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Must sees in Wisconsin

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Apr 7th, 2010, 07:22 PM
  #1
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Must sees in Wisconsin

We like to take 9 or 10 days a year and visit a state or two that we've never been to. This year it's going to be Michigan and/or Wisconsin. We know nothing about the are and are wondering what are the places/towns/sights that we should incorporate into our trip sometime in May to June.
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Apr 11th, 2010, 07:47 AM
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I guess it would depend on what you enjoy. For us it is mostly about the water so we enjoy the edges of the state the most. We tend to use the map a lot in order to stay near the water. We are always on the look-out for a small town discovery.

The Eastern side of the state:
I enjoy Milwaukee's lakefront, Historic Old Third Ward http://www.historicthirdward.org/
and Art Museum on the lake front.

Next, I like to head north to Cedarburg for strolling and stopping at Cedar Creek Settlement for shopping, winery and restaurants. If I can, I like to stay at the Washington House Inn.
http://www.cedarburg.org/

Moving north we stop at Kohler and Sheboygan. One of my favorite spots for lunch is the Cucina Restaurant (part of the American Club) located in the Shops at Woodlake. There is a small art gallery and other interesting shops. Then we head across the street to the Kohler Showroom and tour the display rooms.

My next stop is the Flying Pig Gallery and Gardens in Algoma.
http://www.theflyingpig.biz/


Next stop, Door County. One of my favorite destinations in the whole country. There are a multitude of posts on this already. I never miss the Edgewood Gallery. The grounds are exquisite. We enjoy staying on the “quiet side” and spend our days on the bay side of the peninsula.

Western Wisconsin:
Here it is all about the Mississippi River. I love the small town of Prairie du Chien because it is packed with history dating back to the fur-trading days. I love to visit the Villa Louis Historic Mansion. On weekends there are boat tours from a near-by riverfront park. The tour takes you into the back areas of the river for a peek at the wildlife.

The road (Hwy 35) connecting Prairie Du Chien and La Crosse snugs between the Mississippi and the bluffs. I always keep my binoculars handy to watch the eagles, herons, egrets and other birds.

At La Crosse we cross over briefly into Minnesota and follow the river road to Winona, then cross back over into Wisconsin. As I said, for us it is all about the water views and small town discoveries.


Heading north on Hwy 35 stop at the Nelson Creamery for lunch, an ice cream cone, wine tasting or buying some cheese and the makings for a nice picnic lunch.

Going farther north we stop randomly in the small towns of Pepin and Stockholm and the scenic overlooks but we always end up in Hudson. There is a lovely gallery called Seasons that is fun to tour.

Next we cross over into Minnesota to visit Stillwater. It is a charming town on the banks
of the St. Croix River. Lots of waterfront for walking, plenty of shops and restaurants.
http://www.ilovestillwater.com/

North:
If you continue farther north, Bayfield is a must see. If possible, I suggest a stay at the
Old Rittenhouse in on Lake Superior, or have meal there. It is pricey but a real treat.

Whatever you decide, enjoy your trip.
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Apr 12th, 2010, 06:16 AM
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Glad you are coming to Wisconsin - just to add to the previous response - When you are in Bayfield - take the ferry over to Madeline island to La Pointe - actually this is where the early fur traders and the early explorers came through - great museum their - also, go out to the State Park - and hike the trails - go to the town park and see the lagoon and beach - it is a great sandy beach - and if you forget for a moment where you are - you might think you were in Florida with the fine sand. You might want to try kayaking. Out of Bayfield - you can take the Apostle Island Cruise and tour some of the islands - lighthouses, etc.

If you don't stay at the Rittenhouse defintely go their anyhow and take a tour of some of the open rooms - it is well worth the time -- also, if you get a chance eat at the restaraunt - it is a little pricey but well worth it - my recommendation is the pork chop - it is cooked just right and falls apart - you don't even need a knife.

Stop at the Apostle Islands visitor center which is just outside of Ashland.

Hope you enjoy your trip.
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Apr 12th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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Great idea! Am going to save this for my trip file.
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 10:44 AM
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Thanks go much for the great ideas!
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Apr 22nd, 2010, 11:18 AM
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If you do NE Wisconsin in June, there is an airshow the 1st weekend..'Thunder on the Lakeshore' in Manitowoc and you can fit that in with the sub museum and a lhistorical village called Pinecrest.

I agree w/mdwst, Cucina in Kohler is excellent as are the other related restaurants(Whistling Straits/Blackwolf Run,& American Club). Stephano's in Sheboygan is good, Courthouse Pub in Manitowoc good and there is a little town called Sheboygan Falls that is neat too.
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Jul 14th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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Also if your visit includes time in Milwaukee, try to be here on a weekend. Almost every weekend trhoughout the summer there is a different ethnic festival at the summerfest grounds on the lakefront.
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Aug 20th, 2010, 03:01 PM
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When and where are the best places to see fall foliage in Wisconsin? We are considering visiting Wisconsin the first of October.
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Aug 20th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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If you like architecture and go to Madison, visit the capitol. Wisconsin has one of the greatest capitol buildings of any of the states.
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Aug 21st, 2010, 06:46 AM
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seniortraveler,
In September a few sources come out with fall color maps and 'peak' viewing times for geographical areas. Our best views were Brainard Lakes MN, to Duluth/Superior then on to Rhinelander WI
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Aug 21st, 2010, 07:52 AM
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If in Milwaukee, see The Milwaukee Art Museum, Santiago Calatrava's first project in the United States. Really a magnificent structure and a work of art in itself.

If you are a Harley Fan, there is the Harley Museum in Milwaukee. You can also tour the factory. When I've taken groups there on field trips I have met Harley worshipers from all over the world who come there like a mecca.

There are numerous wonderful theater companies in Milwaukee including the mainstay, The Milwaukee Repetory Theater. There is a long tradition of exceptional quality for live performances in Milwaukee.

To get a taste (literally) of the German heritage of Milwaukee and Wisconsin, dine at the well known Karl Ratzch's downtown. I am particularly fond of the Spätzle, even though German food is not my favorite.

The summer festivals at Milwaukee's Lakefront were also mentioned. They get going in June. You can google what's going on, but I recall the Festival of the Arts (paintings,sculptures, ceramics,etc.) Pridefest (largest gay/lesbian/bi-sexual, transgender music fest), and the first of the ethnic festivals, Polish Fest, in June. The huge music festival, Summerfest, starts the end of June.

My favorite vacation spot in Wisconsin is Bayfield on Lake Superior. Take the ferry from Bayshore to the Apostle Islands and Madeline Island.

If the Old Rittenhouse Inn (mentioned above) in Bayfield is out of your budget for a stay, contact them in advance about arriving for just brunch. We stay at the Seagull Bay Motel in Bayfield.

If you are in Madison, the capital, on a Saturday morning, then stroll the sidewalks surrounding capitol building and partake in the traditional farmer's market.

The Arboretum in Madison is lovely and I just heard there are lots of wild turkeys roaming around so I plan to visit the Arboretum myself.

You can walk along the lakes of the Madison campus, such as Lake Mendota, all the way to a scenic lookout called Picnic Point. Another classic activity if on the Madison campus is to sit on the terrace of the Student Union overlooking Lake Mendota and have an ice cream made right on the campus at Babcock Hall. After all, it is the dairy state. People of all ages do this, not just kids.


If arriving after Memorial Day, check out this fascinating place in Northern Minnesota if you like bears:

I have not gone as early as June, but the cubs would be at their smallest then, a nice thing to see.

http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...-minnesota.cfm
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Aug 21st, 2010, 07:54 AM
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Oops, Ctspice's visit has long passed if Ctspice visited Wisconsin. But anyone else considering a visit, now has some more info.
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 08:00 AM
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This is great information. Could someone give us information about Door County about the middle of October (Oct.13-18)? Is this too late for fall foliage? How long does it take to normally drive around the county? Where else could we see fall foliage in Wisconsin?
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 12:35 PM
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You will want to check this site for dates full color is anticipated.

http://tourism.state.wi.us/fallcolor_report.aspx

Right now they are saying it is 8 weeks away. My favorite spot for fall color is the unglaciated southwest part of the state, especially along the Mississippi River.
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Aug 23rd, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Driving around the county is more dependent on the tourism traffic than anything. From Sturgeon Bay to the tip at Gill's Rock, it is about an hour. If you stop at the bays along the way, it can take all day.

Mid-Oct is good color usually. Last year colors were dull even at peak times.
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