ATTRACTIONS BY CITY

Visit the Best in Madison WI area things to do and attractions arranged by city and communities in the Madison area.

As you travel the region, check BestInMadison.com for information on Madison attractions and things to do including the arts, biking, boating, breweries, dining, education, events, festivals, golf, hiking, horse and sleigh rides, lakes, rivers, museums, parks, shopping, skiing, snowshoeing, spas, tourism and wineries.

WISCONSIN:

* Fall Foliage is everywhere in the Madison WI Area from late September 

thru much of October. Experience Fall Foliage in Wisconsin in Madison and South Central Wisconsin’s rolling hills and varieties of trees offering unequaled Fall Color – especially in parks and the countryside. * Uplands of Southwest Wisconsin – The Uplands are the most beautiful part of Wisconsin. Uplands refers to the area of Wisconsin left untouched by the glaciers. On the East edge is Basco just South of vibrant Madison and the Western edge is the Mississippi River.The region is also known as the Driftless Area for its’ beautiful rolling Hills and hidden valleys which attracted immigrants to the region who created small ethnic communities throughout the region that you will want to visit along with nearby attractions and things to do.

ALBANY:

* S&B Tubing – http://sandbtubing.com – is located on state highway 59, right on the beautiful sugar river – 100 East Main, Albany, WI – 608-862-3933.

BARABOO:

ALDO LEOPOLD LEGACY CENTER – The award winning Aldo Leopold Legacy Center green building offers energy conservation in design and uses energy most efficiently for its office space, meeting rooms, exhibit space and a document archive. In addition, the Legacy Center makes an outstanding commitment to land stewardship and how we can reduce our impact on the environment. Aldo Leopold was an ecologist, environmentalist, forester, and professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and helped develop concepts in environmental and land ethics. He wrote many essays that were collected in the Sand County Almanac. Leopold defined conservation as a way of life. People can partnership with the land to sustain the health, wildness, and productivity of the land both locally and globally without spoiling it. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center offers programs on land management, controlling invasive species, using prescribed burning in the woods, prairie management and forest management. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is located at E13701 Levee Road, Baraboo, Wisconsin. Call 608-355.029.

CIRCUS WORLD MUSEUM

* (33 miles NW of Madison), Sauk County. Circus World offers a visitor center, programs and displays of the circus experience. Explore the vast collections of authentic circus wagons, advertising posters, and other big top memorabilia saluting over 200 years of the American circus. It was the original winter quarters of the Ringling Bros circus. It is a National Landmark Site including the original buildings of the Ringling Bros Circus. Circus World Museum – 550 Water St, Baraboo, WI – 608.356.8341

Crane Foundation is 38 miles NW of Madison at Baraboo, Sauk County, WI. The Foundation preserves all 15 Species of Cranes in the World and their ecosystems. The International Baraboo headquarters consists of 225 acres where research, captive breeding and reintroduction, landscape restoration and education works to safeguard the world/s crane species and inspire inter nation cooperation for protection of millions of acres of wetlands and grasslands. Over 25,000 people visit the headquarters annually that offers a home to about 100 cranes, live crane exhibits, in interactive education center, visitor center, research library, nature trails and guided and self-guided tours. The International Crane Foundation is located at E11376 Shady Lane Road, Baraboo, WI – 608-356-9462.  

Devil’s Lake State Park is about 35 miles NW of Madison and is a very popular park with over 9000 acres, spectacular views, 500-foot cliffs, miles of hiking (lower lake and upper bluff trails), mountain bike trails, great rock climbing and two beaches. The Devil’s Lake State Park is located at – S5975 Park Rd, Baraboo, WI – 608-356-8301.

Leopold Legacy Center – The award winning Aldo Leopold Legacy Center green building offers energy conservation in design and uses energy most efficiently for its office space, meeting rooms, exhibit space and a document archive. In addition, the Legacy Center makes an outstanding commitment to land stewardship and how we can reduce our impact on the environment. Aldo Leopold was an ecologist, environmentalist, forester, and professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and helped develop concepts in environmental and land ethics. He wrote many essays that were collected in the Sand County Almanac. Leopold defined conservation as a way of life. People can partnership with the land to sustain the health, wildness, and productivity of the land both locally and globally without spoiling it. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center offers programs on land management, controlling invasive species, using prescribed burning in the woods, prairie management and forest management. The Aldo Leopold Legacy Center is located at E13701 Levee Road, Baraboo, Wisconsin. Call 608-355.029.

Wisconsin Opry – Dinners and shows. E10964 Moon Road, Baraboo, Sauk County, WI – 608.254.7951 – Country music.

BARNEVELD: (26 miles west of Madison)

Botham Vineyards Winery is a countryside winery east of Barneveld offering award-winning wines in the Iowa County Uplands region on 900 acres of nature conservancy where Botham Vineyards grows and produces its grapes and wines. Designed and built as a dairy farm in the early 1900, the circa-1900 hung barn was lovingly refurbished, and now houses the tasting room, gallery, gift shop and Back-Barn Lounge. An outdoor terrace provides spectacular view of the countryside. The old cattle shed provides office space. A 5000-square-foot new winery building was built in 2002. An annual vintage car show is a proud tradition at the Botham Winery. The Botham Vineyards & Winery is located at 8180 Langberry Rd, Barneveld, Wisconsin – 608.924.1412.

BASCO

Badger State Trail – (6 SW of Madison) – Verona, Dane County, WI – Bike Trail runs 40 miles from Verona to Wisconsin’s Southern Border. The trail is ideal for biking, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. You can easily connect on the trail on the east edge of Basco about 11 miles south of Madison or in Belleville to near New Glarus and on to Monticello, Monroe to the Illinois border The trail is now part of the Ice Age Trail (follows the Badger State Trail for about 3.5 miles between Purcell Road and County Highway A in Dane County north and south of Basco). The 1/4 mile long Stewart Tunnel (1887) located just south of Belleville highlights the trail (you need a flashlight). The Badger Trail is the only inter-state trail in Wisconsin – connecting with the Jane Addams Trail in Illinois, which is part of Grand Illinois Trail. The old rail-bed is fairly level with a smooth limestone base. A 6-mile section between Madison and Purcell Road is surfaced with asphalt and is suitable for in-line skating. Bicyclists and skaters 16 or older need a Wisconsin state trail pass for using the trail. Wisconsin’s most exciting bike and recreational trail is completed. Take a side Trip to New Glarus – known as “Little Switzerland” for it Swiss heritage and decorative buildings.

BELLEVILLE: (15 Miles SW of Madison)

Ice Age Trail – Experience the 1000-mile long National Ice Age Scenic Trail running through North and South Wisconsin.  The Ice Age Trail is a premier 1000-mile hiking trail entirely within Wisconsin following the edge of the last continental glacier in Wisconsin from Interstate State Park on the Minnesota border to Potawatomi State Park on Lake Michigan. It is one of only eight National Scenic Trails and is ideal for silent sport and outdoor enthusiasts. The Ice Age Trail is primarily an off-road hiking trail for backpacking, bicycling, bird watching, camping, cross-country skiing, sightseeing, snowshoeing and wildlife viewing. It runs near and through several state and county forests; state and county parks; Wisconsin bike trails and private campgrounds.

* UFO DAYS – The Aliens came to Belleville and the people keep celebrating on the weekend near Halloween. Whether you are a believer or not – aliens come to town in October.

BELMONT:

First Wisconsin State Capitol and Supreme Court buildings is preserved on Hwy G north of Belmont, Wisconsin in LaFayette County at Leslie, WI. It is about 50 miles SW of Madison. Belmont, Wisconsin was the birthplace of the Wisconsin territorial government where legislators built the framework for Wisconsin’s current state government back in 1836, 12 years before becoming a state. They also established a judicial system, roads, railroads, and Madison as the permanent capital city. In 1994, the buildings became part of the Wisconsin Historical Society. The buildings are open to the public for a self-guided tour.

* Pecatonica State Trail – Pecatonica State Trail – Wisconsin DNR – May 16, 2017 – Running 10 miles through the picturesque Bonner Branch Valley, this county-operated trail links Belmont with the 47-mile Cheese Country Trail [exit DNR] in Calamine. … The Pecatonica State Trail also provides connections to the Cheese Country Trail and the Lafayette County This County trail; connects to Cheese Country Trail running 17 miles through the picturesque Bonner Branch Valley to Belmont. Links Belmont to Calamine and the Cheese Country Trail. Use for hiking, touring bike, ski and snowmobile. 608-328-9430.

BLANCHARDVILLE:

* Yellowstone Lake State Park is a 455-acre lake and park near Blanchardville, WI and 36 miles SW of Madison. The 968-acre state park adjoins 4050 acres of wildlife habitat and cropland. Yellowstone Lake is known for its bat habitat of overr 4,000 little brown bats roost in 31 bat houses throughout the park. In the evening, campers gather around the bat houses to watch the bats fly and hunt. Each bat can catch up to 600 mosquitoes an hour. The lake is shared by boats, canoes, fishermen, kayaks, swimmers and watercraft. Over 400,000 pounds of carp were taken from Yellowstone Lake since 1997, thus crappies and walleye and the game fish populations are flourishing. The lake is now open to fishing with regulations. Flush toilets and shower building provide excellent accommodations for campers on 128 individual campsites. For site descriptions and more information use the Web or phone (888) 947-2757. Snowmobile trails are within the park. The trail connects with the Lafayette County trails to provide hours of riding enjoyment. 5 miles of groomed and tracked Cross-Country Skiing trails exist. A vehicle admission sticker is needed. Deer hunting is allowed within Yellowstone Lake State Park by special permit. Yellowstone Lake Park – 8495 Lake Road, Blanchardville, WI 53516. (608) 523-4427.

BLUE MOUNDS:

* Blue Mounds State Park is 21 miles northwest of Madison near Mount Horeb, WI in Dane County with the highest mound in Southern WI, an outdoor swimming pool and two scenic viewing towers offering fantastic panoramic views of South Central Wisconsin. This 1153-acre Park. The park can be accessed also by foot or bicycle by way of the Military Ridge Trail about 0.7 mile west of Mounds Park Road on the trail. The Blue Mounds State Park is located at 4350 Mounds Park Rd, Blue Mounds, WI – 608-437-5711.

CAMBRIDGE:

COTTAGE GROVE:

GLACIAL DRUMLIN TRAIL is a 52 mile bike trail from Cottage Grove to Waukesha in South Central Wisconsin.Bike Wisconsin from Cottage Grove to Waukesha for 52 miles through farmland, small towns and glacial topography mostly on an old rail corridor. The Glacial Drumlin Trail is about 10 miles east of centrally located Madison. There is a 1.5-mile section that uses public roads as the trail route between State Highway 26 and County Highway Y by Jefferson. Phone 920.648.8774. The level graded smooth limestone and asphalt surfaces is ideal for bicyclists, hikers and joggers. In-line skating is ideal on a 13-mile paved section from Waukesha through the town of Dousman. Bicyclists and skaters 16 or older need a state trail pass. Ice Age Trail follows the Glacial Drumlin State Trail for about two miles west of Wales. Snowmobiles are permitted on the limestone section of the trail. Skiers do not need a trail pass while using the trail. The western half of the trail begins at County Highway N in Cottage Grove. The eastern half of the trail begins in the Fox River Sanctuary at College and Prairie Avenues in Waukesha.

DODGEVILLE:

Doby Stables – 38 NW of Madison near Dodgeville, WI in Iowa County, WI – 1 to 2-hour horse rides Through Gov. Dodge State Park. Doby Stables – 4228 State Rd 23, Dodgeville, WI – 608.935-5205. * Folklore Village is a nationally recognized folk arts and culture center. Since 1968 it has dedicated itself to enriching lives and sharing time-honored traditions of food, dance, singing and playing with friends and new people. Enjoy their annual and seasonal cultural programming, song and dance festivals. Folklore village is located at 3210 County Highway BB, Dodgeville, Wisconsin 53533. Phone 608-924-4000.

Governor Dodge State Park is located 45 miles West of Madison near Dodgeville, WI in Iowa County. It is a 5270 scenic acres of hills, bluffs and valleys, 2 lakes and a waterfall and a very popular state park for hiking and cross-country skiing. It offers wildlife viewing including white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and 150 species of birds including Red-tailed hawks and turkey. The great variations in topography from bluffs to prairie provide a diverse array of plant species, hickory, oak, pines, spring wildflowers, ferns, and prairies. The park offers boating, campsites, fishing, snowmobiling, and hiking trails. Naturalist programs offer guided hikes and present evening nature programs at the park amphitheater. The Governor Dodge State Park is located at 4175 State Road 23, Dodgeville, Iowa County, WI – 608.935.2315.

House on the Rock began in 1945 when Alex Jordan wanted a retreat with view. Alex expanded his vision on a massive scale with many buildings, exhibits and collections. The house inspires, the exhibits and collections seem endless. In the middle of the tour is an eating place and a chance to rest your feet.

House On The Rock – 3591 Hwy 23, Dodgeville, WI. 608-935-3711 or 888-935-3960.

Lands End is a Wisconsin firm making clothing or Women, men, girls and boys. Lands End located at 113 N Iowa St, Dodgeville, WI – 608.935.9053.

FITCHBURG:

* Nevins Spring Fish and Wildlife Area in Fitchburg WI is the oldest of all DNR managed lands. The State acquired it in 1876 for use as a fish hatchery. Located in the City of Fitchburg about 6 miles south of the City of Madison and is adjacent to the Nevin Fish Hatchery. Nevin is managed for fish and wildlife habitat. There are fourteen natural springs and feed into the Yahara River System. The Capitol City Bike now passes through the natural area. Recreation activities include berry picking, biking, bird watching, fishing, geocaching, hunting, trapping and wildlife viewing. Nevin is located South of Madison inside Fish Hatchery Road (County Hwy D), Lacy Road, and Syene Road. There is a parking lot at Syene Road.  Nevin Springs Fish and Wildlife Area – Fitchburg, Dane Cty, WI – 3911 Fish Hatchery Rd – 608.275.3246.

Quivey’s Grove Restaurant – 6251 Nesbitt Rd, Madison, WI. 608-273-4900. A real area favorite for fine dining as authentic as the decor, baked from scratch and served in the Old Stone House or Stable Barn bar and grill. It’s one of the Madison Originals’ restaurants and one of Madison’s favorites.

FORT ATKINSON:

Fireside Dinner Theatre is a dinner theatre with top shows in Fort Atkinson. The Fireside Dinner Theatre is theater for everyone, couples, groups and families and one of the Midwest’s most popular entertainment destinations in Wisconsin. Browse gift shops, relax in the lounge, enjoy superb dining and a  live professional show in theatre-in-the-round. The Klopcic family celebrates 50 years of hospitality in 2014 in Fort Atkinson at The Fireside Dinner Theatre. The Fireside Dinner Theatre is located at Hwy 26 South, Fort Atkinson, WI – 800-477-9505.

HIGHLAND:

Spurgeon Vineyards and winery is located just 5 miles west of Highland on County Hwy Q in the beautiful hills of Southwest Wisconsin with the winery nestled in the valley below. Winery is about 50 miles west of Madison. Spurgeon Vineyards specialize in dry, semi-sweet wines, fruit wines, mead honey wine and champagne. Spurgeon purchased the land from her parents in 1977. That year Glen and Mary planted a half row of grapes. In 1978 put in 5 acres of grapes and 5 acre plantings in 1979, 1981 and 1982. Each acre contains 600 or more vines. The original winery started in 1980 and their first grape harvest was in the autumn of 1981. On May 1, 1982, Glen and Mary opened their doors and poured their first commercial wines for customers to taste. They have an Annual Harvest Festival event in October and their Christmas Open House. Try some Proprietor’s Reserve Red, Harvest Red, Wisconsin Cranberry, Sweet Cherry, Apple Wine, A Cabernet Sauvignon, Highland White, Ice Maiden, Safe Harbor, St Pepin and numerous other varieties. Spurgeon Vineyards and Winery – 16008 Pine Tree Road, Highland, WI. 53543 USA – (608) 929-7692  – (800) 236-5555.

JANESVILLE:

Rotary Gardens are located in Janesville Wisconsin about 35 miles SE of Madison. Rotary Gardens offer educational opportunities, events, a visitor center and gift shop, and a horticultural showcase on 20 acres of themed garden including ferns and Moss, Shade, Prairie and Woodland gardens and themed areas of English Cottage Gardens, French Formal, Italian, Japanese and Scottish samples of world gardening and landscaping styles. The gardens are open from dawn till dusk and the Visitor center hours vary by season so be sure to call to check times. The Rotary Botanical Gardens – 1455 Palmer Drive, Janesville, WI 53545, (608) 752-3885.

LAKE GENEVA:

AZTALAN – 42 miles NE near Lake Mills, WI in Jefferson County. An important archaeological site showcases portions of an old stockade and two mounds that have been reconstructed in the park. The park is mostly open prairie, with 38 of its 172 acres in oak woods. You can canoe, boat and fish. The Aztalan Museum, just north of the park includes two pioneer church buildings and other structures from the 19th century. 920-648-8774.

LAKE MILLS:

AZTALAN is 42 miles NE near Lake Mills, WI in Jefferson County. It is an important archaeological site showcasing portions of an old stockade and two mounds that have been reconstructed in the park. The park is mostly open prairie, with 38 of its 172 acres in oak woods. You can canoe, boat and fish. The Aztalan Museum, just north of the park includes two pioneer church buildings and other structures from the 19th century. 920-648-8774.

TYRANENA BREWING COMPANY LLC – 1025 Owen Street, Lake Mills, WI 53551 – 5 year-round beers and seasonal specialties, tasting room, beer garden, retail outlet, observation window. -920-648-8699.

MADISON:

* ALDO LEOPOLD NATURE CENTER – is an environmental, conservation and nature educational center. The Leopold Nature Center offers conservation education, hands-on programs, and interactive exhibits located at – 330 Femrite Dr, Monona, WI – 608-221-0404. The Nature Center offers individuals and families a chance to connect with nature through special events, education programs, children’s exhibits, a Climate Science Education Museum, plus outdoor wetland, woodland and prairie trails. The Nature Center’s mission is to educate the next generation of stewards of the land and to provide students hands-on programs to see the land, understand what is seen, and enjoy what is understood in the spirit of Aldo Leopold. The Monona Campus, provides visitors the chance to explore local flora and fauna on the trails, oak savanna, wetlands, prairies and woodlands to see how their observations connect to the land, local and global phenomena.

Alliant Energy Center – Madison, Dane County, Alliant Energy Center, Memorial Coliseum, Exhibition Hall and Willow Island event centers make up this Madison premier event center. The Alliant Energy Center is on the Southern edge of Madison. Center consists 164 acres, the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Arena, Exhibition Hall, Willow Island and 9 other agricultural facilities. The complex is a top-choice for banquets, concerts, conferences, consumer shows, conventions, expositions, meetings, outdoor events, sporting events and all events in beautiful Madison. It has ample parking, catering, A/V equipment and high speed Internet. The Arena suits of smaller events and staged performances 22,000 square foot space – ideal for equine events and show ring events.

Exhibition Hall is 255,000 square feet of space for banquets, conventions, meetings. Veterans Memorial Coliseum holds 10,000 plus visitors for sporting events, concerts and entertainment. Willow Island is a 29-acre outdoor facility ideal for concerts and festivals. The Alliant Energy Center is located at 1919 Alliant Energy Way, Madison, WI – 608.267.3976.

* Angelelic Brewing Co – 322 West Johnson St., Downtown Madison Wisconsin, 257-2707.

Arboretum – Madison, Dane County, WI offers a Visitor Center and 1260-acre outdoor ecology laboratory and land that consists of the restored prairies, forests and wetlands of pre-settlement Wisconsin. Numerous plantings of flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection add to the acres of plants. The UW Arboretum is cherished by thousands of Madison area residents and area visitors each year. There are educational tours and science and nature-based classes, free entertaining concerts, art exhibits and a rich variety of research and educational activities. Visit the UW Arboretum at 1207 Seminole Highway, Madison, W Arboretum – (608) 263-7888.

Art Fair On The Square – Madison, Dane County, WI – Large Variety of Artists From Around The Country. Experience the Art Fair On The Square in Madison WI – arts and crafts fair with food and music variety. The Art Fair On The Square is a major Madison event for artists and craftsmen and craftswomen located around the Capitol Square. Celebrate at one of the Midwest’s most popular outdoor events of the arts, entertainment, music, and dining on the Capitol Square in July in Downtown Madison. Over 450 artists exhibit their handmade clothing, jewelry, paintings, photographs, prints, sculpture and crafts.

Camp Randall Stadium – Madison, Dane County, WI – Camp Randall is the UW Badger Football Stadium and sports venue and home for Wisconsin’s Badgers football team. It was built in 1917 and has increased to its current capacity of 80,321 over the years. It can host numerous types of events. The complex consists of the field, athletic department offices, the Athletic Operations Building, team training table, lounges, a study area for student-athletes, and a display of football memorabilia in the new football offices located in the eastside of the superstructure. During the Civil War in 1861, the Wisconsin Agricultural Society that held its annual state fair on the grounds donated the land to the government for a major military training center. After the war, the land was returned to state fair property. In 1893, the state presented the site to the university as a memorial athletic field. The 2005 Camp Randall Stadium Renovation assures Badger fans and Athletic Department personnel will be able to compete well into the 21st century. There is not one student-athlete or athletic department staff member whose life has not been improved by the renovation. The Camp Randall Stadium is located at – 1440 Monroe Street, Madison, Dane County, WI 53719.

* CAPITAL CITY STATE TRAIL – About 8 miles from our inn via the Badger Trail North you can connect to the paved Capital City Trail which runs East of Verona along the southern edge of Madison for about 9.5 miles. Near Verona it also connects to the Military Ridge Biking Trail, the New Badger Trail, the Southwest Commuter Bike Trail and in Madison. This trail also connects to the John Nolan Path and Monona Trail. Copy a trail map from its web site. 608-224-3606. Experience Capital City Trail – a bike and recreational trail between Madison and Verona WI and top 101 Southern Wisconsin attraction and things to do in South Central WI. Visit Madison, South Central WI and the Capital City Trail. The Capital City Trail links to Madison’s Southwest Path and the Badger State Trail for hiking, bicycling, in-line skating and jogging the trail’s asphalt. Passes are required for biking and in-ling skating. Camping is available at Capital Springs State Recreation Area. Parking is available at the Dawley Conservancy Park on Seminole Highway, the DNR Service Center on Fish Hatchery Road, Syene Road and Capital Springs Recreation Area along Lake Farm Road.

Chazen Museum of Art – www.chazen.wisc.edu/home.htm – Phone 608 263-2246?Visit the Chazen Museum of Arts at 800 University Avenue Madison, WI 53706-1479.

Dane County Fair – Since 1851 when the Dane County Agricultural Society came into existence, the first Dane County Fair was held on a Wednesday in October at a site near the Yahara River in Madison. In 1856 to 1860 fairs were held first at a location on Wisconsin Avenue and then at what is now Camp Randall until in 1861 when Camp became a military training site. In the Dane County Fair was again held at Camp Randall. In 1896 the Agricultural Society purchased 250 acres at the present Alliant Energy Center site. In 1940 The Dane County Fair Association took over the fair. The Fair showcases and celebrates the achievements of Dane County’s youth involved in 4-H, FFA and other youth organizations. In 2009 there were nearly 11,000 youth exhibits at the Fair. Youth show their skills in animal care and showings, drama, exhibiting, fashion, photography, marketing, musical entertainment, “How To” presentations. Numerous Carnival Rides and Entertainment provide entertainment for all. Food stands are available everywhere.

* Dane County Farmers Market – Madison, Dane County, WI – 150 Vendors gather on the Capitol Square on Saturdays while weather permits. The market is rated a best farmers market in the nation. Enjoy fun plus bakery, cheeses, flowers food, meats, plants, vegetables, and people-watching at the Dane County Farmers Market – http://www.tricountytrails.com as the best farmers market in the country is held on the square in Madison, Wisconsin on Saturday and just off the Square on Wednesdays. The Dane County Farmers market is reported to be the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country.  The DCFM where the best chefs want to buy local, and where the best producers want to sell. Besides the farmers market, the interior of the state capitol grounds is used for non-profit, political, and public information booths. Across the street, arts & crafts vendors and concession stands are on city property, and, street musicians play around the Square. The Dane County Farmers Market is located at the Capitol Square.

Depot Days In Brooklyn – Welcome to Depot Days in Brooklyn, WI – a railroad celebration of the importance of railroads. Celebrating the railroad in the region. Visit Depot Days in Brooklyn Wisconsin and 101 things to do in South Central WI including attractions, cities, dining, events, shopping and lodging. Experience Depot Days – a family oriented event sponsored by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce as a heritage festival celebrating the role that the railroad played in the development of the community since 1864. Depot Days is located in Brooklyn, WI about 15 miles south centrally located Madison. Events at Depot Days include speeder car rides on the Chicago & Northwestern, a Depot Days raffle, Vintage Car show, EMS & Fire Department Breakfast, Village Wide Garage Sales and an Art sale in the Brooklyn Community Building. Concessions are available. Depot Days begun as a Green County event in 1996 and continues as Depot Days in Brooklyn.

Executive Mansion of Madison, WI – Visit the Governor’s Executive Mansion in Madison Wisconsin, the home for the Wisconsin Governor and family in Maple Bluff on the shores of Lake Mendota. The State of Wisconsin acquired the 3.7 acres with a 3-story, 20,377 square foot mansion for $47,500 in 1949. It now has 10 garden areas. The Executive Residence opens for tours during the summer and for holiday viewing in December. For reservations call (608) 246-5501. The Executive Mansion is located at 99 Cambridge Road, Madison, Dane County, WI.

Edgewood College – Visit Best In Madison WI Edgewood College a liberal arts college in Madison.It is a Madison Wisconsin liberal arts college serving the Madison WI area since 1927 – helping students enjoy great opportunities for learning, searching for the truth, pursuing a just and compassionate world, and making the connections needed to assist a career and a life of learning.

* GEOLOGY MUSEUM in Madison Wisconsin is filled with history and exhibits. You can actually touch the rocks from a time when there were volcanoes in Wisconsin and see the sea creatures that used to swim where we now walk. See minerals that glow, dinosaurs and meteorites. In the vertebrate room – where the dinosaurs roam – you can view a Prep Lab where dinosaur and other fossil remains are carefully uncovered, cleaned and restored. Geology Museum – The University of Wisconsin – Madison, 1215 West Dayton Street Madison, WI 53706 – 608.262.1412.

Gerald Bartell Community Theatre is a 100-year old theater where Madison artists tell stories about themselves and their world to the delight of audiences on the Drury and Evjue stages.Wisconsin attractions in vibrant Madison. The theatre is located at 113 E. Mifflin, Madison, WI – 608.661.9696

*  GREAT DANE PUB & BREWERY CO. – 2980 Cahill Main, Fitchburg, WI 53711 (Fish Hatchery Rd and PD area). Freshly-brewed beers and food. Retail outlet, tours. Fitchburg 608-442-9000.

GREAT DANE PUB & BREWERY CO, 123 East Doty Street, Madison, WI 53703 (King and Doty St corner 1 block off Capitol). Award-winning beers and food menu, beer garden, billard room, retail outlet, tours. ?608-284-0000.

Henry Vials Zoo is a free Madison WI zoo which contains many forms of wildlife, a great kid’s zoo and a concession stand. The Henry Vilas Zoo is located at 702 S Randall Ave, Madison, Dane County, WI. – 608.266.4732.

INSTITUTES FOR MEDICAL RESEARCH – The Institute is part of the University of Wisconsin medical and health programs designed to allow researchers to work with other scientists from other disciplines to address urgent health problems of common concern with an emphasis on cancer research and a new way of doing science. The tower buildings include the headquarters of the UW Carbone Cancer Center and numerous programs to advance medical research. Three towers are planned.

INSTITUTES FOR DISCOVERY – Welcome to the Institutes for Discovery, Madison WI – a public-private cooperative effort of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, and the private and nonprofit Morgridge Institute for Research to study information supporting life itself from cells to societies and which seeks to discover new theoretical and laboratory approaches to 21st-century problems. The building in designed to facilitate the efforts of scientists, researchers and professionals from the arts, business, education, humanities, law and social sciences to foster new approaches to biological and medical programs at the convergence of biotechnology, information technology and nanotechnology; to create the potential for a fundamental transformation of human biology and medicine; to provide cutting edge scientific advances for clinical application and translation in the UW Madison Medical School’s new Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research; to build on the university’s Cluster Hiring Initiative by engaging and supporting the more than 100 multi-disciplinary faculty hired as part of that initiative; to establish educational components that will integrate cross-disciplinary science into K-12, undergraduate and graduate education; and to facilitate the invention of technologies that can be transferred to the marketplace and create jobs. The Institutes For Discovery is located at 330 Orchard St, Madison, WI – 608.316.4300.

Kohl Center – Madison WI sport and event center is the home for the UW men’s and women’s basketball teams and the men’s hockey teams. The Kohl Center seats over 17,000. The building includes the competitive floor, state-of-the-art Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion practice facilities for when the Kohl Center is booked for other events, the Fetzer Academic Center, athletic training and rehabilitation facilities, strength and conditioning training areas, locker rooms and spacious coaching staff offices. In addition to Badgers athletics, the Kohl Center hosts numerous other events throughout the year including Barack Obama, career fairs, concerts, conventions, Dalai Lama, ice skating shows, political gatherings, Varsity Band Spring Concert, and commencement ceremonies for the UW. 70 plus concerts have included Billy Joel and Elton John, Bob Dylan, Dave Matthews Band, Shania Twain, Simon and Garfunkel, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and others. The Kohl Center is located at 601 W Dayton St, Madison, WI – 608-263-5645

Lake Mendota – Experience Lake Mendota in Madison, Dane County, WI. It is the  largest and scenic lake. Lake Mendota is located in Madison, Dane County, WI. Other communities bordering the lake are Maple Bluff, Middleton, Shorewood Hills and Westport. Also bordering Lake Mendota is the University of Wisconsin, James Madison Park, UW Student Union, and numerous expensive homes and condos. Lake Mendota is 15.21 square miles. Fishing includes Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and White bass. Water sports include boating, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, sailing, tubing, wake boarding, windsurfing and in the winter includes cross country skiing, ice-boating, ice-fishing, ice hockey, ice-skating and snow-kiting.

Lake Monona – Experience Lake Monona between Madison and Monona in Dane County, WI. Lake Monona is a 5.116 square mile lake. The 3359 acre lake is maintained by fresh water drainage. It’s depth is 74 feet. Visitors can access the lake from public boat landings, beaches, lands or parks. Fish species include Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Musky, Northern Pike, Panfish, Smallmouth Bass, Sturgeon and Walleye.

Lakeshore Path is part of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI. Lakeshore Path is in two trail segments.  The Howard Temin Path runs from North Park Street to Oxford Road along Lake Mendota shoreline. You can bike the Temin segment. The Lake Mendota Path (walking path) intersects with the Temin Path at the main gate to Picnic Point where it runs to the tip of Picnic Point and the shoreline to Wally Bauman Woods. The Lakeshore Path developed over the past 12,000 years ago beginning as a path for native Ameicans to gain access to the water. European-American settlers followed many of the same well-established Indian routes around the lake. The University of Wisconsin bought a 198-acre parcel of land purchased by the university in 1866 west of the original campus on Bascom Hill and begun construction of farm roads and pleasure drives in the late 1860s including a ¾ mile road along the shore of Lake Mendota – the most beautiful landscape views in this vicinity – enabling carriage. In 1892 a westward extension of the road to University Bay begun. Lakeshore Path is now visited by hundreds of visitors each day for a walk along the lake, biking or jogging, commuting to work, cross-country skiing, parents pushing strollers, roller blading and scenic drives. Lakeshore Path runs from UW Memorial Union to scenic Picnic Point.

MADISON COLLEGE – MATC offers Madison are technical, business, health care programs and college transfer courses at two Main Madison Locations downtown at 211 N. Carroll St., Madison, WI 53703, (608) 258-2300. Truax (East): 3550 Anderson St. Madison, WI 53704, (608) 246-6100.

Memorial Coliseum – The Memorial Coliseum is located at 1919 Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI – 608.267.3976. The Madison Wisconsin Coliseum is also known as  Veterans Memorial Coliseum and is part of the Dane County Alliant Energy Center complex. The Dane County Coliseum is a prime entertainment center providing space for assemblies, concerts, consumer shows, conventions, family shows, large events, sporting events, staged performances and trade shows. It seats over 10,000 and offers 20,000-50,000 square feet space for up to 360 exhibit booths. Luxury suites are available for small group rentals.The Veterans Memorial Coliseum was built in 1967 and renovated in 2004-2005 and is now part of the Alliant Energy Center campus. It hosts and has hosted concerts, consumer shows, conventions, family shows, girl’s State Basketball Tournament sporting events, Badgers men and women’s hockey, boys and girls state hockey tournaments, and assemblies. And the Coliseum continues to host top billing events and shows. For more information, ask the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way #2, Madison, WI 53713. Phone (608) 267-3976.

Memorial Union – Madison, WI, offers activities, events, recreational and social centers of UW Madison Wisconsin Union. The Wisconsin Union Theater offers world-class performances. The Union also offers numerous events, films, lectures, non-credit, mini courses, music, outdoor recreation programs. The facilities are for students, faculty, members, and visitors. Membership is required for full benefits. University of Wisconsin Memorial Union is located at 800 Langdon St., Madison, WI 53706. Phone 608-265-3000.

Midwest Horse Fair – The Mid West Horse Fair is one of the top 3-day Horse Fairs in America and includes shows and events like World’s Toughest Bulls & Broncs Rodeo, Nutrena $10,000 Reined Cow-Horse Shoot-out and finals of the Mid West Mustang Makeover!, entertainment, seminars and educational opportunities are available to all exhibitors, spectators and fair participants. For dates and times, camping, directions to Exhibition Hall and the Coliseum, Mid West Horse Fair e-mail newsletter sign up, Tickets info, volunteering, or more information, ask the Mid West Horse Fair. Call 920.623.5515 or visit online at Midwest Horse Fair. The fair strives to unite all facets of the horse industry through its annual Mid West Horse Fair by focusing on education, networking, and promotional opportunities. It provides entertainment and introduces horse owners, non-horse owners, horse lovers to the beauty and enjoyment of horses. Since 1979, the Mid West Horse Fair has gotten bigger & better. Every performance is a unique experience. Non-horse owners, families and children can see the horses in the New Holland Pavilions. Mare owners have the opportunity to view breeding stallions. Top national horse professionals offer clinics, seminars and educational events. Vendor booths (over 500) offer shopping opportunities. Mid West Horse Fair, PO Box 128, 131 S Ludington St, Columbus, WI 53935 – 920.623.5515.  Event is held at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way in Madison.

Monona Terrace – Welcome to Monona Terrace which overlooks Lake Monona and accents the State Capitol building. The Monona Terrace was first designed in 1938 by Wisconsin native and world renowned architect – Frank Lloyd Wright and serves Madison Wisconsin and Dane County WI residents as a community center and convention center for citizens and tourists. It opened after nearly 60 years of debate on July 18, 1997. Wright reworked the design several times between 1938 and 1958 before his death in 1959. In 1992 voter approved a referendum to construct Monona Terrace on the site that Wright had proposed.  Wright´s design was used for the building´s exterior, the interior was redesigned by a Wright apprentice Tony. Over 390,000 people have visited the Monona Terrace in a year’s time for conventions, conferences and public events and enjoy a 250,000 square-foot, multi-level convention center, the curving structure, spectacular glass vistas, meeting and exhibition spaces and the breathtaking beauty of the natural environment. Monona Terrace is located at Madison, Dane County, WI – 1 John Nolen Drive – 608.261.4000.

* Museum of Contemporary Arts is located on State Street in Madison just a couple blocks from the Capitol building. It offers exhibitions of contemporary art from over a 5000 item collection housed in the museum’s 51,500 square feet of space for exhibitions, study, presentation, and conservation of modern and contemporary art. The facility also includes a 230-seat lecture hall, a classroom for children, a new-media gallery, and a study center for drawings, prints, and photographs. And, there is a 7,100-square-foot rooftop sculpture garden; an Award-Winning Store directly accessible directly from State Street and offers contemporary American craft, books, children’s merchandise, fine gifts, jewelry and stationery. Plus, enjoy the Museum Restaurant that offers great food at Fresco, the museum’s rooftop restaurant. The museum was designed by the famous architect, Cesar Pelli. He also did the the Overture Center of The Arts. The new home of the 105-year old Madison Museum of Contemporary Art opened to the public on April 23, 2006, in the new facility within the Overture Center for the Arts. There is no admission fee for museum exhibitions. 222 State St – 608.257.0158.

Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI in Dane County WI, offers 16 acres of gardens and famous for its Rose Garden, Thai Pavilion, Sunken Garden and Perennial Garden. Travel Wisconsin and see Olbrich Gardens. The Olbrich’s Bolz Conservatory is a glass pyramid filled with exotic tropical plants, fragrant orchids, other flowers, birds and waterfall. Admission is free daily for the outdoor Gardens. Olbrich Botanical Gardens – 3330 Atwood Ave, Madison, WI 53704 -608.246.4550.

Overture Center for the Arts – Visit the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison and Dane County WI offering a World-Class arts, event and theatre center. It is Madison’s premier performing arts center consisting of several theatre venues including the Overture Hall – a 2,251-seat performance hall with exceptional acoustics for musicals, concerts and theater performances. The Capitol Theater was originally built in 1928 and since is a restored 1,100-seat theater for more intimate performances within the complex. The Playhouse offers a 345 seat and stage. Promenade Hall – the largest of “black box” spaces is home to a variety of dramatic performances. The Rotunda Studio is good for rehearsals, gatherings, receptions and events. The Overture Center for the arts is a gift to the Madison area people by local businessman W. Jerome Frautschi. In 1998, he begun multi-million dollar gifts totaling $205 million to build this state of the art facility for the area to enjoy. It was designed by Architect Cesar Pelli on a city block in the center of Madison. Overture Center, Madison, Dane County, WI – 201 State St – 608-258-4177.

* STATE CAPITOL is located between Lake Monona and Lake Mendota. Wisconsin’s State Capitol is a beautiful building and has one of the largest domes in the U. S. The original Capitol was a rented building in Belmont in 1836 now known as the First State Capitol. State Street is a pedestrian mall from the University of Wisconsin on one end to the State Capitol on the other end and shopping and dinning and the Overture Center and the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Museum in between. State Street only allows buses, bicycles, delivery and emergency vehicles, and pedestrian traffic. Explore Madison Wisconsin State Street where a variety of attractions, bars, dining, entertainment, events, restaurants, street musicians, jugglers and shopping greet you. Explore the State Capitol, one of the finest domed buildings in the nation. For the best in entertainment and culture visit the Overture Center for the Arts –       201 State Street, Madison, WI, 53703.

Taste of Madison offers restaurant food samples, drink and music . This is a Madison event in good taste. Held each Labor Day weekend on the Capitol Square, the Taste of Madison is the flagship event of Madison Festivals, Inc in Madison Wisconsin. The event benefits United Cerebral Palsy of Dane County. Every food item is reasonably priced for your enjoyment. Over 65 restaurants sell a vast variety of tasty dishes and their specialties while bands entertain from three stages. An an estimated 175,000 attendees enjoy the Taste of Madison. There is no admission fee.

Union Theater – The Wisconsin Union Theater is part of the Memorial Union building of the University of Wisconsin. The Union Theater and Memorial Union are the heart and soul gathering spot for the University and members and guests. Phone 608-265-ARTS. Check their Calendar for performing art events, films, lectures, live performances and seminars. The Wisconsin Union Theater is the main auditorium with 1300 seats. The Fredric March Play Circle seats 168. You can rent the Theater for your events. The Wisconsin Union Theater is located at 800 Langdon St. in Madison, Dane County, WI 53706 – 608.265.3000.

*  Veterans Museum in Madison, WI offers 10,000-square-foot Wisconsin Veterans Museum is located across the street from the State Capitol. The Veterans Museum maintains instructive exhibits highlighting Wisconsinites at war and important military events in Wisconsin history from the Civil War to the present to help tell the story of Wisconsinites in wars. The Civil War gallery has a great diorama of the Battle of Antietam. Dioramas, consisting of life-size figures and painted murals portraying historical events portray Wisconsin veterans in authentic scenes from conflicts in the 1900s and several famous World War II Battles, a Stuart light tank, two anti-aircraft guns, UH-1 Huey helicopter (Vietnam War), a replica of a Sopwith Camel biplane (WWI), a replica of a P-51 D Mustang (WWII), a functional submarine periscope, protruding through the roof, provides a unique view of the State Capitol and downtown Madison. Exhibits are subject to change. The museum is closed on holidays.

WI Veterans Museum – Phone 608) 267-1799 – The Wisconsin Veterans Museum is located at 30 West Mifflin Street on the Capitol Square.

Wisconsin Historical Society Museum is located on Madison’s Capitol Square and offers Wisconsin’s history and heritage and a variety of other American history topics visually presented in artifacts, full-scale dioramas, photographs, audio-visual presentations and interactive multimedia programs. There are collections that contain over 110,000 historical objects and nearly 400,000 archaeological artifacts documenting the history of Wisconsin. A few Permanent displays include the People of the Woodlands: Wisconsin Indian Ways and On Common Ground: 200 Years of Wisconsin History. Other Museum collections include Anthropology, Business, Costumes, Domestic Life, Military Life, Personal Artifacts, Political Life, Textiles and Technology collections. Check web site for current displays, information, admissions and parking at Wisconsin Historical Museum – Capitol Square, 30 North Carroll Street, Madison, WI 53703 – Phone: 608-264-6555.

World Dairy Exposition – Visit the World Dairy Exposition, Madison Wisconsin and 101 things to do in South Central WI including attractions, cities, dining, events, shopping and lodging from menu above. The World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin is the international meeting of the world dairy industry. World Dairy Expo is held annually at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. For 5 days the animal health supplies, dairy genetics, feeding products, forage handling, manure equipment, milking systems, modern dairy equipment, new technologies; plus embryos, semen and genetic research, and exhibits for the dairy industry are showcased in the Madison event. The event attracts 68,000 people and offers free education seminars to help you the dairy farms and businesses stay competitive and profitable. Breed shows have the top dairy cattle compete for honors. World Dairy Expo – 3310 Latham Dr Madison, WI 53713 – CALL (608) 224-6455.

MAZOMANIE:

* Bottoms State Natural Area is near Mazomanie and consists of 3,550 acres along the lower Wisconsin River located in Dane County 2 miles north of Mazomanie on County Hwy Y and 3 miles south of Sauk City on Hwy 78. The bottomlands offer hardwood forest, prairies, savanna, sloughs, wetlands flowage. The Lower Wisconsin State Riverway goal is to preserve and maintain the over 285 bird and 45 mammal species, land, prairie, oak, flowage,  wetlands and to provide a quality public use area for recreational pursuits, maintain the natural and scenic landscape, and manage the corridor’s natural resources for the long-term benefit of the citizens of the area and state. Berry picking, bird watching, canoeing fishing, dog training grounds. hiking, historical and archeological sites, hunting, trapping, wildlife viewing activities are allowed.

MCFARLAND:

Rocking L Acres – Located 5 miles SE of Madison near McFarland 2964 County Road AB, McFarland, WI 53558 Contact: 608-838-8178. Take a ride in an open sleigh or surrey or wagon through the woods and field in the countryside of Dane County.

MERRIMAC:

Devils Head Ski Resort – Devils Head is 30 NW of Madison and just North of Merrimac in Sauk County, WI and offers Downhill Ski and Snowboarding. Experience Devils Head ski hills with a 500 vertical foot mountain and a 3500-foot run. Terrain Park offers beginner and intermediate sized features. Cross Country Ski on groomed 3 1/2 mile loop through beautiful, hilly and scenic golf course. The Devils Head Ski Resort is located at – S6330 Bluff Road, Merrimac, WI – 608-493-2251.

Lake Wisconsin – Experience Lake Wisconsin just North of Lodi at Merrimac – a 10,000 acre lake with 52 miles of shoreline in Columbia County, WI. Lake Wisconsin is a prehistoric lake that existed over 14,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when a glacier retreated and carved the lake, islands and  sandstone bluffs. After removing the lake-bottom sand, it cut canyons through the weak sandstone beneath forming the Dells.

Merrimac Free Ferry is located at Merrimac WI in Sauk County on Hwy 113. It shuttles and crosses the Wisconsin River between Sauk and Columbia counties and between Okee on the east bank and Merrimac on the west bank. The ferry can carry 15 vehicles, plus pedestrians and bicyclists. Crossing time is about 7 minutes. Merrimac Ferry (Colsac III) remains open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, until ice forms on the Wisconsin River. Merrimac Free Ferry in located about 24 miles NW of centrally located Madison. Private ferry service in 1844. The ferry then carried horse and buggy and passengers for a small fee between 35 cents and $1. Manpower primarily operated the ferry until about 1900 when a gasoline engine was added. In 1933 the ferry was acquired by the old State Highway Commission and has operated as a free ferry since Columbia and Sauk counties turned it over to the state without charge. It has survived several bridge construction plans as residents of Merrimac once formed an “I Believe in Ferries” club in protest. Even a new nearby I-90 freeway could not overcome the nostalgia factor of the ferry.

Parfrey’s Glen is located within Devil’s Lake State Park and is a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-designated State Natural Area and about 28 miles NW of Madison. Parfrey’s Glen was designated a State Natural Area in 1952. Parfrey’s Glen is Wisconsin’s first State Natural area and is the most visited state natural area outside of Devil’s Lake State Park. The glen is a spectacular deep gorge deeply cut through the sandstone of the south flank of the Baraboo Hills. The glen reaches a depth of nearly 100 feet and embraces a mountain-type stream flowing through its floor. The shaded moss-covered walls of the glen are sandstone with embedded pebbles and boulders of quartzite. The flora yellow birch, mountain maple, and red elder and several rare plant species. Parfrey’s Glen Creek, a fast, cold, hardwater stream flows through the gorge. The Path is about 0.8 miles long. Powerful floods change the glen and force various closures, repairs and upgrades in recent years. Hikers wishing to continue up to the waterfall must navigate a stream and rough stone. A current Wisconsin State park sticker is required on all vehicles. Pafrey’s Glen is about 4 miles east of Devil’s Lake State Park. Just take Hwy 113 south out of Baraboo and turn left on DL. The entrance will be on your left a few miles down. The entrance is a bit hard to see, but if come to a 4-way stop near the Old Schoolhouse Restaurant, you passed it. Pafrey’s Glen, Hwy DL,  Merrimac, Sau County, WI 53561 – 608.356.2185.

MIDDLETON:

Capital Brewing Company – 7734 Terrace Avenue (and High Point Road), Middleton, WI 53562?15 award-winning beers including Amber, Autumnal Fire  and Blond Doppelbock.  Enjoy sample brews and the outdoor Bier Garten (beer garden). Retail outlet, observation window, tours and mail order. 608-836-7100. Capital Brewery has won rewards for its beer and was voted #1 brewery in the US in 1998 and 7th in the World by the Beverage Testing Institute. Capital Brewery is located about 6 miles NW of centrally located Madison. Tours are offered for a small fee and includes a special glass and tasting. Beers include Wisconsin Amber and Supper Club that are popular beers and the Capital Brewery makes several other seasonal and limited release brews. They have special events and a gift store.

National Mustard Museum is Middleton 6 miles NW of Madison, WI and offers over 5,000 jars and tubes of mustard from 50 states and 60 countries. Barry and Patti Levenson started the museum with Barry as the curator and Patti as the Director of Marketing and tours. There is a theater to learn the history of mustard and the museum. At the Gift Shop and Gourmet Foods Emporium you can taste and purchase many of these world famous mustards or order mustard at 1-800-438-6878. Of course, there is National Mustard Day, Museum News, Free Movies at famed Mustard Piece Theatre, a Monthly Newsletter “The Proper Mustard” that is “Yellow Journalism at its Best!”, and almost Free – Higher Education degrees from Poupon U – America’s College of Mustard, winning recipes, personalized mustard, gift boxes or Market Totes. Mustard Museum – Parmenter and Hubbard Ave, downtown Middleton at 7477 Hubbard Ave – 800.438.6878.

Milton House – Joseph Goodrich, an abolitionist founded Milton WI, built the first frame house and Milton College and built an 1844 hexagonal  stagecoach inn called the Milton House. The inn was constructed of “grout,” and is considered the oldest building of its type in the U.S. Its’ basement and tunnel served as one of 14 stops along the Underground Railroad. Today, the Milton House is a museum.

MINERAL POINT:

Brewery Creek Brewing Company – 23 Commerce Street, Mineral Point, WI. 53565. Great beers, restaurant food, retail outlet, observation deck and tour 608-987-3298.

Pendarvis Historic Site offers Cornish miners history and culture. Highly-skilled Cornish immigrant miners were lured to Mineral Point at the discovery of lead in the area in the early 1800’s. The Pendarvis Historic Site thus begun as a settlement of experienced miners, arriving from Cornwall England in the 1830’s. They constructed small, limestone homes familiar to them back home in England. Mineral Point boomed into the 1850’s when zinc mining and processing became dominant. Pendarvis Historical Museum has preserved Mineral Point’s Cornish heritage with a joint venture in 1988 by the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Conservation Corps. In 1970 Pendarvis became a Wisconsin Historic Site when the Wisconsin Historical Society acquired the property. For tours or more information, ask Pendarvis Historic Site, 114 Shake Rag Street, Mineral Point, WI 53565. CALL (608) 987-2122.  Pendarvis is located about 42 miles SW of centrally located Madison.

MONONA:

* Leopold Nature Center is an environmental, conservation and nature educational center offering hands-on programs and interactive exhibits for individuals and families a chance to connect with nature through special events, education programs, children’s exhibits, a Climate Science Education  Museum, plus outdoor wetland, woodland and prairie trails. The Monona Campus, provides visitors the chance to explore local flora and fauna on the trails, oak savanna, wetlands, prairies and woodlands to see how their observations connect to the land, local and global phenomena. Leopold Nature Center islocated at 330 Femrite Dr, Monona, WI – 608-221-0404.

MONROE:

Balloon Rally – Experience the Monroe Balloon Rally festival in Monroe, Wi in Green County, Wisconsin offering balloons in flight, a Blues Festival and Arts and Craft Fair, other entertainment includes area bands, concessions, other special events and classic cars display. The Monroe Balloon Rally is one of the oldest balloon festivals and is usually held annually on Fathers Day weekend in June. Monroe is 35 miles SW of centrally located Madison. Take the whole family. Spectators get your cameras and snap photos of a sky full of colorful balloons Monroe. Flights are held at the Green County fairgrounds and are weather dependent. An evening balloon glow gathering of balloons occurs during the event with pilots lighting up their balloons against the evening sky. The Classic Car Show is held on Saturday and includes 21 categories to be judged. A Blues festival offers great entertainment and hours of blues music. Email: monroeballoonrally@gmail.com, or call: 608-325-3788.

CHEESE COUNTRY TRAIL – The Cheese Country Bike Trail meanders 47 miles through Green, Lafayette and Iowa County from Monroe to Mineral Point. It is a multi-purpose trial for bicycles (mountain bikes or wide-tired bikes are recommended), hikers, horses, horse-drawn conveyances mopeds, motorcycles and off-road dirt bikes. Enjoy a scenic back road view of Southern Wisconsin. Visit the 47-mile bike and recreational trail on an improved rail-bed. The Cheese Country Trail is about 35 miles SW of Madison in Monroe. The multi use trail passes through three counties in Southern Wisconsin and several small towns, prairies, marshes and wooded areas on the former railroad bed. The trail is open to ATV’s bikers, cross-country skiers, dirt bikes, hikers, horse riders, snowmobiles and motorcycles. The Cheese Country Trail is located in South Central Wisconsin.

CHEESE DAYS – Experience Green County Cheese Days in Monroe, Wisconsin. 3000 visitors came to Monroe, Wisconsin for semi-annual Cheese Days – a celebration based on cheese where Old World tradition leads to an out-of-this-world celebration held every even numbered year in Monroe around the square or near the square. It is the oldest cheese food festival in the Midwest. Green County Cheese Days is located about 35 miles SW of centrally located Madison. Join the fun, yodeling, polka dancing, the Big Cheese Tent, Cheese-making demonstration, Dairy Farm Tours, Taste of Green County Food Booths, Arts & Crafts Fair, carnival, vintage tractor show, Children’s Parade, Kid’s Arts and Imagination Station, Parade on Sunday and more. Minhas Craft Brewery holds their Octoberfest in their parking lot in conjunction with the cheese festival on even years and in September on odd numbered years. 200 area cheese factories were at nearly every crossroads in Green County at the peak. Now, a dozen remaining Green County cheese factories offer blocks or curds, wheels or wedges, melted, shredded, sliced or crumbled. The Green County Cheese Days info at Cheese Festival, 1116 17th Ave, Monroe, WI – 608.325.7771.

* Cheesemaking Center in Monroe Wisconsin offers the history of cheesemaking and cheese factories. Located at the southern gateway to Wisconsin of Monroe, WI 35 miles SW of Madison the Cheesemaking Center offers the story of early cheese-making which gave Monroe the title of the “Cheese Capital of the USA.”  Cheesemaking Center – 2108 6th Avenue, Monroe, WI 53566 – (608) 325-4636.

Minhas Craft Brewery & Distillery – Monroe WI located in historic Monroe, WI and is the Midwest’s oldest brewery and the second-oldest in the entire nation. It is now one of the top 10 largest breweries in America. The brewery survived the Great Depression, Prohibition, the mob and two major fires. Minhas is located only 35 miles SW of Madison, 20 minutes from New Glarus and 90 minutes from Chicago. It is worth a visit when in the area. Minhas Craft Brewery is the Wisconsin brewer of Huber, Rhinelander and Mountain Crest fine beer brands and Blumer soda. I love the 1845 Pilsner and the Black Cherry soda. Minhas is the oldest continually operating brewery in Wisconsin, and second oldest in the USA and has the best Brewery Museum in America. It has Brewery memorabilia from around the world. Some popular brews are: Huber Beer – the same clean-taste for over a century. Huber Bock – a creamy texture and rich flavor for beer lovers of Wisconsin – Silver Medal winner in the 2002 World Beer Championships. And, Huber Light – A pale-golden lager  brew. Mountain Creek Classic Lager – A premium beer that uses the finest blend of sun ripened hops and premium malted barley. Rhinelander Beer – a Northland favorite traditional German lager. Wisconsin Club – a crisp, clean, light in color with body beer crafted from the finest Two-Row Barley Malt. For a great brewery tour and tasting or more information, ask the Minhas Craft Brewery, 1208 14TH Ave, Monroe, WI 53566. CALL (608)325-3191.

MONTICELLO:

Silver-Lewis Cheese Coop – Come to Wisconsin and cheese country to buy your cheese in one of the state’s most historic cheese factories built in 1897. The cheese plant is located near Monticello about 26 miles SW of Madison. The Co-op is well respected for its award winning Muenster and a Wisconsin original, Brick. They also carry other handcrafted cheeses including Farmers, flavored Farmers, Cheddar, Havarti, flavored Havarti, Colby and more. The cheesemaker is Josh Erickson. The milk comes from a farm still owned by the Silver family. Purchase their cheeses by visiting their store or (608) 938-4813. Silver-Lewis Cheese Co-op, W3075 County Highway EE, Monticello, WI 53570 – (608) 938-4275.

MOUNT HOREB:

Cave of the Mounds is a National Landmark cave experience and the geological wonder and the jewel cave of the upper Midwest for the variety and delicacy of its formations. Cave of the Mounds is about 20 miles SW of Madison. Tours are on paved and lighted paths. The Gift Shop offers rock and fossil specimens, nature and historical exhibits. Kids find treasure at the gemstone mine and fossil dig. The Cave of the Mounds, is located at 2975 Cave of the Mounds Rd, Blue Mounds, WI – 608.437.3038.

Grumpy Troll Brew Pub – 105 South 2nd Street, Mt Horeb, WI 53572 – Eight handcrafted beers and food menu. Retail store, observation window, tour. – 608-437-2739.

Tyrol Basin Ski and Snowboard Area offers downhill skiing and snowboarding with a lodge near Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. The snow and terrain area well suited for outdoor winter activity, friendly fun, racing and special events; and food, drink and a gift shop. See daily specials, directions, event schedules, rates and hours at their website. Tyrol Basin also offers season passes, ski schools, skiing and snowboarding information, a snow cam, snow conditions and reports. A trail map is available. Tyrol Basin is located at 3487 Bohn Road, Mt Horeb, WI 53572-1099, Phone (608) 437-4135.

NEW GLARUS: (22 miles SW of Madison)

Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum is a New Glarus WI museum. Explore the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum – Picture 3 floors in a Swiss Bernese ountain chalet built in 1937 in New Glarus filled of the unique collections of Edwin Barlow and you have The Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum. The collection includes a 300-year-old Swiss slate and wood inlaid table, 17th century Bolivian silvered gourd jewelry, a Swiss porcelain tile stove made in 1760, 2000 year old Etruscan earrings, Gregorian chants on parchment–one of the world’s oldest forms of written music–dating from 1485, a jeweled watch once owned by King Louis XVI, antique glass and china, antique silver and pewter, coins, etchings, fabrics, original artwork, paintings, painted furniture, prints, quilts, samplers, stamps, Swiss dolls, Swiss scissors cuttings and Swiss woodcarvings. Tours are May through October – Saturdays Only – call  608-527-2095 or 1-800-527-6838.

Hawkes Mill Hauas winery uses Wisconsin grapes to create a large selection of wines available at the retail store at 500 First St – 608-527-5053. The actual winery is located near Browntown.

New Glarus Brewing Company is located on a hill overlooking New Glarus Wisconsin – America’s Little Switzerland. If you are traveling Wisconsin, you do not want to miss tour of the New Glarus brewery. The new “Hilltop” facility is fantastic, with several recent additions and offers tours and self-guided tours. If you try the New Glarus Brewing Company handcrafted, world-class beers, you will buy some and return often. Take a few cases home. Bring the bigger  vehicle. Their Spotted Cow brew is a real winner and their mainstay beer. When available get some Edel-Pils or Cabin Fever – a couple of my favorites. Travel Wisconsin and see the New Glarus Brewing Company and 101 Madison WI area attractions and things to do in South Central and Southern Wisconsin. The New Glarus Brewing Company is located just outside of New Glarus about 22 miles SW of centrally located Madison. The New Glarus brewery is located in the quaint Swiss town of New Glarus, Wisconsin at 2400 State Hwy. 69, New Glarus, WI 53574. (608) 527-5850.

NEW GLARUS WOODS is located in Green County Wisconsin. The park is located just outside of New Glarus about 22 miles SW of Madison. Several acres of the park are restored prairie. Park also offers rest rooms, campsites, picnic tables and wildlife viewing areas accessible to people with disabilities and at times by permit, disabled hunters are allowed to hunt wild turkey in the New Glarus Woods. The walnut trail is closed to hiking during this time. Pets are welcomed, but must be on a leash less than 8 feet long. They are not allowed in picnic areas or buildings and cannot be left unattended. You must clean up after your pet. You can be ticketed or evicted if your pet’s behavior or noise interferes with other’s enjoyment of the park.  DIRECTIONS: From New Glarus to the New Glarus Woods State Park, take State Highway 69 south about a mile to County Highway NN. Turn west on NN and go about 1/10 mile to the park entrance. New Glarus Woods State Park – W5446 County Highway NN, P.O. Box 805, New Glarus WI 53574. (608) 527-2335.

Sugar River Trail offers a 23-mile National Scenic and Recreational Trail that runs from New Glarus (Little Switzerland) to Monticello, to Albany and to Brodhead, WI. The old rail corridor covers 265 acres and includes part of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail from Bump Road to Exeter Crossing Road. The old railroad bed limestone surface is suitable for bicycling, walking and snowmobiling. In Winter add cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The trail runs through agricultural farm land and prairie remnants with colorful prairie wildflowers and grasses. Along the way cross a replica covered bridge, pass rock  outcroppings, wetlands and lowland cattails and reeds, and woods of native oaks, hickory, walnut, and cherry. 100 species of birds, and animals including beaver, bobcat, chipmunk, coyote, deer, fox, gray and ground squirrels, otter, mink, rabbit, salamanders, skunk, snakes, turtles and woodchuck can be  spotted along the trail. Start at New Glarus, WI. at the old railroad depot and now the Chamber of Commerce. They also rent bikes. The Sugar River State Trail is located about 22 miles SW of Madison. Visit the New Glarus Chamber for other attractions and activities. For a trail map… Sugar River Trail Map. Sugar River State Trail, 418 Railroad St., New Glarus WI 53574. (608) 527-2334 (summer), (608) 527-2335 (off season).

Swiss Historical Village and museum offers a glimpse of frontier New Glarus Wisconsin and Little Switzerland. It is an attraction displaying the founding of New Glarus in 1845, it’s dairy farming heritage and early Swiss life in a complex of 14 artifact-filled, preserved and showcase buildings. Some buildings are replicas and some are original buildings with period furniture, books, implements, tools and textiles used by the early Swiss settlers. You will leave the Swiss Historical Village with a complete understanding of how these brave immigrants lived and worked. Continuous guided tours of the buildings – including a bee shop, blacksith shop, cheese factory, church, collective shop, farm implement building, print shop, school house, a settler’s cabin, smoke house – will last about an hour and a half. You can also take a self-guided tour at your own pace with an instruction booklet. There is a gift shop. You can find the Swiss Historical Village about 22 miles SW of centrally located Madison. The museum is rather uniquely arranged as a historic Swiss village. Tours are informative. The Swiss Historical Village is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, May 1 through Oct. 31. The museum is located at 612 7th Avenue, New Glarus, WI 53574. Call 608-527-2317.

Wilhelm Tell Festival offers two English performances and a German performance of the Wilhelm Tell Drama – the story of Wilhelm Tell, a Swiss national hero with some Swiss history and a little myth. It creates this greatest of all Swiss plays and legend of Tell who represents the bold and humbling and simplicity traits typical of the Swiss national character. Over 70 years of tradition re-telling Friedrich Schiller’s play and story of how Wilhelm Tell helped Switzerland gain independence from the Habsburg tyrant, Herman Gessler, with Tell’s crossbow and an apple. Local actors join cows, goats and horses in a natural outdoor stage to put on the play. Enjoy alphorns, an art fair, dancing, yodeling and all the wonderful cuisine and beverages.

NORTH FREEDOM:

Mid-Continental Railroad Museum is an outdoor museum at North Freedom, WI that operates a short line railroad that recreates the “Golden Age of Railroading” of 1880-1916. Museum opened in 1963 and has operating trains, educational exhibits, and displays of restored rolling stock. Museum is located about 36 miles NW of centrally located Madison. The Mid-Continent Railway Museum is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the railroad legacy for the educational benefit of the general public. Step back in time and take a trip on the seven-mile, 55-minute round-trip ride in a valley between the Baraboo Hills in rural Sauk County. Ride in restored steel coaches built a century ago. An authentically-attired conductor calls “all aboard!” before the  train leaves from the historic wooden depot, built in 1894. All trains are currently powered by diesel locomotives with a hope to add steam locomotives in the future. Mid-Continent is much more than just a train ride. It is also a museum. The Coach Shed is filled with restored wooden passenger, freight cars and displays from the turn of the century including the Badger #2 “Fish Car”, and the 1903-built Copper Range coach #60. The outdoor display yard includes steam locomotives including Copper Range locomotive #29Soo Line #2645 and Kewaunee Green Bay & Western #49 among about 40 train cars and locomotives.

Natural Bridge State Park is a 530-acre state park near North Freedom, in Wisconsin and feature Wisconsin’s largest natural arch in Wisconsin’s Driftless Area that was missed by the Glacier melting 11-12,000 years ago. Evidence of human use of the rock shelter over a very long period dated between 9000 and 8000 BC. By the 1920s, the bridge was a favorite place for picnics and a popular tourist destination. Natural Bridge became a state park and state natural area in 1973. The natural sandstone arch was created by the eroding effects of wind and water making a natural opening 25 feet high by 35 feet wide. 11,000 years ago it was a rock shelter used by native people when the glacier was melting. The park can be used during the day. No camping is allowed. Several activities are available.  There is a self-guiding, a 2-mile hiking trail through the woods south of the highway, a large picnic area with  tables on County Highway C, hunting and trapping are allowed at certain times, cross-country but there are no trails groomed, winter hiking and  snowshoeing are allowed anywhere in the park. The Park is located at E7992 County Road C, North Freedom, WI 53951. Park is located about 40 miles NW of centrally located Madison. Call – 608-356-8301.

PAOLI: (10 miles SW of Madison)

*  Artisan Gallery offers World-class artist displays in old creamery in Historic Paoli, Dane County WI.  The Artisan Gallery, since 1987, has one of the  largest and most impressive collections of fine craft and fine gallery art in Wisconsin and features over 100 artists from throughout the United States. It now includes the works of exhibiting artists with national reputations in many media. The Artisan Gallery hosts three concurrent exhibits every six to seven weeks. 6858 Paoli Road • Paoli, WI • 608-845-6600.

*  Schoolhouse Shops & Cafe offers fine dining for lunch or dinner along the Sugar River with great drinks at the bar; plus hassle-free shopping amidst a shop of unique gifts and crafts in an old restored Paoli School at 6857 Paoli Rd, Paoli, WI 53508 • Ph: (608) 848-6261.

Zazen Gallery, since 1997, is in Historic Paoli, Wisconsin and the showroom of Richard Judd – designer and maker of contemporary furniture. It is also his woodworking studio and exhibit space for other contemporary all media artists. Zazen Gallery is located about 9 miles west of centrally located Madison. Richard Judd, born 1953 in Marshfield, WI and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison and Milwaukee receiving his B.S. in Architecture in 1975. His work in architecture eventually  led to his formation of business as designer and craftsman since 1984. Exhibits have been held around the nation and numerous collections are scattered throughout the Midwest and beyond. Richard Judd has received awards including the Gold Award, Susie Gray Founder’s Award: 2014, Smithsonian Craft Show, Washington D.C. and numerous “Best of Show” awards in furniture. He has been featured in numerous publications. Richard Judd is a world famous furniture and other items artist. Zazen Gallery – 6896 Paoli Rd, Belleville, Dane County, WI – 608.845.9722.

PARDEEVILLE:

* Cornerstone Carriages – Contact: Amy Meyer, owner, at 608-516-6059 or email her at cornerstonecarriages@yahoo.com for information. Owner offers a touch of nostalgia with the feel of romance in carriage rides, offers rides on the Capitol Square in Madison, Columbia County, in Pardeeville north of Madison, other places, and once a year in Paoli near the Cameo Rose.

PORTAGE: (NW of Madison)

Cascade Mountain Ski Hill offers downhill skiing and snowboarding near Portage, WI in Columbia County. The Cascade Mountain Sports Shop provides a wide selection of skis, ski boots, ski poles, snowboards, snowboard boots, gloves, goggles, hats snowboard bags, helmets and ski sunglasses! Now, enjoy tubing for all. A recently constructed Tube Town Chalet at our tubing park provides seating, food service, bathrooms and retail store complete with picnic tables and a firepit on the patio. The Cascade Mountain ski hill is located at W10441 Cascade Mountain Road, Portage, Columbia County, WI – 608.742.5588.

POYNETTE:

MACKENZIE ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER – Welcome to the Mackenzie Center, Poynette Wisconsin. Experience Mackenzie Environmental Center is just 25 miles north of Madison. For great outdoor education, the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center is a diverse environmental education center on 250 acres of prairie and forest land and trails ideal for hiking, picnics and environmental education on Wisconsin’s natural resources. The MacKenzie Environmental Education Center land was purchased in the 1930’s and now consists of resident center dormitories, the main lodge building, arboretum, conservation museum, logging museum and sawmill exhibit, maple syrup education program and annual Maple Syrup Festival (First Saturday in April), a 80-foot observation tower, a pond, and a captive wildlife exhibit of sick and injured animals that would have little chance of survival if released into the wild. There is something for everybody at the Mackenzie Center. The Mackenzie Environmental Center – is located at W7303 County Rd CS & Q., Poynette, Columbia County, WI – 608-635-8105. The center is located about 27 miles north of centrally located Madison.

PRAIRIE DU SAC:

Bald Eagle Watching – (22 NW) – Prairie du Sac, WI – Watch by Wisconsin River View Stand and By The Prairie du Sac Hydroelectric Dam. Experience Bald Eagle Watching in Prairie du Sac, WI – a popular eagle watching area and a top 101 Southernl Wisconsin attraction and things to do in South Central WI. Visit Prairie du Sac, South Central WI and Bald Eagle watching. Bald Eagle Watching in Sauk Prairie WI is located on the main street in Sauk Prairie at the view stand, along the river, or at the Hydroelectric dam just north of Sauk City. Eagle watching in Prairie du Sac is about 24 miles NW or Madison. In  December, January and February watch bald eagles in Wisconsin at open water by the dams early mornings where eagles can fish, or in the fields feeding on deer carcasses. They roost late in the afternoon in large trees that provide some protection from cold.

Wollersheim Winery is located near Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin on a scenic Wisconsin River hillside about 22 miles NW of Madison.  This award winning winery is the largest winery in Wisconsin and the most attractive. Robert and JoAnn Wollersheim purchased the property in 1992 and begun restoration and expansion programs. The hillside was planted with new grape vines. The underground wine cellars were refurnished, oak barrels added, and a wine store completed. Wollersheim also owns the Cedar Creek Winery in Cedarburg, Wisconsin and the Cedar Creek brand of wines. Half the wine produced in Wisconsin is done by Wollersheim with the majority being sold at the Prairie du Sac and Cedarburg locations. Wollersheim Winery building expansions follow the original design. The Historic Winery and hillside vineyards produces distinctive regional wines. Famous for Prairie Fume and classic varieties. Domaine du Sac, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Reisling wines are available. Old Country atmosphere, retail outlet, gift store, case club, observation window, mail order, great tours and tasting. 608-643-6515. This regional winery has received numerous awards for its wines and has gained recognition as a leading winery in the Midwest. Wollersheim Winery – 7876 Hwy 188 – Prairie Du Sac, Sauk, WI – 608.643.6515.

SPRING GREEN:

American Players Theatre – (35 NW) – Spring Green,  Sauk County, WI – Outdoor Shakespearian theatre and Indoor theater. It is a Shakespearean and Classical theatre near Spring Green and a top Southern Wisconsin attraction. The American Players Theatre offers a professional theater on 110 acres with an 1148-seat outdoor amphitheater and the 200-seat indoor theatre. The theater is located about 35 miles NW of Madison. APT’s seeks to make great works accessible to as many as possible and annual attendance of over 100,000 meets their goal. It has an annual budget in excess of $5 million, APT ranks as the country’s second largest outdoor theater devoted to the classics. The American Players Theatre is located at  5950 Golf Course Road, Spring Green, WI Main: 608-588- Box Office: 608-588-2361.

House On The Rock is about 37 miles west of centrally located Madison. Experience House on the Rock near Spring Green in Sauk County, WI offering an amazing house attraction and numerous collections. The House On The Rock is a must see destination for at least once in your life. It has been a tourist attraction for more than 50 years. Take a self-guided tour of the original house perched on a rock. The House on the Rock is located at 5754 State Road 23, Spring Green, Sauk County, WI – 608.935.3639.

Taliesin Preservation, Inc. Talisin is famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s summer home. Wright grew up near Taliesin and much of his life unfolded at Taliesin. The visitor center overs a book store and tours beginning at the Visitor Center located near Spring Green about 35 miles NW of centrally located  Madison. The tours offer a glimpse into the life of Frank Lloyd Wright where he breathed the country air and viewed the magnificent panorama of nature that Wright loved. The tours run from May 1 through October 31 and include various types of tours. Reservations are recommended for all tours. In 1993 Wright designed the neighboring Spring Green Restaurant overlooking the Wisconsin River. That building is now the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center. It houses not only the book shop and tour center, but the dining facility called The Riverview Terrace Cafe. Taliesin Preservation, Inc. – 5607 County Road C, Spring Green, WI 53588 – (608) 588-7090 for more detail or call 877-588-7900.

Tower Hill State Park – 5808 Cty. C, Spring Green, Wisconsin 53588, Phone: 608-588-2116. Tower Hill State Park, Spring Green, WI – shot tower and park and a top 101 South Central Wisconsin attractions and things to do in Southern WI. Tower Hill State Park offers a 77-acre park 40 miles NW of centrally located Madison. 11 campsites serve campers. There is a canoe landing for canoeists. Families can enjoy the picnicking facilities and shelter. Everyone will  enjoy the panoramic views of the Wisconsin River, the nature and hiking trails and bluff trails, and upland forests and a variety of animals, birds, plants and shrubs. Tower Hill is best known for its 175-foot Cambrian sandstone cliff where a tower was built to make lead shot back in 1833. The tower includes a wooden shaft and the smelter house at the top. It has been rebuilt and a video program shows how shot was made in the 1830’s.

STOUGHTON:

Lake Kegonsa State Park is about 16 miles from Madison near Stoughton, WI in Dane County is this 342-acre park of oak woods, prairie, wetland marsh joins a 3200-acre, 30-foot deep, glacier-hewed lake offering excellent fishing, a hiking trail, beach and boat launch. 608-873-9695.

Syttende Mai Festival celebrates May 17, 1814 – the Norwegian Constitution Day and the independence of Norway from a 500-year union with Denmark. Residents of Stoughton Wisconsin residents have celebrated their Norwegian heritage each year since 1868 with what is known as their Syttende Mai Festival. The annual Norwegian parade is the main event that includes a 17-mile Walk, 20-mile Run, arts and crafts fair, a canoe race, colorful costumes, folk dancing and the famous Stoughton Norwegian Dancers, food stands, hardanger (needlework), quilt show, rosemaling exhibits, a sailboat race on Lake Kegonsa, smorgasbord of Norwegian foods, street dances, woodcarving, Ugliest Troll Drawing contest and a Viking encampment. Join the fun in Stoughton. Syttende Mai is held in Stoughton located about 15 miles SE of centrally located Madison. Stoughton Chamber of Commerce 532 E Main – Stoughton, Dane County, WI.

* VERONA:

CAPITAL CITY STATE TRAIL – About 8 miles from our inn via the Badger Trail North you can connect to the paved Capital City Trail which runs East of Verona along the southern edge of Madison for about 9.5 miles. Near Verona it also connects to the Military Ridge Biking Trail, the New Badger Trail, the Southwest Commuter Bike Trail and in Madison. This trail also connects to the John Nolan Path and Monona Trail. Copy a trail map from its web site. 608-224-3606. The Capital City Trail is ideal for hiking, bicycling, in-line skating and jogging the trail’s asphalt. Passes are required for biking and in-ling skating. Camping is available at Capital Springs State Recreation Area. Parking is available at the Dawley Conservancy Park on Seminole Highway, the DNR Service Center on Fish Hatchery Road, Syene Road and Capital Springs Recreation Area along Lake Farm Road.

Epic Systems, Verona WI, is a medical software firm and unique campus. Epic Systems is a software company making in-house medical software for groups, hospitals and integrated healthcare organizations on a huge campus of the fast growing medical software company. Epic is located just west of Verona and about 10 miles SW of Madison. Epic was founded in 1979 and is privately and employee-owned. Employees are up to 6,800 in 2013 and growing. The 950-acre campus consists of the latest complex Wizards Academy to be completed in 2015. The phase will add 1580 offices and large cafeteria to the Farm Campus with 4,500 offices. There is a newer 11,400-seat Deep Space auditorium. A small, rustic but functional tree house retreat is part of the massive complex campus. And of course there are plans for Campus 5, the Authors Campus. The Epic is located at 1979 Milky Way, Verona, WI – 608.271.9000.

MILITARY RIDGE TRAIL – 6 miles North to Verona, WI is the Military Ridge State Bike Trail. A large parking area is nearby on Old PB or bike on the Badger Trail from our inn to the Military Ridge biking trail. Hike, bike or snowmobile the 41-mile trail west from Verona to Mount Horeb and Dodgeville through Dane and Iowa County. Panoramic views. The trail follows an old 1855 military trail from Fitchburg to Dodgeville. Copy a map from the web site. 4350 Mounds Park Rd, POBox 98, Blue Mounds, WI 53517. The Military Ridge Trail is a 41 mile recreational trail built on an old railroad bed that parallels U.S. Highway 18 and U.S. Highway 151. Find the rail on the East side of Verona about 9 miles SW on Madison. Trail offers biking, hiking, running, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and skiing through scenic country side of primarily agricultural, but also includes woods, wetlands, prairies, villages, and small cities. The trail runs from Verona to Riley, Klevenville, Mount Horeb, Blue Mounds, Barneveld, Ridgeway, and Dodgeville in Iowa and Dane Counties, Wisconsin. It connects near to the Madison trail system via the Capital Springs trail access to the Milwaukee area. The segment between Madison and Verona is blacktopped and usable by in-line skaters. The trail was named from the old Military Ridge Road, built by the Army in 1835 to connect Green Bay and Fort Crawford (Prairie du Chien). The trail brought lead from Dodgeville and Blue Mounds for shot for the Army in the early 1800’s. Farming became more important from 1830 to 1850. The Chicago and Tomah Railroad first to consider a railroad along the Military Ridge. It was bought by the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, operated a narrow-gauge line in southwestern Wisconsin. In 1880, communities along the line invested, and construction brought a boom to communities along the line.  The Department of Natural Resources established the 23.5 mile Military Ridge State Park Trail between Mount Horeb and Dodgeville and to Fitchburg in 1983. The crushed limestone-surfaced trail runs along the southern borders of Governor Dodge and Blue Mound state parks. The trail links to the City of Madison and 100 miles of marked bicycle routes linking the University of Wisconsin, state capitol and parks along Lakes Mendota, Monona, and Wingra. Verona is the East end of trail. Park your car at a Highways Business 18/151 and PB is a 100-car parking lot. In Riley visit The Riley Tavern. In Klevenville there is a prairie remnant that extends for about 60 yards on both sides of the trail just east of Klevenville. For birders there are Killdeer, flickers, red-tailed hawks, and bobolinks in the area. Mount Horeb has a shelter. Blue Mounds has a community park on the west edge of the village, along with Blue Mounds State Park and Brigham County Park. At Barneveld, the village maintains the Birch Lake Park northwest of the village on County T for picnicking, camping, boating, and fishing. Ridgeway offers public restrooms, and water fountains at the city park. Dodgeville at Highway 23 is the West end of the trail with a parking lot. The limestone-surfaced trail is usable by hikers, bicyclists, and wheelchair users in late spring,  summer, and fall. In the winter it is usable by snowmobilers, snowshoers and cross-country.

* SUGAR RIVER is a tributary of the Pecatonica River and runs approximately 91 miles from the hills of Dane County southwest of Madison Wisconsin to Illinois. Sugar River winds through the hills past Paoli, Basco and Belleville where it is dammed to form Lake Belle View to Monticello through Albany and Brodhead and crosses into northern Illinois where it joins the Pecatonica River approximately 15 miles (24 km) north-northwest of Rockford. The river runs along the Badger State Bike Trail near Paoli and Belleville and along the Sugar River State Trail near New Glarus, Monticello, Albany, and Brodhead. The river is ideal for canoeing as it flows gently through forested riverbanks and rich farmlands in Dane and Green County. A few dams must be portaged. Suggested trip: You can put-in in Belleville below the dam at Community Park (Belleville is about 13 miles SW of Madison) and canoe for about 4 hours and  10 miles to HWY X. I made a first canoe trip and similar trip 50 years ago, got caught in the dark as left early afternoon. You can get stuck in the mud in low points and see some carp, ducks, turtles and perhaps a crane and bald eagle. It is 4.25 miles to the Highway 92 bridge, which may be a great place to end your trip. There is a very accessible take-out at Highway X and a parking lot entrance on the northeast corner of the bridge. Sugar River Sports of Belleville WI have canoe and kayak rentals and fishing advice – 7008 Little Lakes Road, Belleville, WI – 53508 – Phone:(608) 424-6045.

Wisconsin Brewing Company offers a tour and a taste in the tap room. Enjoy their gift shop. The Brewery is located just SE of Verona on Hwy PB about 9 miles SW of Madison. The building sets on a site and is partially surrounded by a scenic pond. Take in one of their events and you will enjoy the beers and the views. Brothers Carl and Mark Nolen and brew-master Kirby Nelson set out to build a brewery and the highest quality, really good, enjoyable craft beers. Construction of the brewery started in January 2013 and was completed in 10 months. In the mean time brews were formulated and tried and well received. Some beer names are… Amber Lager, American IPA, Brown Porter, Big Sweet Life, Porter Joe, Zenith, Ol’ Reliable, Bleeding Heart and PsycHopath. The taste is really what is important. Near beer names will emerge and the taste will refresh. Wisconsin Brewing Company – 1079 American Way, Verona, WI 53593 – 608.848.1079.

WISCONSIN DELLS: 

COLUMBIA COUNTY WI – Scenic wonder of Wisconsin plus commercial attractions. WI Dells. 

VISITOR AND CONVENTION BUREAU – 800-223-3557. To see the scenic Dells – Take the Duck 

RIDES OR BOAT RIDES – Make Wisconsin Dells part of a scenic day trip in South Central WI. The land is Wisconsin scenic beauty at it’s best. The commercial attractions may entertain, but the landscape will take your breath away. Wisconsin Dells is 42 miles NE of Madison in Columbia County.

CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – Wisconsin Dells Chamber of Commerce. 

* CRYSTAL GRAND MUSIC THEATRE – Live entertainment, country, oldies and comedy – 430 W Monroe Ave, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965.

* FISHING – Wisconsin Dells Fishing and Fish Wisconsin Fishing.

MIRROR LAKE STATE PARK – Picnic areas, shelter, grills, biking and wooded campsites.

TANGER OUTLET MALL – 210 Gasser Rd #105, Lake Delton, Sauk County, WI – 800.409.1603. Tanger Outlet Mall, Wisconsin Dells, is a shopping-mall featuring a variety of brand-name and designer outlet stores located about 42 miles NW of centrally located Madison. Some current stores are: (Always check with Tanger Outlet Mall online or by phone per below if you are looking for a specific store – as stores do change). Tanger Outlet Mall – ttp://www.tangeroutlet.com/wisconsindells/- 210 North Gasser Road, Ste 105 – Lake Delton /  Wisconsin Dells, WI 53913 – Phone(608) 253-5380 or (800) 409-1603.

* WISCONSIN DUCK TOURS – World War II amphibious vehicles tour the scenic part of Dells – 1890 Wisconsin Dells Pkwy, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

* WILDERNESS WOODS GOLF COURSE – 9 holes, 511 E Adams St, Wisconsin Dells, WI.

WISCONSIN OPRY – E10964 Moon Road, Baraboo, Sauk County, WI – 608.254.7951 – Country music. Wisconsin Opry offers a dinner and show held near Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells about 33 miles NW of Madison. The Wisconsin Opry meal is a good old fashioned home cooked meal that will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites including turkey, cooked outdoors over charcoal, special green beans seasoned with bacon and onions, garden salad, potato salad, and rolls, home made Russian dill pickles and your choice of Lemonade, Iced Tea, and Coffee and strawberry shortcake. Reservations Required! Meal items may vary. After dinner, enjoy a relaxing hayride. Groups may enjoy a scenic hayride through acres of beautiful nature and farmland. It’s an event center for weddings, reunions and birthday parties. Wisconsin Opry – E 10964 Moon Road, Baraboo, Sauk County, WI 53913.

WISCONSIN RIVER SCENIC LOWER WISCONSIN RIVER – The Wisconsin River is a major scenic attraction in Southern Wisconsin.

 

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