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Cheese Mart Cow | © VISIT Milwaukee
Cheese Mart Cow | © VISIT Milwaukee

13 Things You Miss When You Move Away From Wisconsin

Picture of Victoria Borisch
Updated: 20 February 2018

As the saying goes, you don’t miss a good thing until it’s gone. The same can be said for Wisconsin. When frigid cold weather and swarms of mosquitos and lake flies are things of the past, Wisconsinites who have moved away will find themselves reminiscing about the good old days in their home state. Here are 13 things you will likely long for if you move away from Wisconsin. 

Fall in Wisconsin

As the leaves begin to change colors, Wisconsin’s natural beauty shines through. There is nothing quite like crunchy leaves beneath your feet or cozying up next to your crush on a hayride. You might see red, orange, and yellow leaves where you live now, but nothing compares to those crisp autumn nights filled with corn mazes and apple cider in Wisconsin.

Wearing green and gold together

Wisconsinites might find it shocking to learn that green and gold aren’t commonly worn together. Even when it’s the off-season, these two colors have a way of sneaking into the standard state dress code, but in other places, people will look at you strangely if you pair a yellow sweater with a green skirt.

The cheese

Cheese anywhere else in the world simply does not compare. Even if you live somewhere with great cheese, like France, you will find yourself scouring the grocery store shelves hoping to catch a glimpse of pepper jack. Finding cheese curds at a restaurant will also be a rare treat, and even if you do find them, it is unlikely that they’ll be beer battered. 

Safe House Cheese Curds | © VISIT Milwaukee

Safe House Cheese Curds | © VISIT Milwaukee

Spending summers on a lake

Wisconsin is home to over 15,000 lakes, so there is never one too far away no matter where you are in the state. Tubing, waterskiing, canoeing, fishing, jet skiing, kayaking—the options for how to spend time on a lake in the summer are endless.


Some of the biggest music and cultural festivals take place in Wisconsin annually. It’ll seem weird not to don a cowboy hat and head to Oshkosh’s Country USA in the summer, or eat cannoli at Milwaukee’s Festa Italiana. While summer won’t seem complete without Summerfest, you surely won’t miss trying to find a parking spot.

Festa Italiana | © VISIT Milwaukee

Festa Italiana | © VISIT Milwaukee

Traditional games

Corn Hole and Ladder Toss are sure to garner some strange looks from people out of state, but these games are both commonly played at any kind of outdoor party in Wisconsin. Almost every backyard has the supplies, and attending a BBQ without playing one of these feels incomplete.

The cocktails

Nothing compares to the disappointment felt when drinking a Brandy Old Fashioned anywhere out of state, or when a Bloody Mary comes without garish garnishes and a beer chaser. These cocktails might be found in other places, but they just aren’t the same as back home. Christmas won’t feel right without cuddling up with a hot Tom & Jerry, but good luck finding the batter.

Bloody Mary at Drink Wisconsinbly | © VISIT Milwaukee

Bloody Mary at Drink Wisconsinbly | © VISIT Milwaukee

The accent

Wisconsinites will almost always protest when being told they have an accent, but only after moving away will it become glaringly apparent. When there is another Wisconsinite in the area though, you’ll be able to hear that signature nasal sound from a mile away.

The natural beauty

Many people think of Wisconsin as being flat and boring, but when you move away, you’ll find yourself telling people about the beauty of places such as the Wisconsin Dells and Kettle Moraine State Forest. Before long, nostalgia for sunsets in Door County and hikes through the Wisconsin woodlands are sure to creep in.

Camping up north

Whether camping in a tent or cabin, people from Wisconsin spend a lot of time up north in the summer. While “up north” means something different to everyone, Wisconsinites can agree that nothing beats making s’mores and roasting brats over a bonfire in the wilderness on a warm summer night.

Easy access to water parks at any time of year

Wisconsin Dells is considered to be the water park capital of the world. Home to America’s largest water park, Noah’s Ark, and numerous indoor water parks, this southern Wisconsin city is a haven for aquatic enthusiasts year-round.

White winters

If you’re from Wisconsin, Christmas simply feels wrong without snow and twinkling lights. White winters, though less common nowadays, are a trademark of the state. Wisconsinites will complain about it, but deep down they know it feels like something is missing when everything isn’t blanketed in snow.

Apple and pumpkin picking

Taking a trip to an apple orchard or perusing the pumpkin patch in search of the key component for your perfect jack-o’-lantern are favorite fall traditions in Wisconsin. Picking up pumpkins and apples at the local grocery store simply doesn’t have the same magic.