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Enjoy your vacation al fresco
Outdoor dining season is here, and there’s a table waiting for you! The weather is warming up, and patios, beer gardens and decks across the state are rolling out the patio tables to welcome diners with fresh entrees and a relaxing open-air atmosphere. Whet your appetite by reading about three of our favorite outdoor dining destinations.
In central Wisconsin, Marshfield has reinvented its dining scene. The Blue Heron Brew Pub is flanked by a row of outdoor tables on 9th Street, giving diners a view of the historic downtown. The pub has 10 microbrews on tap, as well as delicious dining options like pizzas from its upstairs wood-fired oven. On Central Avenue, MoJo’s Pasta House & Cajun Cook Shack is the place to go for home-cooked delights. Arrive early to get an outside sidewalk table.
Relaxation begins on the edge of Madison. Fitchburg’s thriving dining scene is popular with visitors—restaurants are located near the city’s expansive trail system, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing meal after an adventure on two wheels. You’ll find a lot of great restaurants, including places with outdoor seating. Popular outdoor dining spots include Cajun hotspot Lilliana’s Restaurant and the Thirsty Goat, which has more than 40 beers on tap along with some great pub food.
Middleton has more than 30 restaurants with outdoor dining, offering everything from casual fare to fine dining. The historic 1847 at the Stamm House, built in—you guessed it—1847, is one classic Middleton restaurant that offers outdoor seating. Find delicious Italian dining at Villa Dolce or Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano or enjoy an upscale burger at The Free House Pub or Tanner’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill.
Pedal into the season
Air up your tires! One of the best times of the year for bicycling has arrived—May is National Bike Month, and you’ll find incredible biking throughout Wisconsin. You won’t have to outrun any mosquitoes or worry about beating the heat—the air is fresh, the countryside is gorgeous, and forests are bursting with blossoms. It’s the perfect time to take in Wisconsin on two wheels. Here are a few classic rides to explore this season.
In the Northwoods of Wisconsin, this paved bike trail will take you through one of the state’s most beautiful forests. The Heart of Vilas County Paved Bike Trail System cuts through the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest and connects the communities of St. Germain, Sayner, Boulder Junction and Manitowish Waters. You don’t need to be an experienced mountain biker or own any special equipment—the trail system features smooth pavement suitable for all riders. All you need is the desire to take in some spring scenery.
The name of this 25-mile trail comes from the German word for “railroad”. The five-mile section of the trail that passes through West Bend is paved, making the Eisenbahn suitable for every type of bicycle. See the peaceful, rural countryside filling with green as spring remakes the landscape. As the trail runs northward from West Bend, it passes just west of the Northern Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, a storybook landscape of ridges and rolling green hills.
One of the best spring bike rides in south central Wisconsin starts in Fitchburg. The Capital City State Trail runs 17 miles from Fitchburg through downtown Madison and beyond. Some of the trails are on former rail lines (the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and the Chicago and North Western Railroad), but much of the trail was built away from the railway, so there are some gentle curves and small hills. The trail connects to the Southwest Commuter Path, the Badger State Trail and the Cannonball Path.