Southern Wisconsin Cheese and Beer tour-help with itinerary
Replies: 12 - Last Post: May 17, 2013 12:09 PM Last Post By: daveelmstrom
May 14, 2013 6:58 PM
Southern Wisconsin Cheese and Beer tour-help with itineraryWe are planning a road trip from Illinois around the southern part of Wisconsin to visit some breweries and cheese factories/makers. We will have about 5 days, leaving on a Wednesday and returning home on Sunday.
The plan as it looks now will be:
- home to Milwaukee (about 220 miles)
- Johnson Creek (about 45 miles from Milwaukee)
- Madison (about 35 miles from Johnson Creek)
- New Glarus (about 27 miles from Madison)
- Monroe (about 17 miles from New Glarus)
- Mt Horeb (about 35 miles from Monroe)
- Galena (IL) (drive home via Galena, spend couple of hours - total 215 miles to home)
Can you guys help us out with suggestions how and where to spend our 4 available nights? Probably spend 1 night in Milwaukee and 1 night in Madison? But where would you suggest to spend the other nights? And if not Milwaukee and/or Madison, can you propose a better alternative?
Thanks a lot!
May 14, 2013 7:24 PM
1I just thought I'd put these places on a map so you can see what it looks like.
I'd spend two or three nights in Milwaukee and the rest in Madison. Every one of the places can be done as a day trip from one or the other.
Milwaukee has a number of breweries.
May 14, 2013 8:08 PM
2If you're interested, have a little architectural history with your cheese and beer.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Taliesin, Spring Green, WI
May 14, 2013 8:54 PM
3Add to # 2, there are about ten FL wright buildings in the area, including two great ones in Racine, Johnson Wax and the Johnson home, Wingspread. Madison has the Monona Terrace and a church. Google Wright if interested. Also, The House on the Rock. definitely spend time in Milwaukee, it is a great city. Must see the new museum addition with a winged roof that opens to the sun, and spend time hanging out in restaurants by the river, where you can try more beer and cheese than you could ever see on a tour. Madison for a half day is a good idea.
May 15, 2013 5:24 AM
May 15, 2013 9:09 PM
May 16, 2013 9:20 AM
6Just typed up a big post and lost it...
Lakefront is the local favorite for beer tour. There is also Sprecher and Milwaukee Brewing Co. (Fri and Sat only) And some place called Miller/Coors.
Check out this article: http://www.travelwisconsin.com/article/things-to-do/wisconsin-brewery-tour
There is cheesemaking in the big city; Clock Shadow Creamery is just south of downtown.
The Brewhouse Inn and Suites just opened about a month ago in the old Pabst Brewery.
Monroe in Green County would be a good base for cheese related tours. This article sounds a lot like what you want to do:
Johnson Creek- not much there except the outlet mall
New Glarus- Two words Spotted Cow. (at The New Glarus Brewery)
Mt. Horeb: Grumpy Troll Brewery. Probably more of a brew pub.
Spring Green has an outdoor theater (live, not movies) http://americanplayers.org/
Madison: The Great Dane is a good place for dining. Check out the Dane County Farmer's Market on Capitol Square if you are there on a Saturday.
While you can just make these smaller cities day trips from Madison you don't need to, there's plenty of accommodation. The drive through the driftless area is quite nice. (Just don't ever speed through Belmont.)
May 16, 2013 9:42 AM
May 16, 2013 11:45 AM
8Thank you all for the suggestions.
Our itinerary is taking form. We added 1 extra night and will be leaving on Tuesday and return on Sunday. We leave near Peoria, IL.
We are thinking of doing the following:
Leave early Tuesday morning (probably 5:30) and drive to Milwaukee. We will probably make a side trip to Lake Geneva, just to have a little look around (no activities planned). Hope to arrive around 10:30/11:00 am in Milwaukee. We would like to spend 2 nights in Milwaukee. This should give us enough time to visit some breweries, cheese makers, the HD museum and maybe do some shopping.
After Milwaukee, we will drive to Madison (via Johnson Creek to do some quick outlet shopping) and spend 2 nights in Madison. That same day we plan to do some activities in Madison (maybe food tour). The next day, we plan to do a round trip from Madison to Madison via Albany, Brodhead, Monroe and New Glarus. On this round trip we plan to visit some cheese makers and breweries.
After Madison on Saturday we will drive via Mt Horeb to Galena IL, were we will spend the night. Sunday, we will drive back home to Peoria.
That's the plan for now. Any remarks or suggestions are welcome.
May 16, 2013 12:56 PM
9My husband likes to ride his bike and did a Tour de Fromage and Beer last summer with some friends. They rode basically the same route you are proposing over 1 weeks time. The Minhaus brewery in Monroe has a tour. And be sure to try the Limburger sandwich at Baumgartner's on the main square in Monroe. The tour at New Glarus is self guided but the beer room at the end is good. I believe my husband went to Capitol brewery in Madison and Lakefront in Milwaukee.
May 16, 2013 2:01 PM
10Some ideas, of varying distance from your proposed route:
- Wisconsin Dells. It's pretty much the tackiest place in America, but it's a uniquely Wisconsin version of tacky (with cool water parks, some natural areas to explore, and plenty of beer and cheese available too).
- Chippewa Falls. Home of Leinenkugel's beer, and the plant is open for tours (and samples). Pleasant town in its own right.
- Sparta-Elroy bike trail. I think this was the first rail-trail conversion of a train right of way into a bike trail. It has three tunnels to go through, and goes through spectacular scenery. Great stop, if you are so inclined to do some biking.
- La Crosse might be the most beer-infused of the Wisconsin towns, and that is saying a lot. The town has a long tradition as a brewing town, and is the current home of City Brewing Company, brewer of a variety of beer brands. There is a large Octoberfest celebration here every year.
This might be helpful:
May 17, 2013 10:35 AM
11Wisconsin Cheese Mart 215 W. Highland Avenue (Downtown on Old World 3rd Street. If you go there also check out The Spice House and Usinger's Sausage just down the street)
You might also check out the Milwaukee Public Market in the 3rd Ward. The ward is a nice neighborhood to wander around, or have lunch on a patio overlooking the river.
The Iron Horse Hotel is near the HD Museum and has nice patio.
The Clock Shadow Creamery (and Purple Door Ice Cream) are just blocks from the HD Museum as well. Also Great Lakes Distillery (gin, vodka, absinthe) is in the neighborhood too and they have a tasting room.
You'd better make sure the breweries are open on Tuesday and Wednesday (aside from Miller, which will be)
Whilst daveelmstrom's ideas are good for Wisconsin, they're all out of your way.
May 17, 2013 12:09 PM
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