Experiencing fall in Wisconsin is as magical and fleeting as it is cool and cozy. Take advantage of the state’s beautiful natural areas and charming small-town adventures by exploring these hidden gems this season!
Before driving the Great River Road, start your weekend in downtown Prescott and grab dinner at Lucille’s, a trendy and charming community restaurant, known for great drinks and their cozy, dog friendly outdoor patio! Just a few minutes away, stay the night at Port of Prescott, a boutique hotel featuring chic, modern rooms graced with subtle wooden accents, making each suite feel like a cozy cabin dropped in the heart of the city.
Start your journey at the Great River Road Visitor and Learning Center at Freedom Park in Prescott. Located on top of a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River and its confluence with the St. Croix River, this a beautiful spot to gaze at the changing leaves or even spot a Bald Eagle! Then roll down the windows and travel along one of Wisconsin’s most scenic drives in the state along the Great River Road, recently named an All-American Road. Wisconsin’s 250 mile stretch winds along the Mississippi River through 33 historic towns, each with its own story and unique shops, restaurants and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
Check out the National Cheesemaking Center in Monroe (Green County)
Dubbed the “Cheese Capital of the U.S.A.”, travelers can visit the National Cheesemaking Center to explore the people, processes and history of cheese in Wisconsin. Along with countless varieties of cheeses to buy, visitors can step back in time more than 100 years to see their onsite restored cheese factory, once used to make Swiss, brick and limburger cheeses. Today, retired cheese makers team up with master cheesemakers to make a 90-pound wheel of Swiss cheese as it was done over a century ago.
Sample more cheese at Baumgartner’s, the oldest cheese store in the state, along with other delicious tavern food including cheese sandwiches, homemade soups and their “second best chili” – because nobody makes chili better than mom. Spend the night in Monroe at the recently renovated Gasthaus Motel, a local favorite known for its warm and friendly hospitality.
Venture to Calumet County for barn quilts, corn mazes and pumpkin patches
Explore Calumet County’s agricultural heritage by seeking out it’s many unique barn quilts, which are a representation of a quilt square painted on plywood and hung on a barn, all complimented by groves of trees displaying a beautiful fall color backdrop. A map of the barn quilts is included in the Calumet County Visitors Guide, or you can visit the county’s website to see the full listing and locations of the barn quilts.
One of the best October activities is carving a pumpkin, so make sure to pick the perfect pumpkin at Polly’s Pumpkin Patch in Chilton! Not only are there thousands of pumpkins to choose from, but families can also meander through the corn maze, glide down the 40-foot slide or pet some of Polly’s Pals in the barnyard including goats, cows, rabbits and mini-horses!
Enjoy a delicious dinner and spend the night at Schwarz’s Supper Club and Guest House. Try the genuine broaster chicken, marinated overnight and crisped to perfection, or the mouthwatering St. Anna’s onion rings, sweet, jumbo sized, hand cut and hand breaded onion rings. Schwarz’s Guesthouse is nestled in the quiet village of St. Anna and boasts 3 guest rooms, a large eat-in kitchen and screen porch where you can watch the sunset.
We love helping listeners dream up their next Wisconsin adventure, but please call ahead to businesses to check if their hours or offerings have changed and learn what necessary health precautions are in place.
For more great travel ideas and resources, visit TravelWisconsin.com or call 1-800-432-TRIP.