STT Podcast: Following Manitowoc’s new Wisconsin Coastal Food (and Beverage) Trail

Manitowoc, Two Rivers, and the surrounding area is home to some amazing farms, bakeries, cheese factories, breweries, wineries, and even confectioneries that can tickle your taste buds. State Trunk Tour host Eric Paulsen talks with Jason Ring from the Manitowoc/Two Rivers CVB about their new Wisconsin Coastal Food Trail and its destinations. Nearly 20 locations you can connect to via car, bike, or even on foot that delight your palate, mood, mind, and soul – and it’s just beginning. I-43, U.S. 10, U.S. 151, and Highways 42, 147, 310, and numerous county and local roads bring you to all these awesome places. Get all the details in our latest State Trunk Tour Podcast!

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Wisconsin Weekend: Blues Bash 2018

STT Spotlight: Why two small Wisconsin towns are of “Paramount” importance for early Blues, Jazz, and R&B music

Paramount Records recording of "Hangman's Blues" by Blind Lemon Jefferson, recorded in Grafton, Wisconsin.
A 78 rpm record from the 1920s, produced in a Wisconsin chair factory, from pioneering Blues musician Blind Lemon Jefferson.

In a studio inside a chair factory in Grafton run by a company in nearby Port Washington between 1917 and 1932, a little-known activity was taking place: some of the earliest Blues, R&B, Jazz, and Country classics were being recorded, pressed into 78 rpm records, and distributed by Paramount Records. Many of these artists came up from Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, or the Mississippi Delta, most of the, African-American. Today, music fans around the world are embracing the rediscovery of these monumental – and unique – these early music sessions (also known as “race records”) were, and how its influence still affects music today. Find out more about Paramount, and the Paramount Music Festival that celebrates this history, in this episode of the State Trunk Tour Podcast:

Paramount Music Festival 2019 Poster

You can find out more from the Paramount Music Association, which has been the impetus behind Paramount Plaza in downtown Grafton, which features a fountain, statues of the musicians, a “Walk of Fame,” and more. The Association, in conjunction with Visit Port Washington, also holds the Paramount Music Festival every Labor Day weekend.

Grafton Paramount Records Plaza
Paramount Plaza in Grafton, saluting musicians who recorded here 90-100 years ago and helped set the table for the music of the 20th century.
Paamount Records Blues Walk, Grafton
The Paramount Music “Walk of Fame” in downtown Grafton, noting the many legends who recorded here from 1917 to 1932.

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State Trunk Tour Podcast talking about the Milwaukee County Zoo

New Podcast: all about the Milwaukee County Zoo and upcoming Zoo A La Carte!

The Milwaukee County Zoo is one of the nation’s largest and most complete zoos, with 190 acres of largely parkland hosting over 2,100 animals from elephants and gorillas to otters and arachnids. It’s a wonderful place to learn about animals, how they interact with humans and their native habitats, and how we can all better interact for their good, and the good of our environment.

Plenty of reasons exist to visit the Zoo year ’round, but coming up Thursday, August 15th and running through Sunday the 18th is one of their biggest events of the year: Zoo A La Carte presented by Meijer. This event brings 27 Milwaukee area restaurants and food trucks to the Zoo grounds, scattered about the many areas

Find out more about Zoo A La Carte on their Facebook Event Page or the Zoo’s website.

And learn more about the Milwaukee County Zoo in general with my latest State Trunk Tour Podcast. Here, I talk with Jenny Diliberti from the Zoo about its history, the animals and their care, design changes to exhibits over the years including the newer Adventure Africa exhibit, new homes for the otters, elephant pedicures – we get into a lot of things here. Listen here, stream it below, or check it out anytime on your free iHeartRadio app!

Irishfest is also coming up in Milwaukee, Oconomowoc is about to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the premiere of “The Wizard of Oz” in a big way, and the height of road trip season around Wisconsin is upon us. We’ll have more on that coming up!

Tall Ships

STT Update: August fires up with State Fair, Brat Days, Lumberjacks, Mile of Music, and much more!

Welcome to August! We’re heading into a busy weekend and there’s so much going on around Wisconsin… it’s a great time to road trip around the state and just Pick Some Roads and GO!!

Tall Ships hit Kenosha

First of all, after a fun weekend in Green Bay the Tall Ships Challenge hit Sturgeon Bay Monday, and today these magnificent sailing vessels head to a rendez-vous with Kenosha that will run through the weekend.

Tall Ships in Sturgeon Bay
The Tall Ships Challenge made its way into Sturgeon Bay on a gorgeous Monday night, July 29, 2019. These magnificent sailing vessels will head to Algoma and other ports as they make their way to Kenosha for the next big show on Thursday, August 1st.
Wisconsin State Fair 2019

State Fair kicks off today!

We’ve arrived at the Opening Day of the 2019 Wisconsin State Fair! With all the animals and traditional fun of pig races, the bumpy slide, and cream puffs, the vendors at State Fair are offering over 65 new food options to try – and not all of them are deep fried! Bug tacos are one example; an Apple Crunch Cheesecake Quesadilla is another. And yes, that’s just the start. Main Stage headliners range from REO Speedwagon and Rick Springfield to Jeff Dunham, Kidz Bop, Old Dominion, Melissa Etheridge, and more. You can find out more about this year’s State Fair in the latest State Trunk Tour Podcast here:

Wisconsin State Fair Milk House
The Milk House returns to Wisconsin State Fair, sponsored by the Milwaukee Bucks. A variety of flavors this year, and the milks are still just 50 cents.

Hayward’s got the Lumberjacks

It’s time to climb, chop, saw, and roll with the World Lumberjack Championships in Hayward, which kicks off today and runs through Saturday with all the lumberjack and lumberjill action that makes this event a popular draw from all over the continent!

Lumberjack World Championships, Hayward
Lumberjacks and Lumberjills descend on Hayward for the World Lumberjack Championships. U.S. 63 and Highways 27 and 77 will bring you to the action!

Brat Days kicks off a delicious weekend in Sheboygan

Sheboygan is the Bratwurst Capital, and tomorrow Brat Days kicks off with great activities, fun musical lineups, and of course all kinds of ways to enjoy Wisconsin’s favorite sausages!

You can also check out DeerFest in West Bend, and county fairs including Ozaukee County, Door County, and more. Additional updates shortly!

Summerfest Today

Here’s what happening at Summerfest today, Day 11

Milwaukee Summerfest 2019

The “World’s Largest Music Festival” is on Milwaukee’s lakefront for its final day of 2019 today. Summerfest started back in 1968 and has grown to welcome over 800 performers and over 800,000 of your closest friends to enjoy music, food, drink, dancing, shopping, strolls along the lakefront, and plenty more. There’s nothing quite like it – it’s a State Trunk Tour favorite!

Here are the headliners at Summerfest today:

American Family Insurance Amphitheater: Lil’ Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and Schoolboy Q, 7:30pm

BMO Harris Pavilion:
Your Smith, 8pm
Jason Mraz, 9:45pm

Miller Lite Oasis Stage:
Moon Taxi, 8:30pm
The Strumbrellas, 10pm

Uline Warehouse Stage:
Willy Porter, 8pm
Rodrigo y Gabriela, 9:45pm

Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage:
Dispatch, 9:30pm

U.S. Cellular Connection Stage:
Dylan Scott, 10pm

Harley-Davidson Roadhouse Stage:
Van Lester – Hector Lavoe Tribute, 7:45pm
La Sonora Ponceña, 9:45pm

Johnson Controls World Stage:
Johnnyswim, 10pm

Jojo’s Martini Bar:
33 RPM, 8pm

Here’s the FULL, printable lineup for each day from noon-midnight!

Summerfest 2019

State Trunk Tour founder and head road-tripper Eric Paulsen sat down with Summerfest’s VP/Sales & Marketing Sarah Pancheri to talk about what’s happening at Summerfest this year, from stage updates to big – or unusual – acts, as well as food, activities, and ways you can get in free or for a reduced rate on select days. Listen to it below or connect here on the State Trunk Tour Podcast!

Summerfest 2018, skyline and US Cellular Stage Sign
Downtown Milwaukee from just outside the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage, which was refurbished in 2018. The Uline Warehouse Stage is newly-rebuilt for this year, and revamp work on the American Family Insurance Amphitheater continues.

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State Trunk Tour guests again on Wisconsin Public Radio – listen here!

Traveling around Wisconsin is a fun topic, and the “Central Time” show on Wisconsin Public Radio knows this well. After a fun initial conversation in January, WPR welcomed Eric Paulsen of the State Trunk Tour back for another live conversation with callers on March 27, 2019.

Check out our conversation on this State Trunk Tour podcast on iHeartRadio:

We discussed a few key areas of the state, the joy of county roads as well as state highways, and some of the best “out of the way” places in Wisconsin.

Hopefully we’ll be back on in a month or two, and we welcome your feedback next time we’re on! We’ll give you a heads’ up. Meanwhile, enjoy the start of April and we’ll be telling you more about fun happenings, attractions, points of interest and more around the state as we get more into spring road trip season – despite the mid-week snow possibilities!

Cheeseheads cover

STT Podcast – talking “Cheeseheads: The Documentary”

Hey, Cheeseheads! As you hit the roads and explore the state, maybe you want to enjoy a podcast on your drive.

Along with great Wisconsin road trips and exploring ideas, attractions, quirks of the state and more, we offer the State Trunk Tour Podcast, including on iHeartRadio. Check out Episode 2, our interview with John Mitchell, producer of Cheeseheads: The Documentary, a true “love letter” to Wisconsin. Mitchell is a Cameron native who spent over 20 years in Los Angeles as a writer and producer who was inspired to come back and create an in-depth exploration of Wisconsin and what makes the state, its people, its culture, industry, history, landscape, and more so special.

Cheeseheads The Documentary on the State Trunk Tour Podcast

Here at the State Trunk Tour, where we drive all over the state and note so many great and unique places, we had the pleasure of appearing in this documentary as one of many guests. The film is available now via Amazon and other digital outlets, and you can always follow the Cheeseheads: The Documentary Facebook page to find where John may be presenting his film in locations all over the state!

Here’s our State Trunk Tour Podcast featuring producer John Mitchell and his film Cheeseheads: The Documentary on Spreaker:

Or listen on your iHeartRadio app, click the play button below:

Within this 40-minute discussion, you’ll find out what inspired him to write and film about Wisconsin, how he landed key interviews with people from high-level politicians and business leaders to Green Bay Packers legends, a former Miss America, and a whole series of families, academics, and more to talk about what it means to be a Cheesehead, and how his background in both Wisconsin and California – as well as the film industry – gave him the ability to film, distribute, and promote this love letter to the state.

You’ll also find out why so many Wisconsin references seem to sneak their way into TV shows and movies you see from Hollywood, how a UW-Madison plays a huge role in the development of semiconductors to allow the computers we have today, the origins of the term “Cheesehead” going back a few centuries, and more.

GO Chippewa Falls

STT Podcast Spotlight: We Head to Chippewa Falls!

Wisconsin Weekend: Chippewa Falls OktoberfestThe beautiful city of Chippewa Falls sits along the Chippewa River just northeast of Eau Claire where U.S. 53 and Highways 29, 124, and 178 meet up. This town of 14,000 is practically synonymous with Leinenkugel’s Brewery; however, Chippewa Falls offers a wide variety of things to do and see from outdoor recreation to a zoo and park where the buffalo truly do roam, historic mansions, a vibrant downtown for shopping and lodging, performing arts, and celebrations such as Oktoberfest, Pure Water Days, and the Northern Wisconsin State Fair.

In fact, the Northern Wisconsin State Fair just concluded a few weeks ago on the beautiful and fun fairgrounds that bears the event’s name. These Fairgrounds are just north of the Leinenkugel’s Brewery and across the street (Highway 124, the historic U.S. 53 route) from Irvine Park. The city’s Springfest, Oktoberfest, and other major events also take place on these grounds throughout the year.

Check out our State Trunk Tour Podcast on Chippewa Falls with Chippewa Chamber’s Tourism Director Jackie Boos. Find out more about the city, two wineries, a craft brewery on top of the Leinie’s you know already, history, arts, downtown, Irvine Park & Zoo, events, and plenty more:

State Trunk Tour picks include Riverbend Vineyard & Winery, Irvine Park & Zoo, Lake Wissota State Park, the Chippewa River Distillery & Brewster Brothers Brewing Company, the Heyde Center for the Performing Arts, and of course a tour at the Leinenkugel Brewing Company. Chippewa Falls’ downtown has been booming, with the new Cobblestone Hotel & Suites opening up, more new restaurants to go with some of the long-standing classics, boutique shopping, and a lot of walkable blocks that let you explore.

Loopy's, overlooking the river west of Chippewa Falls along historic (now Business) Highway 29.

Overlooking the Chippewa River from Loopy’s just west of Chippewa Falls along Business Highway 29. A popular summer pastime is floating down the river to Loopy’s from the downtown area. It can be tried in winter, but gads, it’s cold.


STT Podcast Marshfield

STT Marshfield Podcast: Heading to the Hub

Marshfield is Wisconsin’s “Hub City,” located close to the geographical center of the state. Famously home to Marshfield Clinic, this healthy, bustling town of 20,000 sports everything from race tracks, art galleries, breweries, and unique galleries and shopping to one of the few zoos in the nation that’s home to Kodiak bears. In a city known for hospitality and welcoming visitors, doctors, and researchers from around the world, the amenities to be seen and experienced in Marshfield surprises many.

Hub City Days, Marshfield

Marshfield’s broad Central Avenue during Hub City Days, coming up again in July.

Our own Eric Paulsen, “head tourer” at, caught up with Matt McLean, Director of the Marshfield Convention & Visitors Bureau to get up to speed on everything “Hub City” has to offer. You can stream our Marshfield Podcast right here:

You can also link to STT’s Marshfield Podcast here.

Check out all the State Trunk Tour Podcast episodes on iHeartRadio, or on your iHeartRadio app!

Visit Marshfield via State Trunk Tour

Sheboygan and City Green: the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and the State Trunk Tour Podcast

STT Podcast: Sheboygan & the new City Green

Sheboygan Podcast for State Trunk TourSheboygan has a lot going on right now! The city’s busy harbor and increasingly vibrant downtown is now being supplemented with City Green, a new outdoor space downtown opened up on the grounds of a former department store. Located on the corner of New York Avenue & 7th Street, City Green is a unique arts and entertainment green space that’s designed as meet-up space for family, friends, and neighbors. From yoga classes to outdoor concerts, it’s becoming a gathering place for this city of 50,000 on Lake Michigan. We decided to discuss it in our new Sheboygan podcast on STT.

Sheboygan’s lakeside location, beautiful harbor, and proximity to everything from Kohler-Andrae State Park to Kohler the village to Whistling Straits Golf Club to its variety of shopping, restaurants, and fun activities for kids and grown-ups alike downtown makes it a very cool destination to check out and spend a weekend. Enjoy a variety of art at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, make the kids’ day at the Sheboygan Children’s Museum, explore the Harbor area, shops, and more near Blue Harbor Resort, hit North Beach and play in Lake Michigan, imbibe in a few craft beers at 3 Sheeps Brewery… it’s all up to you.

I-43 and Highways 23, 28, and 42 bring you to Sheboygan. In fact, the three state highways all meet (and end) at one intersection just west of downtown!

W This Sheboygan Podcast on State Trunk Tour Podcast Radio get into more detail and highlights the new City Green downtown, along with what’s happening all around the area, with Shelly Harms of Visit Sheboygan. You can stream right here:

Check out all the State Trunk Tour Podcast episodes on iHeartRadio, or on your iHeartRadio app!

Sheboygan Harbor, near the new City Green

Sheboygan Harbor, just down the street from downtown and City Green.