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Friday, October 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 37.0° F  Overcast
Summer food pilgrimages: The Old Feed Mill in Mazomanie

Some places reveal themselves slowly. I was always used to shooting through Mazomanie on the way to Spring Green. But last summer, on our way to American Players Theatre, we finally turned off the highway and saw something unexpected. Bump over the railroad tracks into Mazo proper and there are streets that could have dropped out of a Norman Rockwell-meets-Edward Hopper American daydream: flat-topped 19th-century storefronts, gingerbread cottages and clapboard houses framed by long rambling porches. The real center of town, though, is the Old Feed Mill, which was our other big discovery that August day and now a regular stop. >More
Not your everyday garden: Take a closer look at Olbrich

Peering into artist Robert C. Anderson's garden kaleidoscope sculpture at Olbrich Botanical Gardens provides a fitting metaphor for the park itself: The closer you look, the more there is to see (and do). Though Olbrich is open year-round, summer is a particularly festive time to visit. The outdoor gardens are at their most colorful, and the warm weather affords more opportunities to relax and have fun in what Horticulture magazine called one of the 10 most inspiring gardens in North America. >More
Summer food pilgrimages: Lakeside Bar in Minocqua

I finally found what I considered to be a fish fry worthy of the trip a few vacations ago just outside of Minocqua. This was not a restaurant that was listed in the guidebook. Coming into Minocqua on Hwy. 51, I saw a white arrow pointing into the woods that said "Lakeside Bar." I just had a feeling. "Let's go," I said. >More
Step right up! Amazing musical acts are coming to a fair stage near you!

Hey music lovers, where do you go to hear the newest sounds? County fairs, right? Well, if indie is your thing, maybe not. But if you're interested in the latest country acts out of Nashville, Wisconsin's county and regional fairs are on the cutting edge. >More
Summer food pilgrimages: The Beach Club in La Pointe

The Beach Club, situated right on the shore of Lake Superior on Madeline Island, is a can't-miss summer stop for me and my entire family. A dozen or so of us make the six-hour trek up to the island to camp every summer, and we always visit at least once. Last year, we awoke to pouring rain that showed no signs of letting up. Rather than get cranky about it, we packed ourselves into our cars and drove to town straight to the Beach Club. >More
Summer food pilgrimages: The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee

The Yard, the seasonal bar and patio at the Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, is one of my favorite places to enjoy three of my favorite things: outdoor seating with my dog, historic buildings and motorcycles. It opens for the season on May 27 with its regular Sunday Blues Series. >More
Summer food pilgrimages: Mickey Lu Bar-B-Q in Marinette

Ordering a beloved food is a simple way to travel back through time, but sometimes there's an opportunity to transcend memory. That's what awaits at Mickey Lu Bar-B-Q in Marinette when I order its "charcoal broiled" butterburger. >More
Summer food pilgrimages: The Silvercryst in Wautoma

Seventy-five minutes north from Madison on Hwy. 39 takes you a world away, to Wautoma in Waushara County. The terrain is strikingly different from Dane County, full of cool sandy soil and the scent from towering pine trees. Wautoma is situated on pretty Silver Lake, a playground for families in the summer. The Silvercryst is a lake resort and supper club, and an afternoon or dinner there can easily make you believe you are back in the '50s. Housekeeping cottages are just yards away from the property. The monstrous steer that greets you roadside is an icon from way back. >More
Summer food pilgrimages: Glarner Stübe in New Glarus

For beer lovers, New Glarus Brewing is just down the road, but my favorite pilgrimage site is the Glarner Stübe. A bar with a little dining area in the back, the Stübe has credible Swiss cuisine like fondue and pastetli (essentially Swiss meat pie, in a puff pastry with cream sauce), and also Americanized items like a fantastic Reuben with real sauerkraut and Swiss cheese. >More
Summer food pilgrimages: Anchor Bar and Grill in Superior

Every good town and true in Wisconsin can boast a tavern equipped with a griddle and bartender who can sizzle up a tasty burger. The Anchor Bar in Superior is in a class all its own, though, tendering an attitude and satisfying appetites to match its portside setting. >More
A Sauk County folk art site makes a great Saturday trip

The land between Cazenovia and Hillsboro, in far northwestern Sauk County, is part of the driftless region of Wisconsin. Steep hills and curving valleys are dotted with dairy farms wherever they can be wedged in. >More
Summer food pilgrimages, where dinner is more than an afterthought

You know the place. The dockside ice cream shop, the root beer stand still painted orange, the bar with the terrific sunset. These are the places we love returning to summer after summer, for a special meal that is equal parts deliciousness, nostalgia and seize-the-day. >More
A guide to splashing away the day at the pool

Perhaps I'm part Wicked Witch. It doesn't matter if it's the ocean, a thunderstorm or even the shower -- I'm just not crazy about getting wet. So when my children were younger, any pool-going desires they had needed to be satisfied by the backyard, blow-up variety. But by the time my oldest was 5, it became perfectly clear a green plastic tub shaped like a turtle, even when coupled with a Slip 'N Slide, was no longer going to cut it as our family's aquatic center. >More
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