Summer in Wisconsin is almost here! If you’re anything like me, you’re more than ready to get outside and explore a new place.
Wisconsin is full of charming small towns, rolling hills, state parks, and good food. If you’re looking for a place with all of the above, add New Glarus to your summer bucket list. Being a town of about 2,000 people, New Glarus has a welcoming feel while still offering an abundance of places to eat, drink, shop, and explore. It’s known for its Swiss heritage, which you will notice in the Alpine-style architecture, outdoor festivals, and cuisine. If you’re lucky, you might even hear alphorns while wandering downtown.
Last October, I moved my small sewing business, A Well Worn Story, to New Glarus to gain more studio space and open a storefront. I could not have picked a better place. Although I have lived in the area for a few years, this is my first time experiencing the town on a day-to-day basis. I can say first-hand, New Glarus is full of friendly people, unique businesses, and lots of opportunity for adventure. One of my favorite parts about owning a business in town is meeting the many tourists who come into the shop and ask for recommendations. So, whether you’re traveling a few hours or live in the area, here are the must-stop spots in Swiss town from a local shop owner’s perspective.
New Glarus Bakery
Specializes in handmade Swiss and American pastries, breads, and chocolates. Right next door to my shop!
Puempel’s Olde Tavern
Grab a New Glarus beer and a Green County cheese tray in a beautiful historic building with 100-year-old murals. Bartender Dave is one of the friendliest guys in town.
Kennedy’s Ice Cream + Grill
An ice cream shop conveniently located at the end of the bike path and right next to the park. They also offer sandwiches and outdoor tables to enjoy lunch with the family.
My go-to spot for a classic Swiss dinner and brandy old fashioned. You have to try the rosti potatoes. This place gets bonus points for its wood-paneling and cozy dining room.
Sugar River Pizza
The best place to eat in town with a large group or kids. They have specialty pizzas and an outdoor eating area on the bike path complete with string lights. A favorite place to sit on a summer evening.
Chalet Landhaus Inn
A restaurant located in the hotel featuring authentic Swiss food. I typically order cheese fondue and sit outside on the patio. Another place on the bike path!
Fat Cat Coffee Works
Coffee, specialty drinks, and lunch food located on the bike path.
Bailey’s Run Winery
Wine, wood fired pizzas, and peaceful views of the countryside. Expect live music and lots of people on the weekends. Bring a blanket to sit in the yard if tables are full.
New Glarus Brewing
Home of the Spotted Cow, a true icon in New Glarus. In case you haven’t heard, you can only get this beer in Wisconsin. Tour the brewery and enjoy the large outdoor seating area overlooking Wisconsin farmland. Don’t forget to check hours before visiting as the brewery has been closed on the weekends.
Hutch + Hide
A modern mom-and-pop shop featuring home goods, gifts, and baby items. You can truly find something for the whole family here.
Pioneer Valley Outdoor
A new shop offering outdoor apparel, fishing gear, and bikes. Come out for their grand opening on May 21st!
A Well Worn Story
Of course, I have to give a shout out to my own business! You can find our handcrafted leather goods, waxed canvas bags and aprons, and Wisconsin lifestyle goods in the shop.
A boutique most known for its fresh floral designs, plants, and gifts.
The best Swiss-style sausage and brats to take home with you. Their shop closes at 12:30pm on Saturdays, so stop by before lunch.
Sugar River State Trail
An old railroad line turned into a bike path stretching from New Glarus to Brodhead. Take it for a short ride from downtown to New Glarus Woods State Park, or a longer one out town for country views and bridges.
New Glarus Woods State Park
Hike through the woods and bike the Sugar River Trail. Reserve a campsite and stay for the whole weekend.
Swiss Historical Village Museum
Get the full history of this small Swiss town by touring 14 historic buildings and antiques left from pioneer settlers.
It’s no secret that New Glarus loves a party. Festival season kicks off with Polkafest on June 11th. If you’re looking for a reason to roadtrip to Green County, this is a good one.
For a full list of festivals, special events, and places to stay, check out the New Glarus Chamber of Commerce website. With so many quaint shops, good food, and outdoor adventures, it’s bound to be a beautiful summer in “America’s Little Switzerland”!
See you soon in New Glarus,
Author: Morgann is the owner, designer, and seamstress at A Well Worn Story, a sewing studio in southern Wisconsin creating handcrafted leather and waxed canvas bags inspired by a life of adventure.
A Well Worn Story
538 1st Street
New Glarus, WI 53574