Wisconsin Dells plus Cheese, Bratwurst, Beer and Polka Are Eclectic Wisconsin Treats
Did someone say bratwurst, beer and cheese? If you did, you certainly had to be referring to Wisconsin. It doesn’t matter that California produces more cheese than Wisconsin, because after visiting, then living in “god’s country”, I am here to tell you that Wisconsin cheese can’t be beat.
But first, let’s find out why folks would wander north from Chicago to see a place where they dig holes in the ice to fish on frozen lakes in the winter. Wisconsin is about its outdoor activities–and lakes. You can begin your Wisconsin journey at the beautiful, shimmering summer lake retreats such as the Wisconsin Dells that made the state famous as a tourist attraction when a handful of pretty girls in swimsuits water skied in unison across the lake, waving to tourists. You may still find that classic image on postcards when visiting Wisconsin’s top tourist attractions.
Wisconsin isn’t solely about its lakes, but as a tourist, you can hardly avoid the lakes when visiting. Having ridden the Shotgun Rapids, rafted along a beautiful lake in the summer, and living on the edge of the Fox River, there are many bodies of water to enjoy in Wisconsin for the outdoor lover.
Wisconsin’s major cities such as Milwaukee sit on the bays of major U.S. lakes. Wisconsin is practically surrounded by several of the bodies of water in the northern United States Great Lakes region, with a portion of the state fronting Lake Michigan, and its northern region is on the bay of Lake Superior. You’re seldom more than an hour away from a lake (though usually you are much closer) in any city or town in Wisconsin.
Because of its location that some consider the Midwest United States, but we like to think of as north, the summer months are most often pleasant and seldom get above the mid-80′s in temperature. Lots of rain is what keeps the state a lush, rich green, allowing desert rats from Arizona to California to roll in the meadows and soak of up the vibrant colors of summer. Blue, blue skies and green, green trees are a feast for sore eyes that luckily arrive in Wisconsin during the summer months. One of our favorite spots to visit during this time of year is Appleton, along the banks of the Fox River.
You need not be confined to summer sports that range from fishing (a favorite) to la crosse (there’s even a city named La Crosse!). When the snows arrive (and they always do in Wisconsin,) you can also participate in a snowmobiling, ice skating, sledding and ice fishing. Winters require plenty of warm clothes such as boots, coats, gloves and hats, and on occasion the temperatures can drop to sub-zero. We warm climate folks normally visit Wisconsin when it is not snowing, and that means you should consider visiting from late March to October.
Back to the food. Wisconsin does love its food. A large influx of immigrants from Europe and especially France and Germany settled in Wisconsin during its formation as a state. When they arrived, the moved in on Native Americans who had lived well with ample fish from the lakes to consume. The newcomers brought their traditions, customs and recipes for tasty foods. Wisconsin is known for its dairy cattle, especially. Though they don’t produce the quantity of cheeses, butter and milk that you’ll find in California, the quality of Wisconsin dairy products is out of this world. What some call “gourmet” is enjoyed every day in this dairy state.
If you’re seeking a place to get away from it all, Wisconsin is ideal. Like another U.S. region we dearly love, New Hampshire and Vermont, Wisconsin is well worth a drive from Chicago. Just head north and keep going. Cities such as Milwaukee, Wausau, Sheboygan, Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh and Madison, all offer tree-lined neighborhoods with lovely homes, wonderful pubs and restaurants and unique folks who are accustomed to the real deal. While some say they’re going to leave Wisconsin, they look around and discover that there are so many assets that leaving would require sacrificing a quality of life tourists get a small taste of when they visit.
If you love quality dairy, beer recipes from the Old Country and wursts ranging from knach to bock, a trip to Wisconsin should be added to your itinerary for a summer vacation. And what about polka? Well there are some great little pubs and bars where girls and guys, ladies and gents, get out and dance to it. A book was even written about Wisconsin polka culture!