Most scenic route between Duluth and Milwaukee?What's the most scenic route between Duluth and Milwaukee? We're visiting our son at camp near Duluth and then thought we'd drive to Milwaukee, then on to Chicago. - Phyllis, Washington, D.C.
Wow, that's a toughie. There's a lot of scenery between Duluth and Milwaukee.
But I think you have to spend as much time as possible on Great Lakes. So here's what you should do:
From Duluth, take Wisconsin 13 along the shore of Lake Superior and around the Bayfield Peninsula, through Bayfield; see Apostle Islands stories. Stop at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center on your way through Ashland, City on the bay.
Keep going on U.S. 2 to Hurley, then head south on U.S. 51 to Mercer, Manitowish and Minocqua. These all are 1920s and '30s gangster hangouts, as shown in the new film "Public Enemies.'' See Chasing gangsters in Wisconsin.
Keep going south on U.S. 51 to Wausau, then head east on Wisconsin 29 to Green Bay. If you have time, tour the Door Peninsula, heading up the Green Bay side and returning on the Lake Michigan side. If you're looking for scenery, it's there. See Door County stories.
Then head down the Lake Michigan shoreline. North of Two Rivers, stop to see Point Beach State Forest, Two trails from Two Rivers. If you like folk/outsider art, stop in Sheboygan at the excellent John Michael Kohler Arts Center; the Kohler Foundation is the nation's premier preserver of outsider sculpture environments, including the Tellen site in Sheboygan.
Milwaukee itself is very scenic and a lot of fun. It doesn't toot its horn much, but its lakefront is gorgeous. You may want to check to see if one of its famous lakefront ethnic/heritage festivals is going on while you're there. See Party in Milwaukee and other Milwaukee stories.
If it's a hot day, stop at the beautiful beaches in Racine and Kenosha on your way to Chicago. They've got great lighthouses, too.