Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


Fun Travels Across the United States

WISCONSIN

News
Door County
Eagle River
Elkhart Lake
Fish Creek
Green Bay
Johnson Creek
Madison
Milwaukee
Sheboygan
Sturgeon Bay
Wisconsin Dells

NEWS (Cities & Towns Follow the News)

Orchard Country Winery & Market at Fish Creek is a Winner

Blue Harbor Resort - Midwest's Best Kept Secret!

Birch Creek and Door Peninsula Astronomical Society Partner for Night Sky Viewing - Music Under the Stars

All New Reasons to Visit Wisconsin Dells

Forbes Magazine names Fish Creek, Wisconsin one of America’s prettiest towns

Wild Eagle Lodge Has Exciting Events In A Gorgeous Location

Olbrich Botanical Gardens has lots on tap

Native American Casinos in Wisconsin

DOOR COUNTY

What to See & Do

It's hard to begin knowing what to see & do in Door County --- because there is so much going on. On a recent trip last Spring, I enjoyed the following attractions, restaurants, and scenery:

Cana Island Lighthouse

Despite the rain, my partner and I decided to see the Cana Island Lighthouse and we were glad we came to this 8.7 acre island that had been a part of Lake Michigan nautical history and ship lore since days long gone when sail-powered ships navigated these waters. Built in 1869 and lit in 1870, the light, according to our wonderful guide -- -- witnessed much of the storied history of Great Lakes shipping.

The Wisconsin Maritime Museum

It's well worth spending an entire day at this museum which I found fascinating. At 28,000 square feet of exhibits, it's the largest maritime museum on the Great Lakes. Admission includes a guided tour of the USS Cobia, and the self-guided tour consists of exhibits & a multiture of galleries including A Model Ship and Car Ferry Exhibit; Chief Wawatam Steam Engine; Wisconsin Built Boat Gallery; Permanent Exhibtion Gallery; a Children's Waterways room and interactive marine science laboratory; and a Sport fishing Simulator. In the galleries, you'll find unique collections of model ships and boats, an operating steam engine, displays of historic vessels and marine engines.

You'll also be able to discover what life was like in the 'silent service' on board the World War II submarine USS Cobia. Tours are conducted seven days a week, weather permitting, throughout the year. The USS Cobia is the nations most completely restored World Wr II submarine. It's fun to operate a working triple-expansion steam engine off the Chief Wawatam, or to explore the beauty and craftsmanship of modelers in the Model Gallery.

I enjoyed learning the rich maritime history of Wisconsin and the Great Lakes region, and about the sailors, shipbuilders, and submariners who made history. Don't leave without visiting the gift shop that's filled with unique items at reasonable prices.

Location: The museum is located on Maritime Drive in downtown Manitowoc, Wisconsin - a large white building on the bank of the Manitowne River.

Museum Hours: July-August: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

September-October, Mid March, June - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Nov to Mid March, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (M-F)

Nov to mid March 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Sat & Sun)

Admission: Includes a guided tour of USS Cobia - an up-close look at life in the "silent service" on board the World War II submarine USS Cobia. Tours are conducted seven days a week, weather permitting, throughout the year; self-guiding tour of exhibits & galleries such as The Model Ship and Car Ferry exhibit; operate a working triple-expansion steam engine off the Chief Wawatam Steam Engine; Wisconsin Built Boat Gallery; the Permanent Exhibit Gallery; Children's Waterways room and interactive marine science laboratory and Sport fishing seminar.

Adults $12; Child (age 6-15) $10; Ages 5 and under, Free. Additional discounts are offered for families with children age 6-15; 10% Senior discount; 10% AAA member discount and 10% veteran and Service Personnel Discount. Also a 15% family discount for those with children between 6-15.

For more information write to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, 75 Maritime Drive, Manitowoc, WI 54220. Call toll free at 800-627-4896 or 866-724-2356 or local at 920-684-0218. Website www.wisconsinmaritime.org.

For more information on Museum events & activitis call 920-743-5958 or visit www.DCMM.org.

Door County Ice Cream Factory & Sandwich Shoppe

Way back in 1912, Al Mickelson - a Door County merchant - built a special place for SisterBay residents and visitors to purchase food and enjoy ice cream treats. The store quickly became known as a source of local information in addition to excellent food and service. Today, the tradition lives on in the Door County Ice Cream Factory and Sandwich Shoppe. Established in 1992, you can order just about anything you desire - from subs and sandwiches served on fresh baked white or whole wheat sub rolls, white or wheat sliced bread with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and the shoppes special mayonnaise, and served with your choice of potato chips (plain, BBQ, or salt and vinegar), fruit or veggies, and a kosher pickle. The biggest sandwich - King of the Hill - weighs in at 3/4 of a pound! It is made with smoked ham, sliced turkey breast, tender roast beef, genoa salami, provolone and cheddar cheese.

Or, order a Panini. The Cana Island is made with sliced turkey breast, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, with garlic and red pepper mayo, while the Sherwood Point Panini is made with smoked ham, swiss cheese and Dijon mustard. But, if you want something light, there are many choices - such as a Half Sandwich served with a Bowl of Soup or a side salad or chili. Here, you'll also find Pizza made to order and baked in a special oven. Order either plain or a specialty pizza. There's also a Kids Menu, lots of beverages to choose from - I loved the Old Fashioned Root Beer while my partner ordered an Old Fashioned Root Beer Float.

The ice cream, made on the premises has natural ingredients and I loved watching it made. Order Sundaes, or Factory Favorites such as the Banana Split with vanilla, strawberry and chocolate ice cream, bananas, homemade hot fudge, pineapple and strawberry toppings served with real whipped cream, crushed almonds and a cherry on top! There are various sundaes to choose from, as well as Thick Shakes, Rich Malts and Ice Cream Sodas, Root Beer Floats and Fruit Smoothies.

Warning: It will take you a long time to choose what you want because there is such a huge choice. However, whatever you choose, I'm sure you'll love.

Location: Highway 42 at Beach Road, Sister Bay, WI; 920-854-9693. Website www.doorcountyicecream.com

Door County Seaquist Segway Tours

I will never forget my experience learning to ride a Segway -- and what a great teacher the owner is. In less than 10 minutes I felt as though I had ridden a Segway for years. Several tours are offered - the Rough & Tough Forest tour for 2 hours; the half-hour or one hour Orchard Tour; a Sunset 1 1/23 hours tour, or the Gills Rock 2 hour tour. Since it was cold out the day I arrived for a tour, I chose the Rough & Tough Forest tour believing the trees would shelter me from the wind - and it was the right choice. I could smell the rich aroma of the pine trees and found the road through the woods not only a challenge with some ups and downs, but most enjoyable and refreshing. When we arrived at Rowleys Bay, the view was spectacular and the owner agreed to take photographs of those on the tour.

What an experience - and what a wonderful tour. I highly recommend this activity - and after, stop in at the Bakery at Rowleys Bay Resort only a few yards away.

For more information, contact seaquistsegway.com or call Segway Tours at 920-421-4111.

Door County Candy

A visit to Door County Candy is an eye-popping experience for young and old -- for I have never seen such an assortment of candy - many old fashioned candies - and games - in one place. I couldn't stop checking the shelves loaded with anything and everything anyone could desire - and the owner, Terry Ullman, was a delight and answered dozens of questions.

The historic building on Third Avenue is over 100 years old, and many of the recipes from the 1940s are from Ullman's aunt and uncle. The store's motto is "Life is Sweet," and so is Ullman who has a great sense of humor and welcomes everyone whether you're there to gaze at the 'old-time' assortments, to buy chocolate covered bacon (really), or choose a treat. While there, I met Terry's four children who were seated with huge portions of ice cream and willing to smile and talk during licking their delicious desserts.

The store opened in 1996 when it was only 400 square feet, but through three expansions, it has grown to 1700 square feet three doors away from it's original location. In 2010 the name was changed to Door County Candy and is open year-round from 10 p.m. daily from May-October and mid-October to April from 9 a.m. to 6ish, with a sign in the window stating "Open till we Shut!" This ideal location on a main thoroughfare is only a short walk to Sturgeon Bay's working waterfront and historic bridge, local public parks, beaches, museums, farm markets, theater, and numerous restaurants.

There is definitely a nostalgic feel for older folks when they shop here, for there are historic candy booths, candy cases, and stained glass. Among my favorites to eat on the premises or on the go include the Chicago Mix popcorn - a blend of Door County Cheddar Cheese corn mixed with Caramel Corn; White and Dark Chocolate Dipped Bacon, fresh Fudge (ask for samples; there are 16 homemade fudges); Salt Water Taffy; over 150 plus kinds of bulk wrapped candies; nearly 90 chocolates in the case; 50 plus import and domestic licorices; a popcorn display with fresh buttered popcorn; gourmet cheddar cheese; fresh squeezed lemonade in season; sugar-free chocolates, fudges, candies and ice cream.

Location: Door County Candy, 12 North Third Avenue, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235; 920-746-0924 or e-mail doorcountycandy@itol.com.

Door County Coffee & Tea Company

more soon

For more information check web site www.doorcountycoffee.com. or call 1-800-856-6613 Monday-Friday

Where to Stay

Rowleys Bay Resort

Wow. What a location - overlooking Rowleys Bay. This is a year-round resort where you can choose a traditional room, suite, cottage or spacious vacation home - just 700 feet away from the Lake Michigan shoreline. Enjoy the quiet - the resort is situated on 100 secluded acres dominating a pristine, undeveloped bay on gorgeous Lake Michigan. You won't find noisy traffic here - where you can enjoy Mom Nature, hike over five miles of hiking/ski trails, and have access to Sand Bay Park.

Whatever you're looking for, it's here. . . Water sports including canoeing and kayaking, sailing and windsurfing. Or, have direct access to the Mink River, one of the few unspoiled estuaries in the Great Lakes. The river flows through coniferous swamps, a large marsh and empties into Lake Michigan at Rowleys Bay. Watch for blue-joint grass, willow, dogwood, alder shrubs, bulrush, wild rice, cattails, bur-reed, water lilies, dwarf lake iris, and more - while listening to the song birds. If fishing is your thing, you'll have the only direct access to legendary Four-Foot Shoal, said to be one of the best places to catch trophy king salmon, steelhead, brown and rainbow trout, northern pike, perch, walleye and small-mouth bass.

Bird watchers will love it here, too. No matter what season, there are lots of birds to spot on the Mink River Estuary and the never-frozen bay. An estimated 200 species pass through annually, including bitterns, great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, marsh hawks, and more. Feeling brave? Try the Zip Line, rent a bike, kayak, go charter fishing or take a Segway tour (more details on this exciting Segway tour follows) -- or play tennis, volleyball and basketball on site.

To experience a new food delight, attend the All-You-Can-Eat Fish Boil while the master storyteller spins the history of Rowleys Bay and prepares the fish boil right before your eyes. You might want to wear your sunglasses, be causes the flames are huge under the giant iron caldron. Also bring your camera for when the boil-over occurs. The fresh-caught Lake Michigan white fish will be served immediately with onions and red skin potatoes, as much melted butter as you wish.

Speaking of food, in addition to a three-meal full menu and bar, Rowleys Bay Restaurant features Door County's longest buffet and salad bar with a variety of food. The restaurant is famous for its Sunday Brunch buffet, including treats from Grandma's Swedish Bakery on the premises. For over 40 years, the bakery has been making delicious baked goods, including bagels, pastries, decadent pecan rolls, and more.

There's much more to do and see at Rowleys Bay Resort. For more information check web site www.rowleysbayresort.com; call 800-999-2466 or write to 1041 County Road ZZ, Ellison Bay, WI 54210.

Where to Eat

Grandma's Swedish Bakery

Located at Rowleys Bay Resort, Grandma's Swedish Bakeryl has been here for over 40 years and after tasting the offerings - which are yummy - I know when I'm back in the area I'll be eating here. The homemade pastries, decadent sweet rolls and other from-scratch bakery items are delicious. The family recipes have been handed down from generation to generation, so you'll be receiving the same authentic Swedish delights originally baked by Grandma! Do try the 1/2-pound pecan and cinnamon rolls and the special bagels.

Other delights include muffins - cherry, blueberry, raisin bran, cranberry walnut and morning glory; a variety of cookies including cherry almond granola, chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin walnut and sugar M&M. There are also brownies, cherry nut bars, seven layer bars and donuts.

Open from memorial Day through October, Grandma's Swedish Bakery is located at Rowleys Bay Resort, 1041 Highway Z, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin 54210. For more information call 920-854-2385 X815 or go to web site www.rowleysbayresort.com.

EAGLE RIVER

Where to Stay

Wild Eagle Lodge

Located at Eagle River, Wild Eagle Lodge is a place I can return to again and again because it's so enjoyable -- as well as being the largest resort along the river's chain of 28 lakes. Standing along the bays of duck and Lynx Lake, the accommodations are deluxe and there's lots to do here. Relax and watch the boats going by; try to catch a tasty fish for dinner; rent a motor boat, canoe, kayak or waterbike; swim off the private sand beach; splash around in the protected cove-like area with the kids; play tennis or basketball; or spend time with your spouse while the children engage in a variety of fun programs at "Camp Run-a-Muk."

Three nights a week, you can take the free ferry ride to nearby restaurants, or simply soak in the hot tub or sit in the sauna. Or, stay in your luxury unit in one of four buildings along Duck Lake, have concierge service for whatever you desire; rent a DVD; grill a steak on the gas grill; or stretch out and read a good book. Luxury Suites include concierge service, hardwood floors, a rustic northwoods decor, linens, turn-down service, robes, gas-grill, daily newspaper delivered to your door and many other amenities.

The one and three bedroom units offer a full kitchen, dining area, large living room, patio or deck, two full baths, central air, fieldstone fireplace and charcoal grill. Select units also have a whirlpool in the master bedroom.

There's a boat launch, canoes, kayaks and waterbikes; a 14' rowboat or dock storage for your own boat with your unit, and pontoon boats and motors can be rented. Swim off the private sand beach, play a game of tennis or basketball, and much more.

Lodge Homes include:

Fireplace; large living room; fully equipped kitchen; two full bathrooms; two T.V's with DVD/VCR; Whirlpool (optional); Deck or Patio with Grill; 14' Rowboat or Dockage Space.

Resort Amenties Include:

Indoor Pool; "Geyser" pool; Whirlpool; Sauna; Massage Center; Exercise Room; Arcade; Kid's Playground; Basketball/Tennis; Kid's Activities Program; Boats, Canoes & Kayaks; Pontoons; Paddle-Bikes; Docks; On-Site Boat Launch; Private Sand Beach; Campfire Pits; and Bicycles are available.

The resort also accommodates meetings, conferences, or special occasions at the Lodge, with an outdoor tent ready to accommodate up to 400 guests. Don't feel like cooking? Go down to The Lounge and order a pizza, sandwich or a drink.

For more information, check web site www.wildeaglelodge.com; for reservations call 1-877-945-3965. The Resort is located one mile north of Eagle River on Highway 45. From Highway 45 north turn east on Chain O' Lakes Road. Wild Eagle Lodge is 1/4 mile east on the right side of the road.

ELKHART LAKE

Where to Stay

The Osthoff Resort

The Osthoff Resort on Elkhart Lake, overlooks a private, sandy recreational beach, the state’s most pristine lake and lush woodlands. With an onsite watersports center and endless recreational activities, The Osthoff Resort is the ideal destination for families to extend their fun in the sun. Its scenic accommodations, award-winning spa, acclaimed restaurants and classic cooking school also make for an unforgettable girlfriends getaway or romantic couples escape to reconnect once the kids go back to school.

The Osthoff is just a short drive from many of the Midwest’s metropolitan areas, yet light years away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Elkhart Lake is ranked the purest in the state, its natural sand bottom keeping the water crystal-clear year round. Formed by retreating glaciers and shaped like an elk’s heart, it was considered sacred by the Native Americans who believed it bestowed powerful natural energy upon all who encountered it.

The Osthoff’s picture-perfect lakefront features picnic areas with grills, a bonfire pit, playground, volleyball courts, tennis court and lake deck restaurant. For those who want to venture out onto the water, the resort’s onsite watersports center offering kayaks, canoes, paddleboards or hydro-bikes or other watercraft rentals for endless hours of fun.

Elkhart Lake, with its quaint village streets and winding rural roads, is also perfect for biking. The nearby Kettle Moraine State Forest also offers a variety of marked mountain bike trails for the more adventurous rider. Or, unleash your inner equestrian at nearby stables with guided horseback riding tours through October. Surrounding Sheboygan County features world-class golf courses, some of which host PGA Championship, Ryder Cup and U.S. Women’s Open tournaments.

After a day of active adventure, there’s nothing more relaxing than a visit to the resort’s onsite Aspira Spa. Ranked one of the nation’s top 100 by the Spas of America spa travel website, Aspira incorporates the healing wisdom of indigenous peoples from around the world. Melt away any remnants of stress in the spa’s bubbling whirlpools while sipping fresh juices or smoothies from the spa menu, or indulge in an array of treatments ranging from massage, facials, mani-pedis and body wraps, along with specialty services such as chromatherapy, balneotherapy, hammam, and Vichy shower treatments.

Continue the feast for the senses at Lola’s on the Lake, providing panoramic water views as you dine with us for lunch or dinner. The eclectic menu created by the award-winning culinary team and the extensive wine choices, combined with the resort's natural beauty and ambiance, create an exceptional dining experience. Guests who would like to create their own delectable cuisine can register for a course at The Osthoff’s L'ecole de la Maison classic cooking school. Whether you love to cook and want to enhance your culinary skills, or you just enjoy learning about French Cuisine and other great food, L'ecole de la Maison is a great environment to develop your passion.

At night, take in a spectacular sunset or beachfront bonfire before settling into luxurious villa accommodations for a restful night’s sleep. The Osthoff Resort offers spacious one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites with private balconies, gas fireplaces and separate living rooms and dining areas – each with beautiful woodland or lake views.

For more information, visit osthoff.com/ or call (855) 876-3399.

FISH CREEK

Forbes Magazine names Fish Creek one of America’s prettiest towns

Visitors and residents already familiar with Door County’s charms will not be surprised to learn that Forbes Magazine is spreading the word after naming Fish Creek, Wisconsin among the top 15 prettiest towns in the country. The announcement of the 15 Prettiest Towns in America came in a recently released story on Forbes.com.

Forbes author John Giuffio consulted with travel experts from Frommer’s, National Geographic, Fodor’s, and Midwest Living Magazine who shared their thoughts on America's most picturesque towns for the list. According to Forbes, the goal was to find towns "seemingly custom-designed for soaking in the sights, with charming Main Streets, a variety of activities and beautiful vistas. Whether it’s the fresh air, authenticity or lack of skyscrapers, these enchanting locales deserve a spot on your travel to-do list."

Fish Creek was lauded for “its rural natural setting, and its location as a base from which to explore the entire Door County peninsula… with five Wisconsin state parks located in Door County, together they create an impressive amount of natural wonder to explore.” “It looks like someone built the town in New England and moved it to America's Heartland,” says Kendra Williams of Midwest Living.

Other towns honored on the list include Kapa’a, Hawaii, Camden, Maine, Breckinridge, Colorado and Ashville, North Carolina.

With 300 miles of shoreline, eleven lighthouses, five state parks, an eclectic art and cultural scene along with boutique shopping, award winning dining options and a wonderful mix of lodging options, this accolade is another beautiful feather in Door County's destination-award cap. In March 2013, Fodor’s named Door County one of the 10 Best Small Towns in America.

The DCVB is the official tourism marketing organization for the county whose mission is to generate incremental economic impact for the community by attracting visitors with strategies that ensure sustainable tourism.

What to See & Do

Orchard Country Winery & Market

This unique winery & market is a must-see/do place. Here, you'll find row upon row of cherry trees. I was too late to see them on the trees, but the shape of the twisted branches were unforgettable and when the trees are in bloom, it's a photographers delight along with the marvelous fragrance. Even though I didn't see the cherries, I purchased packages of the Door County Montmorency cherries that are fresh picked and packaged during the summer harvest. The rest end up in the wine making facility next door, where bottles of fruity wine such as "Cherry Blossom," are processed. The fresh-baked cherry pies, jugs of tart cherry juice and plump dried cherries are must haves - as well as rows of delicious cherry jams and pie fillings.

Since 1955, the Lautenbach family has been planting, harvesting and producing quality fruit products. Situated on an impressive 100 acres of blossoming orchards and lush vineyards, the family estate is home to a winery, cider mill and farm market. Established in 1985, the winery resides in a restored dairy barn and produces most of its award-winning wines from fruits grown on the property. Estate-grown fruits include cherries, apples, graes, rasberries, and pears. The farm market offers hundreds of Door County and Wisconsin-made products, such s the popular tart Montmorency cherry, fresh bakery goods, artisan cheese, jam, salsa, pie fill, wine accessories, and more.

Year round events include a guided walking tour of the orchards and vineyards each spring, or try the Cherry Pit Spit. During summer a picnic on the patio is held, and during the cherry harvest, fill a pai with the bright red superfruit, or make plands to attend the Summer Harvest Cherry Fest in July. Pick juicy apples during Fall Harvest Fest in September, and during winter, gallop throgh the snow on a horse-drawn sleigh ride. After, warm up with a glass of hot apple cider or spiced wine. There's also a Winter Wine & Cherry Fest in February.

Don't miss the guided wine tour daily from May through October 11 am, 1 pm and 3 pm. The market & tasting room hours are May-Octobe from 9-5 pm; November-December 10 am-4 pm, and January-April 10 am-4 pm. Closed Tuesday & Wednesday January-April; also Easter, Thanksgiving & Christmas Day.

You can select six complimentary amples of wine including Johannsberg Riesling, Door County Trolley, Celebrate, Merlot, Cherry Blossom, Dry Cherry, Strawberry Lyte, Door County Sparkle and many more., For more information check web site www.orchardcountry.com.

Location: 9197 Highway 42, Fish Creek, WI 54212.

For more information call 920-868-3479 or toll-free 866-946-3263. E-mail: info@orchardcountry.com or go to web site orchardcountry.com.

Door County Kayak Tours

You don't have to be an expert paddler to enjoy this company's tours - that are for all ages. Check out Cave Point and the Niagra Escarpment Bluffs with a guide in either a sit-on-top or sit-in tandem kayak; and opt for one of the 3 Signature tours -- Caves, Bluffs & Sunset Tours. Current times are 8 am, 10 am, noon, 2 pm and sunset, and the length of the tour is from 3-4 hours total including photos, the drive, lessons, and on water time. All you have to bring is sunglasses, ht, sunscreen, swimsuit, layered synthetic clothing, towel, shoes for the water and a mind-set to enjoy the views and exercise.

Location is at 8442 Highway 42, Fish Creek, WI 54212. For details call 920-868-1400 or check website DoorCountyKayakTours.com.

GREEN BAY

More soon

For more information contact the Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau      1901 South Oneida Street . PO Box 10596
     888-867-3342 - web site www.greenbay.com

JOHNSON CREEK

Milford Hills Hunt Club

If you want to hunt or try a couple rounds of sporting clays, this is the place to be.

Located at W5670 French Road, Johnson Creek, Wisconsin between Madison and Milwaukee, it has phenomenal facilities -- a 4300 square foot clubhouse with a fieldstone fireplace, hickory floor and soaring pine ceiling overlooking the picturesque countryside of Jefferson County; shotgun rentals, and lots of events. These include:

Europen Pheasant Shoots

Chukar Tournaments

Fly Fishing Seminars

Shooting Instruction

A Special Lobster Boil Dinner

Hayrides, sleigh rides, fishing and bonfires

PLUS Sporting Clays, a Wobble Trap, fully Automatic Traps, Five Stand, and golf carts for getting around. The fully automatic Sporting Clay Course consists of 8-14 stations encircling a pond, four towers and varied terrain. It's challenging and addicting!

Warm up with a round of 50 targets before your hunt. Sporting Clays also makes for a great corporate outing, and if you crave competition, join Milford Hills summer and winter Sporting Clays Leagues. Shooting instruction is available for the beginners or advanced.

For details, contact the club at W5670 French Road, Johnson Creek, WI; 920-699-2249, or check web site www.milfordhills.com..

MADISON

What to See & Do

Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is owned and operated by the City of Madison Parks Division in partnership with the Olbrich Botanical Society. It is located in Madison, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Monona at 3330 Atwood Avenue.  For membership information call 608-246-4724. For more information call 608-246-4550 or visit www.olbrich.org.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is owned and operated by the City of Madison Parks Division in partnership with the Olbrich Botanical Society.

Events

Olbrich’s Plant Sale with the Pros

Get the same great plants grown at Olbrich Botanical Gardens and expert advice from area professionals at Olbrich’s Plant Sale with the Pros. Visit Olbrich’s Pro Potting Bench for free container design and planting services. Refresh a lack-luster garden area at the new Inspiration Station. Local landscape architects will sketch out garden designs on the spot using your photos and feedback. Olbrich’s Plant Sale with the Pros features everything from annuals and perennials to ornamental grasses and shrubs. Olbrich’s staff carefully chooses unique plants that grow best in this climate. Find the newest, hardiest, disease-resistant cultivars on the market. Local gardening experts, master gardeners and Olbrich’s horticulturists will be available to answer questions. Proceeds from the sale benefit Olbrich Botanical Gardens.

For more information, visit Olbrich’s website at www.olbrich.org or call 608-246-4550.

Admission is $1 for the general public. Admission is always free for Olbrich Botanical Society members and children 5 and under, and is free for everyone on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Visit www.olbrich.org or call 608-246-4550.

Ongoing:

Mondays 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. OR Thursdays 7:30 – 8:45 a.m.

Yoga in the Gardens

Held inside the tropical Conservatory or outdoor gardens when possible. The cost is $12 per class, no registration required. Visit www.olbrich.org or call 608-246-4550.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.

Garden Answer Service

Do you have spots on your tomatoes, critters eating your blooms, or want to know about native plants for rain gardens? Have your problems solved by the Garden Answer Service at Olbrich Botanical Gardens every Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m., during June, July, and August. A trained garden resource volunteer will be ready in Olbrich’s Schumacher Library to provide one-on-one assistance. Inquiries can range from choosing good plants for your yard’s conditions, to landscaping design options, to learning some of the basic gardening how-tos. There is one problem the Library resource volunteers can’t tackle: Please don’t bring diseased or infested plant materials to Olbrich. Questions can also be phoned in at 608-246-5805 or e-mailed to ljacobson@cityofmadison.com. The library is open to the public for reference. Olbrich members may check out materials..                          

Growing Gifts Shop Sale

Find the perfect gift for the gardening enthusiast on your holiday shopping list at the Growing Gifts Shop Annual Holiday Sale at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. During this once-a year-sale, the general public receives 10 percent off all purchases, and Olbrich Botanical Society members receive 20 percent off purchases. Olbrich’s Growing Gifts shop specializes in unique garden-themed items for the whole family. Choose from a variety of gardening books, decorative dinnerware, stationery, jewelry, and gifts for the home. Proceeds benefit Olbrich Botanical Gardens. To become a member call 608-246-4724 or visit www.olbrich.org.

For more information call 608-246-4550. Olbrich Botanical Gardens is located in Madison, Wisconsin on the shore of Lake Monona at 3330 Atwood Avenue. Visit Olbrich's website at www.olbrich.org.

MILWAUKEE

What to See & Do

The Florentine Opera Company

The Florentine Opera Company’s productions reflect the highest musical and theatrical standards, while supporting community and educational programs. As a leader in Wisconsin's art community and the nation’s sixth-oldest opera company, the Florentine Opera seeks to establish a significant presence in the cultural, educational and civic life of the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Audiences enjoy beautiful main stage productions that include first-rate vocal artistry brought to life by established and emerging international, national and local opera stars. With a foundation of fiscal responsibility, the company continues to grow its artistic and educational programs. Through its outreach and in-school educational programming, the Florentine provides vital arts education experiences for children, nurtures new audiences, and expands cultural horizons for the next generation. The Florentine Opera is a cornerstone member organization of the United Performing Arts Fund and receives funds from Milwaukee County and the State of Wisconsin, as well as support from corporations, foundations and individuals. The Florentine Opera Company is an organizational member of OPERA America.

Harley-Davidson Museum

The one-of-a-kind Harley-Davidson Museum™, located in Milwaukee, has 130,000-square-feet and adds a whole new dimension to the Harley-Davidson experience and gives visitors a feel for the freedom, camaraderie and pride that Harley-Davidson riders experience every time they fire up their motorcycles. Exhibits inside tell the stories of the extraordinary people, culture, products and history of Harley-Davidson.

The experience is not limited to inside the Museum’s walls. Museum attendees and the general public can walk around the Museum’s 20-acre park-like grounds and enjoy the festivities, including a custom bike-build, tattoo artist and live music. To curb any hunger, both the Museum Restaurant and Cafe will be serving up classic American fare with Harley-Davidson attitude. The Museum grounds are open to the public 24-hours a day, and all are welcome to visit the retail store or dine at the Museum’s Restaurant or Cafe without attending the Museum.

The backdrop of the Museum buildings, motorcycles and exhibits creates a spectacular event space that can be customized for any special event, not just our Grand Opening celebration. Five meeting rooms provide intimate gathering options, while spaces inside the Museum and Archives buildings have breathing room for up to 1,050 people. Outdoors the sky is almost the limit, as the grounds can accommodate 15,000 people.

To learn more about the Harley-Davidson Museum and its Grand Opening festivities, visit www.h-dmuseum.com.

A Growing Taste for Culinary Travel in Milwaukee - Food Tours and More

Spice up your next trip to Milwaukee by experiencing a walking food tour which explores historic neighborhoods and offers samplings from some of the city's most delicious ethnic restaurants and specialty shops. Milwaukee Food Tours are guided, low-impact, 2.5 hour walking tours featuring Milwaukee's German and Italian heritage. Participants will learn about Milwaukee's rich history and architecture as well as enjoy sampling ten delicious tastings from Italian bakeries, meat shops, pizzerias, German eateries, cheese and sausage makers and breweries along the way.

Visit www.MilwaukeeFoodTours.com for complete details, pricing, to purchase gift certificates or to schedule a walking tour. To learn more about booking a private group tour, contact Theresa@MilwaukeeFoodTours.com.

Culinary tourism is the hottest niche market to emerge within the tourism industry in years, creating unique and memorable food experiences for visitors of all ages.

SHEBOYGAN

Where to Stay

Blue Harbor Resort

There’s so much to discover and enjoy at scenic Sheboygan Wisconsin’s beachfront Blue Harbor Resort, the #1 resort on Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan scenic shore. Here are a few things to do:

Trips on a Tank
Blue Harbor is just an hour up the coast from Milwaukee, and two hours from Chicago and Madison.  By the time you hear your first, “Are we there yet?” you may well be!

Summer Secrets
Sheboygan is a true hidden gem; once visitors discover it, they can’t believe how amazing it is! Those in the know call it the “Malibu of the Midwest” for its ocean-like waterfront, sailing, boating, paddle boarding and fresh water surfing.

Midwest Water Fun – Inside and Out
Blue Harbor just premiered The Riptide, Eastern Wisconsin’s only indoor double surf simulator. Custom boards that let you tackle it boogie-style or by full-on, stand-up surfing. The resort’s 54,000-square-foot waterpark also has an interactive lighthouse water, lazy river, whirlpool and more than 60 guest-activated water effects.

Family Reunions
Blue Harbor is the perfect setting for multigenerational travel and family reunions of all sizes. Accommodations include Victorian style suites with romantic four-post beds, aquarium- and boathouse-themed family suites with bunk-bed alcoves, and spacious two- and four-bedroom villa with kitchens. Hard-to-please teens can have fun mastering the surf simulator, and guests of all ages enjoy onsite amenities such as a new glow-in-the-dark indoor golf course.

Surf and Sail in the Heartland
Sheboygan is home to major international nautical competitions to delight sailing fans, and those ready to venture onto water themselves can rent the Sonar (23 ft sailboats) and Edgewater 17 powerboats. Guests can also learn to sail with lessons for kids and adults offered through the Sheboygan Youth Sailing Club

Girls Just Want (and Need) To Have Fun with a Getaway
Bucolic beach, quaint shops, unique gardens award-winning spa and world-class restaurants…Blue Harbor offers an easy getaway that lets friends relax, rejuvenate and reconnect in a picture-perfect setting.

Golf
Blue Harbor is official host hotel of the 2015 PGA Championship and offers special rates at The Bull golf course, Wisconsin’s only Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and ranked as the #77 Public Golf Course in America.

Yoga Retreats
Blue Harbor will premier exclusive yoga and Stand Up Paddleboard yoga retreats beginning this summer. Stay tuned!

For more information go to web site www.BlueHarborResort.com

Blue Harbor Resort

This majestic and fun retreat on Lake Michigan, features Eastern Wisconsin’s only Double Surf Simulator and all there is to do in the “Malibu of the Midwest.” 

Blue Harbor Resort is located in scenic Sheboygan, Wisconsin, less than an hour up the coast from Milwaukee and known as the “Malibu of the Midwest” for its ocean-like waterfront, sailing, boating, paddle boarding and fresh water surfing. The resort is now a mecca of indoor surfing, also, with its recent premier of The Riptide--Eastern Wisconsin’s only indoor double surf simulator--which is located in the resort’s 54,000-square-foot entertainment area and waterpark. This thrilling attraction is great fun for all ages, with custom boards that allow guests to tackle it boogie-board style or by full-on, stand-up surfing.

Now is a great time to visit Blue Harbor Resort, which was just awarded “Hospitality Star of the Year” out of the many outstanding hospitality organizations in Sheboygan County. The resort is currently offering special deals including Hot Dates and Rates.  There are also other deals for a “Bed and Breakfast” Getaway, as well as discounts on Blue Harbor Villas, perfect for larger families and even family reunions.

On warmer days, guests can soak up the sun on the resort’s beautiful beach or rent a paddleboard and glide along Lake Michigan’s scenic shore; and on cooler days, the 54,000-square-foot indoor waterpark and entertainment area awaits, as does its new mini glow indoor golf course. The resort’s award-winning Reflections Spa also offers relaxing massages, facials, manicure-pedicures and other rejuvenating treatments that are sure to brighten any day.

Blue Harbor also offers multiple dining options, including Latitude 43, specializing in fresh seafood and distinctive fine wines. Guests seeking a more casual dining experience enjoy The Beacon, serving Blue Harbor’s famous Beer Cheese Soup and featuring dramatic, elevated views of Lake Michigan, as well as the On the Rocks Bar & Grill in the lobby. In addition, snack and beverage bars are conveniently located on the beach and in the waterpark.

Blue Harbor Resort’s well-appointed accommodations include Victorian style suites with romantic four-post beds, aquarium- and boathouse-themed family suites with bunk-bed alcoves, and spacious two- and four-bedroom villas.  Some offer a scenic view of the Sheboygan River and its quaint fishing boats; others boast a panorama of Lake Michigan, pink-orange sunrises and a working lighthouse, to be enjoyed right from your balcony or patio. In addition to its water park, Blue Harbor offers a host of onsite amenities such as its glow-in-the-dark indoor golf course, newly expanded full-service spa and multiple excellent restaurants. The resort also features multiple conference rooms and terraces for groups of any size, several of the venues showcasing sweeping views of Lake Michigan.

The resort waterpark’s new Riptide double surf simulator creates the perfect wave for boogie boarding or surfing and is the ultimate combination of thrill and skill. This indoor water attraction is fun to ride, but also fun to watch. Spectators are mesmerized by the flowing water, and are entertained by the wipeouts and the remarkable tricks and skills of the experienced riders. The waterpark also features an interactive lighthouse water fort with a nearly 1,000-gallon tipping water ship, interconnected with suspension bridges, cargo nets, web crawls and more than 60 guest-activated water effects, along with a 3,600-square-foot lazy river, the Turtle Tub whirlpool and four swimming pools suitable for guests of all ages.

“Blue Harbor Resort offers an easy getaway with activities and amenities for all ages,” said resort general and vice president David Sanderson. “In addition, the charming Sheboygan area offers great opportunities to explore including scenic breakwater lighthouse, miles of lakefront biking and hiking trails, a historic downtown with eclectic shops, hummingbird and butterfly gardens and more. Popular upcoming activities include major events such as International Sailing competitions and the PGA Championship this summer,” noted Sanderson.

For people who enjoy golf, Sanderson added, Blue Harbor has an extraordinary deal that includes magnificent golfing at the Bull Golf Course within minutes of the hotel. Packages start as low as $149 per person, including accommodations and 18 rounds of golf.

To book special vacation and getaway deals at Blue Harbor Resort and to view the resort’s live beach cam, visit www.BlueHarborResort.com.

About Blue Harbor Resort
With stunning Lake Michigan beachfront and water views, Blue Harbor features 244 suites and villas, more than 17,000 square feet of meeting and event space, a 54,000 square-foot indoor waterpark entertainment area, a new and expanded full service spa, three restaurants, and recreation amenities including watersports and access to the Bull golf course. This Classic Lakeside Resort and Victorian style landmark is a favorite for leisure travelers and groups because of its proximity to Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay and other gateway cities.

The Resort is located in the Harbor Center District in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, a city known as the "Malibu of the Midwest" for its scenic waterfront, sailing, boating, and fresh water surfing. It has also received many accolades including Best Places to Raise a Family by Bloomberg and other national news organizations. Out of the many outstanding hospitality organizations in the area, Blue Harbor was awarded the outstanding "Hospitality Star of the Year" in Sheboygan County.

Guests can see why It's Better At The Blue by visiting www.BlueHarborResort.com.

Blue Harbor Resort - Midwest's Best Kept Secret!

Blue Harbor Resort is an absolute gem of a vacation destination. Located in scenic Sheboygan, Wisconsin, less than an hour up the coast from Milwaukee and known as the “Malibu of the Midwest” for its ocean-like waterfront, sailing, boating, paddle boarding and fresh water surfing.

The resort is now a mecca of indoor surfing, also, with its recent premier of The Riptide--Eastern Wisconsin’s only indoor double surf simulator--which is located in the resort’s 54,000-square-foot entertainment area and waterpark. This thrilling attraction is great fun for all ages, with custom boards that allow guests to tackle it boogie-board style or by full-on, stand-up surfing.

Blue Harbor Resort is an ideal destination for fun-filled family vacations or larger gatherings like family reunions or corporate events. The luxurious accommodations range from Victorian style suites with romantic four-post beds, underwater- and boathouse-themed family suites, and spacious two- and four-bedroom villas. Additional recreational amenities include a new glow-in-the-dark indoor golf course, newly expanded full-service spa and multiple excellent restaurants.  The resort also features multiple conference rooms and terraces for groups of any size, several of the venues showcasing sweeping views of Lake Michigan.

For more information and reservations call: 1-800-BLUE (2583) or visit online at www.BlueHarborResort.com.

Come Sail Away at Lake Michigan’s All New Blue Harbor Resort & Spa

Your dream of learning to sail or windsurf can now come true on Lake Michigan’s most beautiful setting.  Blue Harbor Resort & Spa is partnering with Sail Sheboygan, U.S. Sailing Center, and Sheboygan Youth Sailing Club to provide a unique learn to sail experience on Lake Michigan’s blue coastal waters of Sheboygan.

Whether you are a beginner wanting to learn the basics of sailing and windsurfing, or an intermediate level sailor/windsurfer looking to brush up on your skills – this experience is ideal. Instruction will be tailored to your skill and comfort level, and is available as individual or small group or family lessons. For guests of the Resort the Personal Sailing experience is specially priced at $70 per hour for a private lesson and $45 per person per hour for a group lesson of two to four people. All Instructors are US Sailing Certified, First Aid Certified, and CPR Certified. The equipment includes a variety of Windsurfing boards and sail sizes for use in a wide variety of weather conditions. The Sailboats range in size from 1 person dingys to 4-6 person keelboats. Rates include instruction and all equipment..

In addition, the Resort will offer spectacular honeymoon sailing experiences for wedding couples and newlyweds. Reservations are required and families are welcome. For more information and reservations call: 1-800-BLUE (2583) or visit online at www.BlueHarborResort.com.

More About the Newly Re-designed Blue Harbor Resort & Spa

Located just a two hour drive from downtown Chicago and one hour from Milwaukee, the all new renovated Blue Harbor Resort & Spa offers all-suite accommodations starting from $109* per night, and  Family Packages including admission to its indoor waterpark Breaker Bay priced from $139 per night*.

Kids will love the 54,000 square foot Breaker Bay waterpark and game arcade where it’s always a comfortable 84 degrees while adults will appreciate the new sophisticated look and upscale amenities and dining at the re-designed Resort.

Feel the welcome in the Resort’s new Lobby which includes breathtaking views of Lake Michigan and an open and inviting environment. Relax in spacious suites with plush bedding and flat screen TVs. Enjoy the view from a private terrace, and in many suites, relax by the fireplace. For dining, unwind at the beautiful lake view Latitude’s Restaurant with its newly created Chef’s menu inspired by regional fare including fresh caught lake fish, and grilled meats and poultry prepared to your specifications. Enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at Beacon which is adjacent to the Lobby and offers both indoor and outdoor seating. And when it’s time to unwind head to On the Rocks for a cocktail with a view. Relax at the Resort’s Reflections Spa and choose a signature treatment from a full selection of body wraps, massages, couples massages and facials. Take a stroll along the lakefront, a visit to the area’s charming boutiques, or participate in a selection of daily activities.

The 182 all-suite Blue Harbor Resort & Spa is a beautiful Victorian style landmark on the shores of Lake Michigan. The resort is located in Harbor Centre District at 725 Blue Harbor Drive in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, 53081. For more information and reservations visitwww.BlueHarborResort.com or call 866-701-2583 (BLUE).

SPRING HILL

Where to Stay

Inn at Cedar Crossing

Open year-round and smoke free, the Inn at Cedar Crossing is nestled within Sturgeon Bay's downtown historic district and is charming. The guest rooms are filled with antiques, feature canopied beds, have a fireplace or whirlpool tub, and include delicious full breakfasts, afternoon and evening refreshments and personal service.

For more information on rates and to view rooms go to website www.InnAtCedarCrossing.com or contact innkeeper@innatcedarcrossing.com, or call 920-743-4200. Location is at 336 Louisiana Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235.

Where to Eat

Inn at Cedar Crossing Restaurant

Open year-round and smoke-free, this restaurant is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and keeps visitors - and locals - coming back again and again. Fresh regional fare is served in a classic historic setting including breakfast, specialty lunches and creative evening dining featuring scratch bakery, fine wines and libations and sinful desserts. I ate here and felt very relaxed and enjoyed what I ordered.

Location: 336 Louisiana Street, Sturgeon Bay, WI 54235. For more information call 920-743-4200 or e-mail innkeeper@innatcedarcrossing.com or go to website www.InnAtCedarCrossing.com.

WISCONSIN DELLS 

All New Reasons to Visit Wisconsin Dells

New. Better than ever. Best of class. Check, check and check. With this year’s announcement from the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau of all that’s new and better than ever for 2014, visitors will have an easy time mapping out a vacation itinerary that’s a mix of just opened attractions and solidly established favorites that you’ll find only in the Dells.

Read on for the reasons to visit in 2015. Then log on to the area’s official web site, www.wisdells.com, for planning tools, including the just-released 2015 Wisconsin Dells Vacation Guide®.

Ghost Boat: Journey to Haunted Canyon--

This new nightly tour sets sail on the deep, dark waters of the Wisconsin River, passengers are treated to tales of local legends and lore that have been passed down through the generations. Passengers disembark at Cold Water Canyon for an eerie walk along the narrow canyon boardwalk with rocky cliffs towering over them on both sides.

Cascade Mountain Ski, Snowboard & Snow Tube --

The box of freestyle toys at Christmas Mountain VillageTM now includes a 50-foot Ample BagJump air bag. This style of air bag is a variation of the landing bags originally used by Hollywood stuntmen, now redesigned to be used as a training tool for skiers and snowboarders, allowing outdoor enthusiasts to dial in big tricks with the safety of a soft cushioned landing.

Mid-Continent Railway Museum --

The most famous locomotive at the Mid-Continent Railway Museum, the #1385, built back in 1907 and purchased from the Chicago and North Western Railway, is undergoing a $1 million restoration. The locomotive’s tender, known to many as the coal car, has been fully replicated in a project that took two years to complete and is now on display at the Museum, just a short drive from Wisconsin Dells in North Freedom. Along with displays, the Museum is also an operating railroad recreating the way of life during the “Golden Age of Railroading.”

Robin’s Nest Restorations Gifts & Gallery--

With the Etsy.com creative shopping culture such a hit, it’s nice to see Wisconsin Dells landing its own bricks-and-mortar version with Robin’s Next Restorations. This downtown store features reclaimed and upcycled vintage furniture, jewelry, home décor and gift items. Every piece in the store is handmade by the owners using at least 80% recycled materials.

JustAgame Fieldhouse --

This top-notch fieldhouse is now home to the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, honoring players and coaches and also serving as a museum for high school basketball history dating back to 1916.

Red Beard Bowfishing --

For those who know just how good Wisconsin Dells is for fishing, you may fall for this new attraction, well, hook, line and sinker so to speak. It’s Red Beard Bowfishing and here’s how it works: a bowfishing captain takes you out on the Wisconsin River where you go after carp using a traditional bow, crossbow or throwing spear. If you’re visiting the Dells with a group of friends, consider a private charter.

Big Racks Hunt Club --

Book a mid-September through mid-December deer hunt at Big Racks Hunt Club for a chance to hunt a giant Wisconsin whitetail while the rest of the family splashes around at a waterpark. Tree stands dot the acres of jack pine, oak and maple trees at this private hunt club and it’s less than ten minutes from the Dells proper. Be sure to check out the trail cam photos on their web site.

Wisconsin Trapshooting Association --

Here’s something new to consider for day trips, corporate outings and group events. It’s the Wisconsin Trapshooting Association’s Olympic-style international trapshooting facility in the Town of Rome, about 30 minutes from Wisconsin Dells. There are 30 trapshooting fields at this 280-acre complex.
juniper + cliff While this great shopping find is located inside the Chula Vista Resort, it really is a retail destination unto itself. Here you’ll find signature gourmet candies, chic and fashionable resort wear and toys for the kids. Fun fact: the name of the store is a tribute to the resort’s setting on the sandstone cliffs of the Wisconsin River with junipers dotting the landscape.

International Crane Foundation --

Using life-size photo cut-outs and iPads, visitors to this crane sanctuary will now feel like they are “in the field” with the biologists. This multi-media approach brings first-person accounts from people working around the world to save cranes. The ICF is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of this majestic bird.

A1 Wisconsin Dells Kangaroo Taxi --

This taxi service provider now offers airport shuttle service to Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago. Choose from a BMW X5, six-passenger van, or 15-passenger van.

Limo Kings --

Check out the 26-passenger trolley from Limo Kings. It’s a fun way to take a scenic tour and a charming enhancement for a special event.

Winnebago Fine Goods & Gift Shop --

Since 1949 this landmark emporium has been outfitting visitors to the Dells with Minnetonka moccasins. Sixty-five years later it remains one of the largest sellers of the über comfortable and fashionable footwear, plus it’s now a must-visit for Native American artwork, retro cool décor, and on-trend urban apparel for men and women but especially men.

Dells Bells Wedding Chapel --

This romantically cute and kitschy chapel celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2014. Over that decade they’ve performed nearly 2,000 stress-free weddings – the only thing couples need to bring is the marriage license. Newlyweds will want to ring the chapel’s 1894 bell, saved from a school building in Pennsylvania, to signal the beginning of their new life together. Ask about their Minister-To-Go services (they’ve provided a minister everywhere from large resorts to chilly ice fishing shanties).

Waterparks --

Wisconsin Dells pioneered the waterpark craze with the country’s first indoor waterpark. Today there are more waterparks here per capita than anywhere else on the planet. Noah’s Ark is the largest outdoor waterpark in America with over 70 acres of water fun, and the Wilderness Resort is the country’s largest indoor/outdoor waterpark combo.

Roller Coasters --

The wildest of them all is Hades 360° at Mt. Olympus Theme Park & Water Park – it’s the world’s first looping all-wooden roller coaster and on top of that it goes underground.

Duck Tours --

The community is home to the world’s largest fleet of WWII amphibious vehicles known as DUCKS. These vehicles had their finest moment on D-Day in 1944 when more than 2,000 were put into service to deliver troops to the rough shores of Normandy. Today, they’re a stellar choice for touring the Wisconsin River, as are the tour boats which make shore landings amongst the sandstone cliffs at Witches Gulch and Stand Rock.

Ski Show The Tommy Bartlett Show

staged on Lake Delton is one of the last professional water ski shows of its kind in the country. It’s staged Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Mini-Golf and Go Karts --

The Dells has more holes of mini golf than anywhere else in the state. Go kart tracks are at every turn as well.

Moccasins

Seems moccasins are now considered fashion footwear. Who knew! Pick up a pair of Minnetonkas to round out your wardrobe at purveyors like the Winnebago Fine Goods & Gift Shop, Parson’s Indian Trading Post, and Aunt Jenny’s Got-It-All Store.

H.H. Bennett

He’s the 19th century landscape photographer credited with making Wisconsin Dells famous with his incredible photos of the area and the people. His original studio is a historic site definitely worth a look-see.

For the most up-to-date take on everything that’s new in Wisconsin Dells, your best bet is to log on to www.wisdells.com. Or contact the Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau 115 La Crosse Street · Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965 · (800) 223-3557 · wisdells.com

Where to Stay

Yogi BearTM Camp-Resort & Water Playground

Book the Happy Glamper package at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone ParkTM and a s’more sommelier will bring you the makings for gourmet s’mores along with a bottle of sparkling wine. Then sleep easy on a pillow-top queen bed. This popular campground features “Rent-a-tent Campsites” where the tent is already set up for you and luxurious yurts. Both include mattresses. How’s that for roughing it.

Kalahari Resort Celebrates Over 15 Years of Vacation Adventures

There’s a decade of fun brewing at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells. Having hosted more than 10 million visitors since opening in May 2000, Kalahari is gearing up to capitalize on the trend of travelers taking drive-to regional getaways versus fly-to vacations this summer. In addition to introducing a new cast of characters, a new hip-hop theme song and special on-site 10-year celebration activities, summer at Kalahari Resort will bring unique packages and deals.

Kalahari, which first opened as a 100-room hotel with a 60,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, is now home to a 756-room convention/waterpark/theme park complex. The resort expansions began in 2002, when the company doubled the size of its indoor waterpark and added major attractions such as the region’s first Master Blaster water coaster. In 2004, Kalahari was first in the U.S. to install the FlowRider, a simulated surfing ride, in its indoor waterpark. And more recently, the resort completed an Indoor Theme Park complete with an indoor Ferris wheel, go-cart tracks and climbing wall. Over the last 10 years Kalahari Resort has invested more than $129 million into resort expansion projects.

For details , go to www.KalahariResorts.com.

Kampgrounds of America (KOA)

Kampgrounds of America (KOA) says that according to Native American legend, the 15-mile stretch of towering rock formations known as the Wisconsin Dells was created by a giant serpent, which dug 150 feet down through the sandstone to create the majestic rock formations. Scientists attribute the dells to thousands of years of erosion by glacial waters.

The area is also known for another unique attraction: original Wisconsin Ducks. This variety doesn't come with feathers, feet and beaks--the circa WWII amphibious vehicles are entirely mechanical in nature and offer an unusual means to tour the dells in anything but sedate manner.

Circus fans can take a short drive to Baraboo for a tour of Circus World Museum. The location is appropriate, as the Ringling Brothers' Circus began in Baraboo in 1884, and the town served as the circus' s winter quarters until it merged with the Barnum and Bailey Circus in 1914. The museum offers historical circus exhibits and features live performances during the summer months.

If the outdoors and architecture are more your style, a visit to Mirror Lake State Park is in order. The park, near the town of Lake Delton, is the location of the restored Seth Peterson Cottage, a wood and glass structure designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Rocky Arbor State Park, just north of the Dells, offers additional opportunities for hikers and photographers.

Once you've had a first-hand view of the area's many natural wonders, take a second look through the 'eyes' of H.H. Bennett. The town of Wisconsin Dells offers an exhibit of work by the local photographer who first brought attention to the dells' scenic beauty with his dramatic images and stop-action photographs.

Explore the Wisconsin Dells and surrounding attractions from your base camp at Wisconsin Dells KOA, located just off I-90/94 (or choose one of many hotels and motels). The ampground is conveniently located near water parks, boat tours and country music shows, and is just a short drive from Baraboo.

Sundara Inn & Spa--

Continuing to make a name for itself as the “it” spa for those in need of peace and quiet, Sundara added a meditation trail to the fragrant pine forest just steps from the spa’s front door. The walking path includes seven meditation stops along the way and at the end of the trail guests can doze in hammocks hung from the trees.

Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort --

If you’ve ever had the chance to swim in a saline pool you may have noticed how nice it feels on the skin. At Baker’s Sunset Bay Resort on Lake Delton, they’ve switched over the indoor pool and Jacuzzi to saline.

Where to Eat

Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Lumberjack Show

Paul Bunyan’s Northwoods Cook Shanty has long been known for its tasty family-style spread of food and impossible-to-resist sugar donuts. Now they are also known for an authentic lumberjack show that blends age old lumberjack competitions with extreme sports entertainment. The show keeps visitors of all ages on the edge of their seat while being entertained by both professional and collegiate athletes competing in events such as log rolling and pole climbing.

Dells Distillery--

This Western-themed restaurant and bar has a fan following for its specialty tator tot creations which range from Cheeseburger Tots to Philly Tots. As for libations, the Dells Distillery has its own distilled vodka, whiskey, brandy and rum, and they offer a VIP Barrel Service where they’ll tap a keg right at your table.

MACS – Macaroni and Cheese Shop --

Located in the downtown river district, MACS has a menu loaded with options for both grown-up and kid tastes. Tip: The interior design of this diner is worth a visit, with its contemporary industrial feel punctuated with funky artwork, retro chairs and reclaimed barn wood for tables and countertops.

Chi-Town Pizza-

Here’s what you’ll find at this new downtown eatery: homemade, authentic pasta dishes, pizzas, sandwiches and desserts made from scratch - Old World-style. That’s our kind of Italian pizzeria. Dine in or carry out.

Otto’s Supper Club --

The building for this restaurant was too good for the owners to pass up, with views to the countryside and the Wisconsin River from the main dining room. Its menu is loaded with nostalgic favorites including their famous corn fritters with honey butter.

Double Cut Charcoal Grill/Liquor Bar at the Kalahari Resort --

The menu here departs from a classic steakhouse without chasing away traditionalists. Categories range from classic steaks and chops to seafood, including fresh tanked lobster. The atmosphere of the Liquor Bar and lounge reflect the feelings evoked by the wine and cocktail lists – sophisticated and multisensory, yet comfortable. Three unique group dining rooms provide flexibility and privacy to accommodate intimate gatherings of six all the way up to groups of 72.

Driftless Glen Distillery --

This working craft distillery, bar and restaurant is located in the nearby quaint community of Baraboo. In fact, it’s located right on the Baraboo River and shares a property line with Circus World. Whiskey will be the primary spirit produced here, plus they have bourbon, gin, vodka and moonshine, all made from local grains. Go for a tour and tasting and then dine on wood-fired pizzas.

Great Harvest Bread Co. --

The company has been baking scratch-made whole grain breads for 30 years, long before it became trendy. Stock up on the good stuff at the new neighborhood location in Wisconsin Dells.

Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.--

There are two new bottled beers in the Moosejaw line-up. Kilbourn Hop Ale pays tribute to the history of hops in the area with the first hop farm in Sauk County established in 1842 and the heart of the hops boom in Kilbourn City, now known as Wisconsin Dells. Hazel’s Nut House is a brown ale with rich malts that create a toffee and butterscotch flavor with hazelnut overtones. That brings the total of bottled beers at this microbrewery to four, plus they have ten microbrews on tap at all times.

Wollersheim Winery--

Their first batch of brandy proved so popular that they’re breaking ground on a new distillery right on the grounds of this historic winery. As production gets underway, try their new Tawny Port in the meantime.

R Place Italian Restaurant -

Suffering through a 1999 fire and 2013 flooding, R Place Italian Restaurant celebrates 20 years in business this year. The locally owned restaurant serves up authentic Italian four course meals that include soup, salad, main course, and sherbet. According to the owners, it’s easy to fill up on the warm bread and savory olive oil that are delivered to the table before the courses even begin, so be sure to save some room!

Native American Casinos in Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s Native American casinos offer visitors Vegas-style gaming – but that is just the beginning. Many of these state of the art facilities have “upped the ante” by adding attached hotels or resorts, live performance venues, gourmet restaurants and even meeting and convention facilities. With its urban location, expansive gaming floor and Vegas-style cabaret theater, its not surprising that Milwaukee’s Potawatomi Bingo Casino (1-800-PAYSBIG; www.paysbig.com) is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the state, drawing nearly four million visitors per year. The casino offers an 80,000 square-foot gaming floor, including table games such as poker, blackjack, craps and roulette, as well as more than 1,600 slot machines, a separate bingo hall and the non-smoking Sky Lodge gaming area. In the casino’s Northern Lights Theater, visitors can see some of America’s most popular contemporary musicians and comedians including acts like Lily Tomlin, Bonnie Raitt, David Lee Roth and Natalie Cole, along with impersonators, and holiday specials. Potawatomi Bingo Casino also features a Vegas-style sports book area, The Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill, as well as one of the state’s only four-star, four-diamond restaurants, Dream Dance. Dream Dance offers upscale dining featuring 100 percent true Japanese Kobe beef, Maine lobster and the restaurant’s own farm-raised venison – not to mention a 500-bottle, retail-priced wine list. For a Vegas-style, all-you-can-eat feast, The Buffet offers the best of American and ethnic cuisine.

Las Vegas-style revues and country stars such as Dwight Yoakam draw a wide range of audiences to the newly remodeled Ho-Chunk Casino (for information, call 1-800-746-2486, or check web site www.ho-chunk.com) in Baraboo, just outside of Wisconsin Dells. The Wo-Zha-Wa Sports Bar and Grille serves up traditional bar fare along with daily live music acts, while the gourmet Copper Oak restaurant offers a full range of delicacies and wines for every course. Guests can wake up to the family-friendly Sun Rise Café for hearty breakfasts (as well as standard sandwiches and salad fare all day) or indulge their appetites at The Stand Rock Buffet, which features weekly seafood and prime rib nights. The Ho-Chunk Casino complex, which features the state’s largest gaming floor, also includes a 300-room attached hotel with multiple meeting rooms, as well as The Wellness Center, a tribal-owned facility that operates as a combination private fitness center and medical facility.

Chart-topping acts like Aretha Franklin, Sawyer Brown and the Brian Setzer Orchestra headline the Oneida Casino (For information, call 1-800-238-4263, or check web site www.OneidaBingoAndCasino.net) in Green Bay. Located on the main gaming floor, the Casino Lounge offers a variety of country, rock and blues shows free of charge. Oneida Casino also offers two restaurants, the Standing Stone Buffet and the Pine Tree Grille.

A natural playground awaits guests at the Lake of the Torches Resort Casino (For information, call 1-800-25-TORCH, or check web site www.lakeofthetorches.com) in Lac du Flambeau. Set on the shores of a 10-lake chain, the casino attracts anglers in search of muskie and walleye as well as paddlers who canoe and kayak the silvery waters to the calls of the loons. Inside, the Eagles Nest restaurant serves up fish frys every day of the week, while the daily buffet features “Big City Brunches,” a Sunday special, and weekly seafood nights. Lake of the Torches also features the Woodland Oasis water recreation area, which has a 19-person hot tub and a kiddie pool. The resort’s theater hosts regional and national musical acts throughout the year. During the summer months, the resort holds outdoor concerts by the lake.

The Menominee Casino-Bingo-Hotel (For information, call 1-800-343-7778, or check web site www.menomineecasinoresort.com) in Keshena, hosts free live music every Wednesday through Saturday. The casino also offers The Forest Island Restaurant, which specializes in Native American cuisine. Visitors can embrace the Native American spirit in the Five Clan Gift and Smoke Shop.

At the St. Croix Casino and Hotel (For information, call 1-800-U-GO-U-WIN, or check web site www.stcroixcasino.com) in northwestern Wisconsin, complimentary live entertainment is offered every Friday and Saturday night. These free concerts, along with special events like onsite pow-wows, add variety to the already wide range of gaming opportunities at the casino. For an elegant, full-service dining experience, visitors can try an authentic Native American meal in the Me-Ki-Noc Restaurant. If visitors are looking for something more low-key they can partake in the TLC Buffet.

The Mohican North Star Casino (For information, call 1-800-775-CASINO, or check web site www.mohicannorthstar.com) in Bowler, offers entertainment by major national and regional acts. At Bayfield’s Isle Vista Casino (For information, call 1-800-226-8478, or check web site www.islevistacasino.net) the entertainment is strictly local: its popular Thursday night karaoke provides visitors with alternatives to traditional gaming. The Isla Vista Lounge also hosts occasional live musicians on weekends.

Native American fare tops the menu at Café Manoomin at Mole Lake Casino
(For information, call 1-800-236-WINN, or check web site www.molelake.com). Guests can dine on venison chili, try Indian tacos served on homemade fry bread, a tribal tradition, or sample manoomin (also known as wild rice). Local musical groups and celebrity impersonators also provide entertaining and often humorous reasons to leave the bingo halls or slot machines.

The Rainbow Casino (For information call 1-800-782-4560, or check web site www.rbcwin.com) located in Nekoosa offers over 650 reel games, progressives, video poker and jumbo games. Located on site is the Rainbow Grille & Banquet Center which can accommodate up to 250 people. Along with its casual dining atmosphere, the Center also offers a fine selection of steaks, seafood, salads, appetizers, Wisconsin cheese soup and other delectable entrees as well as a full service bar. Visitors can also take pleasure in a mid-day or late-night snack from the snack bar, without interrupting their winning streak. This quick-stop offers a variety of tasty sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts.

In northeastern Wisconsin, Carter’s Potawatomi Bingo Northern Lights Casino (For information, call 715/473-2021, or check web site www.cartercasino.com) offers live poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, wide-area progressives, video poker and bingo. Visitors looking to spend the night can stay at the Indian Springs Lodge and Restaurant located adjacent to the casino. The Northern Lights Casino is also home to the Fire Keeper Café and a convenience store located across the road with native tobacco products and groceries.

Just outside Madison, DeJope Gaming (for information, call 1-888-248-1777, or check web site www.dejope.com) offers class II slot machines. The casino also hosts a daily buffet from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. which features a traditional Wisconsin Friday night fish fry.

Nestled in Wisconsin's beautiful Lake Superior region, Bad River Lodge & Casino (For information, call 1-800-795-7121, or check web site www.badriver.com) features big-city casino action while offering all the comforts of home. The lodge is attached to the casino and is equipped with 50 rooms of standard double queen, king and Jacuzzi suites and is also handicap equipped. The casino’s Manomin Restaurant offers an array of ethnic foods, while its Gitchee Gumee Convention Center can seat up to 500 for banquets and 750 for theater-style occasions.

Hole in the Wall Casino and Hotel (For information, call 1-800-BET-U-WIN, or check web site www.stcroixcasino.com/HoleInTheWall) in Danbury, offers everything from sandwiches to steaks in the Loose Change Café. Guests can also satisfy their taste buds in the Hole in the Wall Saloon or the Happy Snapper Bar which serves drinks and snacks to those in the gaming room. The Hole in the Wall Hotel features 46 double queen rooms, a video arcade, a hospitality center, indoor pool and a Jacuzzi room.

Located in beautiful Jackson County Forest near Black River Falls, Majestic Pines Casino (For information, call 1-800-657-4621, or check web site www.mpcwin.com) offers a range of gaming opportunities as well as a popular snack bar and the Majestic Pines Buffet, which is open seven days a week.

Weekly Wisconsin snow conditions reports and free travel-planning guides, including the Wisconsin 2015 Winter Event & Recreation Guide, are available by visiting travelwisconsin.com or calling the Wisconsin Department of Tourism at 1-800-432-TRIP/8747. Travelers can also obtain free guides and information at the Wisconsin Welcome Centers, located in select state-border cities.


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