there are a variety of regional specialties that follow this theme. Fast food chains in the region often offer fried cheese curds as a side choice in addition to the more common French fries. Due to the history of Swiss-German immigration to the region, Wisconsin is also famous for its Swiss cheese (called Emmentaler in Switzerland), which is used extensively in local cuisine.

Supper Club
Friday nights in Wisconsin are all about supper clubs. While there is no clear definition separating restaurants from supper clubs, most supper clubs focus on nostalgia, an old-fashioned atmosphere, and specific dishes such as prime rib or fish fries. In addition, diners are often served a side dish. Because many of these clubs originated as speakeasies, there is a very strong sense of tradition, and aside from the beer and wine list, many of the original dishes and cocktails from when the club opened will still be on the menu. A visit to a local supper club is highly recommended.



Drinking Age

The drinking age in Wisconsin is 21. However, persons under 21 and over 16 with a parent, legal guardian, or spouse (if the spouse is 21 or older) may sell alcoholic beverages and have them consumed at the discretion of the establishment.


Beer and Pop

Milwaukee is home to the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team and numerous breweries; Milwaukee was the brewing capital of the nation until the late 1990s, when Pabst closed its Milwaukee plant and began contracting out production. Today, only one major brewer remains in Milwaukee, Miller, but its brewing tradition is carried on by numerous microbreweries and brewpubs. Notable "small" breweries in Wisconsin include Point (in the college town of Stevens Point), City (formerly G Heilmann), New Glarus, Berghoff, Leinenkugels (in Chippewa Falls), Riverwest, and Speicher's (all in Milwaukee ) Many of the restaurants and bars brew their own microbrews on the premises, and you can watch the tanks while you eat.

Grays Brewing is also famous for its sodas, which are made with real grain sugar (not the fine processed sugar used almost everywhere in American food). Gray's makes mostly fruit-flavored sodas and reuses (not recycles) bottles.

Point Brewing currently offers a variety of sodas, including root beer, diet root beer, and cream flavors. Tours of the brewery are said to be very fun and fulfilling, and concerts are held in the summer (Rock the Brewery).

Sprecher Brewing is also well known and gaining national recognition for its unique labels for sodas, especially Root Beer, Orange Dream, and Raven Red. A root beer or orange dream float with vanilla frozen custard is a great drink. Tours are offered Fridays and Saturdays throughout the year and daily during the peak summer season. Tour prices are $4 for adults and $2 for those under 21. However, the price is well worth it considering the tour includes unlimited soda and beer tasting (up to four beers) and plenty of time for socializing.



Wisconsin is best known for its beer, but it also has a small but growing wine industry. Wisconsin has three American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): Wisconsin Ledge (Door County and parts of southern Wisconsin), Wisconsin Lakes (parts of southeastern and southwestern Wisconsin), and Upper Mississippi Valley (which includes the entire Driftless region). Notable wineries include Wollersheim (near Baraboo) and Parallel 44 (near Kewaunee). Many farms are also beginning to produce local varieties.



Wisconsin does not have an official state cocktail, but ask any Wisconsinite and most will say the Wisconsin Old Fashioned, a variation on the traditional bourbon cocktail. The Wisconsin version is made with brandy and served "sweet" (with lemon-lime soda) or "sour" (with sour mix). Sour Old Fashioned's are sometimes garnished with olives for saltiness. Traditionally, Korbel is used for the brandy, but applejack is also popular.

Old World spirits such as aquavit (flavored with caraway or dill) are more common than in other parts of the country due to the large Scandinavian and German communities. Aquavit is most commonly drunk on the rocks, but can also be mixed into cocktails. It pairs well with herbal flavors such as Angostura bitters and Chartreuse. Some bars have house cocktails made with aquavit.



Wisconsin has a number of large resort hotels, with the typical chain motels located just off the interstate. Bed and breakfasts are also popular, ranging from one-bedroom homes to large historic buildings and inns. Some areas, like Baraboo, specialize in casino hotels.



Wisconsinites have a strong rivalry with those from neighboring Minnesota, which is most evident in sports, especially in college football between the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers.




Wisconsin is bordered by the Montreal River, Lake Superior and Iowa to the southwest, Lake Michigan to the east, Illinois to the south, Michigan to the north, and Minnesota to the northwest. The border dispute with Michigan was settled in two court cases, Wisconsin v. Michigan, in 1934 and 1935. The state border is bordered by the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers to the west and the Menominee River to the northeast.

Bounded by the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, Wisconsin has a wide variety of terrain. The state is divided into five regions. To the north is the lowlands along the shores of Lake Superior. Just to the south, the Northern Highlands include the 1.5 million acre (6,100 km2) Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, a mixed hardwood-conifer forest, thousands of glacial lakes, and Tim's Hill, the state's highest point. The central plains of the central part of the state contain unique sandstone formations such as the Wisconsin River Dells, in addition to rich farmland. The Eastern Ridges and Lowlands region in the southeast is home to many of Wisconsin's largest cities. The ridges include the Niagara Escarpment, Black River Escarpment, and Magnesia Escarpment extending from New York.

The Western Uplands in the southwestern part of the region is a rugged mix of forest and farmland, with many bluffs along the Mississippi River. This area is part of the Driftless Area, which includes parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. During the most recent glacial period, the Wisconsin Ice Age, this area was not covered by glaciers. Overall, 46% of Wisconsin's land area is forested. The soils of Langlade County are called Antigo silt loams and are rarely found outside the county.

Wisconsin has sister state relationships with Hesse, Germany; Jalisco, Mexico; Chiba, Japan; Heilongjiang, China; and Nicaragua.


Expansion of the national territory

Wisconsin has a length of 500 km between latitudes 42° 30' N and 47° 3' N and a latitude of 420 km between latitudes 86° 49' W and 92° 54' W.


Neighbore states

Wisconsin is bordered by Lake Superior and Michigan to the north, Lake Michigan to the east, Illinois to the south, and Iowa and Minnesota to the west.



Wisconsin has the most diverse climate in the United States. Like almost everything else in the Badger State, the climate varies depending on the area and time of year you visit. Winters can be very cold, with average winter (Madison) temperatures ranging from 20°F to 10°F, and wind chills can drop below 0°F. Snowfall is heavy during the winter months, averaging nearly 40 inches of snow. However, some areas, such as the Lake Superior Snow Belt, average more than 150 inches of snow each year. This provides many opportunities for Wisconsin residents and visitors to enjoy snowmobiling and ice fishing. Snow season usually begins in late October or early November and lasts until mid-March, but snow and cold weather can hit the state as early as September and as late as May. If you want to avoid snow, late April through mid-October is usually a safe bet, but check the forecast if you are visiting at the end or beginning of the snow season.

However, Wisconsin's summer climate varies widely. Highs on the hottest day in July (in Madison) usually average 75°F to 85°F, but there are no guarantees for Wisconsin weather. The average summer humidity in Madison can make an 80°F day feel closer to 95°F. Just remember that humidity is not always this high and varies by day and location in the state (near water or not). However, temperatures can drop to 50-60°F most nights. Another thing to watch out for is storms. Most of the time, severe weather can be signaled by cell phone or local broadcasts. Severe storms in Wisconsin can include very strong winds, torrential rains, and the occasional hailstorm or tornado (most of which occur between May and July). But on a mild summer day, the sun may be out at noon, only to be followed an hour later by a 10-minute downpour. The moral of this story is to be prepared for anything when it comes to weather. Check the weather forecast when packing for your trip and dress appropriately for changing weather conditions.

If you are traveling to Milwaukee, don't be surprised if it is windy or the temperature is 10 degrees cooler than it is in Madison (one hour west on the interstate). This is affectionately known as the "lake effect" among Wisconsinites. You never know what kind of weather wonders Lake Michigan will throw at you.



With its 5.8 million inhabitants (2020), known as Wisconsinites, Wisconsin ranks 20th among the American states, has around 400,000 fewer inhabitants than Hesse and, with 34 inhabitants per square kilometer, is only half as densely populated as Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania .

The population was composed of 87.0% White, 6.7% African American, 3.0% Asian, 1.2% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander. 2.0% were of other origins. 2.0% of the population descended from two or more ethnic groups. Regardless, 7.1% of the population was Hispanic or Hispanic.

21.8% of the population was under 18 years old, 60.7% between 18 and 64 and 17.5% 65 or older. 50.2% of the population was female.

Wisconsin is consistently ranked as the worst living state for African Americans. Wisconsin has the highest black infant mortality rate in the United States; in Milwaukee it is twice as high among black infants as among white ones. The black population is far above average often below the poverty line or in prison. 70% of the black people in the state live in Milwaukee, where almost half of all African-American men between the ages of 20 and 40 have already been sentenced to prison. During the 2010 US Census, 12.8% of all black men in Wisconsin were incarcerated, the highest in the US. In addition, there are particularly strict penal laws that disproportionately affect African Americans.

Historically, there are close ties between Germany and Wisconsin. Almost half of the inhabitants are descended from German immigrants. City names such as Berlin, New Berlin, Kiel, New Holstein and Rhinelander indicate the origin of the town's founders. Especially after the failed revolution of 1848, many disappointed and persecuted German democrats were drawn to this part of the USA, which had only recently been opened for settlement. The German revolutionary Carl Schurz was one such forty-eight man and lived in Wisconsin for some time. In 1856, his wife Margarethe Meyer founded the first kindergarten in the United States in Watertown. In order to look after the immigrants religiously, e.g. B. 1860 Franciscan Minorites from Bremen to America. Among them was u. a. Constantin Maria von Droste zu Hülshoff (1841–1901), who worked as a missionary in Wisconsin for over 30 years.

The development of the state's largest city, Milwaukee, was also heavily influenced by German influences. According to Samuel Freeman's The Emigrant Handbook, in 1851 there were six German-language newspapers in the city nicknamed "German Athens." Around 1880, 27 percent of the city's population were native Germans. One legacy of the first generation of immigrants was the strong community spirit of Milwaukee citizens. The city has always been considered very progressive in social matters. In 1910, Emil Seidel became the first Socialist mayor of a major city in the United States.

The German immigrants have also left their mark in the culinary field. The big breweries Pabst, Blatz, Schlitz and Miller earned Milwaukee the reputation of the American beer capital. Bratwurst and sauerkraut are still very popular today. Even the fast food chain McDonald's briefly offered sausages in Wisconsin, which are usually just called brats. However, the First World War led to a severe reduction in the emphasis on German traditions and the relationship to the old homeland. Even the sauerkraut was temporarily renamed liberty cabbage; This partly forced, partly voluntary assimilation came to a conclusion during the Second World War. The Germanfest takes place in Milwaukee every year. In 2000 about 1% of the population spoke German.



Christianity is the predominant religion in Wisconsin. As of 2000, there were three major denominations: Catholics, mainline Protestants, and Evangelicals. The Catholic Church has the largest number of parishioners. Distribution of state population by religion:
Christians - 81%
Protestants - 50%
Lutheranism - 23%
Methodism - 7%
Baptist - 5%
Presbyterianism - 2%
United Church of Christ 2%
Other Protestant churches - 15%
Roman Catholic Church - 29%
Other Christian churches - 2%
Other religions - 1%
Unaffiliated - 15%



According to 2012 FBI statistics, there were 173 intentional and negligent homicides, 1,219 rapes, 4,622 robberies, 10,050 aggravated assaults and 140,513 property crimes in Wisconsin. Per 100 thousand residents, the crime rate in the state is noticeably lower than in the United States as a whole; for example, murders are committed by more than a third less.



The state is named after the Wisconsin River. Although the exact etymology of this name is unknown, it is believed that it came into English through a French interpretation of a Native American name. French explorer Jacques Marquette became the first European to reach the Wisconsin River, visiting in 1673 and naming the river Meskousing in his journal. The French most likely recorded Meskousing as a Miskasinsin Algonquian word meaning "place of red stone." However, it is possible that the name came from the Ojibwe language and means "gathering of waters" or "large rock". The name was later corrupted by other French explorers as Ouisconsin, under which name the river and its surrounding area were marked on French maps, and in the early 19th century, newly arrived English-speaking settlers anglicized it to its current form.

The current pronunciation was officially adopted by the Wisconsin Territory Legislature in 1845. The name is usually abbreviated as WI, Wis or Wisc.



Over the past 12,000 years, Wisconsin has seen a variety of cultures. The first people appeared here around 10,000 BC., during the Wisconsin Glaciation. These were Paleo-Indians who hunted now-extinct Ice Age animals, as evidenced by the Boaz Mastodon, a mastodon skeleton discovered with a hunting spear in southwestern Wisconsin. After the end of the Ice Age around 8,000 BC. people of the subsequent Archaic period lived by hunting, fishing and collecting wild plants. Agricultural society gradually emerged during the Woodland period (ca. 1000 BC - 1000 AD). By the end of this period, Wisconsin was the center of a mound-building culture that left behind thousands of figured mounds. The number of mounds in Wisconsin exceeds the number in the rest of the United States. Later, between 1000 and 1500, the Mississippian and Oneotian cultures built fairly large settlements, including a fortified village near Aztalan in the southeast of the state. The Oneota may be the ancestors of the modern Iowans and Winnebagos, who shared the Wisconsin region with the Menominee at the time of European contact. Other American Indians who inhabited Wisconsin during European colonization, including the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo tribes, migrated to Wisconsin from the east during the 16th and 17th centuries.

In 1634, French explorer Jean Nicolet, attempting to find the Northwest Passage, landed near Green Bay and became the first European in what is now Wisconsin. Pierre-Esprit Radisson and Chouart de Groselier visited the Green Bay area in 1654–1666 and Shequamegon Bay of Lake Superior in 1659–1660, where they traded furs with local Indians. In 1673, Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet first crossed Wisconsin by canoe along the Fox and Wisconsin rivers, thus reaching the Mississippi. The region belonged to France until 1763, but after the Seven Years' War it became part of Great Britain.

After the American Revolution, Wisconsin became part of the Northwest Territory of the United States, but the British effectively continued to control the area until the Anglo-American War of 1812–1815. As this territory split, Wisconsin became part of the Indiana, Illinois and Michigan territories. The Wisconsin Territory organized on July 3, 1836 and became the thirtieth state on May 29, 1848.

Under U.S. control, Wisconsin's primary economy shifted from the fur trade to mining. During the first half of the 19th century, Wisconsin was an important source of lead. As treaties and Indian Wars opened up the territory to white settlers, thousands of miners flocked to southern Wisconsin, many of them immigrants from Cornwall. At one time, Wisconsin produced more than half of America's lead. During the lead boom, it even seemed that the metal-rich southwest of the state would become the most populous, and the city of Belmont briefly became its capital. However, by the late 1840s, readily available reserves were largely depleted, and many miners were caught up in the California gold rush. Wisconsin is still full of echoes of the events of this period. Galena is the state's official mineral, and Wisconsin is nicknamed the "Badger State" because many miners, who arrived faster than housing could be built, lived with their families in the mines, like badgers in dens. Place names like Mineral Point also recall this period of Wisconsin history.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries, thousands of immigrants from Germany and Scandinavian countries settled in Wisconsin.

In 1941-1943, the world's largest ammunition production plant, Badger Army Ammunition Plant, was built in Wisconsin near the city of Baraboo on an area of 30 km².

Two battleships were named in honor of the state: USS Wisconsin (BB-9) and USS Wisconsin (BB-64).




The flag of Wisconsin is a blue flag with the Wisconsin Seal centered on it. In the middle, under the lettering 'Wisconsin' and above the year '1848', there is the state coat of arms from 1851, which shows a sailor and a miner as symbols of work on land and at sea as a shield holder.


Political orientation

Wisconsin will have ten voters in the Electoral College for the 2024 United States presidential election, as it has since 2004.

In Germany, people temporarily became aware of Wisconsin in 2002 because the then Prime Minister of Hesse, Roland Koch, also propagated the local welfare model Welfare to Work (work instead of welfare). This model goes back to the former governor and ex-US Secretary of Health Tommy Thompson, who introduced the “Wisconsin Works” (W-2) program in 1997 and was able to significantly reduce the number of welfare recipients. Whether and how this concept can also be implemented in Germany is controversial. In terms of its population and economic structure, Wisconsin can hardly be compared to German conditions. Only in the south (Madison, Milwaukee) are there larger cities where social problems are tangible to a significant extent.

Wisconsin politicians, regardless of party affiliation, have consistently been champions of progressive politics and social reform. The most important political figures in the history of the state include Robert M. La Follette Sr., 1901-1906 governor and 1905-1925 Republican senator of Wisconsin and later founder and presidential candidate of the Progressive Party, Joseph McCarthy, a Republican in the 1950s hunted down actual or alleged communists in social life, and Russ Feingold, a well-known former senator who belonged to the progressive-liberal wing of the Democrats.



Wisconsin is one of the states that can currently be described as swing states in the USA. Its contrasts between rural-conservative and metropolitan-liberal regions ensure a balanced political balance between the major parties in the USA. As a result, the results of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections in Wisconsin were very close. In 2004, John Kerry won the ten electoral votes with a lead of 0.4 percent; Al Gore's victory four years earlier was even closer. Originally, however, Wisconsin is one of the states where the Democrats have slight advantages over the Republicans. Between 1932 and 2004, the Democrats won eleven times and the Republicans only eight times. From 1988 to 2012 there were only Democratic victories in presidential elections. In 2016, Republican Donald Trump won with 47.2% of the vote (Hillary Clinton 46.5%). Trump, however, lost the 2020 election to his Democratic challenger Joe Biden.


Members in the 117th Congress

In the Senate of the 117th Congress, Wisconsin is represented by Republican Ron Harold Johnson and Democrat Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin. The state's delegation in the House of Representatives consists of five Republicans and three Democrats.


Individual state level

In the spring of 2011, a power struggle raged in Wisconsin between Republican Governor Scott Walker and a large portion of public sector employees because Walker wanted to de facto abolish union bargaining power in order to impose drastic spending cuts. This led to chaotic conditions, such as the occupation of the State House in Madison by demonstrators. Democratic senators also left the state to block a vote on the bill. The opposition's planned recall of the governor failed, with Walker receiving 54% of the vote.



The current governor of Wisconsin is Democrat Anthony Steven Evers, his deputy (Lieutenant Governor) is Sara Rodriguez, who is also a Democrat.


Wisconsin Legislature

The Wisconsin Legislature consists of two chambers, the Wisconsin State Assembly (House of Representatives) with currently 96 members (3 vacant, regular 99) and the Wisconsin Senate which currently has 33 members. Each 3 assembly districts (lower house constituencies) form a Senate constituency. Republicans held the majority in both chambers in July 2022.



The real gross domestic product per capita (per capita real GDP) was USD 53,565 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 20). The unemployment rate was 3.2% in November 2017 (national average: 4.1%).

The main industry is still agriculture. Because of its intensive dairy farming, the state is called “America’s Dairyland.” The country's residents are also jokingly called Cheeseheads, so fans of the famous Green Bay Packers football team like to wear hats in the shape of a triangular Emmentaler. The heyday of Wisconsin's dairy industry began in the 1880s with the introduction of silage technology and the use of refrigerated cars on the railroad. Both made it possible to produce dairy products of consistent quality and export them outside of Wisconsin. As early as 1899, more than 90% of all agricultural businesses specialized in dairy farming. Between 1915 and 1993, Wisconsin was the largest producer of dairy products in the United States. The state was then replaced by California, where dairy farms were often of “industrial size” compared to the family farms of Wisconsin. However, in 2020, Wisconsin was still the largest producer of cheese in the United States.

But Wisconsin also has a strong industrial economic base. Milwaukee became “America’s toolbox” during the New Deal and World War II eras. The Kohler plumbing factory is based in Sheboygan, Harley-Davidson motorcycles as well as Briggs & Stratton lawnmowers come from Milwaukee, and the bicycle manufacturer Trek has its headquarters in Waterloo. The mail order company Lands' End, which is also represented in Germany, has its headquarters in Dodgeville.



Wisconsin is often called "America's Dairy Farm" because the state is famous for its cheese production. According to a common stereotype, Wisconsin is a remote place with nothing but cows. Residents of the state are sometimes jokingly called cheeseheads. Since Wisconsin, like other states of the continental north, was populated primarily by Germans at the beginning of the 20th century, large quantities of beer are produced and consumed there.

Wisconsin's two main cities, Milwaukee and the capital, Madison, are centers of cultural life in the state. Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the top public universities in the United States, and the small town is built largely around it. In contrast, Milwaukee is a large city and part of the Chicago metropolis. The Milwaukee Art Museum is known for its distinctive architecture.



The Green Bay Packers have played in the National Football League since 1921 and hold the record for titles with 13. The Milwaukee Bucks have played in the National Basketball Association since 1968, winning two national championships and three conference titles.

The Milwaukee Braves played Major League Baseball from 1953 to 1965, winning one World Series and two National Leagues, after which they moved states. The Milwaukee Brewers have competed since 1970. In 1982, they won the American League to play in the World Series.

In college sports, the Wisconsin Badgers of the Big Ten Conference have won three Rose Bowls and 14 conference championships in football, as well as a national championship in men's basketball. Meanwhile, the Marquette Golden Eagles won a men's basketball national championship.

The Milwaukee Mile Oval is the oldest active road course in the world, opening in 1903. It is known for hosting the AAA National Championship, AAA National Championship, CART and currently the IndyCar Series, as well as the NASCAR Busch Series and the NASCAR Truck Series. For its part, the CART, the IMSA GT Championship, the American Le Mans Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series, the CanAm and the Trans-Am have competed at Road America.

Whistling Straits Golf Course has hosted the PGA Championship and the US Veterans Open.