In­tro­duc­ing: Wis­con­sin

Wis­con­sin ve­hi­cle plates proudly pro­claim it as 'Amer­ica’s Dairy­land' but there’s far more to this land of milk and honey than its fa­mous cheeses, says Peter Ellegard

Selling Travel - - Contents -

“Wis­con­sin of­fers great out­door ex­pe­ri­ences and nat­u­ral beauty. Explore the great lakes of Michigan and Su­pe­rior to en­joy charm­ing lake­side vil­lages and taste fab­u­lous cui­sine”

Ruby Briggs, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, North Amer­ica Travel Ser­vice

Edged to its east by Lake Michigan and to its far north by Lake Su­pe­rior, while the Mis­sis­sippi River bor­ders Min­nesota and Iowa along its western flank, this Great Lakes state is great for ex­plor­ing by road.

There is ev­ery­thing from the ur­ban de­lights of lively Mil­wau­kee and el­e­gant cap­i­tal Madi­son, to rolling farm­land dot­ted with dis­tinc­tive red barns, 820 miles of lake shores, thou­sands of lakes and rivers and vast swathes of for­est, be­sides many quaint towns and vil­lages.

Last year saw the cre­ation of the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail, mark­ing the 150th an­niver­sary of the birth of Amer­ica’s great­est ar­chi­tect. The 200-mile self-drive links nine of his build­ings, from Kenosha on Lake Michigan near the Illi­nois bor­der, to Rich­land Cen­tre, his birth­place.

Mil­wau­kee musts

What made Mil­wau­kee fa­mous, as in the Rod Ste­wart song, was its beer. The one-time beer cap­i­tal of the world was home to the coun­try’s four largest brew­ers. Just one, Miller, re­mains and is open for tours. But the city now has a vi­brant craft beer and mi­cro­brew­ery in­dus­try, with the Lake­front Brew­ery on Lake Michigan of­fer­ing tours and a huge beer hall. Down­town has 17 mu­se­ums, while the three-mile Mil­wau­kee River­Walk has restau­rants, a pub­lic mar­ket, stat­ues and kayak­ing along the Mil­wau­kee River.

The city is also the home of cen­tury-old Amer­i­can icon Har­ley-David­son and visi­tors can soak up mo­tor­cy­cling his­tory at the Har­leyDavid­son Mu­seum (har­ley-david­son.com).

The world’s largest mu­sic fes­ti­val, Mil­wau­kee’s Sum­mer­fest (sum­mer­fest.com), runs for 11 days from late June and sees around 800 bands play.

Cap­i­tal at­trac­tion

The Wis­con­sin State Capi­tol’s gran­ite dome tow­ers over ev­ery­thing else in the city, thanks to leg­is­la­tion pro­hibit­ing build­ings taller than the dome’s sup­port­ing col­umns. Madi­son has been named Amer­ica’s green­est city for its pro­fu­sion of parks, lakes and hik­ing and cy­cling paths. It also has sev­eral Frank Lloyd Wright build­ings, with Monona Ter­race and First Uni­tar­ian So­ci­ety Meet­ing House both on the Frank Lloyd Wright Trail (wright­in­wis­con­sin.org).

Ru­ral Wis­con0sin

Some 46% of Wis­con­sin's land area is forested. There are four na­tional parks: the 21 Lake Su­pe­rior is­lands, com­pris­ing the Apos­tle Is­lands Na­tional Lakeshore; the St Croix Na­tional Scenic River­way, of­fer­ing 200 miles of pad­dling, boat­ing, fish­ing and camp­ing; and two na­tional scenic trails – the 1,200-mile glacier-graz­ing Ice Age trail near Madi­son and the North Coun­try Trail, which tra­verses seven states. The 70-mile-long Door Penin­sula juts into Lake Michigan from Green Bay. Door County’s 300 miles of coast­line, in­clud­ing many is­lands, is the most of any county.

STATE CAPI­TOL, MADI­SON

FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT'S MONONA TER­RACE

GI­BRAL­TAR ROCK, DEVIL'S LAKE STATE PARK

MIL­WAU­KEE'S GLIT­TER­ING SKY­LINE

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