25 Picturesque Scenic Drives to Enjoy From Your Car Window

wisconsin drive

Take the road less traveled for a Sunday scenic drive any day of the week! Pack up the family, grab some snacks and books and explore from inside your car. These drives would also make a great day date! 

Reader Question: Help! We have a new baby and need to get out and sometimes sleep schedules don’t coordinate! What Wisconsin State Parks are just as awesome to drive through as hike?

wisconsin drive

Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive

The Kettle Moraine State Forest makes a beautiful drive through six Wisconsin counties for 115 miles. The north end begins near Elkhart Lake in northern Sheboygan County and the southern end begins at Whitewater Lake in southeastern Walworth County. Find a map and more information here.

Reader favorites include the Northern Unit and Pike Lake.

Nearby Things to Do

Horicon Marsh, Horicon

Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area has 3 mile drive through, as well as observation parking. An annual park sticker or trail pass is required to visit state parks and trails.

Lake Shore Road

Lake Shore Road from Manitowoc to Sheboygan is about a 1-hour drive from the Fox Valley with lots of things and beautiful parks and scenery including Kohler-Andrae State Park.

Nearby Things to Do

Sheboygan & Manitowoc County Rustic Roads

  • Rustic Road 63: 2.4 miles on County Road S through Kettle Moraine State Forest.
  • Rustic Road 16: 5.2 miles in Two Rivers through Point Beach State Park.

Rib Mountain

Rib Mountain State Park in Wausau is about a 1.5 hour drive from the Fox Valley. An annual park sticker or trail pass is required to visit state parks and trails.

baileys harbor rustic road door county
View from Rustic Road 38: Bailey’s Harbor

Door County Scenic Drives

The famous curvy road in Door County can be found on Highway 42 entering Northport and the Washington Island Ferry dock. Why do Door County’s roads curve so much? Destination Door County explains that it was designed by a famous Danish landscape architect to slow traffic down to enjoy the view and surroundings. 

Enjoy beautiful views from the car of Lake Michigan, the Bay of Green Bay and the Niagara Escarpment bluffs, as well as forest, agricultural lands, and cute towns and villages.

Door County Coastal Byway

Door County’s Coastal Byway (DCCB) is an official Wisconsin Scenic Byway consisting of 66 miles of Wisconsin’s beautiful Door Peninsula on Highway 42 and Highway 57 starting at Sturgeon Bay.

Door County Rustic Roads

  • Rustic Road 9: Sevastopol, 6.7 miles, located along the Michigan shore, east of the Door County Coastal Byway – passes through sand dunes, heavy forest, streams, old saw mill, fishing site, log cabins and panoramic views of Lake Michigan. Also known as the Glidden Drive Rustic Road starting at Lily Bay. This route has 93 curves!
  • Rustic Road 38: Bailey’s Harbor, 2.5 miles, located between Moonlight Bay and North Bay. Forests, scenic views of Lake Michigan shoreline and access to Cana Island Lighthouse. 
  • Rustic Road 39: Bailey’s Harbor, 2.5 miles through Ridges Sanctuary and Old Lighthouse Point (also known Toft Point).
  • Rustic Road 77: Sturgeon Bay, 3.5 miles along Lake Michigan on County TT and includes a Coastal Guard Station and lighthouse on route. 

Peninsula State Park, Fish Creek

Peninsula State Park offers bluff and lake views that are amazing even from the car! Sunset views here are breathtaking! Make sure to also check out the lighthouse. An annual park sticker or trail pass is required to visit state parks and trails.

White Cliff Road, Egg Harbor 

Take this lakeside drive just south of Peninsula State Park for some more great views! 

Read More: Things to Do in Door County with Kids

View from the window at Peninsula State Park
View from the window at Peninsula State Park

Wisconsin Rustic Roads & Scenic Drives

These lightly traveled country roads provide quiet peaceful experience, no matter what the season. These roadways require qualifications as an official Rustic Road including natural features including wildlife, scenic and farmland views. They also have a maximum speed limit of 45 mph. You don’t have to worry about getting lost, they all connect to a major highway on both ends. Learn more about the history and where to find these rustic roads (including detailed maps) throughout Wisconsin on the Wisconsin DOT website.

wisconsin rustic roads
Rustic Road 23, Waupaca

List of Nearby County Rustic Drives

Outagamie County

  • Rustic Road 53: 4.1 miles in Wrightstown and includes a double arch bridge, an old school house that serves now as the Town Hall, farms and Apple Creek Conservation area. 
  • Rustic Road 61: 3.3 miles from Hortonville to Stevensville across wetland areas that are part of the Wolf River watershed. 

Winnebago County

  • Rustic Road 72: Mountain Road pases through Rush Lake State Natural Area and the home of many birds and wildflowers.

Waupaca County

  • Rustic Road 57: 4.1 miles through the Ice Age National Scenic Trail includes a log house, rolling hills, deep hills and the Waupaca River. Rapids can be heard at the Cobbtown Road Bridge.
  • Rustic Road 23: 3.6 miles along Rural Road crosses Crystal Creek three times and through Hartman Creek State Park.
  • Rustic Road 24: 2.7 miles on Emmons Creek Road. Take this scenic road on your way to or home from Hartman Creek State Park.

Brown County

  • Rustic Road 8: 3 miles, Village of Suamico, near NEW Zoo. 
  • Rustic Road 40: 4.7 miles, near Trout Creek in Howard. 
  • Rustic Road 46: 1.3 miles, Old Plank Road, in De Pere, near Fox River. It dates back to Civil War times when it was used to carry supplies to the Fox River. 

Kewaunee County

Fond du Lac County

  • Rustic Road 82: 9.4 miles on the River Drive Route in the town of Ashford near Campbellsport through wetlands, rolling hills and wooded areas. 

#RusticRoads @WisconsinDOT

Other Wisconsin Scenic Drives Worth Mentioning

These drives are picturesque and about a 2-3 hour drive from the Fox Valley.

You Might Also Like: Wisconsin Zoo Offers Drive-Thru Experience in West Bend

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