In the middle of the Driftless Area in central Wisconsin lies the city of Reedsburg, a city whose natural beauty offers some pretty breathtaking views and plenty of outdoor adventure! Hosts Mariah Haberman and Eric Paulsen take in all this growing community has to offer, starting with The Baraboo River. As the longest, free-flowing river in the country, the Baraboo River is spectacular for canoeing and kayaking, as Eric learns when he tackles the Lazy Beaver Canoe & Kayak race before taking to the skies in a helicopter at the Reedsburg Rotary Fly-in/Drive-in Breakfast. Meanwhile, Mariah heads downtown for Reedsburg Uncorked, a springtime wine walk where visitors can sip and sample their way through Reedsburg’s numerous shops. Next, Mariah heads to Butterfest, Reedsburg’s iconic summer festival, and plays a round of Bossy Bingo, which puts an…unusual twist on the classic game! Eric wraps up his trip with a visit to the Pioneer Log Village, where he learns about the daily life of Reedsburg’s original settlers (dressed in traditional, pioneer garb, of course!), before diving in to the area’s agricultural heritage with a look inside the studio of a local barn quilt artist. From outdoor recreation to some good, old fashioned country traditions, it’s easy to see why Reedsburg is a hub of fun for everyone!
In this episode of Discover Wisconsin, hosts Mariah Haberman and Marie Justice learn about the importance of agriculture in the Platteville area. Not only do they take a look at how fresh farm ingredients are used and grown here, but they also explore how visitors can learn about and experience life on a farm.
Getting to meet the farmers that grow the food that you and your family eat is a pretty special thing, and there’s no better place to do it than the Platteville Farmers’ Market, where everything is homemade or homegrown. Visitors to the area can also get a behind the scenes look at how a farm work at Platteville’s Day on the Farm event, held every summer. And in the fall, Marie stops by Kieler Farms to help out during their busiest time of year, the corn silage harvest.
Meanwhile, Mariah samples some of the products that are grown, harvested and produced in the Platteville area. Just west of Platteville, the historic Potosi Brewing Company brews beer made with Wisconsin-grown ingredients. And if you’re on a road trip in Southwest Wisconsin, you’ve got to stop at Rural Route 1 Popcorn. With popcorn grown just down the road, they make every flavor you can think of. She also visits two beautiful wineries, tucked away in the hills of the Driftless Area: Spurgeon Vineyards and Winery and Sinnipee Valley Vineyard and Winery.
Platteville is also a hub for agriculture education and innovation at the University of Wisconsin Platteville. Here, Marie visits Pioneer Farm and learns how students and the public can take advantage of UW-Platteville’s many agriculture programs and learning opportunities.
Back in town, Mariah goes for a bike ride and takes in the beauty of Katie’s Garden, where she lends a green thumb planting flowers. The beautiful land around Platteville is also a haven for fishermen, who enjoy the peace and quiet of the nearby rivers and streams. To conclude their trip, Mariah and Marie come together at the Fall Harvest Table Dinner at Digman Farms to enjoy a delicious farm-to-table meal. There’s no doubt that Platteville’s farming roots run deep – and whether you’re looking to do some learning, tasting, or exploring, it’s all here ripe for the picking!
In this episode of Discover Wisconsin, Mariah and Eric explore the wonders of Manitowoc and Two Rivers from sunken ship to stunning shore. Eric begins by learning about the history and industry of the rivers that flow through Manitowoc and Two Rivers. After exploring the Rogers Street Fishing Village in Two Rivers, he heads to Burger Boat Company to see what the historic company is up to today. He also meets up with some kayakers to do some paddling on the Manitowoc River.
Both the Manitowoc River and the East and West Twin Rivers eventually flow into Lake Michigan, which offers beauty and exploration above and below the surface. At the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, Mariah talks with a marine archaeologist about the shipwrecks in the area, and the different ways visitors can learn about, and access the wrecks. She also joins a group of standup paddle boarders at the Manitowoc Marina and takes in an amazing view of the city from the water.
Back on land, Eric explores the Historic Washington House in Two Rivers, and learns how to make the perfect ice cream sundae in the city where it was invented. We also get to know local producers at Pine River Dairy, who have been manufacturing butter in the area for more than 75 years. Eric then heads to Manitowoc’s Pinecrest Historical Village for their annual Pinecrest Plates event, which brings in local farmers and fantastic food for people to enjoy.
And you can’t visit Manitowoc and Two Rivers without spending time on the coast. Mariah flies a kite on the pristine Neshotah Beach in Two Rivers, wanders the beautiful grounds of West of the Lake Gardens, and goes bird watching at Woodland Dunes Nature Preserve. There is so much beauty to be experienced in Manitowoc and Two Rivers and countless ways to do it – from ship to shore!
With its world-class resorts, incredible restaurants and year-round activities, Lake Geneva is a pinnacle of luxury and relaxation. But the 20+ mile shore path around Geneva Lake gives everybody lakefront access and connects the three communities of Lake Geneva, Williams Bay and Fontana. Host Mariah Haberman treks around the lake to discover what awaits along the beaten path.
As the only lake in Wisconsin with the entire shoreline accessible, there’s a lot to see around Geneva Lake! Local historian Jim Beloian joins Mariah for a walk along the shore path, where he explains the history of many of the famous homes on the lake including the Wrigley estate, Stone Manor, and Black Point Estate & Gardens. Mariah makes a few stops along the shore path including the Geneva Lake Museum and Baker House 1885, where she enjoys a champagne toast at sunset.
Geneva Lake is an endless source for recreation and relaxation, with opportunities for boating, swimming, stand-up paddle boarding, and even flyboarding (essentially, a water jetpack). Mariah teams up with Wisconsin Hydrosports to learn about this growing trend and even gives it a try herself! For those looking for a less extreme water activity, the Lake Geneva Cruise Line has a number of pick up and drop off locations along the shore path, where visitors can hop on board for a lake tour. The arrival of winter doesn’t mean an end to boating quite yet in the Lake Geneva area. With the lake typically not freezing until late January, The Lake Geneva Cruise Line takes visitors on a magical journey to the “North Pole” on its Santa Cruise with beautiful light displays along the shoreline and a special surprise for kids along the way! And once the lake does freeze over, ice boaters flock to Geneva Lake to race in the Ice Boating Capital of the World.
Ambitious hikers can take the shore path through all three communities around the lake, but chances are you’ll want to stop and take a break in each one. Downtown Lake Geneva is home to dozens of unique shops and restaurants, including Oakfire. With a focus on specialty pizza and a gorgeous, outdoor deck overlooking the lake, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat. Williams Bay is home to Pier 290, one of just two commercial properties directly on the lakeshore. Enjoy delicious, Wisconsin comfort food, grab a drink at the outdoor bar or spend a day at Pier 290’s beach right out front. Further still along the shore path is Fontana, home to The Abbey Resort as well as Gordy’s Marine and Chuck’s Lakeshore Inn. Mariah visits each of these beloved lakeside spots and even indulges in Chuck’s famous “Sweet Tart” drink. There’s always something new to explore along the shore path!
As the oldest European settlement on the Upper Mississippi River, Prairie du Chien is bursting with rich history that dates back to the 17th century. Hosts Mariah Haberman and Eric Paulsen explore the historic sites, exciting events and natural beauty that allows Prairie du Chien to blend the past and present with ease. Mariah begins her journey with a tour of the dungeon at the Old Crawford County Jail before heading to the Fort Crawford Museum to check out its wide variety of exhibits. The crew gets in on the fun by dressing up in period costumes and taking an old time photo at The Local Oven in downtown Prairie du Chien.
Eric dives in to Prairie du Chien’s fishing industry with an early morning fishing trip along the river with Mike Valley of Valley Fish & Cheese, where they reel in over 200 pounds of fish before Eric samples some of Mike’s tasty catches at the shop. Prairie du Chien fully embraces its identity as a fishing community even throughout the winter with fun events like the annual ice fisheree on Gremore Lake and of course, the famous Droppin’ of the Carp on New Year’s Eve.
Mariah and Eric each check out a few of Prairie du Chien’s iconic spots, including Pete’s Hamburger’s, which has been serving up delicious burgers for over a century, and St. Feriole Island, with its beautiful gardens and picturesque views of the river. Mariah visits Shiahata’s orchard, and Eric joins in the action at Villa Louis during its annual War of 1812 reenactment before hopping aboard the Maiden Voyage tour boat for a scenic journey down the Mississippi River. With its incredible beauty, fascinating history and unique events, there are so many reasons to explore Prairie du Chien!
As a destination with both a rich mining history and one of the state’s most thriving art communities, Mineral Point is truly unlike anywhere else in Wisconsin. Hosts Mariah Haberman and Marie Justice experience the passion and creative flair that make this town the place it is today. As the first community in the state to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mineral Point is home to a number of historic sites, including Pendarvis, a fully restored Cornish mining village (and one of the 12 Wisconsin Historic Sites!). With over 70 artists calling the Mineral Point area home, the art scene here is unparalleled, with everything from pottery, to painting, tactile arts, sculpture and even filmmaking, with the Driftless Film Festival held at the Mineral Point Opera House every year.
Downtown Mineral Point is the heartbeat of the community, home to dozens of art galleries, shops, and restaurants. Plus, events like the Fall Art Tour and Candlelight Shopping give visitors special access to the galleries, shops and studios and a chance to meet the people behind them. With the blend of history, culture, art and its creative, passionate people, Mineral Point will enchant you!
There are so many ways to describe Hudson: beautiful, exciting, trendy. Despite being just a half hour from the Twin Cities, Hudson can certainly stand on its own, and in this episode, hosts Mariah Haberman and Collin Geraghty discover just what makes this city on the St. Croix River tick.
As a native of Hudson, Collin has seen the city grow and evolve throughout the years, but one thing that he can always count on when he goes home is the gorgeous St. Croix River. Collin hops aboard an Afton*Hudson River Cruise for some fajitas and margaritas, and of course, to take in a stunning sunset on the water. It’s not just the St. Croix River that draws outdoor enthusiasts to Hudson. Collin catches up with an old family friend for a bike trip along the area’s rustic roads before making a stop at Willow River State Park. With its miles of trails and dramatic waterfall, Willow River State Park is the perfect subject for artists during Hudson’s Plein Air event held every year.
There’s always something going on in downtown Hudson, and Mariah browses through the eclectic shops of Second Street before stopping at Grand Fête, a kitchen store where she learns how to make a few delectable appetizers. Hudson doesn’t slow down in the winter. Instead, the community puts on a number of events including the dazzling Christmas Tour of Homes, and of course, the Hot Air Affair, where Mariah learns some of the science behind hot air ballooning.
Hudson is home to one of Wisconsin’s most impressive food scenes with dozens of restaurants serving everything from classic comfort food to German, Mediterranean and even Caribbean-inspired cuisine! And Mariah takes in Hudson’s bustling wine scene at a number of area wineries each with their own distinct style, before wrapping up her Hudson visit at Wine Cave Fest, a festival in the Prohibition-era caves of Historic Casanova Liquor. Teeming with natural beauty, a bustling downtown and plenty of interesting people, there are so many stories waiting to be discovered in Hudson.