Baraboo, Wisconsin is a historic town that attracts many visitors to the Midwest to see the Circus World Museum, as the small town is the hometown of the famous Ringling Brothers. However, the circus isn’t Baraboo’s only claim to fame. The town is also the home of the International Crane Foundation with its fifteen different crane species and the Devil’s Lake State Park surrounded by bluffs 500 feet high, as well as several other museums, restaurants, parks, farms, a winery, and many other things to do. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Devil's Lake State Park
The Devil’s Lake State Park is located just to the south from Baraboo, Wisconsin within the Baraboo Range of Sauk County. The state park is the largest state park in the state of Wisconsin and include trails that range from paved handicapped-accessible trails to difficult bouldering and hiking trails, as well as modern restrooms and food courts. The park is also home to a number of areas for rock climbing for visitors of any skill level, as well as eight miles of bike trails, a nature center, a visitor center, a sledding hill, and more than four hundred campsites.
S5975 Park Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
2.International Cranes Foundation
The International Cranes Foundation strives to protect cranes worldwide and preserve the flyways, watersheds, and ecosystems they depend on for survival. The headquarters of the International Crane Foundation in the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin is, in fact, the only place in the world where visitors can view every one of the world’s fifteen species of cranes. Visitors can take a guided tour of these cranes, hike along nature trails, and browse the nature-themed gifts in the gift shop. Situated amidst the southern Wisconsin farmlands, the facility is only around ten minutes away from the famed Wisconsin Dells.
9445, E11376 Shady Lane Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-356-9462
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The Parfrey’s Glen is the first State Natural Area to be established in the state Wisconsin and is possibly the most popular state natural area, with the exception of the Devil’s Lake State Park. Open for visitors from 6:00am until 8:00pm, Parfrey’s Glen consists of a around a 0.8-mile trail that runs from the lower part of the parking area up to the top of the scenic glen, featuring rare and unusual plants along the way. The glen boasts a depth of almost one hundred feet at the uppermost section, with a stream flowing along the floor.
1377 County Rd DL, Merrimac, WI 53561
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Circus World is considered by many to be “National Treasure” of Wisconsin. While the establishment has been around for quite some time, starting out with just six circus wagons and not even an acre of grounds, Circus World today has been revitalized by renewed interested and a spirit of cooperation, now featuring a Circus Train complex, and more than 260 amazing wagons. The respected and internationally recognized institution spans across sixty-four acres, including thirty permanent structures, the Ringling Bros., and seven winter quarters located on Water Street. New exhibits has been created, original Ringling structures restored, and exciting live shows added.
550 Water St, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-356-8341
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5.Mirror Lake State Park
The Mirror Lake State Park encompasses more than two thousand acres of the Wisconsin Dells region. Established in 1962, and officially opened to the public in 1966, the Wisconsin state park features 151 campsites, with 47 containing electrical hookups, as well as seven campsites for groups. Mirror Lake itself is a no-wake zone, so no speedboats are allowed. The park also consists of a swimming beach, picnic area, a boat ramp, hiking trails, mountain biking trails, snowshoeing trails, and cross-country skiing trails, along with the first accessible camper cabin built in the state park system of Wisconscin.
E10320 Fern Dell Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
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© Driftless Glen
Driftless Glen, a local Baraboo distillery, aims to craft spirits that are every bit as unique as those who drink them, which is the idea that led them to the state’s Driftless Area. Visitors can learn about the process of making these unique spirits and get a behind-the-scenes look during a tour of the production facility. Tours are offered on the hour, every hour from 11:00am until 7:00pm Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and Sundays from 11:00am until 6:00pm. These tours start with a sample of Renee Olive Oil and Balsamic and end with a tasting of five different spirits.
300 Water St, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-356-4536
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Pewit’s Nest, located just outside of Baraboo, is another one of Wisconsin’s State Natural Areas. This nature reserve features a deep gorge that was created during the retreat of the area’s last glacier as its most dominant feature, measuring between thirty to forty feet deep. Associated with the State Natural Area are Skillet Creek, northern dry-mesic forests, and shaded cliffs, while the forest cover found at Pewit’s Nest includes yellow birch, hemlock, white pine, and red cedar. When the glacial Lake Baraboo retreated, Skillet Creek cut its way through the Cambrian sandstone, creating a narrow canyon and waterfalls.
County Rd W, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 888-936-7463
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8.Aldo Leopold Foundation
The Aldo Leopold Foundation exists to inspire ethical relationships between nature and people through the legacy of Aldo Leopold. The conservation organization was founded in 1982 by Aldo and Estella Leopold’s five children. Guests can visit the foundation’s headquarters and explore the landscape that served as the inspiration for the most famous work by Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac. The Leopold Center serves as a great introduction to the property. Visitors can also discover the outdoors by hiking or snowshoeing through the woods and prairies, or visit the Leopold Shack, which has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.
E13701 Levee Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-355-0279
9.Ski Hi Fruit Farm
© Ski Hi Fruit Farm
The Ski Hi Fruit Farm boasts approximately fifteen acres of apples with around eight thousand trees, offering apples, cider, fresh baked goods, and several other local products to visitors. The farm has become a destination for locals every year during the apple harvest time, providing a great day trip to enjoy the outdoors, stunning views, and some delicious apples and apple products. The huge lawn provides a great space for picnic with plenty of room for kids to run around. Visitors can explore the Barn Area, the Petting Farm, the Bassett Family Historic Cabin, and the orchard among other activities.
E11219A Ski Hi Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-356-3695
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, Michigan beaches
10.Von Klaus Winery
© Von Klaus Winery
The Von Klaus Winery was established in the Devil’s Lake Glacial Basin of Wisconsin in 1999. Nestled in the foothills of the state’s scenic Baraboo Bluffs, the winery makes twenty different handcrafted wines, created with both old world tradition and modern technology. Since it first opened, Von Klaus Winery has made its wines with all natural ingredients, no added sulfites or preservative, and the same original recipes. The tasting room in the historic downtown square of Baraboo offers wines samples year-round, as well as some appetizers, or guests can choose a four-course food and wine pairing by reservation.
524 Oak St, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-393-2229
11.Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells
© Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells
Ho-Chunk Gaming in the Wisconsin Dells provides fun, food, gaming, and entertainment throughout the entire year in the state’s famous Wisconsin Dells region. Among the numerous offerings, the gaming established offers Bingo on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Mini-baccarat, roulette, craps, live poker, and blackjack are available from 10:00am until 4:00pm daily, as well as slot all day, every day. Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells also includes a fine dining restaurant, a cafe restaurant, a snack bar, a sports bar, and a buffet, as well as convention space and guest rooms and suites.
S3214 County Road BD, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 800-746-2486
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12.Glacial Lake Wisconsin
Glacial Lake Wisconsin, located near what is now the town of Baraboo, was a proglacial prehistoric lake existing from around eighteen thousand to around fourteen thousand years ago, near the end of the planet’s last Ice Age. As the climate of the region warmed and the glacier started to retreat, causing the water from the lake to reopen the path throughout the Baraboo Hills. As the glacier melted, a larger channel was created, leading to a torrent and then a flood. New channels were cut upstream through the lake’s sand bottom and then the Cambrian sandstone underneath, forming the Wisconsin Dells.
The Man Mound located just east of Baraboo, Wisconsin is a prehistoric humanoid earthwork. Situated in the Man Mound Park in Sauk County, the mound was created during the area’s Late Woodland period and is North America’s only remaining anthropomorphic effigy mound. The Man Mound depicts what looks like a horned human figure, which may have had ceremonial or religious significance to those who built it. The historic mound was established in 1908 as a county park in order to preserve it, and in 2016, made a National Historic Landmark. The Man Mound Park consists of the mound, picnic tables, and a playground.
E13085 Man Mound Rd, Baraboo, WI 53913
14.International Clown Hall of Fame
© International Clown Hall of Fame
The International Clown Hall of Fame, ICHOF, was established near the town of Baraboo, Wisconsin in 1987, at the birthplace of the famous Barnum and Bailey Circus. The center was founded as part of a community development project by Jennie Thompson and Gareth Betts to build on the circus history of the city. The International Clown Hall of Fame is dedicated to preserving and advancing of clown achievement and art, paying tribute to some of the country’s outstanding performers. The museum includes a national archive of clown history and artifacts, hosts special events, and has resident clown performers.
102 4th St, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-852-6767
15.Sauk County Historical Museum
© Sauk County Historical Museum
The Sauk County Historical Museum has been housed inside of the historic Van Orden Mansion since the year 1939. Completed back in 1904, the Van Orden Mansion features more than one hundred years of historical artifacts that have been donated to the Sauk County Historical Society. Thousands of memorabilia and artifacts can be seen throughout the many rooms across the mansion’s two floors, which have remained basically unchanged since the time that the Van Orden family called the mansion home. The Sauk County Historical Museum is open from May to October from 12:00pm until 4:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
531 4th Ave, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-356-1001
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© Broadway Diner
The Broadway Diner in Baraboo is housed in the fully restored 1954 vintage Silk City Diner that was originally created by the Paterson Vehicle Company. Vonnie and Jeff later bought the diner, taking pride in restoring it to its previous glory and opening its doors again to customers in May of 2012 as new full-service restaurant. Catering was added to the growing business in 2013. The couple take a great deal of price in always serving locally-sourced, high quality products to their customers at the Broadway Diner, always preparing food with love, including a wide variety of breakfast items and burgers.
304 Broadway St, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-356-3287
17.Baraboo Burger Company
© Baraboo Burger Company
The Baraboo Burger Company is considered to be the premiere Badger bar, located in downtown Baraboo, Wisconsin. The popular local dining spot offers family-friendly service and delicious, high quality food. The restaurant is often very busy during any Packer or Badger game. Guests can choose between three different areas for dining, the back dining area, the bar area, and weather permitting, the outdoor patio. The Baraboo Burger Company opens at 11:00am seven days a week, offering a full menu, daily specials, and a full bar with more than seventy-five local microbrews, imports, and domestic beer, as well as wine and liquor.
116 4th Ave, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-355-0977
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18.Cheeze Factory Restaurant
© Cheeze Factory Restaurant
The Cheeze Factory Restaurant in Baraboo, Wisconsin welcomes guests with a memorable vegan dining experience. The menu at the unique local eatery offers gluten-sensitive, non-GMO, and vegan freshly prepared dishes using the owner’s own recipes, as well as “to-drive-for” cookies, pies and cakes from the in-house bakery. The Cheeze Factory Restaurant strives to provide fresh, satisfying, and healthy meals within an enjoyable, bright, and warm atmosphere. The restaurant provides locals and visitors of the Wisconsin Dells with a creative and refreshingly different dining experience. Another unique aspect of the Cheeze Factory is the staff of students and teachers of A Course in Miracles.
618 Oak St, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-448-4804
© Brent Hofacker/stock.adobe.com
Over the years, Culver’s has earned a “reputation for deliciousness” by offering delicious made-to-order ButterBurgers and Fresh Frozen Custard. According to Craig Culver, the famous ButterBurger of Culver’s is still made today the same way it has always been made since the beginning because “that’s how his mom always did it.” The burgers are made with never frozen, 100% fresh beef and served on a bun that is lightly buttered and toasted. Emphasizing freshness, Dutch-blend chocolate and cold-pressed vanilla are used with the finest dairy to craft the famous Fresh Frozen Custard of Culver’s on-site throughout the day.
420 Linn St, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-356-2650
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© Pizza Ranch
Pizza Ranch began in 1981 in the town of Hull, Iowa when Adrie Groeneweg had a dream and idea at the age of nineteen years of age. It stemmed for a very simple question: “Why does everyone have to drive out of town to get a pizza?” Thus, the vision of Pizza Ranch was born. Starting out with only six single-topping and specialty pizza recipes, created by Lorraine, Adrie’s mother, the restaurant was founded. Local residents were drawn to the new pizza joint for its made-from-scratch pizza dough and sauce, as well as its use of other fresh ingredients to make delicious pizzas.
916 Gateway Dr, Baraboo, WI 53913, Phone: 608-448-2215
20 Best Things to Do in Baraboo, WI
- Devil's Lake State Park, Photo: Harri/stock.adobe.com
- International Cranes Foundation, Photo: karel/stock.adobe.com
- Parfrey's Glen, Photo: Hank Erdmann/stock.adobe.com
- Circus World, Photo: Yarkovoy/stock.adobe.com
- Mirror Lake State Park, Photo: wildnerdpix/stock.adobe.com
- Driftless Glen, Photo: Driftless Glen
- Pewit's Nest, Photo: dendron/stock.adobe.com
- Aldo Leopold Foundation, Photo: dendron/stock.adobe.com
- Ski Hi Fruit Farm, Photo: Ski Hi Fruit Farm
- Von Klaus Winery, Photo: Von Klaus Winery
- Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells, Photo: Ho-Chunk Gaming Wisconsin Dells
- Glacial Lake Wisconsin, Photo: tuulijumala/stock.adobe.com
- Man Mound, Photo: Virynja/stock.adobe.com
- International Clown Hall of Fame, Photo: International Clown Hall of Fame
- Sauk County Historical Museum, Photo: Sauk County Historical Museum
- Broadway Diner, Photo: Broadway Diner
- Baraboo Burger Company, Photo: Baraboo Burger Company
- Cheeze Factory Restaurant, Photo: Cheeze Factory Restaurant
- Culver's, Photo: Brent Hofacker/stock.adobe.com
- Pizza Ranch, Photo: Pizza Ranch
- Cover Photo: Maryna/stock.adobe.com
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