Last summer the Discover Wisconsin crew got to head out on a tour of small towns throughout Wisconsin thanks to Cobblestone Hotels! Day-by-day, we got to see the ins and outs of small communities throughout the state in: Hartford, Chippewa Falls, Ashland, Superior, and Two Rivers. The best part? YOU can explore these small communities and check out our favorite stops along the way!
Discover Wisconsin Host, Eric Paulsen traveled to Hartford to get an inside look at what this quaint small town has to offer! Right along the northwest countryside of Milwaukee, Hartford is the perfect little town to get out and explore. The crew first stopped off to check into their hotel at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Hartford. Cobblestone Hotels are perfectly located right in the hearts of small communities, with great “big-city” values!
After settling in, Eric got to sit down at the Wissota Chophouse to enjoy a delicious tap beer and some tasty appetizers to fuel up before heading out for a day on the town. The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is right in Hartford, making for a great day outside all year long. The best part is that you can see views of Holy Hill from the tower up at Power Hill in the forest!
Other must-do’s in Hartford include a visit to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. There, you’ll find hundreds of vehicles from 1902 to the 1990’s, making this visit truly one-of-a-kind! After exploring the museum, wander through the town and find Scoop DeVille. This classic old-fashioned parlor serves up some of the best ice cream, malts, sandwiches, and candies in the area!
The crew really enjoyed their time in Hartford and loved getting to stay with Discover Wisconsin’s official hotel chain, Cobblestone Hotels! Join us and watch this full digital short, ‘Touring Small Town Wisconsin: Hartford’ by clicking here.
The crew got to head north to Chippewa Falls, which is a town filled with a rich history, abundant with plenty of nature spots, and is a must-visit for any beer connoisseur! We started off this trip with a stay at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in downtown Chippewa Falls. Conveniently located in the heart of the town, you can stay, eat, and explore the town easily! For example, you can dine right on site at the Wissota Chophouse, a classic American chophouse with creative dishes. Or if you’re looking for a unique supper club experience, visit the Wissota High Shores Supper Club for exceptional lakeviews and a delicious bit to eat!
You really cannot make a trip to Chippewa Falls without stopping at the Leinenkugel Brewery. At Leinie’s you can take a tour, find live music, enjoy a cold brew in the Leinie Lodge, and even shop in their one of a kind gift shop! Other tasty treats you can find in the town are at Olson’s Ice Cream.
Chippewa Falls is home to many outdoor activities and one of the top picks has to be Irvine Park. This exceptional park has a full zoo, 300+ acres of playgrounds, hiking trails, creeks, and so much more! After a long day exploring beautiful Chippewa Falls, get a good night's rest at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites. With their big city quality in small towns across Wisconsin, you will see why they are the Discover Wisconsin official hotel chain! Click here to watch ‘Touring Small Town Wisconsin: Chippewa Falls’ to see all the wonderful places the crew got to visit while on tour.
In the northern part of our state right along Lake Superior, you can discover Ashland! Ashland is a special town right along the south shores with access to so many beautiful locations. On your way to Ashland, be sure to make a stop first at Copper Falls State Park and see some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Wisconsin!
Right along the shores of the lake, you can book your stay at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in Ashland. With gorgeous views of the lakeside and right in downtown, you are in the perfect location of this small town for adventures! Just next door is Deep Water Grille and South Shore Brewery, where you can get delicious food and an exceptional craft beer. After filling up, walk along the mural walk and get a glimpse of one a nationally registered historic location.
Not far from Ashland is the iconic Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. You can book a kayaking tour through the islands with Escape Excursions and get to head out 22 miles to Devil’s Island to see the amazing sea caves. Settle down at night back at the Cobblestone in Ashland and be sure to grab the complimentary breakfast in the morning! You can now watch ‘Touring Small Town Wisconsin: Ashland’ by clicking here to see Eric’s adventures through the small town of Ashland!
If you’re wanting the views of Lake Michigan and a charming small town all in one, Two Rivers is the place to be! Eric Paulsen visited Two Rivers on Discover Wisconsin’s small town tour with a stay right on the lake at Cobblestone Hotel & Suites. And, wow! The views are simply spectacular! After checking in, the crew got to head out on the town.
Go back in time at the Rogers Street Fishing Village & Museum and take a tour of when Two Rivers was a major French fishing port. You can see shipwrecks, Native American artifacts, a 1936 wooden fishing tug, and a 1886 historic lighthouse for yourself! For a more ‘delicious’ history, head to the Historic Washington House. This old-time saloon features Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor to commemorate the 1880’s invention of the ice-cream sundae!
You can also explore Two Rivers outdoors along the trails of Point Beach State Forest. This beautiful forest has hiking trails to explore, sand dunes to roam, and gorgeous views of Lake Michigan. Be on the lookout for the iconic and historic Rawley Point Lighthouse, which has been around since 1894!
After spending a day out sightseeing, a great spot to grab a bite to eat is at Kurtz’s Pub and Deli. This German restaurant has delicious sandwiches and a rare collection of imported beers! This charming small town is one you can’t miss out on. Plan your trip with a stay right downtown at the Cobblestone Hotel & Suites and see this big city quality in small town Wisconsin for yourself!
Click here to watch ‘Touring Small Town Wisconsin: Two Rivers’ now and head out on a day filled with history, nature, and great foodie finds.
One last amazing small town to visit in Wisconsin is up north in Superior. From museum tours, to brewery tours, and outdoor explorations, you can really do it all in Superior! The first must-see stop is with the Superior Public Museums. On this tour, we got to stop and see the SS Meteor and the Fairlawn Mansion to become informed of the history within Superior.
For the outdoor recreation lovers, Superior is a great spot to get outside and explore by bike. At Wisconsin Point, you can go for a scenic stroll right along Lake Superior. If you’re a beer enthusiast, find your fun on a tour at the Thirsty Pegan Brewery! You can try their wild, aged beers and taste of their delicious in-house pizza too. For more foodie stops, check out the iconic Anchor Bar and get a taste at one of their amazing burgers, cheap beer, and see all of their legendary decorations!
After exploring the small town of Superior, find a stay at the Boarders Inn & Suites, a Cobblestone Hotel. There you will experience big city quality in a small town and will have access right to all of the amazing things throughout Superior. Click here to watch ‘Touring Small Town Wisconsin: Superior’ now and see all of Eric Paulsen’s stops on Discover Wisconsin’s tour.
The Discover Wisconsin crew was so excited to take this small town tour through Wisconsin and explore what these communities have to offer! Are you ready to plan your trip? Binge watch our small town tour video series and get to planning. Which location is next on your trip itinerary?
Kortnee Hass: Digital Media Associate for Discover Mediaworks. A Wisconsin ‘now & forever’ transplant with a soft spot for squeaky cheese curds, craft breweries, and all things Wisconsin tourism.
Great read! Love Wisconsin's small towns!