There's not much I love more than an all-American, Norman Rockwell-esque town. Lucky for me, Wisconsin is dotted with charming destinations that are the epitome of "Americana." Here are 10 that come to mind and should be on your travel list:
Head about 20 minutes northeast of Eau Claire and you'll find yourself in the hometown of Leinenkugels: Chippewa Falls. This 2017 Discover Wisconsin Choice Destination is as authentic as it gets. Stop in at Sokups Market and you'll feel like you've literally stepped back in time. The family-owned meat market has been in business for more than 100 years. When it's time for a homemade dairy treat, make your way across the street to Olson's Ice Cream.
Elkhart Lake is sandwiched between Lake Michigan and the picturesque hills of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. Not too shabby in terms of location, huh? Squeeze in a winter getaway this season yet: Pack your skis or snowshoes and trek the trails, hit the slopes for some sledding or lace up your skates and glide across the ice before a little much-deserved fireside hot cocoa.
Pure, delightful and utterly charming: Door County as a whole is the pinnacle of small-town Americana. On the bay-side of the county is Egg Harbor - population 201. This pristine little town is home to beautiful beaches and parks, bustling farm markets and a gorgeous marina.
Another 2017 Discover Choice Destination, Evansville is a charming town located south of Madison and west of Janesville. Its historic downtown - red brick street and all - boasts antique shops, art galleries and cozy cafes. There is also a wide variety of historic homes scattered across town from Queen Annes to Tudors to Craftsman-style homes.
Fish Creek will make you melt with its quiet glamour and quaint vibe. You'll discover rich history in its architecture, lovely tree-lined streets and plenty of friendly faces when you visit this little community.
An hour west of Madison is the ol' mining town of Mineral Point. Loaded with charm and character, Mineral Point boasts "small town life with a creative flair." I couldn't agree more! There's Pendarvis Historic Site, Shake Rag Alley and plenty of picturesque trails for bicyclists, hikers and the like.
The Fox Valley certainly has its fair share of Americana towns too. Take Neenah for example, where you'll find picture-perfect parks, a lovely downtown district and even a historic Octagon House.
Port Washington is enchanting on so many levels. Self-described as "Midwestern friendly," Port Washington in Ozaukee County is a historic fishing village with a pre-Civil War downtown, nestled on the shores of Lake Michigan. Sounds delightful, doesn't it?
Welcome to Stockholm, the tiniest town on this list. Stockholm may be small but it's big on things I cherish like art galleries, scenic bluffs, wonderful shops and pie. (Seriously: Try "America's Best Pie" for yourself at Stockholm Pie & General Store). But perhaps it's Stockholm's location on the Great River Road along the Mississippi River that I love most.
Mariah Haberman hosts the nation’s longest-running tourism TV show, Discover Wisconsin. Watch the show Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin’s outdoor block or online at DiscoverWisconsin.com. (Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter: @MariahHaberman)