Wisconsin Weekend: Beer, Booya, Pets, Lights, Fall Colors and Festivals!

It’s our mid-September weekend is filling up with color in northern Wisconsin (last check. Superior was at around 60% of peak, Hurley 50%, Cable 40%) and we’re looking at so many options as you road trip this weekend. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Highground in Neillsville (US 10, Highways 73 & 95) and take in the memories and the amazing view. Check out Fall Festivals in Hayward, Kenosha, Phillips, and more. Explore some great roads, towns, parks, and more – and take it a few fun activities while you’re at it. There’s always a LOT to do during your Wisconsin weekend. Here are some State Trunk Tour event picks as you explore… Pick Some Roads and GO!!:

Milwaukee: Fromm Petfest

Wisconsin Weekend: Fromm PetfestThis Saturday event is the perfect place for your four-legged pals along Milwaukee’s lakefront. Check out family and pet-focused activities and entertainment all day long. Catch all your favorite events like dock diving as well as the Petfest Bier Garden and Dog Park! Free parking & admission.

Stockholm: Dog Days of Stockholm

If you want to head west with your pets instead, Dog Days of Stockholm returns welcomes the whole family – canines included – to a beautiful park overlooking Lake Pepin along the Mississippi River. Enjoy a variety of speakers and demonstrations such including Doggy Yoga, Dogs in Show Business, Dog Acupuncture, Dog Psychic, Dog Trainer, Dog Contest, Blessing of the Dogs and much more. It’s all right along the gorgeous Great River Road, Highway 35.

Land O’Lakes: Colorama Weekend

Bobbing for apples during Colorama Weekend in Land O'Lakes

Bobbing for apples during Colorama Weekend in Land O’Lakes.

Colorama Weekend lets you enjoy the fall colors of Northern Wisconsin, right along the border with the U.P. in picturesque Land O’ Lakes. The Colorama Celebration includes family friendly games, music, food, art show, radar run and hay ride throughout town. Just slow down and enjoy what a beautiful day of Fall colors in the Northwoods can offer. Can’t get enough fall fun?? Enjoy the Colorama Dinner on Sunday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m with chicken and ham.

Land O’Lakes is at the top of Wisconsin, right along the land border with the U.P. of Michigan. U.S. 45 and Highway 32 bring you there; just turn west on County B right at the state line (stop in the BP station there too, it literally straddles the border!)

Racine: Party on the Pavement

Main Street during Party on the Pavement, RacineSaturday, downtown Racine hosts its largest and most beloved one-day festival, the biggest party in the Belle City. Party on the Pavement offers more than 12 city blocks of art, three stages of live music, a car show, an arts/crafts show, the Touch a Truck equipment displays, BMX bike demonstrations (including a young world record holder), and much more.  International cuisine options will include Spanish, Filipino, Italian, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Irish, Jamaican and American favorites, available all day long.Carnival rides are set up and kids can burn off their energy at the Fun Zone, which includes a giant slide, spaceship and obstacle course bounce houses, Merry-go-Round and Spinning Berries. Roscoe from the Milwaukee Admirals will be there, as will Star Wars characters and mascots from Marcus Theatres (Stubby) and Texas Roadhouse. Party on the Pavement runs from noon-7pm on Saturday; Highways 20, 32, and 38 will literally bring you right there!

Sheboygan: River Days, the USA Para World Sailing Championship, and the Blue Harbor Craft Beer Festival

Wisconsin Weekend: Sheboygan's Para Sailing ChampionshipsIt’s a busy Wisconsin weekend in Sheboygan! The USA Para World Sailing Championships continue through Sunday on the water and River Days rocks the land Friday night through Sunday. Kick off the weekend at City Green (hear our podcast about City Green!) with SEAS’ Brats 4 Sail Event, tying with the Para World Sailing Championships. Also enjoy live music, brats and burgers, and watch the competition. Saturday offers an Open House around South Pier and the riverfront, a look at the newest exhibit at the John Michael Kohler Art Center, and the Kayak Keg Race on the Sheboygan River! Sunday features more outdoor celebration, brunch, and a lot of hopes that the Packers won’t have another tie this weekend. Meanwhile, also along Sheboygan’s lakefront, the Midwest’s most distinguished breweries reunite for the fifth annual Blue Harbor Craft Beer Festival on Saturday at Blue Harbor Resort & Conference Center. Co-hosted by Blue Harbor and 3 Sheeps Brewing Company, the fifth annual Blue Harbor Craft Beer Festival is set to welcome over 30 of the Midwest’s best breweries. They’re ready to fill the festival tent and tap over 100 beer samples. I-43 and Highways 23, 28, and 42 bring you to Sheboygan!

Cadott: Booya Days

WIsconsin Weekend: Booya Fest in CadottWe can’t help it, we love the name! Cadott, the city along Highways 27 and 29 that plays host to the massive Rock Fest and Country Fest concerts every summer, welcomes the fall season with comfort food. Booya, that hearty soup, becomes the tasty centerpiece of a small town festival running Saturday starting at 10am. Enjoy FREE Booya soup, arts and crafts dealers, and entertainment for the entire family go throughout the day on Main Street. Thrift sales begin Thursday before this fall event and continue through Saturday. Cadott is about 15 minutes east of Chippewa Falls. While there, check out the amazing Wisconsin Veterans Memorial right at the interchange of Highways 29 & 27.

Cassville: Great River Road Fall Festival at Stonefield

Stonefield, home of the Great River Road Fall FestivalA Wisconsin Weekend is always made better with a road trip along the gorgeous Great River Road! Stonefield, a major historic site along the Mississippi River, celebrates Saturday with its Great River Road Fall Festival. Enjoy music, an antique tractor pull, wagon rides, sorghum making, broom making, hands on activities, and much much more! Beer, root beer, sandwiches and ice cream will be for sale by Friends of Stonefield/Nelson Dewey State Park and you can make this part of a great day checking out some of the non-Highway 35 parts of the Great River Road. Highway 133 is a wonderful ride through Potosi (featuring the Potosi Brewing Company, National Brewery Museum, and St. John’s Mine) to Cassville, which is home to Stonefield. County VV, one of the few county highways on the Great River Road, is where you’ll find Stonefield. A ride further north yields the wonderful Wyalusing State Park on the way to Prairie du Chien. You can’t go wrong!

Hales Corners: China Lights: Panda Mania

The China Lights to light up your Wisconsin Weekend this weekend and all the way through October 21st at Whitnall Park in the Milwaukee suburb of Hales Corners! This year’s theme is China Lights: Panda Mania. Enjoy stunning illuminated sculptures and a look into Asian life and culture. The 9-acre Gardens transform into a magical paradise of enchanting illuminated displays. Dragons, glowing pagodas and iridescent pinwheels add color, vibrancy, and excitement. Check out a backstage tour of the lanterns and participate in the nightly parade. Or simply enjoy wandering through the thrilling spectacle, which includes live performances of music, juggling and other arts. Enjoy a variety of Asian and Western cuisine from numerous local vendors, celebrate Asian culture with entertainment and live performances and a bustling marketplace. The entertainment ramps up Tuesdays through Sundays, 5:30pm-10pm – China Lights is closed Mondays. It kicks off this Friday and runs through October 21. Highways 24 and 100 bring you there, and I-41/43/894 is right nearby!

China Lights at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Just a small sample of the China Lights last year at Whitnall Park in Hales Corners.

More for your Wisconsin Weekend

There are MANY more events to check out. Run around during your Wisconsin weekend, including the last weekend of the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Pleasant Prairie on the Illinois border, and more county fairs in Iowa and other Counties. Explore history, enjoy parks, experience shops, bars, and restaurants, and have FUN! In true State Trunk Tour fashion, Pick Some Roads and GO!!!

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The State Trunk Tour Logo for Wisconsin highways and great trips

Wisconsin highways, road trips, attractions, quirks… just what IS the State Trunk Tour?

The State Trunk Tour is all about Wisconsin highways, drives, road trips and celebrating the fun of the Badger State by selecting state highways and riding them end to end, reporting everything along the way.

Wisconsin’s state highways – the first system of numbered highways in the world (first done in 1917 – which means 2017 marked its 100th anniversary!) – connect all sorts of points of interest, attractions, cities, towns, recreation trails, scenic byways, lakes, rivers, bridges, historical sites, geographic markers, taverns, antique shops… you get the idea.

Wisconsin is one of the most fun and unique states in the country. We’re in the smack dab in the middle of the northern and western hemispheres. We have plenty of “world’s largest” entries: the musky, the corkscrew, a talking cow, an indoor water park, a six-pack, and a can of chili are just some of them. Wisconsin also claims a number of “world’s firsts” and inventions including the snowmobile, malted milk, the hamburger, hydroelectric power, outboard motor, rail-to-trail, and a bunch more.

We have two Great Lakes and the Mississippi River, and beautiful drives along all of them. Dynamic cities like Milwaukee and Madison offer incredible options for things to do. Vacation hot spots like Wisconsin Dells, Lake Geneva, Door County, Minocqua, Eagle River, and Hayward draw people from all over the country. Quaint, relaxing towns like Ephraim, Shullsburg, Hudson, Bayfield, Princeton, Green Lake, Oconomowoc and more offer great boutique shopping and plenty of charm.

Follow one of our Wisconsin highways end-to-end – or in sections – and enjoy everything along the way. Sample Featured Routes below or pick your own from the State Trunk Tours menu. We’ll help guide you, provide fun history, insight, and trivia, and welcome your feedback and additions as we continue to build our web and mobile sites. We’re on a new platform, adding and updating more routes, attractions, photos, points of interest and more constantly, so check back often. Updates will be sent out via Facebook and Twitter, of course!

"Wind around from a Genoa lock through the Driftless Area"

State "Trunk" Highway 56 runs through the beautiful Driftless Area from the Mississippi River to the middle of Richland County, near Richland Center. The hilly landscape makes for beautiful vistas and it's very pleasant drive through farmlands and small towns like Viola and Viroqua - and even some places that don't start with the "v."...

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"Coast to Coast covering Circuses, Canoes, and Coulees (and more)"

State “Trunk” Highway 33 is a "coast-to-coast" state highway, connecting La Crosse on the Mississippi with Port Washington's scenic harbor on Lake Michigan. From the big blue waters of the Great Lake to the beautiful coulees framing La Crosse, you encounter hairpin turns in what seems like a mountain range, Baraboo's famous Circus Museum, ski slopes of Cascade Mountain, the natural wetlands of Horicon Marsh, and some of the best canoeing in the nation along the Kickapoo. It's a great cross-section of southern Wisconsin....

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Historic Mindoro Cut on the original route of Highway 108

"'Cutting' between West Salem and Melrose"

State “Trunk” Highway 108 is a short but very scenic ride through Wisconsin's "Driftless Area". A popular motorcycle ride as well as drive or bike ride, Highway 108 is best known for the "Mindoro Cut", which cuts through a particularly beautiful area where the highway twists, turns and zigzags. Highway 108 has essentially been the same route since 1919...why mess with such a great drive?...

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LaCrosse Brewery

La Crosse To Lake Country

A former U.S. highway, State “Trunk” Highway 16 comes in from Minnesota at La Crosse and works its way toward Milwaukee through routes so popular they were supplanted by Interstates in most areas. Paralleling I-90 and/or I-94 much of the way, Highway 16 goes through many of the towns the interstate highways bypass. Highway 16 used to continue into downtown Milwaukee and across Lake Michigan on a ferry to Muskegon, where it then ran all the way to downtown Detroit just short of the Canadian border, hey. Today, though, it ends at I-94 in Milwaukee's western suburbs, but not before passing by a ton of interesting things along its almost 200-mile journey....

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Wisconsin Fall Color Report

Real Racine Fall 2018
Visit Marshfield via State Trunk Tour
GO Chippewa Falls