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Take a Day Trip to Cedarburg Wisconsin

Updated on January 22, 2016

A Step Back in Time

When I was a kid, my mom would take me and my sister to Cedarburg, Wisconsin, twice a year. She didn't have much money so it was a fun way for us to spend the day without costing a lot of money. We would walk around and look at all the unique antiques and other fun things that you don't find anywhere else.

They have two festivals each year, the Strawberry Fest in the spring and the Harvest Fest in the fall which is why we went twice a year. We would leave early in the morning because it was about a 45 minute drive and stay all day. My mom would pack a lunch and when we got tired and needed a break, we would find a nice spot by the river to sit down and eat the food we brought.

Recently, I decided it would be fun to take my mom and my own kids back to that place where I have all those good memories so long ago.


This antique store had an upstairs and a downstairs.
This antique store had an upstairs and a downstairs.

Lots of Antiques

Many years ago, Cedarburg was full of antique shops. You could go from one shop to the next but with so many there, you were bound to see the same things over and over again. Eventually, the town started widening their horizons and only a few antique shops remain today. Since there's only a couple, you can find many wonderful antiques, and not many duplicate items!

Antique Rocking Horse

I love horses and thought this was really cool
I love horses and thought this was really cool

Or Uniques?

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Crazy, Fun, and Unique

I love it that instead of the usual antiques, you can find many new and very unique things. They might not be new per se but they are things that have been transformed into different new things. Or, they are new things but different than what you see in ordinary stores. There's lots of handcrafted items like jewelry, clothing, and woodwork.

The one thing that they all have in common is that they are mostly one of a kind things. You can't find these treasures anywhere else. It makes it fun knowing that every time you come to Cedarburg, you'll find something different that you haven't seen before.

Home Grown Americana

4th of July Themed Store Front
4th of July Themed Store Front

Red White and Blue

Celebrate Independence Day in America with red, white, and blue. When you step into this town, thoughtfully called Cedarburg, you are stepping back in time to a place that was being built by a strong community of folks living their dreams. It was hard work but a strong foundation was put in place. The town is still going strong and growing each year.

Fine Dining - Street Side

august weber haus
august weber haus

Sit and Enjoy the Day with Friends

Enjoy dinner outside or inside at the August Weber Cheesehaus. If you come with a group or just want to meet new people, pick a spot in the square. It's a little patio area with benches with cushions where you can sit around and enjoy the company of friends and strangers alike.

Cedar Creek Settlement

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cellar door to the Cedar Creek SettlementThe settlement is filled with over 30 shops, studios, and restaurants.
Cellar door to the Cedar Creek Settlement
Cellar door to the Cedar Creek Settlement
The settlement is filled with over 30 shops, studios, and restaurants.
The settlement is filled with over 30 shops, studios, and restaurants.

Cedar Creek Settlement

Cedar Creek Settlement is what brought my mom to visit Cedarburg many years ago. They were holding a big wine festival with people stomping grapes just like they used to do many years ago. She thought it would be fun for me and my sister to see something like that. Plus, she had heard about the great shopping experience. The re-purposing of the Settlement led to the restoration of many of the other buildings and the long trend of recreating this great little town continued on.

A Creek With a Story

The River that runs through town
The River that runs through town

Cedar Creek

In the mid-1800s, Cedar Creek lured immigrants to the area because of it's power-producing potential. One of the mills that was built was the Wittenberg Mill, built in 1864. It was the only woolen mill west of Philadelphia that produced worsted yarns. The mill's buildings still stand today but in the form of the Cedar Creek Settlement.

The buildings have been transformed into shops and restaurants. In the summertime, the streets are closed off during the Strawberry Fest and the Wine Fest. They are filled with so many people that you can hardly move around. All up and the down the streets, there are food trucks and vendors selling the most delicious foods and drinks.

Also interesting are the artists that are stationed around the town. Some of them are nice and like to share their work but others would rather be left alone. The artists include watercolors, chalks, and photographers.

An Artist's Dream Come True

Most streets have an artist or two.  Some are friendlier than others.
Most streets have an artist or two. Some are friendlier than others.

An Artist's Haven

As you walk down the streets, you will see artists drawing, painting, and photographing the historical buildings. The Cedarburg Artists’ Guild has an impressive 170 members. There are many galleries and studios throughout the downtown area where they display their work.

Most of the local artists are very friendly and will talk with you as they work. We did meet one or two that were more worried about us stepping on their supplies than they were interested in talking with us. We left them alone and moved on to the next ones. My mom was very intrigued by the artists and really liked watching them worked.

I like to think of Cedarburg as a unique place to visit

Do you have a town like Cedarburg near you?

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Read all about the history of Cedarburg

Cedarburg:   A History Set in Stone  (WI)  (Making of America Series)
Cedarburg: A History Set in Stone (WI) (Making of America Series)

Cedarburg played a big part in the history of Wisconsin. Read all about it in this great book that explores Cedarburg in the past century.


The Washington House Inn

This video of the Washington House Inn will also give you a glimpse into the streets of Cedarburg and look back to the past. It's a wonderful place that will leave you relaxed and full of fond memories.

Have you ever visited Cedarburg? Did you enjoy your time there?

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What a thoughtful thing to do Jen, taking your mom back to Cedarburg to relive happy memories. It looks like a delightful town (the type I like). We have a few unique towns that remind me a little of your description and photos. There is a Cedarton and Cedar Creek also not far away. Voted up.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      Your first photo just makes me want to walk down that street. Looks like such a lovely place. The town shows that its residents have given it a lot of love in preserving their heritage.

      I live near a little historical town dating back to the California Gold rush. Since we are close to Yosemite National Park, we get lots of international visitors. I sometime volunteer at the local history museum and occasionally realize, when I am showing European visitors some of our "OLD" stuff-- that they may well have Roman ruins in their backyards. Nevertheless they often show a lot of interest. The American West history seems to intrigue the Germans and English, especially.

    • JenwithMisty profile image

      Jen withFlash 3 years ago

      I remember seeing a speaker once who was from Russia. He said that when he came to US, some friends asked him if he wanted to visit an old house. When they got there, he laughed because it was only about 125 years old. He said that the houses where he was from were hundreds and hundreds of years old, just like you said :)

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 3 years ago from Southampton, UK

      This looks like a lovely place to visit, rather like some of the lakeside towns in Michigan that I used to visit when I lived in Indiana.

      Nothing like it in the UK, although we have our own kind of quaint villages with buildings dating back a thousand years.

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Cedarburg looks and sounds so charming. What a beautiful thing that you brought your own kids with grandma. My sister and I go to Hayward, WI with the kids once a year and do the same thing. We actually stay a few nights at a charming lake side resort called 'Anglers Haven'. The kids talk about this trip more than the ones where we take an airplane. We live in Minnesota, so we drive to Hayward which is about three hours away.

      Thank you for sharing this wonderful place with us. Memories are so great for our children.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      What a quaint town! I love the picture of the Victorian house, and Pinned it on Pinterest.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      No I have never visited Cedarburg, I would love to, I like walking around places like this. I enjoyed reading and viewing your beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing