Set on the banks of the magnificent St. Croix River just 18 miles from Minneapolis-St. Paul, is a sophisticated little Wisconsin town called Hudson. In the fall, the shore is full of colorful trees elegantly reflected in the water. In the summer, you can sit on the patios at a number of wonderful restaurants offering unique ambience, fabulous food and wine as well as scenic views. As a producer for Discover Wisconsin, I’m given a front row seat to the beauty and interesting places our great state has to offer. Here are seven places I instantly loved while shooting our episode on Hudson.
A Caribbean-inspired menu offers some pretty awesome selections. My personal favorite would be the smoked duck nachos. They’re unlike any other nacho dish you’ve ever had in your life. It’s white corn chips layered with smoked duck breast and topped with mozzarella cheese, tropical mango salsa and lemon habanero aoli. Their signature dish is the Spanish Spice Red Grouper. It’s super fresh, lightly seasoned and has the tropical mango salsa on top. Incredible food. The service was superb too.
Come spring and summer, take in more exquisite views at seven area golf courses including one designed by pro golfer Tom Lehman. Truth be told, I’m not a golfer. I just ride around in a golf cart while the photographers get the shots we need for the show. But man oh man, this golf course was full of dramatic aesthetics. I was captivated by one hole where a line of extremely tall pines was incorporated into the course. The complexity of the design is beyond impressive.
It has a fabulous wine and craft beer list, a fresh seasonal menu, live music and a unique patio. Every year, The Nova has a beer festival in the private cave on the property. We didn’t include that event in the show, but the owner gave us a tour of the cave that extends 150 feet into the hillside where The Nova is located. You can check it out at the Cassanova Beer Cave Fest or enjoy wine on the patio with live music on a beautiful evening in July like we did.
Not only is this little gourmet chocolate shop adorable, its distinctive quality goods are known throughout the national chocolate scene. Even Martha Stewart stopped by the shop a few years ago. One of our show’s hosts, Collin Geraghty, who hails from Hudson ordered pretty chocolates from Knoke’s for his wedding guests. Of course, everyone loved them. Don’t leave Hudson without stopping here.
After our first day of shooting, I went back to my hotel room to scour the internet for homes for sale in Hudson. I loved it that much. If Discover Wisconsin ever decides to establish a northwest bureau, I’m coming back to you Hudson!
Jodi Lyon is a writer/producer for Discover Wisconsin. Stream Discover Wisconsin online at discoverwisconsin.com or watch Saturdays at 10 a.m. on FSN Wisconsin’s outdoor block.