Wisconsin10 Top Things to See and Do inDoor County3} Fish Boil Several area7} Orchards Apple andrestaurants host Door County’straditional fisherman’s feast.For this part meal and partperformance, cooks boil freshwhitefish, red potatoes andonions in an enormous cast-ironkettle over an open fire. Tossingkerosene on the flames createsa fireball that signals it’s almosttime to eat. Save room for thesignature dessert—cherry pie.4}cherry orchards crosshatch theDoor peninsula and thrive in theinsulating climate of surroundingGreat Lakes waters. Visitors loadup on freshly picked fruit at farmstands that dot the countrysideas well as larger venues. Duringpeak season, Seaquist OrchardsFarm Market north of Sister Baysells more than 700 cherry pies aweek—plus cherry salsa, cherryvinaigrette dressing and dozensof other cherry creations.5} Plein Air PerformingSturgeon Bay Straddlingthe canal bisecting the DoorPeninsula, Sturgeon Bay plays adual role as a resort town andlongtime shipbuilding center.Shipyards along the shore andhuge freighters passing throughthe canal add to the nauticalair. The Door County MaritimeMuseum has hands-on exhibits(steer a steamship!) and tours ofdocked vessels.Art Galleries DoorCounty scenes have inspiredcountless artists, and morethan 100 galleries line MainStreets and back roads. With amain building inspired by DoorCounty’s octagonal barns, ThePeninsula School of Art serves asa hub for the area’s art colony.Visitors can view exhibits orregister for workshops. Guidedtours available on Fridays.PHOTOGRAPH: david orndorfCana Island Lighthouse, Bailey’s HaborWedged between thesheltered waters of GreenBay and the vast expanseof Lake Michigan, DoorCounty long has rankedas one of the Midwest’smost popular vacationdestinations. The ragged300-mile shoreline oftentakes center stage, dottedwith winsome villages, busymarinas, bluffs, beaches andall sorts of inns and resorts.Bayside towns feature shops,restaurants and galleriesthat contribute to a rich artscene. The Lake Michiganshore is the peninsula’s sidewith quaint towns, beachesand wetlands. The interioroffers its own charms, fromorchards to galleries andsummer stock theater.1}Lighthouses Ten historiclighthouses punctuate theshores of Door County, andseveral are open to the publicin summer months. One of theeasiest to visit is Eagle Bluff, an1868 beauty in Peninsula StatePark. Tours offered daily duringsummer. At Cana Island Light inBailey’s Harbor, part of the fun isgetting there: Visitors walk acrossa rocky causeway to the island.2} Hiking in State ParksFive state parks showcaseDoor County’s natural beauty.Explore rocky coves and sandyarcs at Newport State Park nearNorthport, high bluffs aboveGreen Bay at Peninsula StatePark and golden beaches atWhitefish Dunes State Park. Atnearby Cave Point, Lake Michiganwaves boom and shatter against50-foot-high limestone ledges.Arts Open-air stage shows area great way to spend a DoorCounty evening. Peninsula PlayersTheatre is the country’s oldestprofessional resident summertheater, producing Broadwayshows on the shore of GreenBay. Everyone gathers around abonfire at intermission. AmericanFolklore Theatre performs originalmusical comedies under a canopyof trees and stars at the PeninsulaState Park Amphitheatre.8}9} Cycling in PeninsulaState Park The 9.6-mileSunset Trail offers a greatintroduction to Peninsula StatePark, which juts into Green Baybetween Fish Creek and Ephraim.The relatively flat gravel trailbegins at the Fish Creek entranceand winds along the westernand northern parts of the park,through forest, over marsh andrarely far from bay waters.6} Iconic Restaurants10} Washington IslandThe diverse dining sceneincludes landmarks that havebeen delighting visitors forgenerations. In Sister Bay, AlJohnson’s Swedish Restaurantis loved for Swedish pancakesand lingonberries along withlive goats that nibble on thebuilding’s sod roof. Wilson’sRestaurant and Ice Cream Parlorhas been an Ephraim institutionsince 1906. Order flame-broiledburgers, freshly brewed root beerand ice cream cones that comewith a jellybean in the bottom.This 35-square-mile island restsoff the tip of Door County, justa half-hour ferry ride acrossthe once-treacherous watersthat mariners dubbed “Death’sDoor.”Cycling is a great wayto explore quiet roads andreach attractions like the FarmMuseum, traditional NorwegianStavkirke (church), the Art andNature Center and island beaches. log0shadow
Wisconsin10 Top Things to See and Do inMinocquaand passes bogs on a 2.5-mileloop around the wilderness lake.3} Water SpectaclesSince 1950, the Min-Aqua BatsWater Ski Club has hosted freewater ski shows on MinocquaLake. Check out the graceful,and sometimes daring, moves atthe Aqua Bowl on Wednesday,Friday and Sunday throughoutthe summer. In nearby Woodruff,Scheer’s Lumberjack Show wowsspectators with demonstrationsof log rolling, axe-throwing,speed carving and other tricks ofthis traditional Wisconsin trade.4} Trophy Fish Whether it’sa hobby or a passion, anglingfor Wisconsin’s big game fish,the muskellunge, brings manyto Minocqua. With a strongtorpedo-like body and ferociouslooking teeth, the muskie is alegendary fighter. Local shopscan provide the beefy gear youneed and direct you to productivewaters, like Trout Lake andLac du Flambeau.PHOTOGRAPH: John noltnereua LakMinocqIt’s fitting that the townof Minocqua rises on apeninsula nearly surroundedby Minocqua Lake. The NorthWoods community servesas a hub for this vacationarea and its more than 3,000lakes. There’s more waterthan land in this region,which boasts one of thegreatest concentrations ofglacial lakes in the world.No wonder families havebeen vacationing here forgenerations. Tap into thatheritage at old-time supperclubs and mom-and-popresorts tucked into the pines.Visitors return every yearto their favorite cabin orresort. Anglers come backfor trophy-size muskie andnorthern pike.1} Canoeing andKayaking With more than3,000 lakes, paddlers can explorea lifetime worth of canoeingand kayaking destinations in theMinocqua area. In the NorthernHighland American Legion StateForest, 19 designated wildernesslakes like the Partridge Lake WildArea make for especially placidpaddling, free of powerboatsand shoreline development. Baldeagles and osprey often glaredown from treetops, scanningthe lake for fish.2} Hiking Inhale the headyscent of sun-warmed pines inthe Northern Highland AmericanLegion State Forest. Nearly80 miles of trails stitch throughthick forests of hemlock, pine,spruce and fir. The hilly FallisonLake Nature Trail wanders overa spongy carpet of pine needles5} Supper Clubs Minocquahideouts like Minocqua’s NorwoodPines Supper Club, nearly hiddenin a cluster of red pines.7}Loons The hauntingwail of the common loon is thesoundtrack of the North Woods.The whistling warble seems todance across area lakes eachevening. Contrary to its name,the loon is not all that common.This fish-eating, diving birddemands cool, clear water andundeveloped shores for nesting—all common in these lakelands.8} Bearskin State TrailThis 18-mile crushed-gravel pathfollows an abandoned railroadgrade, stretching from Minocquasouth toward Rhinelander. Therelatively flat route wandersthrough forest and along adozen lakes, crossing BearskinCreek several times on woodenbridges and railroad trestles.Watch for white-tailed deer,which are common, and even theoccasional black bear.9} Wildwood Wildlifeis the perfect place to experiencea classic Wisconsin supperclub. Although the definition isdecidedly hazy, these eateries arehomey, casual gathering spotsoften with a 1960s feel andlocated along a highway outsideof town. Menus include disheslike prime rib and a Friday nightfish fry. Ever-popular choices inMinocqua include Bosacki’s onUS-51 and Mama’s on WI-70.Park Kids can feed all kindsof critters—from goats tocamels—at this park that’s partpetting zoo and part educationalcenter. While some of the animalsand birds are in enclosures, othersroam next to trails. The complexincludes a train ride, paddleboatlake and trout pond. One of thenewest attractions is the ParakeetBudgie Encounter, a walkthrough aviary with hundreds oftame parakeets.6} Gangster Legends10} Ojibwe CultureFamous gangsters, such as JohnDillinger, Baby Face Nelson, AlCapone and Bugs Moran, hid outin the Wisconsin North Woods inthe 1930s, a story documentedin Johnny Depp’s 2009 film,Public Enemies. The WisconsinDepartment of Tourism providesan online map showing PublicEnemies filming locations, aswell as some real-life gangsterWaswagoning brings to lifethe culture and traditions of theregion’s native Ojibwe people atthis 20-acre re-created village onthe shores of Moving Cloud Lake.Each birchbark lodge interpretsan aspect of Ojibwe life, fromcanoe building to hide tanningand weaving. Tours are availableTuesday through Saturday,June through August.
Wisconsin10 Top Things to See and Do inBayfield3} Madeline Island The7} Old Rittenhouse Innferry from Bayfield takes just 15minutes to reach this largest andbest known of the Apostle Islands(and the only one not part ofthe national lakeshore). The boatdocks at La Pointe, the only town,with a few shops, restaurantsand a museum that recounts theisland’s history as a fur tradingpost. Drive or cycle to Big BayState Park, where protectedwaters draw swimmers, birdwatchers and campers.There isn’t a better place to enjoythe beauty of this region thanon the wraparound porch ofthis mansion. A favorite bedand-breakfast inn, this 1892Queen Anne is also a primeexample of Bayfield’s Victorianarchitecture. The community’sbounty of mansions are proof ofthe wealth generated here in the19th century, when Bayfield wasa successful lumbering, shippingand fishing center.4} Big Top Chautauqua8} Bayfield HeritageSometimes called the CarnegieHall of tent shows, the LakeSuperior Big Top Chautauquahas performed under anold-fashioned big top southof Bayfield since 1986. Thepopular tent show features somebig-name musical talent andwonderful dramatic musicalslike Keeper of the Light, withimages and songs about LakeSuperior history.The Brownstone TrailPHOTOGRAPH: kevin J. miyazaki/redux5} Bayfield MaritimePerched on a hillside,Bayfield commands views ofthe Apostle Islands NationalLakeshore. Twenty-twowooded islands scatter justoffshore like emeralds in asapphire sea. Bayfield makesan excellent base camp forexploring the Apostles andthe Lake Superior shore.Start at the National ParkVisitor Center, housed inthe old brownstone countycourthouse. Shops, galleries,restaurants and museumscluster along the curvinglakefront and the MainStreet, while inns climb thehills for scenic views. Atthe busy marina, ferries,sailboats and kayaks aim forthe islands, a destination foradventurers of all skill levels.1}Kayak Trips Sea kayaksmay be the best way to explorethe Apostle Islands. They’reseaworthy enough to handleopen-water passages betweenislands and nimble enough toexplore the sandstone ledges andcaves along the island shores.Outfitters like Living Adventureoffer day trips, or multidaypaddling and camping adventures,that even beginners can handle.2} Apostle Islands BoatTour Apostle Island Cruisesoffers a variety of narrated toursthrough the Apostle Islandsarchipelago, past rich russetsandstone formations and thehistoric lighthouses, a few ofwhich are open for tours insummer months. Some of theitineraries allow stops for an houror two to let passengers explorethe islands on foot.Museum Designed to resemblea old shipyard building, thismuseum on the south end ofFirst Street celebrates Bayfield’s150 years of Great Lakes history.Experience exhibits and hands-ondemonstrations on boatbuilding,commercial fishing, sailor crafts,shipwrecks and lighthouses.6}You-Pick Farms Familyowned apple orchards formtidy rows along the ridge aboveBayfield. Many visitors come infall to choose from dozens ofyou-pick varieties, along withpies, jams, caramel apples andother homemade goodies. Butspring serves up its own delights.White blossoms cover the trees,and the air is thick with theirsweet, juicy scent. More to see:Hauser’s Superior View Farm sellsflowers; pick fruit at Blue VistaFarm, which practices sustainablefarming; pick strawberries andapples at Erickson’s Orchard.Tours These 90-minute walkingtours highlight Bayfield’s historicsites. Costumed guides assumethe identities of men and womenwho lived in Bayfield and offerwonderful insights into thepersonalities who settled thetown and helped it grow. Mosttours begin at Bayfield’s CarnegieLibrary. Reservations required.9} Bicycling In and aroundthe town, bicycling is popularwith families. Rent bikes for anhour or the day at Bayfield BikeRoute, which offers maps withsuggested routes around thearea based on skill level. Hopon the Brownstone Trail, an oldrailroad grade, for an easy 5-mileride along Lake Superior. Forlonger rides, try these trails: SandLoop with views of the ApostleIslands (27 miles), hilly Star RouteRoad (20 miles), newly pavedBrinks (40 miles).10} Memorable MealsThe setting and generations-oldvacation tradition inspire all sortsof restaurants that could qualifyas getaways on their own. Threefavorites, all owned by Bayfieldlegend, and heiress to AndersenWindows, Mary Rice: The Egg TossBakery Cafe, a local breakfaststaple; Wild Rice Restaurant forfine dining in a sleek setting;and Maggie’s, a fusion of quirkydecor, Wisconsin favorites andfresh offerings like specialty pizza.
Wisconsin10 Top Things to See and Do inMilwaukeeBradford Beach is one of themost popular, a 30-acre countypark on the city’s near north side,with sand volleyball courts and aJet Ski concession.3} Summerfest and otherWaterfront FestivalsMilwaukee’s lakefront comes alivewith music and ethnic foods eachsummer. Summerfest started itall. The 10-day event held at theHenry W. Maier Festival Groundsranks as one of the largestmusic fests in the nation. Thesite also hosts a stream of ethnicfestivals—including German Festand Polish Fest—with music,food and crafts that reflectMilwaukee’s melting pot.4}PHOTOGRAPH: bob stefkoMilwaukee ArtMuseumWisconsin’s largest city looksthe part, with a skylinethat rises from the scenicshores of Lake Michiganand the Milwaukee River.Even though the metropopulation tops 2 million,Milwaukee still charmsvisitors with its authenticethnic neighborhoods. Arecent renaissance has addeda sophisticated spark, too.The vibe is especially evidentalong the Milwaukee River,the historic Third Ward southof downtown, and the LakeMichigan waterfront, wherean expanded art museum,new maritime museum,cruise ship center, and parksand paths combine to form agrowing cultural corridor andappealing public spaces.1} Milwaukee ArtMuseum This populardestination along the lakefrontis a stunner inside and out.Famed Spanish architect SantiagoCalatrava designed its eyecatching Quadracci Pavilion andits moving brise soleil—72 steelfins that unfurl from the roof likethe wings of a gull, stretching200 feet. The moving sculpturegoes into graceful action everyday at opening, noon andclosing, weather permitting.Permanent works include piecesby artists such as Andy Warhol,Georgia O’Keeffe, Edgar Degas,Winslow Homer and more.2} Lakefront Milwaukeemakes the most of its LakeMichigan setting, with severalbeaches, parks, bike paths andgreenspaces providing plentyof public access to the lake.Miller Park The NationalLeague Milwaukee Brewersplay in stunning Miller Park.The stadium features a largeretractable dome with glasspanels that allow for a naturalturf ball diamond. In keepingwith the city’s heritage, fanscheer mascot Bernie Brewer andsing along to Roll Out the Barrelat the seventh-inning stretch.5} German FoodMilwaukee celebrates its mix ofimmigrant cultures, but Germandominates along Old WorldThird Street downtown. That’swhere you’ll find Usinger’s, thenation’s preeminent sausagemaker, and Mader’s, the place toorder authentic sauerbraten andoxtail soup. Across the river, KarlRatzsch’s is a perennial fine-diningfavorite, famous for Rouladen,schnitzel and roast goose.6} Brewery HeritageHardworking German immigrantsbuilt Milwaukee’s venerablebrewing industry, which onceproduced a third of the nation’sbeer. Miller Brewing Co. offerstours combining historicalstops with a look at modernbeer making at its downtownMilwaukee plant. Pabst Mansiontours offer a look at the opulenthome of another beer baron.7} Friday Night Fish FryCome Friday night, high-enddining rooms and corner tavernsalike serve fish fillets dredged inbeer batter and deep-fried. Enjoyyours with French fries and coleslaw or maybe German potatosalad. Most traditional is lakeperch, though Icelandic cod hasbecome prevalent. Add a localbeer for a meal as Milwaukee asyou can get.8} The Historic ThirdWard A steady parade of newresidents, restaurants, shopsand galleries has revampedMilwaukee’s warehouse districtjust a few blocks south ofdowntown. The area’s vibrantatmosphere comes with acreative flair, thanks to theBroadway Theatre Center andMilwaukee Institute of Art andDesign. Another neighborhoodfavorite is the block-longMilwaukee Public Market, filledwith nearly two dozen specialtymerchants. Browse antiques andmore from some 50 dealers atRiverview Antique Market.9} Harley DavidsonMuseum A 20-acre museumcomplex celebrates this proudlyAmerican motorcycle company,founded in Milwaukee more thana century ago. Interactive galleriesinclude a room with touchscreens that release each historicengine’s rumble and anotherthat lets visitors sit atop a “hog”while footage of farms, lakes andrivers washes across a 180-degreemovie screen.10} Frozen CustardRich, creamy frozen custard is atradition in the Dairy State. Orderup a cone or malt at custardstands like Leon’s, Gilles andKopp’s, Milwaukee institutionsthat inspired Big Al’s Drive-In ofHappy Days fame.
Wisconsin10 Top Things to See and Do inMadison and surrounding areaSustain-a-Burger, and freshlypicked veggies become thesoup of the day at L’Etoile.U of W students stand inline for the scrambler andpancakes at Mickie’s Dairy Barwhile a trendier crowd nibblestapas at the Icon. Head todowntown State Street for ethnicrestaurants or Bavaria Sausageto taste Wisconsin’s heritage.Recent favorites on the foodiescene include Sardine, The OldFashioned, Opa Cafe and Lounge,and Daisy Cafe & Cupcakery.3} University ofPHOTOGRAPH: bob stefkoThe Dane County Farmers MarketWedged between glitteringlakes, Madison would beworth a visit for its settingalone. But visitors quicklydiscover many reasons toenjoy Wisconsin’s quirkycapital city: unique shops andethnic dining, an increasinglyvibrant performing artsscene, University of Wisconsincultural and sporting events,and plenty of outdoorpursuits, from cycling tosailing. It’s a city that artfullyblends a hip, cosmopolitansensibility with a breezy,outdoorsy playfulness. Whena governor’s aide oncesuggested that “Madison is60 square miles surroundedby reality,” laid-backMadisonians took it as acompliment.1} The Dane CountyFarmers Market Consideredthe largest producer-only farmersmarket in the nation, it’s hard totop both the food quality and thesetting of this Saturday-morninginstitution. More than 100farmers and other vendors fromsouth-central Wisconsin line theeight leafy blocks of the CapitalSquare to sell everything fromsweet corn to fresh cheese curds.2} The Restaurant SceneCombine this city’s creative spiritand the farm-fresh ingredientsavailable in the surroundingcountryside and from the city’slegendary farmers market, andyou get a dazzling menu ofeateries. No matter your taste,budget or ethics, Madison servesa meal to match. Great DaneBrewing Company appealsto eco-eaters with its all-localWisconsin Campus Thestate’s flagship academicinstitution has a picturesquesetting along the south shoreof Lake Mendota. Highlightsinclude the lakeside terrace atthe Memorial Union, the woodedpeninsula of Picnic Point, theviews from Bascom Hall andthe freshly churned ice creamfrom the Dairy Science building,Babcock Hall. The university offersguided walking tours daily.4} S