Less than two hours from Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, the small-town oasis of Elkhorn, Wisconsin awaits, offering a perfect retreat from big-city life. It’s the kind of place where people say hello to each other on the street, flags and flowers decorate the downtown and visitors are welcomed with open arms. Kick off your trip to Elkhorn with a few of these suggestions.
- Webster House Museum: The area’s rich history is on full display at this historic home just off Elkhorn’s main street. Learn about the famous composer who once lived in the house, explore thousands of Civil War and Victorian-era artifacts and even see one of the largest collections of waterfowl taxidermy in the country.
- Lefty’s Chicago Style Hot Dogs: With Chicago just a little south of the border, it’s no surprise you can indulge in some Windy City cuisine right here in Elkhorn. Lefty’s Chicago Style Hot dogs serves up gourmet hot dogs and specialty burgers, plus their famous milkshakes, every day from April through October.
- Christmas Card Town: In the 1950s, an artist working for the Ford Motor Company completed a series of paintings of Elkhorn during the holiday season, which were then printed in Ford’s magazine and later turned into Christmas cards. This exposure led thousands of people around the world to come to know Elkhorn simply as ‘The Christmas Card Town’ - a moniker the community still holds with great pride to this day. Visit Elkhorn during the holiday season to enjoy the twinkling lights and holiday spirit throughout the city!
- Christmas Tree Lighting: The pinnacle of holiday cheer in Elkhorn is the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Veterans Park right downtown. Caroling, hot cocoa and even a visit from the big guy in red himself are perfect ways to kick off the holiday season!
- Elkhorn Antique Flea Market: Held four times a year, this is not your average flea market; this is all-out treasure hunting! Vendors with only the very best antiques and authentic collectibles are allowed to sell here, so you’re sure to find whatever it is you’re looking for, from home décor and tools to a hutch that would be just perfect for that DIY refurnishing project…
- Ribfest: Pulled pork. Ribs. BBQ Sauce. Need I say more? Enjoy savory, mouthwatering barbeque from some of the nation’s best BBQ masters at Elkhorn’s annual Ribfest held every August at the Walworth County Fairgrounds.
- Walworth County Fair: Speaking of the fairgrounds, Elkhorn is home to the Walworth County Fair, which also happens to be the largest county fair in Wisconsin. That means even more animals, exciting entertainment (think BMX riders and chainsaw carving competitions) and, of course, fooooood! (Watch Elkhorn’s full episode for cream puff-eating tips from DW’s very own Mariah Haberman!)
- White River State Trail: Nineteen miles long and open to hiking, biking and even horseback riding, the White River State Trail connects Elkhorn to Burlington – perfect for a day trip to two of southeastern Wisconsin’s cutest downtowns!
- Lauderdale Lakes: This chain of three lakes just north of Elkhorn offers local residents and visitors alike the chance to get out on the water and enjoy boating, fishing, sailing, or water skiing.
- Southern Unit – Kettle Moraine State Forest: With more than 22,000 acres filled with hiking trails, prairies, glacial lakes and wildlife, the exploring never stops at the southern unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest. And with special routes open just for winter, a little snow shouldn’t prevent you from hitting the trails! Stop in at the natural history museum at the park headquarters for a peek at the area’s geological history.
Learn more about Elkhorn on Discover Wisconsin! Watch now on Roku, Chromecast, Smart TV, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, and at DiscoverWisconsin.com.