Besides being known for cheese and residents who are often called “cheeseheads,” Wisconsin has much to offer those who want to live or visit this Midwestern city.
In addition to friendly people and great neighborhoods, shopping is a main draw. And Estativize Finds the Best what better time than prior to the holidays when you need to do just that: shop ‘till you drop to pay a visit?
Wisconsin’s version of the shop-cation includes quaint small towns with streets lined by charming independent shops, restaurants and cozy inns. Here are some top destinations if you go:
1. Cambridge: Originally settled by Scottish and Norwegian farmers, now it’s a small town with a strong artistic community. There’s Row Pottery Works, with handcrafted bakeware, Cambridge Wood-Fired Pottery and Rock Eagle Pottery. Start your day with strong coffee at The Daily Grind or the new Cambridge Coffee House.
2. Spring Green: Best known for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, the American Players Theatre, and the funky House on the Rock. Check out Arcadia Books, an independent bookstore with a café and coffee shop. The Opal Man jewelry boutique is also here and is the only independent opal dealer in the country. Enjoy an espresso at Driftless Depot, and don’t skip the scones. The General Store is cool, 1910 converted cheese warehouse dishing up comfort food with a unique twist.
3. Baraboo: This city was once the winter home for the Ringling Brothers circus, but today, it’s much more. The historic downtown county courthouse square has all kinds of shops and galleries. Bekah Kate’s has a great selection of gourmet cookware for the cook. Cornerstone Gallery has cool jewelry work and home décor items from American artists. Coffee Bean Connection is a lovely way to begin the day.
4. Washburn and Ashland: Only 15 minutes from each other on Lake Superior’s Chequamegon Bay. Washburn is a quiet community on the north shore of Chequamegon Bay and known as the nation's first eco-municipality. Ashland is the “historic mural capital of Wisconsin.” Stop at Chequamegon Books in Washburn and peruse more than 70,000 new and antiquarian books, plus specialty coffee and tea. In Ashland, Gabriele’s German Sweets has handmade cookies and chocolates. Start at Coco Café and Bakery in Washburn for yummy French toast.
5. Green Lake Country: Visit five small cities – Green Lake, Ripon, Princeton, Berlin and Markesan – each with their own unique charm. For women’s original apparel, stop by Violet & Co. boutique in Berlin and Dear Prudence in Ripon. In Princeton, try– Twigs, Twister, Daiseye, and Teak & Soxy – for home décor and more. In Green Lake, A Well Feathered Nest has fun stuff for your home. Once in a Blue Moon café in Princeton serves breakfast and lunch. In Berlin, the Bellissimo Ristorante Italiano & Pizzeria for wonderful authentic Italian.
6. Madison’s Monroe Street: Situated near Camp Randall Stadium, this neighborhood is about independent charm but with a neat vibe. Go to Orange Tree Imports for cookware, kitchen gadgets and more home items. Velvet Button Boutique has clothing, handmade jewelry and handbags. Wild Child offers natural fiber clothing for little ones. Have pour-over coffee at Crescendo.