Villa Louis Historic Marker

9 State Historical Sites have reopened for tours and events

Villa Louis mansion

We’re in July, and now you’re able once again to climb aboard a train car at Circus World in Baraboo, tour Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien, or immerse yourself in 19th century crafts and activities at Old World Wisconsin.

Nine Wisconsin State Historical Sites officially reopened July 1st, with some policy changes as a result of COVID-19. Advance reservations will be required for admission to tours and events, social distancing and limited capacity guidelines will be followed, and masks are strongly encouraged; they’ll even provide them on-site.

The 9 sites opening July 1st include:

Black Point Estate & Gardens, Lake Geneva: You can tour Black Point by using the Lake Geneva Cruise Line (262-248-6206), and you can book private picnics by calling 262-248-1888 to register. U.S. 12 and Highway 50 and 120 bring you town.

Circus World, Baraboo: While live performances are being scrapped for 2020, walking tours will be available. You can reserve a time by calling (608) 356-8341. It’s right along Highway 113 in Baraboo; U.S. 12 and Highways 33 and 136 also bring you to the city.

H.H. Bennett Studio, Wisconsin Dells: This beautiful and historic studio will be open for walking tours by appointment, as well as the Tintype Experience. Call (608) 253-3523 and then follow I-90/94, U.S. 12, or Highways 13, 16, or 23 to get to the Dells.

Madeline Island Museum, La Pointe: Open for walking tours, reserve your spot at (715) 747-2415. Follow Highway 13 to Bayfield and get a spot on the Madeline Island Ferry, (715) 747-2051, to get to Madeline Island (and check out Tom’s Burned Down Cafe, too!)

Old World Wisconsin, Eagle: This large complex of 19th century history will be open for small-group experiences. Make a reservation at (262) 594-6301 and then follow Highway 67 south of Eagle. Highway 59 approaches 67 from the north, and U.S. 12 and Highway 20 approach nearby from the south.

Stonefield, Cassville: Stonefield will be open for self-guided tours, but you still need to reserve a time by calling (608) 725-5210. Highways 81 and 133 lead you to Cassville.

Villa Louis, Prairie du Chien: The mansion and grounds, which also includes historic Fort Crawford, will accommodate private tours and walking tours. Call (608) 326-2721. U.S. 18 and Highways 27, 35, and 60 all bring you to PDC.

Wade House, Greenbush: The Historic Wade House will offer special events and workshops, reserve your spot by calling (920) 526-3271. It’s just south of Highway 23 in Sheboygan County.

Wisconsin Historical Museum, Madison: Located right on campus across from the UW Memorial Union, the museum will be open for walking tours. Call (608) 264-6555 to make your reservation. U.S 151 is the closest state highway, but following University Avenue to Park Street (or using the Lake/Frances parking ramps a few blocks to the east) will be your best bet.

Some places remain closed, including the First Capitol Site in Belmont, Pendarvis in Mineral Point, and the Reed School in Neillsville.

Wisconsin Historical Society members are being asked to pay full price for events this summer to help the society cope with “a serious financial impact from the COVID-19 pandemic,” but they will receive a free admission pass for 2021, even if they do not renew their memberships.

You can also enjoy virtual events throughout the summer. Have fun and go explore, safely!

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State Trunk Tour Weekend UPDATE: State Fair cancelled

Citing COVID-19 and ongoing precautions and risks due to the virus, the Wisconsin State Fair has decided to cancel their 2020 edition, the first time they’ve done so in 75 years. More details can be found on their site; the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair will run August 5-15.

Cheese Curd Trailers offering up goodness in Ellsworth, Comstock

To help spread cheesy goodness, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery has their Cheese Curd Trailers open and offering up delicious curds Thursdays-Sundays from 10am-5pm. Check them out in Ellsworth along U.S. 10/63 or in Comstock, also along U.S. 63! Apparently U.S. 63 is the “Cheese Curd Trailer Trail” right now.

More Wisconsin drive-ins are open and ready, whether it’s for burgers and shakes or movies!

We’re ready to drive around the state and enjoy some great meals off a tray. Check out 20+ great, locally-owned Wisconsin Drive-Ins! And outdoor movie drive-ins are opening too, including a brand new pop-up one in the heart of Milwaukee that debuts Friday. More details to come!

Wisconsin Drive-Ins: Burger and rings at Gus' in East Troy

Madison in May: a Capitol idea

June is on the horizon as we wrap up May, so let’s make our way across Wisconsin! And really, can you get much better than Madison? Our beautiful city on the isthmus is booming, and places like our State Capitol and Camp Randall Stadium are crown jewels you must check out. Hit I-39/90/94, U.S. Highways 12, 14, 18, or 151 (they all get together on the Beltline at one point), or Highways 30 or 113 and explore all that’s classic and new in Mad Town.

Wisconsin State Capitol from West Washington

Our gorgeous State Capitol, which turns 100 this year.

Things are greening up and the best of road trip season is upon us. We love to explore the state’s highways end-to-end and finding out all the cool, fun, and quirky things Wisconsin offers. Events are happening all over the place, and great “State Trunk Tour” routes are waiting to be explored all over. Pick Some Roads and GO!!!

We’ll keep you updated on events, more points of interest and attractions, and fun of Wisconsin’s highways on the 100th anniversary of the first numbered road system in the world right here on StateTrunkTour.com!




State Trunk Tour, old Wisconsin map

May is here – a great time for Wisconsin road trips!

It’s May, let’s make our way in Wisconsin! Things are greening up and the best of road trip season is upon us. We love to explore the state’s highways end-to-end and finding out all the cool, fun, and quirky things Wisconsin offers.

Wisconsin state trails are open for the season, events are happening all over the place, and great “State Trunk Tour” routes are waiting to be explored. Pick Some Roads and GO!!!

Little Manitou Falls, State Trunk Tour

Big Manitou Falls’ little twin sisters are quite beautiful too, in Pattison State Park along Highway 35 south of Superior.

You gotta truly appreciate our amazing state. Get out and explore beautiful state parks, fantastic wineries, breweries, and restaurants, great shopping in unique small towns, B&Bs, resorts, and more. Explore the state highways, like all the great towns and landscapes along Highway 33 from Port Washington to La Crosse. You can appreciate the snowmobile history wonderland along the short Highway 155 around Sayner and St. Germain. And course, the amazing Great River Road on Highway 35!

Like we say on the State Trunk Tour, Pick Some Roads and GO!! Explore the state and enjoy fun places and cool sights. We have America’s First Kindergarten in Watertown, historic Fort Winnebago and Fox-Wisconsin Waterway portage area in Portage. Take a season tour of Milwaukee’s Miller Park or Hayward’s National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. The choices are mind-boggling, and we’re chronicling ’em as fast as we can!

We’ll keep you updated on events, more points of interest and attractions, and fun of Wisconsin’s highways on the 100th anniversary of the first numbered road system in the world right here on StateTrunkTour.com!




Marching into Spring across Wisconsin

New London becomes New Dublin for a day every St. Patrick’s Day!

It’s late March in Wisconsin and the Madness continues! Our first week of spring in the state means winter sports in some parts of the state – a wild warmup and cool down for others, and plenty of events and sights to check out.

You gotta truly appreciate our amazing state: get out and explore beautiful state parks, fantastic wineries, breweries, and restaurants, great shopping in unique small towns, B&Bs, resorts, and more. Explore the state highways, like all the great towns and landscapes along Highway 33 from Port Washington to La Crosse, the snowmobile history wonderland along Highway 155 around Sayner and St. Germain, or the amazing Great River Road on Highway 35!

Downtown Racine

Cruisin’ down Highways 20 & 32 in downtown Racine, which is a great ride with plenty to do and see all around!

Whether you’re looking for spring or winter around America’s Dairyland, Pick Some Roads and GO!! Explore the state and enjoy fun places and cool sights, like America’s First Kindergarten in Watertown, historic Fort Winnebago and Fox-Wisconsin Waterway portage area in Portage, or take a winter tour of Milwaukee’s Miller Park or Hayward’s National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. The choices are mind-boggling, and we’re chronicling ’em as fast as we can!

We’ll keep you updated on events, more points of interest and attractions, and fun of Wisconsin’s highways on the 100th anniversary of the first numbered road system in the world right here on StateTrunkTour.com!




Wisconsin spring in February!

We just had a beautiful sample of May during this Wisconsin February! As winter returns – no polar vortex in sight – get out and explore beautiful state parks, fantastic wineries, breweries, and restaurants, great shopping in unique small towns, B&Bs, resorts, and more. With snowfall in the forecast for this weekend, winter recreation will be back, too!

Sunset over Madison - State Trunk Tour

Sunset at Madison, over Fish Hatchery Road at the Beltline, U.S. 12, 14, 18 & 151 all combined.

Whether you’re looking for spring or winter around America’s Dairyland, Pick Some Roads and GO!! Check out the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show this weekend, the upcoming Hops & Props at EAA in Oshkosh, or the Wisconsin Fishing Expo in Madison. Other events like the Belle City Brewfest in Racine are on deck, and you’ll want to explore the city when you go. Explore the state and enjoy fun places and cool sights, like America’s First Kindergarten in Watertown, historic Fort Winnebago and Fox-Wisconsin Waterway portage area in Portage, or take a winter tour of Milwaukee’s Miller Park or Hayward’s National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. The choices are mind-boggling, and we’re chronicling ’em as fast as we can!

We’ll keep you updated on events, more points of interest and attractions, and fun of Wisconsin’s highways on the 100th anniversary of the first numbered road system in the world right here on StateTrunkTour.com!




Love Is All Around (And So Are Good Getaways!)

Ah, February in Wisconsin.  A time for Valentines, winter sports – provided the temperatures cooperate – and for exploring the state when things tend to be less crowded. Beautiful state parks, fantastic wineries, breweries, and restaurants, great shopping in unique small towns, and especially this month, romantic getaways at B&Bs, resorts, and other getaways. In fact, check out this list of romantic Wisconsin getaways from our friends at Travel Wisconsin for more inspiration!

We have a mild stretch of weather coming up, which is bad for winter sports but good for many other road trip activities, so Pick Some Roads and GO!! Explore the state and enjoy fun places and cool sights, like America’s First Kindergarten in Watertown, historic Fort Winnebago and Fox-Wisconsin Waterway portage area in Portage, or take a winter tour of Milwaukee’s Miller Park or Hayward’s National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. The choices are mind-boggling, and we’re chronicling ’em as fast as we can!

We’ll keep you updated on events, more points of interest and attractions, and fun of Wisconsin’s highways on the 100th anniversary of the first numbered road system in the world right here on StateTrunkTour.com!




Snowmobile Derby, Eagle River

It’s World Championship Snowmobile Derby Weekend!

Snowmobile Derby racingEagle River proudly lays claim to “Snowmobile Capital of the World” – and for good reason. The AMSoil World Championship Snowmobile Derby happens this weekend, and despite the relatively mild temps ice water will run rampant in the veins of the racers!

Since 1964, Eagle River has hosted the AMSOIL World Championship Snowmobile Derby; it’s the Indy 500 of the snowmobiling world. Hundreds of snowmobilers from juniors in boys and girls categories to the best competitors in the world compete in snocross and ice oval racing, grabbing huge air and hitting speeds of 100mph on the straightaways!

Eagle River Snowmobile Derby boxesPlenty of action takes place each day now through Sunday, when the World Derby Championship starts at 3pm. Enjoy the action up close by the track or warm up in the Expo Hall, where you can shop for great stuff, imbibe on hot food and cold beer, or watch the action on TVs in the upstairs bar. Heated skyboxes are also available.

Hit U.S. 45/Highway 32, or Highway 17 or 70 to get to Eagle River and experience this for yourself! And then take advantage of some great trails throughout Vilas County.




Wisconsin in December…

Miller Valley Holiday Lights

We’re in the midst of the holidays! Bundle up – we’re about to get REAL cold. But there’s plenty of snow to enjoy, holiday events, winter sports, and more. No matter what, there’s plenty to explore in Wisconsin on a State Trunk Tour highway – or one of the county or rustic roads. There are 54,000+ square miles of the state to experience. Pick Some Roads and GO!!

Check out our articles too, including 10 Quirky Street Names We Found in Wisconsin, 6 Cool Stops along I-94 between Milwaukee & Madison, and more!




Thanksgiving weekend in Wisconsin!

Miller Valley Holiday Lights

Well, the warm November was nice while it lasted. Now the holiday season is here, along with the colder weather – and some snow in areas of the state. Deer hunting, Thanksgiving weekend, and more are all happening now and we’re about to roll into December!

With plenty of holiday lights and events, Christmas-themed marketplaces, parades, snowfall in parts of the state and all the winter recreation that comes with it, there’s plenty to explore in Wisconsin on a State Trunk Tour highway – or one of the county or rustic roads. There are 54,000+ square miles of the state to experience. Pick Some Roads and GO!!

Check out our articles too, including 10 Quirky Street Names We Found in Wisconsin, 6 Cool Stops along I-94 between Milwaukee & Madison, and more!