Monthly Archives: September 2012

September 25, 2012

One-of-a-kind Wisconsin Museums

Visit these fun and sometimes quirky historic attractions

Wisconsin is full of interesting museums and historic sites. Some of these attractions chronicle local lore. Others showcase artifacts and exhibits about important local figures. If you’re looking for something to do this fall, take a drive through Wisconsin and stop at these one-of-a-kind museums.

West Bend Company Regal Ware Museum

Located in West Bend, the West Bend Company Regal Ware Museum tells the stories of two cookware companies that helped to build the community of West Bend and shape the way Americans cooked. The museum is a fascinating study of American consumerism and Twentieth-century industry.

Oshkosh Public Museum

Oshkosh is home to the outstanding Oshkosh Public Museum, one of the finest local history museums in Wisconsin. The contents of this well-designed museum are centered around the Lake Winnebago Region. You’ll learn about the area’s wetlands, early European settlers and history as an important industrial center during the lumber boom of the late 1800s.

Middleton Historical Museum and Historic Train Depot

Located just minutes from Madison, Middleton is home to the excellent Middleton Historical Museum and Historic Train Depot. Together, these two buildings in downtown Middleton house a treasure trove of artifacts from Middleton’s past, including one of the best Depression glass collections in the Midwest.

Little Falls Railroad and Doll Museum

In Black River Country, you’ll find the Little Falls Railroad and Doll Museum. See a fantastic model railroad layout as well as a set of dolls portraying Presidents’ wives in their inaugural gowns. Kids can play on a 40-foot train and toddlers can ride the “Toddler’s Trike Trail.” It’s a fun, family-friendly museum you don’t want to miss.

Little Bohemia Lodge

In the small community of Manitowish Waters in Vilas County, you’ll find the site of the shootout between FBI agents and John Dillinger’s gang. John Dillinger escaped, but the bullet holes left by the FBI agent’s guns remain. Today, the lodge is a restaurant. Have breakfast, lunch or dinner at Little Bohemia and imagine the era of gangsters and G-men.


Other Interesting Wisconsin Museums:


September 18, 2012

Portage County offers an abundance of arts

(Photo: KT Elements)

Where in central Wisconsin can you find great galleries featuring work from local and national artists, one-of-a-kind owner operated art galleries, and a unique sculpture park nestled among the pines?

Look no further than the burgeoning arts scene in Stevens Point and Portage County, located smack-dab in the middle of Wisconsin.

Galleries, museums and more

Galleries and art museums abound in the area, from the Carlsten Art Gallery at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point to downtown’s Scarabocchio Art Museum, named after a style of decorative doodling invented by area resident David L. Smith.

The Riverfront Arts Center sits along the shores of the Wisconsin River in Stevens Point’s Pfiffner Pioneer Park and hosts exhibits by local and regional artists. Q Artists’ Cooperative is an artist-owned and operated gallery where customers can purchase paintings, prints, photos and jewelry, and App Art Studio is a gallery and studio featuring the oil and watercolor paintings of Wisconsin artist Marie App.

Q Artists’ Cooperative (Photo: KT Elements)

Other area art attractions include Clay Corner Studio and Koerten’s Fine Framing & Gifts, both in Stevens Point, and Tomorrow River Gallery & Gifts in Amherst.

You don’t have to venture to a gallery to see great works of art, either. The Stevens Point Sculpture Park is a 20-acre outdoor art installation that features works by local, regional and national artists. And throughout downtown Stevens Point, visitors can find a series of historical murals, painted by local artists Kelly Meredith and Greg Luedtke, which tell the story of Stevens Point through people, places and major events.

And the arts scene stretches into Portage County’s eating and drinking options, too. Enjoy culinary creations at one of the area’s supper clubs or fine dining-establishments like @1800, a restaurant whose outstanding art collection – including works by Picasso and Dali – is on display for diners to enjoy. Sample great craft beers from one of the three local breweries – Central Waters in Amherst, O’So in Plover and Point Brewery in Stevens Point.

October event celebrates area artists, performers

All the county’s cultural offerings will on display during Bounty in Portage County on Friday, Oct. 5, through Sunday, Oct. 7. The annual arts showcase highlights Portage County’s arts scene with a series of events, from the Manhattan Short Film Festival to the Hidden Studios Art Tour. Bounty in Portage County also features live music, arts performances, a beer festival and more.

Here’s a sampling of some of the weekend’s events:

  • The Manhattan Short Film Festival screens at the Sky Club in Plover and the Lettie Jensen Center in Amherst on Friday. Portage County is one of dozens of hosts for the weeklong film festival, which will screen finalists in more than 250 cities across the globe.
  • All weekend long, working art studios across Portage County will open their doors to the public for the only time all year during the Hidden Studios Art Tour. Explore the winding roads and quaint communities of Portage County at the peak of fall color season.
  • Art aficionados can also stop by the Rising Star Mill in Nelsonville for a look at the “The Barns of Portage County,” a photographic exhibit that is free and open to the public all weekend.
  • A taste of Germany comes to Portage County when Plover’s own O’so Brewing hosts PLO-toberfest, its own Oktoberfest celebration, on Saturday. Live music, food, fun activities and (of course) beer highlight the event.
  • Also on Saturday, the Northern Gateway Chorus, a four-part a cappella group, will fill Stevens Point’s Theater @1800 with their classic barbershop sounds in the Harvest of Harmony. The Northern Gateway Chorus will perform at 5:30 and 7:30pm Saturday.
  • To cap the weekend, live performances, food and art demonstrations come to SentryWorld in Stevens Point for Toast to the Arts, an annual fundraiser that raises long-term, local grant dollars for arts and culture in Portage County.

For more information about Portage County’s arts scene or for more details on Bounty in Portage County, visit


September 14, 2012

Onalaska Fall Getaway Giveaway

Thanks for entering!

Thanks to everyone who entered the Onalaska Getaway Giveaway! We’ll be announcing our three lucky winners soon, so check your e-mail to see if you’ve won. Stay in touch with us on Facebook and get trip planning advice, events and more.

Thank you to Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Hampton Inn for providing overnight stays to our winners!

This entry was posted in Contests on Friday, September 14, 2012.

September 13, 2012

Find the Best Fall Mountain Biking in Wisconsin

Some trail suggestions to help you in your trip planning

Fall is the perfect time for mountain biking in Wisconsin. Cooler weather makes it comfortable to go pedaling though the fields and forests of the Badger State. Here are some suggestions for your fall mountain biking excursions.

Middleton Bike ParkMiddleton Bike Park – This new mountain biking opportunity in Middleton has it all. A short “pump track” lets riders work on their skills. A jump line gives you a chance to get some air. And a single-track loop through the woods gives you an opportunity to enjoy beautiful fall color.

New Fane Mountain Biking Trail – Located just north of West Bend  in the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, the New Fane Mountain Biking Trail features loops ranging from 0.5 to four miles. The trail offers views of rolling hills, a pond and meadows as it winds its way through the state forest. It’s a short but satisfying mountain biking trail, and in the fall it is truly scenic.

Sisters Farm TrailsSister’s Farm Trails – See autumn splendor on the banks of the Flambeau River as you bike the Sister’s Farm Mountain Biking Trail System in Rusk County. Ride 12 kilometers of trail segments that afford outstanding views of the river and present some challenging riding. The system includes both single-track and multi-track biking and needs to be on your list for riding this fall.

Washburn Lake Trail – This hilly trail in Oneida County runs through gorgeous forests and gives riders ample opportunity to appreciate the fall scenery. At 15 miles, it’s a long trail and offers some challenging riding. If you want an exciting mountain biking experience this fall, ride the Washburn Lake Trail.

Other mountain bike trails to try this fall:


September 12, 2012

Fall Musky Hotspots

Fall is musky time. As temperatures drop, these enormous fish get hungry. Ravenously hungry. If you want to catch a trophy, you better be out fishing when the leaves start falling off the trees. These four fishing hotspots are your best bets for catching a once-in-a-lifetime fish this fall.

Musky fishing in Boulder JunctionTrout Lake – Located just south of Boulder Junction, Trout Lake is one of Wisconsin’s deepest, clearest lakes. In November, when the mercury falls, Trout Lake muskies follow fat ciscoes up into the shallows, giving anglers a rare opportunity to catch some of the lunkers that stay in deep water through most of the year.

Eagle River ChainVilas County’s Eagle River Chain of Lakes is a musky hunter’s heaven. Not only does the chain offer dozens of lakes, it’s loaded with muskies. While the chain might be a popular fishing destination, anglers will find that the fish are still plentiful.

Boom Lake – Boom Lake is probably the best-known lake in the Rhinelander Area – and for good reason. This lake not only offers great fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass and panfish, it’s an outstanding musky lake. Throughout the fall, Boom Lake produces some big fish.

Willow Flowage – Located in western Oneida County, the Willow Flowage is a gem. It isn’t a renowned musky destination, but it really should be. While most musky anglers are focusing on other lakes around the Northwoods, the muskies of the Willow Flowage are growing big and fat. And, fishing the Willow Flowage is pure pleasure. Undeveloped and highly scenic, there’s no better place to spend a fall afternoon casting bucktails and taking in the view.