3-Day Southwestern Wisconsin

Day 1 You'll See:

  • Cave of the Mounds
  • Mineral Point
  • National Brewery Museum

Day 2 You'll See:

  • House on the Rock
  • Taliesin
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center
  • Cedar Grove Cheese Factory

Day 3 You’ll See:

  • Wisconsin Dells
  • Dells Boat Tours
  • Tommy Bartlett Show and Exploratory

A true Wisconsin adventure awaits your group as you embark on a 3 day journey full of scenic fun! Highlighting the main attractions throughout Southwestern Wisconsin, this trip will allow you to see the most prominent natural landmarks in the area up close and personal, as well as visit historic homes, sites, museums, and factories throughout the area! Take in the sights, smells, and flavors of this rich cultural area, and don’t forget to bring a camera with plenty of room on it because the views around here are unbeatable!

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Day
1

Cave of the Mounds - Discovered in 1939, your group will get to explore a famous national natural landmark at the Cave of the Mounds. Being the premier cave in the upper Midwest, as well as an American jewel of show caves, this ecological and geographical learning experience is a tourist and local favorite. Tours through this cave system last about an hour and are made easier with paved and lighted walkways, taking you through colorful crystal formations and shimmering pools at a comfortable year round 50 degrees. During your visit to the Mounds your group will have the chance to see the gemstone mines, fossil dig area, butterfly garden, rock and gift shops, hiking and biking trails, as well as a fully loaded snack bar and picnic areas. This is one natural adventure that will impress your whole group!

Historic Mineral Point - This historic district located near Spring Green is home to over 500 historic structures still standing today. Known as the ‘nucleus’ of Wisconsin, this city started out as a frontier mining paradise with tons of newcomers looking for lead in this area. The men would dig holes in the ground to live in, commonly called ‘badger holes’, or create Cornish masonry structures, both of which can still be seen today. The other buildings follow the traditional architecture of the time, ranging from federal Greek revival to Victorian style. Today this area is a celebrated historic shopping district, allowing your group a chance to unwind and take in some local history with retail therapy and plenty of local eateries. Depending on the time of the year you may be able to catch one of their many local events such as the Cornish festival, fall art tour, Iowa County fair, or Mineral Point farmer’s market as well!

National Brewery Museum - End your day with unique history lesson in Potosi at the National Brewery Museum. This museum is located in the historical Potosi Brewing Company building, which was under operation from 1852 to 1972. Inside your group will find quite an impressive collection of beer bottles, cans, glasses, trays, coasters, and advertisements celebrating the history of beer! The museum strives to preserve the rich history of American breweries and houses collectibles from breweries not only in Wisconsin, but all across the nation. The building itself is a historic work of architectural art, so make sure you don’t miss any of the several unconventionally spaced floors it boasts. Enjoy the research library or gift shop on your way out, or a nice refreshing beer if you are part of the over 21 crowd!

 

Day
2

House on the Rock - Start your second day of this Wisconsin adventure at a the world’s most bizarre and vast collection of . . . stuff! Ranging from old scrimshaw and medieval armor to carousel horses and circus fare, this architectural parody will leave your group in awe. Created by Alex Jordan Jr. to teach the nearby Frank Lloyd Wright a lesson after dismissing his father for an architecture job, this spoof of a building is a complex or architecturally unique rooms, streets, gardens, and shops. The building was designed as an odd take on a Japanese house with very low ceilings and nature shaping foundation form. Take a walk down the Streets of Yesterday, swim next to the 200 inch sea creature in the Heritage of the Sea Room, or take a ride on one of the 239 Carousel horses (or beasts). Your group will also be able to visit a gift store and grill, as well as many different themed rest areas placed throughout the tour!

Taliesin - Now that you’ve seen the spoof, it’s time for the real thing, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural brainchild, the Taliesin. Often times referred to as Taliesin East, this home and estate of Wright was built in 1937 atop a 600-acre piece of gorgeous property overlooking the Wisconsin River. Before even entering the house your group will be able to tell how big of an influence nature was on his designs, with a scenic panoramic view of the river and woods surrounding the estate being featured more than the house itself. Wright’s design is emulated from the flatness of the plains and built on the natural limestone outcroppings. This home includes an agriculture and studio wing, and is toured by hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, all who want a more personal view of the ‘best architect in America!’

Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center - Continue your odyssey through Frank Lloyd Wright’s life at the official Visitor Center, located on the Taliesin estate. This 600 acre National Historic Landmark gives more facts about the life and style of the greatest American architect. Featuring a comprehensive bookstore and personal artifacts from Wright, this building is considered a source and laboratory of Wright’s ideas for architecture. With influential buildings designed by him from New York to Tokyo, Arizona to Pennsylvania, it’s easy to see why so many visitors flock to this destination every year. Make sure your group takes advantage of the Riverview Terrace in the visitors center, featuring some of the best views in Southwestern Wisconsin.

Cedar Grove Cheese Factory - What visit to Wisconsin would be complete without cheese? Your group's next stop will take you to a small town called Plain where you will get to tour the famous Cedar Grove Cheese Factory. Cedar Grove produces 4 million pounds of the best traditional and specialty cheeses annually and takes pride in its environmentally friendly and old-fashioned way of making cheese. Cedar Grove guarantees that there will be no GMO or growth hormones in the milk they start the process with, and takes pride in the fact that the 30 local farmers they buy milk from work with the same ethics. During your tour the group will learn about the history and art of cheesemaking, as well as the business and environmental aspects of running a small-scale production facility. See up close and personal how they have been making extraordinary cheese for over 100 years now, and even sample some of their most unique creations! Before you leave check out the Living Machine, a system of water filtration that makes their operation completely environmentally friendly.

 

Day
3

Wisconsin Dells - Start your day off with one of the most highly visited natural tourist attractions in the northern Midwest, Wisconsin Dells. While Wisconsin Dells is today known as a city boasting being the ‘waterpark capital of the nation’, the true Dells are actually the Dells of the Wisconsin River, a glacially formed gorge in the landscape. Many unique sandstone formations, as well as unbeatable scenery surrounding the Wisconsin River and Dells has attracted visitors to this area for over 150 years. This area gained very wide tourist success in 1856 after a local photographer, H.H Benton, started publishing photos and giving tours of the Wisconsin Dells. The city itself is home to over 400 businesses including wildlife outings, museums, shops, restaurants, and yes, so many waterparks. With such a bustling city full of natural and commercial wonders, it will be hard to tear your group away from this destination!

Dells Boat Tours - The Dells Boat Tour is over 100 years old, with its humble beginnings tracing back to the aforementioned H.H Benton who first gave tours using a wooden row boat. Since then, Dells Boat Tours has upgraded to steel liners and offers a variety of tours showcasing the peaceful and natural beauty of the Wisconsin Dells. Offering tours from half an hour (on a speedy jet boat) to 2 hours, guests can choose whether they would like to see the Upper or Lower Dells, as well as the Stand Rock shore or Witches Gulch. Thousands of visitors per season come to see the rock formations above the river from the boat, with unbeatable views of the Dell from anywhere you look! If you happen to be here towards the end of the night make sure your group takes advantage of the Sunset Tour, in which guests get an on-boat dinner and live music by Dan Soma to accompany the view.

Tommy Bartlett Show and Exploratory - End your day exploring the Dells the perfect way, with the Tommy Bartlett Show and Exploratory. This action-packed water show will show your group jaw-dropping stunts, acrobatics, and water skiing to the extreme! Taking place on Lake Delton, this amazing show features trick-skiing, sky-skiing, bare-footing, jumps, flips, and high-powered boat maneuvers. Tommy Bartlett has gathered some of the top thrill performers from around the globe who will show and explain all of their insane water tricks as you take in the scenery surround Lake Delton. Action, adventure, music, and plenty of memories await your group at this show, and don’t forget to stay around for the grand finale water show later that night, featuring colored water displays and live music!