Edible Antics

Touring Wisconsin Food

10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours

What are the 10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours?  Edible Antics has been on tour for over 9 months searching Wisconsin highways and byways for people places and adventures that are examples of our moto “Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin”.  Supper Clubs, bakeries, butcher shops, brew pubs, wineries, Bed and Breakfasts, parks and attractions, bike, hike and snowmobile trails and anything fun, beautiful, delicious or special.  Just so you can enjoy all the beauty that is Wisconsin.  Our archives link above can help you find our recommendations in all 72 counties.

Wisconsin’s Best

Over the next few weeks we will be featuring “Top Ten” listings from our 72 Wisconsin county research efforts.  These will be the best of the best.  Multiple examples of Wisconsin artisans that weekly put forth their best efforts that are Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.  This week we sort down our research to a specific category.  10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours.  Where are the Wisconsin forests fall foliage best observed in the fall season?  And it would be helpful to identify a few lodging and dining spots to compliment the tours.  We are looking for quality food, outstanding service and an atmosphere worthy of a drive to each destination.

10 Best Wisconsin Fall Color Tours

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“Wi Made” Miata on Hwy 70

It is fall in Wisconsin.  Days are shorter, nights are cooler and Mother Nature has broken out her paint brushes to add beautiful colors to the landscape.  Far Northern Wisconsin has already begun the display and the rest of the state will follow over the next few weeks.  Apples, cherries, cranberries and pumpkins are being harvested along with our traditional crops of corn, soybeans, potatoes, peas, carrots and green beans. Wisconsin provides a large contribution to the nation’s food pantry.

So if you have the time to take a short tour to enjoy this fall beauty, where would you go?  Here are our favorites:

10. The Upper Mississippi Great River Drive.  Highway 35 follows the Mississippi River.  This drive works best the 2nd to 3rd week in October.  The view from the top of Grandad’s Bluff in LaCrosse offers a panorama of fall colors up and down the valley.  The drive includes views of towering bluffs and the hard working locks handling the barges filled with the results of the fall harvest.  If you have the time visit the Charmant Hotel, Piggy’s Restaurant and the Waterfront Restaurant in La Crosse.

9. The Ashland Bayfield Apostle Islands area. This far north area is usually at its best the first week in October.  Drives overlook Lake Superior and the forests of Northern Wisconsin.  Madeline Island with its Big Bay State Park is a special attraction in the fall.  The 55th Annual Bayfield Apple Festival runs October 7-9, 2016 and is one of the best fall festivals in the country.   For extra credit visit the  Hotel Chequamegon in Ashland and the Old Rittenhouse and Wild Rice in Bayfield.  And see if you can find the Delta Diner.

Bayfield Harbor in fall

8. Kettle Moraine State Park in eastern Wisconsin offers lakes and forests in a meandering drive at its best usually in the third week of October.  The rolling hills and valleys in this part of the state resulted from the receding glaciers of the last ice age.  The diverse foliage paints a rainbow of color.  Outstanding lodging in this area includes The American Club, The Osthoff and 52 Stafford.

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Flock of Sandhill Cranes in cut corn field

7. Wisconsin River Valley from Prairie du Sac to Prairie du Chien.  Wisconsin Highway 60 follows the Wisconsin River valley and has numerous scenic overlooks.  It is usually at its color peak in the third week of October.  Along the way in Spring Green there are art galleries and historic attractions.   The Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac is beautiful in the fall.  This time of year the Sandhill Cranes flock together to begin their migration south.  This drive includes some of their gathering places.

6. The Central Wisconsin Wausau area includes Rib Mountain State Park.  The 60 foot observation tower on top of the mountain offers spectacular views of the Wisconsin River and the surrounding countryside.  The fall colors are usually peaking during the second week of October.  The Jefferson Street Inn in Wausau offers a great lodging spot for this trip.

5. The LaCrosse County and Monroe County area contains rolling hills and valleys with small towns and Amish charm along the way.  Winding roads enhance the fall color experience that usually peaks in the second week of October.  The Franklin Victorian Bed and Breakfast in Sparta provides a good home base for this tour.

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Tip of Door County fall drive

4. Door County.  This special Wisconsin touring area usually peaks during the third week of October.  With five state parks and beautiful county parks this area offers many opportunities to enjoy the fall colors.  The quaint villages also include good restaurants and lodging choices.  The drive from Gills Rock to the ferry landing on the northern tip of the peninsula is an often photographed winding road that is beautiful in the fall.

3. The Eagle River area in northeastern Wisconsin is located in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National forest.  Foliage usually peaks during the second week of October.  These forests are a national treasure and the color attracts many visitors each fall.

2. Highway 8 from Niagara to St. Croix Falls. This east-west highway transverses north central Wisconsin from St. Croix Falls in the west to Niagara in the east and usually peaks in the second week in October.  The Carnegie Hall Bed and Breakfast in Ladysmith is a unique lodging stop.  It is a Carnegie funded library converted to a B&B.  There are two casinos along this route; the St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake and the Mole Lake Casino in Crandon.

1. Highway 70 transverses northern Wisconsin from Florence to Danbury.  Along the way Minocqua and Spooner offer diversions.  This area usually peaks during the first week in October.  The Inn at Pinewood Bed and Breakfast and the Chanticleer Inn in Eagle River both offer food and lodging for your enjoyment.

Do you have a favorite Wisconsin road tour?  Where in Wisconsin do you enjoy the fall season?  Let me know at email rick@wisconsinmade.com

The beauty of the state is dressed up in its fall garb.  Multicolor earth tones blend with blue skies and sparkling waters.  We hope you can find some time to hit the road and enjoy the wonders of Wisconsin in this fall season. For up to date information on the progress of Wisconsin fall color transition the State Department of Tourism website travelwisconsin.com has fall color report map  that shows the status of change in each of our 72 counties.

The hard work of skilled Wisconsinites compliments the beauty of Mother Nature and we are proud to bring you their products.

Join us next week as we continue to sort down the very best of Wisconsin searching for people, places and edibles Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin

 

Top Ten Wisconsin Waterfront Dining

Edible Antics has been on tour for over 9 months searching Wisconsin highways and byways for people places and adventures that are examples of our moto “Made With Pride and Passion in Wisconsin”.  Supper Clubs, bakeries, butcher shops, brew pubs, wineries, Bed and Breakfasts, parks and attractions, bike, hike and snowmobile trails and anything fun, beautiful, delicious or special.  Just so you can enjoy all the beauty that is Wisconsin.  Our archives can help you find our recommendations in all 72 counties.

Wisconsin’s Best

Over the next few weeks we will be featuring “Top Ten” listings from our 72 Wisconsin county research efforts.  These will be the best of the best.  Multiple examples of Wisconsin artisans that weekly put forth their best efforts that are Made with Pride and Passion in Wisconsin.  This week we sort down our research to a specific category.  Wisconsin Waterfront Dining.  It can either be outdoors on a patio or deck overlooking a lovely Wisconsin lake or stream, or indoors with views of our state’s liquid assets.   We have about a seven month window for outdoor dining, but the Wisconsin beauty is visible from indoors all year round.  We are looking for quality food, outstanding service and an atmosphere worthy of a drive to each destination.

There are many qualifying entries located on Lake Michigan, the Wisconsin River, the Mississippi River, the Fox River, The Wolf River and others.  It was difficult to narrow it down to just 10, but here goes:

Wisconsin’s Top 10 Waterfront Restaurants

  • 10. Pier 290 – Williams Bay on Lake Geneva offers local farm to table dining in a warm casual atmosphere overlooking the lake.
  • 9. The Buckhorn Supper Club – just outside of Milton on Lake Koshkonong has been serving families for over 85 years.
  • 8. Paisan’s – overlooking Lake Monona in Madison features their pizza and Italian influenced dishes both inside their glass windows or on their large patio overlooking the lake

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    Paisan’s patio – Lake Monona

  • 7. Harbor House – on the Milwaukee Lake Michigan waterfront with the city skyline in one direction and the lake and Milwaukee Art Museum in the other.

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    Harbor House Milwaukee

  • 6. The Waterfront – in LaCrosse has patio dining along the riverfront in addition to their good food.  Interior views of the riverfront are also beautiful in all seasons.
  • 5. Fratello’s Riverfront Restaurant – Appleton on the Fox River overlooking a dam and rapids.  Large glass walls and an open room allow both light and beauty to be enjoyed by all.
  • 4. Norton’s of Green Lakeis a popular supper club with locals and visitors alike.  Great food and great views out over Green Lake.

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    Norton’s of Green Lake

  • 3. Lake Park Bistro – in Milwaukee Lake Park offers fine dining in a park settling overlooking Lake Michigan and is part of the Bartolotta family of dining locations.
  • 2. Donny’s Glidden Lodge – on Glidden Drive outside of Sturgeon Bay is a Door County favorite for locals and visitors alike.
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    Donny’s Glidden Lodge

    Voted one of the most romantic, best steaks, best view – it looks out over Whitefish Bay on Lake Michigan.  Only feet from the lake with fan favorite menu items, open year round, great fireplace in the bar in winter – just what you are looking for.

  • 1. Ishnala Supper Club – This special place is on everybody’s “best of” list because it deserves it.  Overlooking Mirror Lake near the Dells this classic is only open in the warm months; it closes for the season October 30.  If you have not been there make sure you get there soon.

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    Ishnala Supper Club

So there you have them.  Edible Antics top 10 Wisconsin waterfront dining spots.  Did we miss your favorite?  Make sure we know about it so it gets considered for the next time.

There is still plenty of time to enjoy these special Wisconsin waterfront dining spots.  Fall colors, crisp air, no bugs, beautiful sunsets and great food.

 

Wood County, number 72!

Wisconsin’s 5.7 million people (2010 census) are spread out over 54 thousand square miles or an average of about 105 folks per square mile.  We are organized into 72 counties.  Over the last 9 months we have carefully visited each or those counties to search for special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visited.  Wisconsin is rich in ethnic traditional food artisans from many origins, newly emerging microbreweries and wineries, restored historic bed and breakfast lodgings, vast areas of forests and park lands preserved for public use, a growing network of bike, hike and snowmobile trails and a long list of our beloved Wisconsin supper clubs.  This week we visit Wood County, the last of our 72 county tours.  Over the coming weeks we will compile listings of the “Best of the Best” from our research around the state.

If you had the time, the funds and a nice touring vehicle which 20 supper clubs would you have on your “Got to get there!” list?  We’ll share with you our list.  And ask for your input too.  But first let’s close out this effort with Wood County. Continue reading

Waushara and Winnebago counties

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Oshkosh and other Wisconsin communities in Waushara and Winnebago counties in Wisconsin.  Not only are they linked alphabetically but they are right next to each other.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county. Continue reading

Historic Waukesha and Waupaca counties

Edible Antics is traveling this week to historic Wisconsin communities of Waukesha and Waupaca counties in Wisconsin.  One is Northwoods forest tourism and recreation area, the other is a tourism playground for urban visitors.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county. Continue reading

Tourism in Washburn and Washington counties

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Washburn and Washington counties in Wisconsin.  One is Northwoods forest tourism and recreation area, the other is a tourism playground for urban visitors.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county. Continue reading

Tourism in Vilas and Walworth counties

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Vilas County by David Benbennick

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Vilas and Walworth counties in Wisconsin.  One is a Northwoods forest tourism and recreation area, the other is a tourism playground for urban visitors.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county.

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Wine in Trempealeau and Vernon Counties

Trempealeau County

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Trempealeau and Vernon counties in Wisconsin.  Both counties are home to good wine producers.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county.

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Map of Wisconsin highlighting Trempealeau County by David Benbennick

Whitehall is the county seat of this 734 square miles county.  28,800 people live here.  The Trempealeau River joins the Mississippi close to a nearby mountain.  The French fur traders named this location for “Mountain steeped in water.”  Other cities in the county include:

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State Fair, Sheboygan and Taylor counties

Wisconsin State Fair and other important dates

The Wisconsin State Fair starts its annual 10 day run on August 4th.  Cream puffs, cheese curds, ice cream, brats, corn on the cobb and lots of food on a stick are all here.  Judging of cattle, horses, pigs and feathered friends can be enjoyed each day.

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Wisconsin State Fair Cream Puffs

The Wisconsin State Fair certainly has a reputation for unique and unusual foods, which is why they created an Annual Food Competition, The Sporkies. Each year eight finalists are selected from several dozen entries, and a panel of celebrity judges chooses the recipients of three Golden Spork Awards

The first Friday in August, this year it is the 5th, is International Beer Day.  In Wisconsin it is not yet a state holiday but is celebrated with gusto reflecting our German heritage and long brewing history.  Wisconsin’s largest brewers are Miller in Milwaukee, Minhas in Monroe, New Glarus Brewing and Stevens Point Brewing.  However the craft beer industry is growing and Wisconsin is now home to 70 members of the Wisconsin Brewers Guild.

August 6th is National Mustard Day and will be celebrated in downtown Middleton, Wisconsin at the National Mustard Museum.

August 10th is National S’mores Day celebrating that wonderful creation enjoyed around campfires all across Wisconsin.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin has just completed the annual Experimental Aircraft Association show that draws hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of airplanes.  Aircraft enthusiasts love the opportunity to experience the aviation marvels.  The EAA grounds also are the location of an aircraft museum.

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Sheboygan and Taylor counties in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin State Fair.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post for you our Edible Antics recommended stops for each county.

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Wisconsinmade in Sawyer and Shawano counties

Edible Antics is traveling this week to Sawyer and Shawano counties in Wisconsin.  We are finding the special Supper Clubs, bakeries, meat markets, breweries, bike trails, wineries, bed and breakfasts, parks, attractions and anything Wisconsinmade we think you might enjoy in each county we visit.  We’ll post to our Edible Antics recommendations for each county alphabetically by county.

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