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Weekend in Wisconsin
Weekend Getaway through Wisconsin
A weekend getaway can be so much fun with a little planning and a little spontaneity. The fall is a beautiful time to take a trip through Wisconsin. The leaves are changing colors and it's still warm enough for a light jacket or sweatshirt.
Our trip started out near the Concord General Store and Zoo in Sullivan, Wisconsin. This has been a favorite spot of mine for many years. I love animals so that's the real reason I stop there but I have other reasons for stopping there too.
The food is really good. They make a great pizza and they sell my favorite fountain drinks. On certain days of the week you can get fresh cheese curds. They're delicious! Another reason to stop is that I buy real gas there, not the ethanol loaded stuff. I have an older vehicle so it gets better gas mileage when I use the real gas. Just make sure that you use pumps 9 or 10 if that's what you're looking for!
They are open from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays from 6:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Concord General Store and Zoo
The next stop on our trip was at Ehlenbach's Cheese Chalet in DeForest, WI. I always get smoked string cheese and cheese curds when I stop here. They have different varieties like salty smoked string cheese and chocolate cheese. Have you ever had it? It tastes like fudge! Besides cheese, you can find real maple syrup, wines, ice cream, T-shirts and lots of other tourist things. They also have a really nice clean bathroom so it's a perfect place to stop. We always buy enough cheese to last us for our whole trip.
Ehlenbach's in DeForest, WI
Does Wisconsin have the best cheese around?
University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point
We made our way up north to Stevens Point where we took a little tour of the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point campus. If you're ever looking for some inexpensive entertainment for the family, try looking at the local universities. They are full of activities for everyone. UW-Stevens Point boasts the best theater experience for students and the community. They have multiple theaters in use at all times where the students create the sets and put on top notch plays. They are really great. Their technologies are state of the art.
They also have a museum on campus that is open and free to the public. I didn't know how it was going to be but it turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting. It's a nice place to go if you want to get out of the house and learn something along the way.
Set on Stage at the Theater
Trail Riding in Merrill, WI
A Really Great Trail Riding Ranch
The next place that we stopped at was my favorite. It's a trail riding ranch in Merrill, Wisconsin, called Chism Trail Ranch. I had a riding accident a few years ago so I'm a very nervous rider but the horses there are super! They are really great trail horses and the guides are wonderful. They give you a short lesson before you head out on the beautiful trails. The whole thing takes about 2 hours and it's worth every penny. I highly recommend visiting this ranch if you're ever in the area!
The Friendly Atmosphere
When we were done trail riding, we headed back south and went to Rib Mountain in Wausau, Wisconsin. It was getting late so I got as many pictures as quickly as I could. Once it was totally dark, the city was really beautiful all lit up.
The Queen's Chair
To Charles E. Parker
Facts About Rib Mountain
Rib Mountain, a billion-year-old hill, is one of the oldest geological formations on earth. Rib Mountain State Park is a day-use facility with picnicking, hiking trails and an amphitheater that you can reserve. The top of the 60-foot observation tower offers spectacular views of the Wausau area and Wisconsin River. Granite Peak Ski Area, a place full of history, offers downhill skiing and snowboarding during the winter months.
The park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
There are 9 different trails that you can choose from inside the park and a snowmobile trail that you have to enter from outside the park. You can choose the trail that fits your ability the best.
During the winter months, they offer guided trails. They even have a moonlight hike in February.
All That Before Dinner Time!
By the the time we finished up at Rib Mountain, we were getting really hungry. The restaurant selection was enormous but Texas Roadhouse was right next to our hotel so that's where we went for dinner. The rolls with the honey cinnamon butter are soft and warm and the kids have fun eating peanuts out of their shells. The service was fast and friendly. We all had a great time there.
Peanuts on the Floor!
Grab a handful of peanuts and crack them open! Toss the shells on the floor... that's the whole fun of it.
We spent the night at the Days Inn in Rib Mountain. It's not exactly a four star hotel but it's very nice. The rooms are clean and they have wi-fi. What more could you want? A pool? Yep, they have a really nice pool plus a continental breakfast in the morning. The service there is top notch. The employees are all very nice and helpful. The kids spent a few hours in the pool before we all headed to bed.
This may seem like a strange place to visit but....
... did you see the second thing on the list? A theater! They have an outdoor theater in the center of this beautifully designed building. They also have an indoor theater which puts on performances year round.
A lot of places don't open until 11:00 a.m. on Sundays in Stevens Point so we had to get creative to find something to do while waiting. Then I remembered that I had been to this insurance company before. I was drawn to it because it was so big and beautiful and I was amazed when I found the theater in the center. During the summer, there's beautiful flowers that grow here.
Here's the theater
Sentry Insurance Company
Don't ask how I found this one and I really know nothing about it. It's a fascinating place though. It's absolutely beautiful in the summer time so I like to stop there and wander around a little bit. I've never been all the way to the bottom level but I would love to go sometime. I would also love to go see a concert or a play there. I wonder when they do them? Maybe next time I can look into it a little bit more.
My kids love going to antique shops. We usually try to find one or two on any of our trips. We've found this place a few visits ago and now it's a regular stop for us. It's called Call It New Call It Antique.
It's a combination resale shop and antique shop. They have a lower level that looks like resale items when you first get down there. It's a lot of clothes and shoes with some furniture and electronics mixed in but then you go through this little hallway that's easy to miss and the entire other half is all antiques. It's really neat but it's easy to walk past the entrance way to that section if you're not paying attention.
Call It New Call It Antique
One small corner of one of the small rooms
See what Stevens Point looks like from the sky
This is a beautiful video of the fall colors that you will find in Stevens Point.
Love This Video Flying Over Stevens Point
The End of This Trip
That's the end of our tour for now. We drove home after the staying at the antique store for a few hours. We stopped at Pizza Hut in Madison but I didn't take any pics there. They have some delicious garlic parmesan and honey barbeque wings!
COMING SOON! Our next trip will be to Eau Claire, WI. If you don't think I can turn a 4 hour drive into a 12 hour one, then come back and check it out! Almost every exit along the way has a secret waiting to be explored!