Lime Kiln Park ~ Grafton, Wisconsin

I accidentally bypassed writing a post about this park from our July trip, so I’m backtracking and getting it done today!

Lime Kiln Park in Grafton will always hold a special place in our hearts as it was the location of our wedding reception. The thing that makes Lime Kiln Park speical is of course, the old lime kilns located in the park that give the park it’s name. We had tons of fun taking photos with the kilns for wedding photos, so after a take out lunch from Hefner’s at the park, we took a few photos ourselves for old times sake.

The park also features an old restored bridge near the kilns, so we also had some fun recreating wedding photos on the bridge as well.

The park has lots of other fun options as well, including a disc golf course, beautiful creek, playground and more! It’s located just off the main drag through town and could be easily missed, but it’s a park definitely worth a visit.

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Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve ~ Grafton, Wisconsin

As promised, here’s another favorite old haunt we visited while back in the Cedarburg area in July. Lion’s Den Gorge is a beautiful nature preserve located along the bluffs of Lake Michigan. We arrived mid morning on a Sunday thinking it would still be an early time to explore, but boy were we wrong! The parking lot was packed and we actually just had to park along the side of the roadway into the preserve.

There are a few porta-potties located near the parking lot and then a map of the area. We began our hike that day by taking the bluff trail for some nice scenic views as we hiked down into the gorge and toward the lake. You can take this trail all the way down to where wooden steps and bridges have been built that lead all the way down to Lake Michigan. Be prepared for lots of stair steps if you go all the way down!

The beach area is more rocks than sand, but is such a nice place to sit and relax. There’s plenty of space to spread out even on a busier day.

On our way back up the trail we opted to take the gravel path back to the car instead of the bluff path. The gravel path simply takes you along the edge of the woods and has a prairie to the other side, but is more of a straight shot in and out versus the bluff path that weaves along the edge of the lake and the woods.

For a fairly simple and short hike, this is a beautiful area to explore!

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24 Hours of Memories ~ Cedarburg, Wisconsin

As we made our way home from Cuyahoga Valley in July, we had one more stop we had to make along the way. This was to our first home of Cedarburg. We had so many fun places we wanted to revisit during our trip down memory lane. I’ll have a few posts dedicated to some places outside of Cedarburg, but here’s what we visited in town. (And one outside of town.)

The first place was actually outside of Cedarburg as Andrew wanted to stop by and visited Concordia Wisconsin’s campus as an alum. They have a gorgeous path you can walk down along the bluff that leads to a small little beach area on Lake Michigan. The lake was a perfect shade of blue the evening we visited.

After dinner, our next spot to visit was Amy’s Candy Kitchen. They are known for their candied apples, but Andrew loves their chocolate covered pretzel rods, and I’m a sucker for their sea salt chocolate meltaways. We took them over to the picturesque bridge area of the Interurban Trail that runs through town.

We spent the night in a private room AirBnB in town and enjoyed getting to know our host family and their young boys. It was a real treat to share bedtime stories with them. The next morning we grabbed muffins from the Kwik Trip (this used to be a locally owned PDQ station that had the most amazing muffins, but now switched to the more common Kwik Trip chain.) Then it was time for breakfast in Covered Bridge Park. We used to bring picnics here all the time.

We loved the two years we lived in this quaint little town and loved having a chance to revisit some of our favorite places. I’ll share a few more places from the surrounding area over the course of the week!

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Wisconsin Bucket List ~ Northwest Region

Today we head into our final Wisconsin region before heading into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan! Today’s focus is the Northwest Regions, a region Andrew and I spent some time a few years back!


Ashland

  • Copper Falls State Park: This gorgeous park has a great loop trail that gives some nice views of the falls!
  • Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center: Visit this small museum for some tips about the area and take in the view from their observation deck.

Bayfield

  • Apostle Islands National Lakeshore: Take a trip out to Madeline Island and explore this beautiful area along Lake Superior.
  • Bayfield Maritime Museum: This unique museum features the nautical history of the Apostle Islands.

Chippewa Falls

  • Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company: Take a tour of this famous brewery.

Danbury

  • Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park: Living history site dedicated to fur trading.

Hudson

  • Willow River State Park: State park known for the beautiful Willow Falls.

La Pointe

  • Big Bay State Park: Located on Madeline Island, the largest of the Apostle Islands.

Ogema

  • Timm’s Hill County Park: Timm’s Hill is the highest point in the state of Wisconsin.

Phillips

  • Wisconsin Concrete Park: Sculpture park filled with over 200 concrete statues.

River Falls

  • Glen Park: Beautiful city park with a nice walking trail.
  • Kinnickinnic State Park: Enjoy this park located where the Kinnickinnic and St. Croix Rivers meet.

South Range

  • Amnicon Falls State Park: Explore this park that has several waterfalls. Lots of fun short trails lead to them!

Spooner

  • Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum: Museum dedicated to the history of the canoe.

Spring Valley

  • Crystal Cave: Take a tour of this gorgeous cave.

St. Croix Falls

  • Interstate State Park: Hike along trails in this park that straddles the Wisconsin/Minnesota border and features unique geological formations.
  • St. Croix National Scenic Riverway Center: Stop by the Headquarters of this scenic riverway and learn about the history and culture of the river.

Superior

  • Pattison State Park: Features the highest waterfalls in Wisconsin.
  • SS Meteor Maritime Museum: This maritime museum features an 1896 freighter ship.

All attractions found in the Travel Wisconsin Travel Guide.

Wisconsin Bucket List ~ Northeast Region

Today we head into the Northeast Region of Wisconsin which is another popular tourist area with the famed Door County area! I’m a day behind this week since yesterday we were asked to use appliances minimally to help our southern neighbors get power restored faster! My laptop is getting old and always needs to be plugged in when using it, so I made the sacrifice and it means you’ll get a special Saturday post you don’t normally get!

Crivitz

  • Governor Thompson State Park: Enjoy time on the Peshtigo River or along the shoreline of a few small lakes in this park!

Ellison Bay

  • Newport State Park: This park is a Dark Sky park located along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Fish Creek

  • Eagle Bluff Lighthouse: This adorable lighthouse is located within Peninsula State Park and is perched high above Green Bay.
  • Peninsula State Park: Gorgeous wooded park located along the shores of Green Bay.

Green Bay

  • Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame: If you are a Packer fan, this is a must see location for great history on the team!
  • Lambeau Field: Home of the Green Bay Packer football team.

Kewanee

  • The Tugboat “Ludington”: Explore this WWII tugboat.

Merril

  • Council Grounds State Park: Wooded park along the Wisconsin River.

Oconto

  • Copper Culture State Park: Site preserves the area where the Copper Complex people once resided.

Peshtigo

  • Peshtigo Fire Museum: Stop in a learn about the infamous fire that ravaged the area back in the day.

Sturgeon Bay

  • Cave Point Country Park: Gorgeous park area along the shores of Lake Michigan.
  • Door County Maritime Museum: Explore the maritime history of the lake and bay area.
  • Potawatomi State Park: Wooded park located along Sturgeon Bay, a bay within Green Bay.
  • Whitefish Dunes State Park: Preserves the most substantial sand dunes on the Western shore of Lake Michigan.

Three Lakes

  • Northwoods Petroleum Museum: Fun memorabilia that details the history of petroleum.
  • Three Lakes Winery: Known for it’s cranberry wines, you also can take a tour of their facilities.

Washington Island

  • Rock Island State Park: Accessible by ferry, this is a primitive island of Lake Michigan.

Woodruff

  • World’s Largest Penny: Check out this fun roadside oddity that has a unique history.

All attractions found in the Travel Wisconsin Travel Guide.

Wisconsin Bucket List ~ Central Region

Today we move into the part of Wisconsin where I was born and raised! The central part of the state!

Marshfield

  • Jurustic Park: Explore all sorts of now extinct species in the fun sculpture park.

Montello

  • John Muir Country Park: Visit the site of John Muir’s youth!
  • Montello Granite Quarry Waterfalls: Beautiful waterfalls near the downtown.

Necedah

  • Buckhorn State Park: This park is located on Castle Rock lake which is formed by the confluence of the Wisconsin and Yellow Rivers.

Ripon

  • Little White Schoolhouse, Birthplace of the Republican Party: This historic schoolhouse has strong ties to the roots of the Republican party in America.

Stevens Point

  • Schmeeckle Reserve: Gorgeous area to hike among the woods and learn about conservation.

Waupaca

  • Hartman Creek State Park: This park has some hiking trails along the Chain of Lakes in the area.

Wausau

  • Rib Mountain State Park: Hike among these “mountain” trails and explore the views.

All attractions found in the Travel Wisconsin Travel Guide.

Wisconsin Bucket List ~ Southwest Region

Today we move into a region along the Mississippi River. Enjoy some time in the Southwest region of Wisconsin!

Cassville

  • Nelson Dewey State Park: Huge park near the Mississippi River that was once the estate of Wisconsin’s first governor.

Fountain City

  • Kinstone Megalithic Garden: Modern Megalithic garden!
  • Merrick State Park: Another state park located along the banks of the Mississippi River.

La Crosse

  • World’s Largest Six Pack: This roadside oddity is the epitome of Wisconsin.

Ontario

  • Wildcat Mountain State Park: Great hiking spot with panoramic views of the river.

Pepin

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum: Explore the humble beginning of the Little House series.

Prairie du Chien

  • Mississippi River Sculpture Park: Sculptures were designed to relate to the history of the area.
  • Wyalusing State Park: This park features hiking trails, and canoe trail, and several Native American burial mounds.

Richland Center

  • Historic Richland Center Suspension Footbridge: Check out this fun roadside stop with an old suspension bridge.

Trempealeau

  • Perrot State Park: Gorgeous bluff park located along the confluence of the Trempealeau and Mississippi Rivers.

Warrens

  • Wisconsin Cranberry Discovery Center: Your ultimate guide to the cranberry industry that Wisconsin is well known for.

All attractions found in the Travel Wisconsin Travel Guide!

Wisconsin Bucket List ~ South Central Region

Phew! Today we embark on a lengthier list as we hit a popular tourist area of the state. Between being home to the state capital and water park capitol of the world, things are hopping in this post!

Baraboo

  • Circus World: Explore all the fun the circus has to offer and it’s famous history!
  • Devil’s Lake State Park: This park has amazing hiking trails all around the bluffs of this lake.
  • Mirror Lake State Park: Explore the sandstone sides that surround this lake.
  • Natural Bridge State Park: This park features Wisconsin’s largest natural stone arch.

Belmont

  • First Capitol: This site features two buildings where legislature met in the Wisconsin Territory.

Blue Mounds

  • Blue Mound State Park: This park sits atop the highest hill in the southern portion of the state.
  • Cave of the Mounds: Tour a cave located in the side of one of the hills (mounds) that gives it its name.

Dodgeville

  • Governor Dodge State Park: One of the state’s largest state parks that includes many rock formations and a waterfall.

Jefferson

  • Aztalan State Park: This park contains evidence of an ancient civilization.

Madison

  • Henry Vilas Zoo: Amazing free zoo with lots of fun exhibits!
  • Wisconsin Historical Museum: Explore the history of the state.
  • Wisconsin State Capitol: Take a tour of this building (and be sure to ask about the ghost painting!)

Middleton

  • National Mustard Museum: I’m not a mustard person, but this sounds like a fun unique museum to visit all the same!

Mount Horeb

  • The Trollway- Mount Horeb’s Trolls: Come find all 25 trolls hidden around town!

New Glarus

  • New Glarus Woods State Park: Explore the trails in this wooded and prairie filled park.

Spring Green

  • House of the Rock: Check out this unique tourist attractions built on the edge of a cliff and filled with all sorts of odd wonders.
  • Taliesin Estate: Estate of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
  • Tower Hill State Park: This park contains a reconstructed lead shot tower.

Stoughton

  • Lake Kegonsa State Park: Hike among a wide array of ecosystems, from the woods, to the prairie, to the wetlands.

Wisconsin Dells

  • Noah’s Ark Waterpark: You can’t visit the Dells without a stop at a waterpark, and this is the largest and best of them all!
  • Original Wisconsin Ducks: Explore the unique geological features that gave the town it’s name via the famous “duck” boats.
  • Rocky Arbor State Park: This park was established to protect the sandstone outcrops unique to the area.

All attractions found in the Travel Wisconsin Travel Guide.

Wisconsin Bucket List ~ East Central Region

Moving a little further north into Wisconsin today as we head up along Lake Michigan to the East Central Region today!

Appleton

  • Paper Discovery Center: Museum that focuses on the industry of paper making, a common industry in the state.

Hilbert

  • Calumet County Park: This park is located along the shores of Lake Winnebago.

Kohler

  • Kohler Company Factory Tours: Take a tour of the factory that brings us the sinks and bathrooms we all know and love.
  • Kohler Design Center: This place is so much fun! It’s like visiting the model room set ups of Ikea, but just kitchen and bathroom form!

Manitowoc

  • Wisconsin Maritime Museum: Check out the history of the Great Lakes maritime and learn what life on a submarine is like!

Oshkosh

  • EAA Aviation Museum: Everything you ever wanted to know about airplanes can be found at this fun museum!

Sheboygan

  • Bookworm Gardens: Whimsical Garden based on popular children’s books.
  • James Tellen Woodland Sculpture Garden: Wooded area filled with several concrete sculptures.
  • Kohler-Andrae State Park: Two adjacent state parks that sit on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Sherwood

  • High Cliff State Park: State Park located on the shores of Lake Winnebago.

Two Rivers

  • Point Beach State Forest: Forested area along Lake Michigan you can camp and explore.
  • Woodland Dunes Nature Center: Fun area to hike near Lake Michigan.

All attractions found in the Travel Wisconsin Travel Guide.

Wisconsin Bucket List ~ Southeast Region

Today we head into my home state of Wisconsin. I grew up in Central Wisconsin, but our first two years of married life were spent in today’s Southeast region.

Belgium

  • Harrington Beach State Park: Located along the shores of Lake Michigan, it also features a smaller lake within the park and lots of swamp land.
  • Port Washington Lighthouse: Fun lighthouse located along Lake Michigan.

Burlington

  • Chocolate Experience Museum: A chocolate museum is worth visiting by name alone!
  • Spinning Top and Yo-yo Museum: Unique museum featuring toys for the yester years!

Milwaukee

  • Discovery World: Come explore this hands on, interactive museum.
  • Harley-Davidson Museum: Learn all about these famous motorcycles!
  • Miller Park: Home of the Milwaukee Brewers, this stadium is known for it’s iconic retractable dome.
  • Milwaukee Art Museum: This museum is worth a visit just for it’s unique architecture.
  • Milwaukee County Zoo: Wisconsin’s largest zoo will provide several hours of entertainment.
  • Mitchell Park Conservatory Domes: This unique botanical structure is so much fun to visit! Explore different biomes in each unique dome.

All attractions found in Travel Wisconsin Travel Guide.