June 2009

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It was hot this week…
I can say this with absolute authority as I spent Wednesday on the road visiting many fabulous members in Columbia, Marquette & Waushara counties. If you’re not familiar with this area of south-central Wisconsin, you’re missing out on amazing, unspoiled natural beauty.

Check out the video below on Marquette county…
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwohqTvnzII]

From boating & fishing to hiking & biking to bird-watching & golf, there’s something for everyone in Marquette county.  Don’t miss some of the unique local attractions either!

Tour Bison Ridge Ranch in Packwaukee where you’ll get the chance to see wild bulls, calves & their mamas on a wagon ride through their pastures.  Bison meat is also available for purchase on the ranch.

Free tours are available at Prairie Nursery near Westfield.  With nearly 200 acres, Prairie Nursery sells and ships native prairie seeds and plants.  Self-guided and public tours are available through their display gardens.

Finally, don’t miss Maggie Mae’s Cafe featuring “some of the best homemade dishes around”.  If you’re in luck, you’ll even get to hear Maggie Mae sing while you’re there – and be sure to ask about their next old fashioned Barn Dance.

Where to stay:
Montello – Be-Jax Sundowner Motel or TNT Ranch Bed & Breakfast
Oxford – Crossroads Motel & Cabins
Westfield – Pioneer Motor Inn

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Happy Father’s Day Dad!  I have a feeling you had something to do with Father’s Day landing on the longest day of the year this year…  Always looking for ways to maximize family time, aren’t you?

If you’re looking for something fun to do with dad this weekend, check out the list from around Wisconsin below:
Apple River Country Splash, Somerset, June 18-21CountrySplash
With such big name stars as Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Lady Antebellum and more, this is sure to be a favorite among country music-loving dads!  Shuttle buses are available from area hotels in Hudson and New Richmond.  As always, find places to stay at WisconsinLodging.info.

yellow_river_echoesYellow River Echos, Forts Folle Avoine Historical Park, Danbury, June 19-21
History buffs will enjoy seeing the fur trade come to life with this expo featuring Native American crafts, skills and foods.  Experience life in Wisconsin long before the advent of Blackberrys, Blu-Ray or Kindle.

BigGraniteMarathon

Big Granite Inline Marathon, Ashland, June 20
Does your dad spend every free moment with inline skates strapped to his feet?  Then head north to Wisconsin’s northern shore for this 13.1 mile half or 26.2 mile full inline skate marathon on Saturday, June 20th.  Even if he doesn’t compete, he’ll enjoy watching racers roll through the beautiful Wisconsin landscape from Marengo to Ashland.

RoadAmericaSprintsJune Sprints, Road America, Elkhart Lake, June 18-21
Racing fans will find plenty to cheer about as they watch 25 different types of vehicles race in nine groups over this four-day weekend.  Click on over to the Road America site for the full schedule, fan activities and more.  If camping at Road America isn’t quite your speed, find Elkhart Lake-area lodging at WisconsinLodging.info.

Horicon Rock’n River Jam, June 18-20Rock'nRiverJam
This third annual event features carnival rides for the kids, beach party & mini golf by the pool and a K9 obedience and agility contest featuring the Horicon police department.  Help support the Rock’n Food Drive by bringing a non-perishable food item as well.

MilwaukeeMileNASCAR at the Milwaukee Mile, June 19-20
Kicking off with the NASCAR Truck Series on Friday and the Nationwide Series on Saturday, NASCAR fans will want to be at the Milwaukee Mile this weekend.  Really want to please your NASCAR dad?  Then don’t miss your chance to get him some autographs on Friday afternoon begining at 3:30.  See the full lineup of events then find your Milwaukee-area lodging here.

Finally, if you’re heading to the Milwaukee-area with dad, see a full list of free things to do with dad compiled by MilwaukeeMoms.com

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Summerfest.comThere really is something for everyone at the World’s Largest Music Festival running 11 days with 11 music stages plus the Children’s Theater & Playzone.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the full music lineup here.

Tickets are $8/ adult from Noon-4pm each day and $15/ adult after 4pm.  Admission includes all ground stages with the Marcus Amphitheater as the only venue where additional ticket purchase is required for admittance.  Watching your wallet?  Check out the admissions promotions including Free Admission days/ times.  Whether you’re headed for the Amphitheater or not, you’re sure to find great music at every turn…  I won’t bother to ‘date’ myself by listing the bands I like, so click on over and see the full list at their site.

But great music isn’t the only thing you’ll find at the lake front.  Don’t miss the Great American BBQ Tour sponsored by the Kansas City Barbecue Society, the Cover Up! Your Vanilla is Showing Tour, or the M&M’s Ice Cream Summer of Fun Tour.  See the full list of exhibitors here.

See the official lodging partner of Summerfest or WisconsinLodging.info for Milwaukee-area lodging options.

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byTavallaiOkay, summer’s here and with the days getting longer, it’s getting harder to make excuses for not hauling out my bike for a ride each day.  But for those out there who are passionate about their bike riding, Wisconsin offers miles of on-road tours, mountain bike trails and bike touring trails.  Click here to order the 7th edition Wisconsin Biking Guide from the Department of Tourism featuring 30 different trails across the state.

One set, the Sugar River State Trail and Badger State Trail meet up then split just outside Monticello in Green County.  But these aren’t the only trails in the county.  They’re also home to the aptly named Cheese Country Trail which runs through Mineral Point, Darlington and Monroe.

If you’re looking for more than just single day excursions, you may be interested in “vacations on your bike”.  Bike tours can be done with groups such as the 32nd annual SAGBEarthRiderHotelRAW ride from August 1-7 or in self-guided tours.

Often consisting of planned routes with maps for your predetermined trip length, self-guided tours may also include lodging along your way and luggage transfers to your overnight destinations.  Check out Bike Green County for their “Ultimate Biking Experience”.

Over in Brodhead, WI the Earth Rider Hotel also encourages guests to embark on a Car-Free Getaway with tips and maps for guests to travel to Earth Rider in an environmentally-friendly manner.

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Hey all you Johnny Depp fans, his new movie, Public Enemies, is set for a July 1 release date, but you can catch special advanced screenings in Oshkosh, Madison and Milwaukee on June 30th.

Directed by Michael Mann, Public Enemies tells the story of notorious gangster John DillinDillmansBayResortger (Depp), his girlriend Billie Frechette (Marion Cotillard) and the FBI agent (Melvin Purvis played by Christian Bale) who sets out to stop him.  As we’ve shared in a previous post, Wisconsin played host to many depression-era gangsters including Dillinger, Capone, Baby Face Nelson and more.  With a great deal of the filming taking place here in Wisconsin in actual locales like Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish Waters and Dillman’s Bay Resort in Lac du Flambeau, Public Enemies was the lastest big budget Hollywood film to shoot in the state.

Whether you’re a diehard Depp fan or a movie “extra” curious to see if you made it into the film, check out the Film Wisconsin site to see planned events for this “Special Advance Screening” of Public Enemies.

Can’t wait until the 30th?  Click on over and check out the trailers here & here.

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Brookfield SuitesCongratulations to Robert P. from Oswego, IL! Robert is the winner of the June WisconsINN Getaways free night give-away at the Brookfield Suites Hotel & Convention Center in Brookfield.

If you’re interested in being entered to win a different free night each month, simply sign up for the WisconsINN Getaways monthly e-newsletter. Every month, you’ll receive an email with up to 10 special deals or packages for amazing places to stay in Wisconsin & each month you’ll be entered for a chance to win a free stay.

Upcoming giveaways include:
* Kalahari Resort Convention Center & Waterpark

Click over to the WisconsINN Getaways newsletter to sign up today and again, Congratulations to Robert!

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Free is my favorite price & this weekend, you can get out for some outdoor fun for FREE with Free Fishing Weekend (Saturday & Sunday, June 6-7) AND State Park Open House Day on June 7th.

Wisconsin Free Fishing Weekend, June 6-7
No fishing license (or trout/ salmon stamps) will be required to fish in state waters over this free weekend, June 6-7.  In addition, take advantage of the many free clinics & special activities planned as well.

NorthernGreatLakesCenterAnnual Kids Fishing Day, Ashland
The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is offering fishing clinics, plus fishing gear is provided.  Hear from “biologists, ecologists, fishing enthusiasts and dedicated sportsmen” on techniques to attract and & catch fish.  Fun for kids & adults alike!

TomSawyerDayTom Sawyer Day, Verona
Or, spend some time helping maintain the Sugar River with the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association and enjoy food, prizes, and fishing at Tom Sawyer Day.

Check out this DNR web site for the full line up here.

State Parks “Open House” Day, June 7
Enjoy free admission to “all Wisconsin State Parks, Forests and Trails” on Sunday June 7th.  Many parks will also offer special events including:

pointbeachkidsBreakfast in the Forest
Head to Point Beach State Forest in Two Rivers for their “Breakfast in the Forest”.  Find directions and contact information here.

blazingstarPrairie Walks
Accompany naturalist Bob Lee for an informational stroll through the La Crosse River State Trail in Rockland.  Contact information & directions here.

fallsssummerArt Along the Willow
Check out this Art Fair on the beach at Willow River State Park in Hudson. Get directions and contact information here.

See the full line up of State Park events at this DNR site.

As always, start your trip planning at WisconsinLodging.info, then get out & hit the road for some free fun this weekend!

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