With Autumn just around the corner, it’s the perfect time of year to enjoy delicious, seasonal Wisconsin cuisine at local restaurants, festivals and community celebrations. Wisconsin’s world-famous cranberries are back in season and we’ve got a couple places to enjoy them!
Visit the “Cranberry Capital of Wisconsin” to attend “The World’s Largest Cranberry Festival” at the 48th annual Warrens Cranberry Festival (Monroe County) – September 24-26
Festivals are always a great place to enjoy unique food and you won’t want to miss this chance to celebrate Wisconsin’s state fruit. With just 75 booths, a total of 3,500 people attended the very first Warrens Cranberry Festival back in 1973. Today the event draws international attention, hosting more than 3,000 booths and welcoming more than 120,000 people to Warrens, WI! Did you know Wisconsin produces more than half of the world’s supply of cranberries and that Cranberry marshes help control erosion, filter water, slow the runoff of heavy rains and replenish underground aquifers? The cranberry has a large impact on Wisconsin’s economy. Wisconsin’s top fruit crop provides about 4,000 jobs and contributes approximately $330 million to the state’s economy. Cranberry festival attendees will be able to try countless cranberry culinary creations like Cranberry Crème Puffs, deep fried cranberries on a stick, cranberry kettle corn and so much more!
Spend the night in the heart of cranberry country at Three Bears Resort right in Warrens where you can splash and slide at the waterpark or relax in one of their many different sized rooms, suites and villas. Enjoy a meal in the gorgeous dining room at 1878 Restaurant at Three Bears Resort. On Fridays and Saturdays, guests can enjoy classic Wisconsin appetizers like cheese curds or the gigantic bearpaw pretzel while grabbing a local or domestic beer from the Cranbrew Pub attached to the restaurant. Try the Cranburger for dinner – Topped with pepper jack cheese, fried onion straws and their house made cran-apple compote on a warm ciabatta bun.
Journey to Pepin and Stockholm for unforgettable tastes and treats (Pepin County)
Situated on the beautiful marina in Pepin along the Mississippi river, Harbor View Café is an iconic foodie destination that has long set the standard in the Midwest for destination dining. A couple of their most famous dishes include the Halibut with Black Butter Caper Sauce or the Sautéed Chicken Breasts with roasted garlic chipotle sauce. Drive just 6 miles north along the river to Stockholm and you’ll find the famous and deeply cherished Stockholm Pie & General Store. Typically, you’ll find 20+ different varieties of pie, of course all made from scratch and unbelievably delicious. USA Today named it one of the 18 legendary pie shops in the US, while River Travel Magazine named Stockholm Pie the best pie on the Mississippi River!
Stay at a charming bed and breakfast near Lake Pepin at the Maiden Rock Inn where “sleeping at school is cool”. Once the Maiden Rock School in 1906, it has since been renovated to one of the most unique, artistic and sustainable B&B’s in the Driftless Region. All of the rooms have full private baths, 12’ high vintage tin ceilings and distinct personality
Get a taste of Creole and Cajun Louisiana cuisine in Manitowish Waters at the Blue Bayou Inn (Vilas County)
Grab an appetizer of Gator bites or seafood gumbo at this restaurant with a southern flair that’s been a staple in Manitowish Waters for the last 41 years! Restaurant founder and Chef Walter Mazur claims the Blue Bayou Inn is “as far north as the South will ever get.” Try the Blackened Catfish Etouffee or the Bayou Kitchen Jambalaya – a mix of rice, spicy chicken, shrimp, sausage and whatever else the chef sees fit. Visitors can grab a drink to go along with their meal at the Steamboat Lounge Bar, serving a wide selection of beer, wine and Louisiana specialty drinks like the Mint Julep. Perched right on Lake Manitowish, the restaurant offers beautiful views from inside as well as from the rustic lakeside deck.
If you’re in Manitowish Waters on a Friday morning this September, embark on a Cranberry tour and learn all about the state’s famous fruit. Tours start at 10am every Friday at the Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce and migrate to the Vilas Cranberry Co. where travelers can explore the intricate process of growing and harvesting Cranberries!
Stay the night at The Lodge at Manitowish Waters, a serene and tranquil setting for a weekend getaway. The luxurious rooms reflect the spirit of the Northwoods, furnished with pine and decorated with beautiful nature scenery. Head to Dixies Coffee House for a morning brew, to the spa for relaxation, or enjoy water activities like swimming, fishing and skiing on Rest Lake.
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For more great travel ideas and resources, visit TravelWisconsin.com or call 1-800-432-TRIP.