Traditional recipes

Take a Bite Out of Fall: Top Apple-Picking Spots in America

Take a Bite Out of Fall: Top Apple-Picking Spots in America

Fall is finally here, and for many families across the nation this means taking part in the beloved tradition of apple picking. As the temperatures start to dip, the ripe fruit weighs heavy on tree branches across the country and orchards from New England to Southern California open their doors for people to come and gather.

These days there are also tons of “extras,” to enjoy, such as farm-to-table food options, homemade baked goods, petting zoos, and picturesque picnic areas so you can get right to the apple eating.

So dig out grandma’s favorite apple pie recipe, grab your baskets, and head to one of these wondrous locations this weekend to stock up for the season.

Lyman Orchards, Middlefield, Conn.

Connecticut’s self-titled “sweet spot,” located in the rolling hills of Middlefield, has been owned and operated by the Lyman family since 1741 — making it the 12th oldest business in the U.S. This time of year, visitors have access to 12 different varieties of apples as well as peaches, pears, and pumpkins, all ripe for the picking. The farm has a giant corn maze and championship golf course on site, along with a farm shop called the Apple Barrel, which serves homemade pies, apple cider donuts, and breakfast on the weekends. There are even weekly events such as pumpkin painting and cooking demonstrations.

Riley’s at Los Rios Rancho, Oak Glen, Calif.

Nestled in the San Bernardino foothills is the historic, apple growing area of Oak Glen, just 75 miles east of Los Angeles, the Los Rios Rancho has a been a part of this community for over 100 years. Now owned by the Riley Family, the more than 200-acre orchard is a fully operational fruit farm, popular event space, farm shop, and museum. Fruit fanatics can take a historic horse-drawn hayride, take part in craft making sessions (from candle making to cider pressing), and get up close and personal with some furry friends at the petting zoo. On fall weekends there is also live music and barbecue. Oh and don’t forget the eight different varieties of apples available for self-picking.

Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction, N.Y.

Owned by the Morgenthau family for almost 100 years, this historic New York state apple orchard has, in recent years, become a modern, diversified ecological farm with 15 acres of vegetable plantings, 1000 pasture-raised chickens, and over 80 acres of fruit — including an incredible 50 varieties of apples. On weekends, visitors can indulge in a burger from the apple wood grill, fresh pressed cider, homemade donuts, and freshly churned ice-cream. Or you can jump on a hayride to get a full tour of the spectacular property.

Apple Jack Orchards, Delano, Minn.

Just 30 minutes west of Minneapolis are the Apple Jack Orchards, home to 10,000 apple trees of 29 different varieties. While a year-round growing operation, this time of year the orchard becomes a “family fun farm” with pick-your-own raspberries, pumpkins, squash, and of course, apples. Visitors can explore the huge 7-acre corn maze, grab a snack at the Apple Pantry Cafe, take a wagon or pony ride, or fire the apple cannon. There is even the Old Barn Gift Shop, located inside the 100 year old hay barn, which sells seasonal decor and gifts.

Draper Girls Country Farm, Mt. Hood Parkdale, Ore.

Draper Girls Farm is a 40-acre orchard just an hour’s drive from downtown Portland. It is part of the Hood River Valley’s expansive orchard region that is responsible for around 45 percent of the nation’s pear crop. But this time of year, there is another reason to visit — fresh apple cider. The farm is home to the Hood River Valley’s only non-pasteurized, licensed, cider mill that is in operation year round. After picking your own apples, guests can feed the farm animals, sample the famous cinnamon-sugar dried apple slices, shop the homemade preserves and farm raised meat, or just enjoy a picnic in the garden with its stunning views of Mt Hood.

Stribling Orchard, Markham, Va.

Owned and operated by the same family for six generations, this 200-year-old farm is believed to be one of the first ever “pick-your-own” facilities in the state. But it’s not just the apples (of which there are over 20 different varieties) that make a visit to the Stripling Orchard worth it. Historic property built on the farm dates back to the mid-1700s and is encircled by spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Jones Creek Farms, Sedro Woolley, Wash.

A perfect example of the phrase “good things come in small packages,” Jones Creek Farms sits on just four acres. Yet owners Les and Talea Price have managed to squeeze some 150 different varieties of apples onto their compact farmstead. The couple offer highly educational, guided ethnobotany tours of the farm, where they discuss the history of apple growing, their own journey with the orchard, the complexities of each variety. There is also a pumpkin patch, farm animals to pet and hayrides through the beautiful surroundings.

Sky Top Orchard, Flat Rock, N.C.

Perched on top of one of the highest peaks in the area, with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Sky Top Orchard has long been a popular pick-your-own farm, dating back to the 1960s. Visitors have over 20 different varieties of apple to choose from, including Honey Crisp, Cortland, and Gala, along with a duck pond, a barnyard area (featuring sheep, goats, geese, and chickens), as well as a bamboo forest and scenic picnic area.

This article was originally published by Sophie Forbes

  • Get Your Apple On at These Picking Spots Across the U.S
  • The Pumpkin Patches You Need to Visit This Fall
  • When (and Where) to Catch This Fall's Foliage in All 50 States

WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.


WISCONSIN FOOD & BEVERAGE TRAILS: A Tasty Way to Take a Bite out of America’s Dairyland

Cover Story

In a state that leads the nation in dairy farms (nearly 7,000), cheese plants (125-plus), and cheese production (home to half of the nation’s specialty cheese, with artisan cheesemakers producing more than 600 different types, styles, and varieties of cheese), it’s no surprise that Wisconsin would have several cheese trails. But the Badger State is known for a lot more than its cheese, and a cornucopia of food and beverage trails exists for a delicious way to take a bite out of Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Cheese Tour

Curated by the folks at Travel Wisconsin, this trail is a cheese lover’s paradise. They have created two itineraries – a Southwestern route and an Eastern route – to get a true taste.

The Southwestern itinerary includes stops in Madison, like the Dane County Farmers Market, the largest producers-only farmers market in the country with over 250 vendors (including plenty of cheese), and Fromagination, one of the state’s premier cheese shops (offering hundreds of rotating cheeses, primarily from Wisconsin) Green County, including Swiss-owned Emmi Roth Käse and Baumgartner’s Cheese, Wisconsin’s oldest cheese store the Carr Valley Cheese Store and Cooking School in Sauk City and many breweries, restaurants, and inns that all have Wisconsin cheese on the menu.

The Eastern itinerary focuses on Milwaukee (don’t miss the world’s largest selection of Wisconsin cheese at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart) two-hour or two-day cheesemaking classes at The Cheesemaker in Mequon 100-year-old Lamers Dairy in Appleton or Union Star Cheese Factory in Fremont, for cheese from the source and other retailers, restaurants, wineries, breweries, and inns that all pay homage to the beloved fromage. Learn more about these trails here: travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/an-epicurean-getaway-the-wisconsin-cheese-tour

Cheese Curd Trail

You can’t come to Wisconsin without trying the ubiquitous cheese curds. Basically, cheese curds are pieces that are separated from the whey during the cheesemaking process, and instead of being molded into a cheese wheel, they are cut and bagged to be sold as “fresh” cheese, versus the typical aged cheddar. They have a mild flavor and a rubbery texture that gives them that classic “squeak,” and they make for a tasty snack. They’re everywhere in Wisconsin, including the self-guided DIY Cheese Curd Trail put together by the folks at Madison Eats Food Tours.

With a variety of stops in and around Madison, sample cheddar, muenster, and goat cheese curds. Have them battered and fried with perfectly melted results. Or, try them bacon wrapped or fried in a gluten free pancake batter. And don’t even get us started on the many dipping sauces like classic ranch, roasted Hatch green chili crema, or truffled fish sauce. It’s truly a Wisconsin tradition. Start planning your trip here: madisoneatsfoodtours.com/best-places-for-fried-cheese-curds-in-madison-wi

Wisconsin’s Cranberry Highway

When it comes to cranberries, Wisconsin is the nation’s largest producer of the tart superfood. To celebrate the ruby red fruit, it’s easy to embark on a self-guided tour along the Cranberry Highway in
the Wisconsin Rapids region.

Stretching almost 50 miles from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens, the decades-old cranberry beds explode with color in the fall, and the area is filled with creative ways to experience the Wisconsin specialty. Cranberry trailblazers can learn all about the cranberry industry and history at the Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center in Warrens, tour a cranberry marsh at Glacial Lake Cranberries or Splash of Red Cranberry Tour, and shop for all things cranberry at Rubi Reds, a family-owned and -operated retail shop in Wisconsin Rapids run by berry growers. It’s also possible to enjoy cranberries in a cocktail, in cranberry bread, or in chicken salad at the many cafes, restaurants, and supper clubs that create sumptuous dishes using the local fruit. There’s even the annual summer Cranberry Blossom Festival. Head to visitwisrapids.com/cranberryhighway to learn more.

Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail

Best known as a dairy county, the fertile soils and humid climate of Manitowoc County which produce award-winning cows and dairy products, also contribute to other robust agricultural crop production. The Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail in Manitowoc and Two Rivers shines the spotlight on this culinary bounty with authentic Wisconsin tastes of wine, cheese, beer, butter, smoked fish, ice cream, chocolate, maple syrup, and so much more.

With more than a dozen potential stops, visitors can taste their way through the county, including: scratch-made breads and bakery items at Bakery on State old-fashioned ice cream parlor treats at Beerntsens wines and wine tastings at Cold Country Wines & Vines craft beers at Courthouse Pub, PetSkull Brewing or Sabbatical Brewing smoked fish at Susie-Q Fish Company specialty olive oils and aged vinegars at The Hearty Olive pure maple syrup at Inthewoods Sugarbush cheeses at Pine River Dairy sausages at Newton Meats fresh produce and u-pick strawberries at Wilfert Farms and more. Make a weekend of it and visit them all! Check out wisconsincoastalfoodtrail.com to get started.

Wisconsin Food Trails

Wisconsin Food Trails is the brainchild of the marketing department at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater University Center as a way get out and explore the areas surrounding UW-W, from Madison to Milwaukee. With three trails on their blog – an Ice Cream Trail (Wisconsin is the country’s leading dairy producer, after all), a Taco Trail, and, of course, a Cheese Curds Trail – they all start from UW-W and make a loop back to campus. Depending upon where you are, you can pick up and pursue any section.

The Ice Cream Trail includes some of Wisconsin’s best old school ice cream parlors, frozen custard spots, drive-ins, and more. The Taco Trail hits up a half dozen of some of the region’s muy caliente tacos, burritos, fajitas, and more. And, the Cheese Curds Trail focuses on restaurants, burger joints, cheese shops, and even a hotel that are serving up this squeaky Wisconsin specialty. Study up and get started here: blogs.uww.edu/ucinfo/2020/07/29/wisconsin-food-trails/

Great River Road Wine Trail

Following the upper Mississippi River, the Great River Road Wine Trail features a collection of 10 wineries across Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa that take advantage of the winter hardy grape varietals that have been growing in the Upper Mississippi River Valley American Viticultural Area for centuries. Five Wisconsin wineries can be found in a compact 90-mile stretch of Route 35 on the north bank of the river from Stockholm to La Crosse.

At Maiden Rock Winery & Cidery, visitors can taste their collection of hard ciders and wine produced with local apples and other fruits.
Or, explore the classical Mediterranean-style winery while you sip dry reds and whites produced predominately with grapes from their
three local vineyards at Villa Bellezza Winery. Seven Hawks Vineyards – one of the largest vineyards in the Upper Midwest – serves up their 100% estate-grown wines in a historical tasting room in downtown Fountain City. Elmar Vineyard welcomes guests on their outdoor patio to enjoy extensive wines and picnic offerings. While DNA Vintners focuses on wines made from Wisconsin cranberries. Start sipping here: greatriverroadwinetrail.org/

Door County Wine Trail

On the other side of the state, situated between Lake Michigan and Green Bay (literally the Bay, versus the city), lies the popular peninsula of Door County and the Door County Wine Trail. Known for its fruit wines – especially cherry and apple – the Door County region has developed more cold-hardy vineyards and is now producing many estate-grown grape wines, as well.

Featured wineries include von Stiehl Vineyard & Winery (Wisconsin’s oldest licensed winery dating to 1967) Red Oak Vineyard (producing French-style reds, German-style whites, and sweet fruit wines) Door 44 Winery (which lies at 44˚ North latitude, the same as the renowned grape growing and wine producing regions of Bordeaux and Tuscany) Simon Creek Vineyard & Winery (with wine making facility tours and live music) Door Peninsula Winery (Door County’s largest winery) Harbor Ridge Winery (featuring irreverently named sweet, semi-sweet, and dry barrel-aged wines) Stone’s Throw Winery (combining premium California grapes with traditional wine making techniques) and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country (specializing in fruit wines grown on the property, along with gourmet food products). Begin planning your wine tasting experience here: doorcountywinetrail.com/

Wisconsin Brewery Trail

When many people think of Wisconsin, they think of beer. With more than 200 breweries in the state, it is consistently in the top 15 of beer producing states in the nation. Naturally, there are several beer trails throughout the state. But if you want to get off the beaten path and go to some breweries that you may or may not have heard of in a concentrated area, head to the central part of the state for the Wisconsin Brewery Trail.

Within about 185 miles, you can sample pints, growlers, bottles, flights, and more at nine different breweries including Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona Ale Asylum, and Karben 4 in Madison Knuth Brewing Company in Ripon, Fox River Brewing and Bare Bones Brewery in Oshkosh Appleton Beer Factory in Appleton Central Waters Brewing in Amherst and O’so Brewing in Plover. Featuring craft beers and microbrews, unique taprooms, and outdoor spaces and recreation, the Wisconsin Brewery Trail is a “brew-tiful” way to taste Wisconsin. Cheers: onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/wi-brewery-trail/

Central Wisconsin Craft Collective

For a real thirst quencher, head to the center of the state and the Stevens Point area for a sip of the Central Wisconsin Craft Collective. Nine craft beer, wine, and spirit makers have partnered in this craft Mecca to help promote their artisan beverages, as well as travel to the region.