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Experience Wisconsin’s Favorite Roadside Attractions
With its variety of landscapes, Wisconsin is the perfect state to head out for a road trip. Along the way you will find some fascinating roadside attractions worth checking out.
Every winter, community volunteers work alongside the local firefighters to construct the Eagle River Ice Palace. Taking over 700 hours of man power to build, the palace has become a popular destination for visitors to Eagle River. Workers construct the 20-foot-high structure with more than 2,500 sixty-pound blocks of ice cut from local Silver Lake. Recently, colored floodlights have been added to the palace making for a magnificent sight.
A truly mysterious marvel to see it the Top Secret Upside-Down White House in Wisconsin Dells. As you approach, you will discover what seems to be the President’s famous 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home after being plucked out of its foundation and resting upside down. After being led through a “decontamination tunnel,” guests will encounter quirky characters, like Rocky, the writhing Moon monster, and a T-Rex struggling escape from a high-voltage cage. Upon exiting, you will be challenged to press one of two buttons – one will allow you to leave with souvenirs of “National Treasure”, the other will trigger massive explosions to destroy the building.
Eagle River Ice Palace
Each blustery winter in northern Wisconsin, local firefighters, along with volunteers from the community, donate more than 700 hours constructing the Eagle River Ice Palace. The palace is usually built during the last weekend of December and has become a Eagle River community staple throughout the years. Volunteers construct the 20-foot-high palace with more than 2,500 sixty-pound blocks of ice cut from local Silver Lake. Within the last several years, colored floodlights have added a beautiful touch to this magnificent Eagle River tradition.
House on the Rock
A marvel of modern architecture, the House on the Rock is a popular attraction just north of Dodgeville past Governor Dodge State Park. The house, sitting atop Deer Shelter Rock, was completed in 1959, and it remains a must-see stop among tourist attractions in southern Wisconsin. Some of the specific landmarks and exhibits found at the house include the House on the Rock Carousel, the Streets of Yesterday, and the Heritage Sea. Visitors of the House complex are encouraged to visit the Infinity Room – a 200-foot hallway stretching out from the house and hanging over the valley below.
Monona Terrace Convention Center
Straddling the shores of Lake Monona, the Monona Terrace is Madison's premier convention center. Conceived and proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the project was finally completed in 1997 – featuring Wright's exterior designs and extensive convention center services. The center also hosts free community programs for the people of the Madison region - over 56,000 people take advantage of the center's resources. Visitors can also take advantage of a daily guided tour, a gift shop, rooftop cafe with views of the lake, and the outside park on the shore.
Top Secret Upside-Down White House
A truly mysterious marvel, the Top Secret Upside-Down White House creeps out visitors to Wisconsin Dells. Travelers explore what appears to be the President’s famous 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home after being plucked out of its foundation and dropped on its head in the southern Wisconsin town.
Top Secret, Inc. tour guides struggle to make sense of the scenario as they improvise explanations to novelties like the lost Ark and the Watergate Tapes seen along the way. After being led through a “decontamination tunnel,” brave guests encounter Rocky, the writhing Moon monster, and even a T-Rex struggling to break free of his high-voltage cage.
Before leaving, guests are challenged with pressing their choice of two buttons – one allowing them to take as many “National Treasures” as they can carry away from the White House State Dining Room, the other triggering explosives to destroy the building.
Set just southwest of Cataract and Black River Falls, Wegner’s Grotto is a charming roadside attraction found along Wisconsin Highway 71. The grotto has been a staple of this region of southern WI for nearly 100 years, since the Wenger family first decided to build the grotto in 1929. If you’ll be in the area, feel free to stop in for a visit and check out must-sees like the Peace Monument, Steamship Bremen, and Glass Church. While a grotto, the garden and its monuments are not overtly religious so most anyone can enjoy taking a stroll through and viewing the attractions.