Everything You Need to Know about Catching Northern Lights in Wisconsin in February 2023

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Everything You Need to Know about Catching Northern Lights in Wisconsin in February 2023

The Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis is a natural phenomenon that occurs when the charged particles from the sun interact with Earth’s magnetic field. The result is a spectacular display of vibrant colors, including green, pink, purple, and blue, dancing across the night sky.

While Norway and Iceland are popular choices for watching the Northern Lights, Wisconsin, USA, is not far behind. The state’s clear skies, proximity to the North Pole, and low light pollution make it an ideal location for catching the auroras.

If you’re planning to witness the Northern Lights in Wisconsin in February 2023, here’s everything you need to know before packing your bags.

When is the Best Time to Watch Northern Lights in Wisconsin?

The best time to catch the Northern Lights in Wisconsin is during the winter months from October to February. February is an ideal month to visit as it has longer nights, which means more extended hours to witness the auroras.

It’s best to check the forecast for solar activity and the Aurora Borealis on websites like SpaceWeatherLive or the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) before planning your trip. These websites predict the occurrence of Northern Lights based on the solar activity and Earth’s magnetic field. You’ll have a greater chance of viewing the auroras on nights with high KP indices.

Where to Watch Northern Lights in Wisconsin?

If you’re willing to drive a few hours from Wisconsin’s major cities, you can find excellent locations with minimal light pollution, offering better views.

One of the top spots for watching the Northern Lights in Wisconsin is the Apostle Island National Lakeshore. The park is open all year round, although winter is the best time to visit. From there, you can catch the auroras over Lake Superior’s dark skies.

Another popular location is the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, which spreads across almost two million acres. The forest has many campsites, including the Circle Lily Campground, from where you can catch the beautiful auroras.

If you prefer urban settings, you can head to the city of Marquette, Michigan, about an hour’s drive from Wisconsin’s border. The city is known for its beautiful harbor, which provides a great view of the Northern Lights over Lake Superior.

What to Wear When Watching Northern Lights in Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin winter can be harsh, with temperatures dropping-below-zero. So, it’s essential to dress in layers to keep yourself warm and comfortable.

Start by layering with a thermal base layer to keep your body warm. Wear a woolen sweater or fleece jacket on top of it to provide insulation. Next, wear a windproof jacket that protects you from the cold wind. Don’t forget to put on a warm hat, gloves, and thick socks to keep your extremities warm.

Finally, don’t forget waterproof boots to keep your feet dry in the snow. You may be standing outside for hours, and if your feet get wet, it will ruin the experience.


The Northern Lights is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and Wisconsin offers an opportunity to watch it without leaving the US. If you’re planning to witness the auroras in February 2023, make sure to check the forecast, choose the location with least light pollution, and dress appropriately. With a bit of luck and preparation, you may get to see nature’s most beautiful phenomenon unfold before your eyes.

An Insider’s Guide to Exploring the Wonders of Northern Lights in Wisconsin in February 2023

If you are planning a visit to Wisconsin to capture the spectacular Northern Lights in February 2023, make sure you explore the city beyond the aurora borealis. As a local, I have compiled a comprehensive insider’s guide to help you discover the hidden treasures of this mesmerizing city.

Local Attractions: Beyond the Tourist Spots

While the city boasts popular tourist attractions such as the Wisconsin State Capitol and Olbrich Botanical Gardens, there are a few hidden gems worthy of a visit. The Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center hosts various events and offers a stunning view of the city’s skyline. The Chazen Museum of Art is another must-visit destination, showcasing exceptional works by regional and international artists.

For a unique experience, head over to the Mustard Museum – a quirky museum dedicated entirely to the savory condiment. Here, you can taste over 5,500 varieties of mustard and purchase a few for your loved ones back home.

Dining Spots: The Heart of the City’s Food Culture

To experience the heart of the local food culture, try out the iconic Wisconsin cheese curds, fish fry, and bratwurst served at the Old Fashioned Restaurant. For a more elegant atmosphere, dine at L’Etoile – an award-winning restaurant known for its locally sourced seasonal menu.

Did you know that Wisconsin is also known as the “Frozen Custard Capital of the World”? Make sure you visit Michael’s Frozen Custard, established in 1986, and experience the creamiest, smoothest, and most flavorful frozen custard in the city.

Cultural Experiences: Traditions, Festivals, and Customs

The city of Wisconsin is deeply rooted in Scandinavian culture, celebrating the annual Stoughton Syttende Mai festival, the largest such celebration in the United States. Attend the festival in May and experience traditional Norwegian dances, music, and authentic cuisine.

Another cultural highlight of Wisconsin is the annual Wurstfest held every August in the city of New Glarus. The festival celebrates Swiss heritage with live music, crafts, and, of course, a variety of sausages to taste.

Local History: Stories from the City’s Past

While the city of Wisconsin may seem like an idyllic haven, it has its share of captivating stories from the past. Discover the secret history of the city’s prohibition-era speakeasies with a tour by the Madison Cocktail Club. Marvel at the historic architecture of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Taliesin estate and learn about the enigmatic life of the acclaimed architect.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions: Unforgettable and Unique Experiences

For an extraordinary and unforgettable experience, head to the Cave of the Mounds, a stunning natural cave system, and learn about the region’s geological and cultural history. Take a hot air balloon ride to witness the incredible aerial views of the city and its surroundings.

Alternatively, visit the Wisconsin Brewing Company and taste some of the most exceptional brews of local beer. If you are visiting in the summer, explore the countryside and visit the numerous lavender farms, where you can pick your own lavender and try out lavender-infused products.


Wisconsin offers a marvelous blend of nature, culture, history, and cuisine. Whether you visit to catch the Northern Lights in February 2023 or explore the city’s other wonders, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience. With this insider’s guide, you can now venture beyond the well-known tourist spots and discover the hidden gems of Wisconsin like a true local.


Everything You Need to Know about Catching Northern Lights in Wisconsin in February 2023

Experience Adventure Like Never Before: Book Your Tour Today!