Today we’ve compiled the top activities for your next day trip to Baraboo. Known as Circus City to many, Baraboo was home to the Ringling Brothers for many years. Sandwiched between the largest and most visited State Park in Wisconsin (Devils Lake State Park) and the waterpark capital of the world (Wisconsin Dells), there is plenty to keep you occupied in Baraboo and its surrounding area when you travel for your next visit.
Canoe or Kayak the Wisconsin River
No trip to the Baraboo area is complete without exploring the Wisconsin River by canoe or kayak. Come for the sandy beaches, wildlife viewing, and beautiful scenery, stay for the friendship and good times! Join Wild Wisco Waters for guided paddle tours, solo day paddle trips, and overnight sandbar canoe camping, all of which are family and pet friendly. They offer kayak rentals and canoe rentals for your adventure on the Wisconsin river. And don’t forget to bring along that fishing pole. We’ll share our top fishing hole spots along your route.
Visit Devils Lake State Park
Known for its 500 foot quartzite bluffs, the number of people who visit Devil’s Lake State Park rivals that of many popular National Parks. With more than 29 miles of hiking trails, a 360 acre lake, a visit to the park is a no-brainer when visiting Baraboo. Spend the morning hiking up the East Bluff Trail for views of Devil’s Doorway, Balanced Rock, and Elephant Rock. Spend the afternoon on the beach or in the water. The park offers canoe and kayak rentals, too. Visiting on the weekend? Plan to state your adventure early, as the parking lots fill up pretty early.
Catch a show in the Big Top while visiting Circus World Museum
Yes, there is a Circus in Baraboo! Originally home to the Ringling Brothers Circus from 1884-1918, the site that is now the Circus World Museum is under the direction of the Wisconsin Historical Society as a National Historic Landmark. With more than 30 permanent structures and seven winter quarters buildings, Circus World has plenty to showcase through their exhibits and artifacts. Be sure to attend a live performance under the Big Top to see your favorite circus acts. Visiting with kids? Even better! Circus World is family friendly. Be sure to check the schedule for Kids World Circus.
Grab a refreshment from a local winery, brewery, or distillery
After a busy day of hiking or exploring Circus World, head on over to one of Baraboo’s local wineries, breweries, or distillery. Between Balanced Rock, Baraboo Bluff, and Von Klaus, there are a variety of wineries to visit, each offering unique experiences. Wine not your thing? Check out Tumbled Rock or Al Ringing Breweries. If spirits are more your style, visit Driftless Glen Distillery. Be sure to call ahead if your party size is bigger than 6. Bonus that many of these options are also pet friendly.
Visit during Baraboo’s Fair on the Square
There’s no magic quite like experiencing Downtown Baraboo during their bi-annual Fair on the Square. (Okay, aside from a magical visit to Circus World, that is). Every spring and fall, thousands of visitors descend on Baraboo for the Fall or Spring Fair on the Square. Enjoy live music, shopping from the more than 170 crafters and artists, food, and kids activities. The downtown businesses usually offer specials during this time as well. It’s the perfect time to visit Baraboo!