check out the regional events. they are often cooler than the "big one", cost far less money, time and effort. Most regions in the US have a regional event within several hundred miles. Vegas, Texas, Arizona and the Pac NW probably have the most well known regionals.
Milwaukee is pretty urban but you can still be in the boonies in 20 minutes. So it is the best of both worlds. The square mile we live in is the most densely populated square mile in WI. (if that says anything)