Unique Places in Wisconsin

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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Wisconsin

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    Cedarburg

    by traveldave Updated Aug 4, 2012

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    The historic town of Cedarburg is located about 20 minutes north of Milwaukee. Visitors are attracted to specialty shops, fine dining, and quaint inns located in buildings dating from the 1800s which are located along the town's well-preserved Main Street and Cedar Creek Settlement.

    The first settler in the area that would become Cedarburg was Frederick August Leuning, who built a cabin on the bank of Cedar Creek in 1843. He called his cabin Cedarburg. In 1845, Frederick Hillgen and William Schroeder founded the village of Cedarburg at the site where they had built a gristmill one year previously. After five years of operation, they replaced the original modest structure with the five-story Cedarburg Mill, which soon became the focal point of the community. Eventually five mills and dams were built along the section of Cedar Creek that now runs through the downtown area. The largest and most important of these mills was the Cedarburg Woollen Mill. Built in 1864, it was the largest mill west of Philadelphia.

    The Cedarburg Woollen Mill closed in 1968, leaving many vacant and abandoned buildings in the heart of Cedarburg. They were scheduled to be demolished, but at the last minute one of the buildings was bought and converted into a restaurant. Not long after, the buildings along the creek were purchased to house a winery. Eventually all of the buildings that made up the former mill were preserved as the Cedar Creek Settlement, and they were rented out for shops, restaurants, and art galleries and studios. These new business owners got together to host many weekend festivals, which attracted enough tourists to turn around Cedarburg's economy.

    Nowadays, 216 buildings of the town's Main Street are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Main Street and the Cedar Creek Settlement contain over 70 specialty shops, boutiques, and art galleries; 23 unique restaurants, pubs, and coffee houses; and several inns which offer Victorian, country-style, and period accommodations.

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    Door County - Ellison Bay scenic lookout

    by dlandt Written Aug 13, 2011

    South of Ellison Bay, about two miles off of Hwy 42, half of it through the forest, you come to a small county park that has a scenic lookout over the shore of Lake Michigan. Stone bluffs and forested lake shore make for some fine views and there is a limited picnic area if you want to avoid eating out.

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    The charming town of Algoma

    by dlandt Written Aug 13, 2011

    Whenever I'm going to or from Door County I like to stop in Algoma for two things. first, there is a place called Bearcats that smokes fish and sells it from a deli counter. They do it up right and the fish remains moist with a light coat outside, full of flavor without any trace of chemicals or artificial smoke. Second, there is a winery in town named Von Stiehl's and it is actually a very good one. Founded by a doctor over forty years ago they've gotten quite good and have never entirely done away with wrapping their bottles in cast material. They hire pretty girls for the counter, have nice wines, have a shady seating and rest area on the riverfront, sometimes with music or food pairings and just generally run a nice establishment. I like the fume` and meritage but everything is good including the wide range of fruit wines. The building is also a historic registry site.

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    A fine winery NW of Madison in Sauk City

    by dlandt Written Aug 27, 2009

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    There are wineries and then there are wineries. A lot of these country wine makers are only so-so, but Wollersheim fit my ideal. They have a beautiful estate with finely maintained Italian style buildings, well kept grounds and (very important) a pleasant place to relax and drink wine. The wines they mnake are also very good, plus the (French) owner partners with is brother who makes wine in Italy to double the vintages available. Wollersheim prides itself on its fumee` blanc, but also has runs of sangiovese, pinot noir and others. Well-equipped, professionally staffed and with elaborate tastings, you can't go wrong with Wollersheim. Very few can compare. They also offer tours.

    I have come to consider myself very exprienced in the country winery expeditions and this one rates right up there at the top. The Oliver winery in Indiana and Wollersheim in Wisconsin have to vie for first place.

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    The State Capitol Building

    by traveldave Updated Aug 28, 2007

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    The Wisconsin State Capitol Building in Madison is actually the state's third capitol. The first stood for 25 years, from 1838 to 1863. The original building was replaced by a larger capitol, which was largely destroyed by fire in 1904. The current building was designed by the architectural firm of George D. Prost & Sons, and was constructed between 1906 and 1917.

    The interior of the capitol building features 43 types of stone from around the world, decorative murals, glass mosaics, and hand-carved furniture.

    The dome is the only granite dome in the United States, and is the largest by volume, even surpassing that of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The dome is topped by Daniel Chester French's gilded bronze statue, Wisconsin.

    The capitol building houses the Office of the Governor, the Governor's Conference Room, both houses of the state legislature, and the State Supreme Court.

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    Platteville, Wisconsin Tourist Information

    by deecat Updated Jun 28, 2007

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    When Jill and I decided on "the-spur-of-the moment" to take a day trip to Platteville, Wisconsin from our Time Share in Galena, Illinois, we knew that we would have to stop at the Information Center to obtain the directions to the "Hidden Quilt Shop" that we were looking for.

    The Information Center/Chamber of Commerce at Platteville, Wisconsin, is quite unique...it looks like a log cabin. It is situated on a main highway and is right beside a place called "Katie's Garden" which is a delightful garden that is considered "the Gateway of the Platteville Community Arboretum". Now, this arboretum borders the Rountree Branch Bike/Pedestrian Trail that runs from the University of Wisconsin/Platteville through the city itself. {see third photo]

    At the Information Center, we received a map, and the girl there marked the map to the location of the "Hidden Quilt Shop". She also pointed the way to The Timbers Restaurant and Lounge where we wished to eat lunch.

    While there, we discovered about the origin of the famous M, a monument to the Engineering Department of Wisconsin State University-Platteville.

    When in Platteville, Wisconsin, be sure to visit the helpful Tourist Information/Chamber of Commerce.

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    Six Flags Great America

    by AVG2319 Written May 27, 2007

    This is actually located in Gurnee, IL but is an easy hour drive from Milwaukee, making Six Flags a very popular spot to visit in the summer. This is the mother of all theme parks! There are rides for everyone here huge huge roller coasters, thrill rides, water rides, kids rides, etc
    We use to go here every summer as a kid, as a matter of fact this is where I went on my "first date" with my husband. When he said he didn't like the wooden roller coaster "american eagle" I knew we would work together :-)

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    Visit a cheese factory

    by Joyce_J. Written Jan 18, 2007

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    Some of the best cheese is made right here in Wisconsin. One of the best treats of all is to take the family to a cheese factory where you can watch them make the various kinds of cheese. Then you also get to sample the product. Try to get there on the day they make either cheese curds or string cheese. Call ahead to find out their cheese making schedule. My favorite place to stop is a small cheese factory in the little town of Zittau WI. Blink too fast while traveling through town and you'll miss it. It used to be on Hwy 10 between Oshkosh and Winchester. Now it is on a side road, since they bypassed it with the new Hwy 10. The Store Factory is called Union Star Cheese Factory, Zittau WI. You can buy your favorite cheese, sausage, butter etc right there and take it home with you. Favorites are Garlic dill cheese, medium colby, fresh string cheese and of course, Wisconsin cheese curds....they squeek when you bite into the fresh ones....fun!

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    Painted Cows of?@New Glarus

    by dlandt Written Jun 8, 2005

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    For some reason I don't know, New Glarus has decorated the town with painted cows. I like this one, despite the nazi-like sign declaring you can't touch it. If it is so damned valuable, why do they leave it out in the rain? The Swiss cross on its forhead is cute.

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    Alpacas or Llamas

    by dlandt Written Jun 3, 2005

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    When you drive through Wisconsin, you always find the oddest things in the oddest places. This picture was taken a little west of Mount Hebron, and features a herd of alpacas or llamas (OK, I don't know the difference, I'm not Peruvian, so sue me) that seemed as eager to look at us as we were to look at them.

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    Kerrigan Brothers (Fruit) Winery

    by dlandt Updated Jun 2, 2005

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    Kerrigan Brothers makes fruit wines, which are somewhat unique to this part of the country. At least, you might not find any kind of concentration of them in many other places. They make a range of wines covering a variety of fruits and the spectrum of sweet to dry. Cherry seemed to be dominant alone or in combination. They also made the first tomato wine I've ever seen. This is unique, its worth a little visit, and the man in the photo is also a Master Cheese Carver, winning awards in this very local art.

    They are located just off Hwy 41 about a mile north of Appleton in Little Chute. You'll need to take local Hwy N (Freedom Something) and turn west for about a mile, maybe a bit more

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    Port Washington Area

    by deecat Updated May 20, 2005

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    Another area close to Milwaukee is the Port Washington area, but you will think that you are in the East, not the Midwest.

    The town itself is combination of a New England fishing village with its quaint charm, but you'll love its Midwestern friendliness. It, too, is on the shores of Lake Michigan (about 30 miles north of Milwaukee).

    It has a lovely and historic downtown that was recently named to the National Register of Historic Places.

    HIGHLIGHTS::

    1. One of largest fishing fleets on the Great Lakes.

    2. Beautiful golf course overlooking the Lake.

    3. Art deco lighthouse.

    4. A breakwall you can walk.

    5. Commercial fisherman's memorial in Rotary Park.

    6. Self-guided walking tours available.

    7. First man-made harbor in North America.

    8. Pebble House (Visitor Center)

    9. Eghart House (Victorian )

    10 Beautiful Marina

    11 Town filled with pre-Civil War buildings

    12 St. Mary's Church (1884)

    13 Lightstation and Museum

    We did not have time enough to truly visit this lovely area. It will be saved for a future visit.

    Brochure photograph

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    Mequon Area

    by deecat Updated May 20, 2005

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    Located on the western shores of Lake Michigan twenty minutes from downtown Milwaukee is a small town called Mequon and its surrounding area.

    It has lake bluffs, stately homes, lush farmland, and lots of open space.

    The town of Mequon is an old German community settled in 1842. The Germans were farmers who shared the land with Pottawatomie & Menominee Indian tribes.

    There are about 22,000 people in Mequon today.

    Points of Interest::

    Concordia University

    Milwaukee Area Technical College (North Campus)

    Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary

    The Ozaukee Interurban (Trail begins in Mequon.)

    3 Country Clubs and one public Golf Course

    Specialty Shops

    Shopping Plazas

    German Festival (last weekend of June)

    Natural beauty abounds in Mequon area, especially near the Lake Bluffs.

    Take time to explore the area.

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    A small cheesemaker in a small town W of Sheboygan

    by dlandt Updated Feb 5, 2005

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    Gibbsville is about ten miles due west of I-43, and is reached through a series of local access roads that don't pose a real problem to navigate. We dropped in here to go to the cheese factory, and it turned out to be the my favorite at the end of the day. They don't seem to use chemicals when they make the cheese, and there are about 50 different kinds to choose from. They let you taste them, and 20 pieces later, I can say they make fine mozzarella and excellent Edam and Gouda. The price here is about 60% of what you'll find anywhere else. This place is really small, in a really small town, but worth the visit.

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    Lautenbach's

    by dlandt Written Mar 31, 2004

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    Lautenbach's is a small winery and general country store located not far from Fish Creek, atthe far end of the peninsula. The standard wines were OK, but nothing struck me enough to buy it for the prices asked. In addition to the fruit wines the region is known for, which were very good they make fresh apple cider, another thing Wisconsin is known for. Their prices are average and the owners friendly. They carry a wide assortment of homemade fudge and beef jerkies, as well as cheeses, pies, and other country delicacies.

    Lautenbach's is located near Fish Creek at 9179 Hwy 42, NE of Sturgeon Bay

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Wisconsin Off The Beaten Path

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