Cheers to Northwest Wisconsin!
Northwest Wisconsin is becoming an oenophile’s paradise. Several wineries are making their mark and there is plenty of opportunity for a wine weekend. Dancing Dragonfly Winery in St. Croix Falls uses a variety of Midwest grapes, such as Frontenac and St. Croix, to produce outstanding regional-inspired wines. The tasting room offers fantastic hand-crafted pizzas and paninis.
While in the St. Croix Valley, head to Chateau St. Croix Winery for their free Grape Stomp Festival on September 9-10. Everyone can have a chance to stomp grapes the old fashioned way. Enjoy live music each day.
Continuing on to Clover Meadow Winery/White Wolf Distillery between Siren and Shell Lake, you’ll find vineyards nestled within some of the oldest forests in Wisconsin’s Bashaw Valley. Considered a ‘garage’ winery, Clover Meadow’s is USDA organic and 100% off the grid operation.
White Winter Winery, located in Iron River, has produced award winning, hand crafted meads and spirits for over 20 years. Using locally grown fruits like blueberries, cherries and apples, their product is a perfect compliment to any meal.
Distilling is relatively new in the state, however, several small craft distillers have arrived on the scene and are producing high quality vodka, gin and of course brandy. Perlick Distillery, located on a small farm in Sarona, is picturesque and worth the stop. Tasting room is open on the weekend for hand crafted cocktails.
Up and coming on the beer scene is Earth Rider Brewing in Superior. With a brand new facility, Earth Rider closes a 50 year brewing gap in the city. Production starts in September with the taps flowing in October.
Visions of Beauty
Not only does Northwest Wisconsin provide beauty in its amazing gifts of natural beauty, it also is home to a multitude of artists who use that beauty to inspire their work.
Arts in Hand gathers the work of local artists from a thirteen county area for their gallery in Spooner. Within the gallery, visitors are drawn into a menagerie of colors, shapes, and textures that make up the artists’ pieces. A wide variety of visual arts are offered here, including paintings, sculpture, jewelry and fiber arts. Keep an eye on the gallery’s online calendar for their many hands-on opportunities to explore the arts.
Art Market 63, located just outside of Cable, was created through the inspiration of the artists of Cable Hayward Area Arts Council. The gallery features the works of fourteen area artists including photography, pottery, jewelry, mixed media and many more. Classes are offered to help others try their hand at a variety of arts.
On Madeline Island, the arts are an integral part of the community, and visitors are encouraged to make it a part of their island experience. The Bell Street Gallery gathers the work of regional artists and creates a fun and funky space unlike none other; complete with hosted pizza oven evenings and live music. Woods Hall, which has recently expanded, revels in the talents of local artists and offers a chance to purchase fiber arts, paintings, pottery and many other creations from the hands and hearts of artists.
Meander on a self guided road trip to visit some of the finest studios and galleries in the region during the Fall Splendor Art Meander, September 29-October 1. Visit 18 artists and 10 towns, view and purchase thousands of pieces over three days of an awesome road trip and endless fun.
Racing into Fall
The summer may be winding down, however, the auto racing season is only heating up!
Add some racing action to your Labor Day Weekend, September 2-3, at the Rice Lake Speedway. The weekend features two days of racing with five classes each night. Modifieds, Midwest Modifieds, Pure Stock, Super Stock and Street Stock all take to the mile, semi-banked and oval to take the checkered flag. On September 3, The Kid’s Club will feature a candy toss at intermission and kids are invited to bring their best handmade racing poster to be entered to win a prize.
The AMSOIL Raceway in Superior has the biggest race of the year is still to come. The 29th Annual Rick Gondik Law Offices Northern Nationals is set for September 8-9, starting at 7 pm each night. Drivers from around the region will be taking to this half mile dirt track for two nights of high speed excitement. Camping reservations are available on line for those who want to keep the fun going all weekend long.
The ABC Raceway, just outside of Ashland, isn’t quite ready to let season come to end just yet. On September 29-30, the 42nd Annual Red Clay Classic will once again bring a weekend of fast paced action to the red clay oval track. Feature races include a 10 lap Late Model, 35 lap Modified A-main, 30 lap Super Stock and 25 lap Midwest Modifieds. Fans can reserve seating and campsites with a visit to the website.
Eats & Treats
The mantra of the local food movement is “know your farmer.” North Star Homestead Farms in Hayward personifies that with an on site creamery, cafe and market. Their bakery produces breads with no preservatives, the creamery makes gelato out of local sheep’s milk; and if you truly want a farm fresh meal, check out their Pizza on the Farm Days on Thursday and Saturday (check calendar for exact dates).
Hungry for ice cream? Break up the long trek on Hwy. 13 by stopping at the Butternut Ice Cream & Treats located in that namesake community on the edge of Price and Ashland counties. Featuring hand dipped premium Kemps ice cream, the shop also has variety of meats and cheeses, sandwiches, hot dogs, sundaes and malts. Open daily through Labor Day.
Located just off the main drag, the Park Falls Gastropub is a community gathering spot with an eclectic pizza and sandwich menu that highlights locally sourced and scratch made products. Local craft beers on tap, plus Wisconsin wines and ciders make this a Price County culinary destination.
You’ve probably seen them on that Food Network show with the spiky white haired guy – no trip to Superior would be complete without a stop at the Anchor Bar and Grill. They serve burgers and fries, and that’s about it. However, the fries are hand cut, and the excellent selection of microbrews on tap makes this nautical-themed establishment worth the trip.
Green All Around
Highbridge Hills Sports Complex isn’t just Travel Green certified – it is home to the world’s largest disc golf complex. These courses, designed by professionals, offer a challenge to players of all skill levels using variety of obstacles such as trees, water, bends and level changes.
The outdoor fun can keep on going with a visit to Dog Paddle Kayaks in Washburn. Rent a kayak or stand up paddle board and let the exploring of Lake Superior’s beauty begin.
Keppers Pottery & Produce gives visitors the opportunity to purchase where the focus is on local sourcing. For the Keppers, this extends to all their endeavors including the pottery, produce and occasional weaving.
The Rusk County Visitor Center in Ladysmith is happy to tell you where to visit or stay in the area. However, there is much more to this visitor center housed in a railroad depot. You will find a large collection of railroad memorabilia, and a full size diesel locomotive, cars and caboose for you to explore.
The Iron County Historical Museum will take you back in time to before it was even a county. Three floors of exhibits helps visitors understand the lives of Wisconsin’s pioneers.
You can make sure your next getaway includes a green overnight stay. Heartwood Conference Center & Retreat in rural Trego offers a variety of stay choices including cabins and cottages. Hidden Valley Inn & Resort in Phillips offers charming cabins and an inn all on Long Lake in the beautiful Phillips Chain O’Lakes area.