/ 11 Gems in Fort Atkinson You Won't Find in a Guidebook

11 Gems in Fort Atkinson You Won't Find in a Guidebook

A true example of a perfect small town, Fort Atkinson is a destination well worth exploring! Located in Jefferson County, less than an hour from Madison and Janesville, Fort Atkinson boasts beautiful parks and waterways, a rich history, and exciting options for dining and entertainment. Whether you’re looking to pick blueberries, enjoy a day on Lake Koshkonong, or take in a performance at the legendary Café Carpe – Fort Atkinson is the place to be.
Here are 11 things you’ve got to experience in Fort Atkinson:

Visit the Hoard Historical Museum & National Dairy Shrine

The museum, established in 1967, has exhibits that range from Native American history, including effigy mounds and the Blackhawk War, to the history of the dairy industry.

Climb to the top of Fort Atkinson’s water tower

Built in 1901, for a stunning view of the city. The water tower is a source of municipal pride and is an iconic emblem of the city.
Fort Atkinson Water Tower

Make a stop to see the panther intaglio mound

It’s the only known one of its kind in the world. Unlike most effigy mounds that are built up, this one is dug out of the ground in the shape of a panther.

Have lunch at Jones Market & Dairy Bar

Conveniently located right off of the Glacial River Bike Trail. Here, you can find Jones Dairy Farm products of course, as well as others from family-owned, Wisconsin businesses. Jones Dairy Farm has been a Fort Atkinson staple for six generations – starting as a small dairy farm before expanding to sausage and other meat products. Today, it’s still run by the Jones family.

Stop by the Fort Farmers Market

The farmers market is held every Saturday, May through October; and the last Saturday of each month is Arts Saturdays, where you can find even more vendors including farmers, bakers, crafters and gardeners.

Go to Poyer Orchards Farm Market for delicious fresh, canned, and baked goods

Perhaps best known for their pies, which are made from scratch, this local favorite is also known as, “The Pie Place.”

Pick blueberries at Steffen’s Orchard

If Poyer’s pies inspire you to bake your own, head straight to Steffen’s Orchard in the summertime to pick your own blueberries! The best time to go blueberry picking is generally early to mid-July, and once you try a juicy berry picked right off the bush, you’ll never want one any other way!
Steffens Orchard

Go ice skating at Haumerson’s Pond in the wintertime

Haumerson’s Pond has been the local skating rink in town since the 1920s. Thanks to help from local volunteers, a brand-new warming shelter now welcomes visitors to the pond every winter. There are also three and a half miles of cross-country ski trails that run through the wooded portion of the park.

Dine at the Stagecoach Inn

For a classic, Wisconsin supper club experience. The Stagecoach Inn is located just off the Glacial River Bike Trail a few miles outside of town. Serving classic supper club fare, and offering up a friendly atmosphere, you’ll feel as if you’re at a Northwoods resort.

Experience dinner and a show at the Fireside Theatre

This theater is one of the Midwest’s most popular. The Fireside puts on seven Broadway musical shows a year, with phenomenal casts, on a 20x20 stage where there’s not a bad seat in the house.

Attend a music performance at Café Carpe

A fixture in downtown Fort Atkinson since 1985, Café Carpe is a haven for singers and songwriters that attracts performers from around the country. It’s intimate, it’s legendary, and it’s an experience you won’t forget.
Cafe Carpe
Jessica Murphy is a producer of Discover Wisconsin. Watch the show on Fox Sports Wisconsin every Saturday at 10am or on Roku, Chromecast, Smart TV, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, or on

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