The Wade House and Carriage Museum takes visitors back in time

Fun Day Trips from Milwaukee

There is no doubt that Milwaukee is a great city and provides more than enough to keep visitors entertained. But, when you want to experience Wisconsin's countryside consider these four opportunities all within about an hour outside of Milwaukee.

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Wade House and Carriage House/Museum

It's not easy to wander back in time but Wade House and Wesley W. Jung Carriage Museum offers a special opportunity to visit the mid-1800s.

Start at the Visitor Center with the Wesley W. Jung Carriage Museum that delights visitors all year with beautifully restored horse- and hand-drawn vehicles.

When the weather is mild, May to September, visitors can take a wagon ride or a stroll through woods and apple orchards to see a blacksmith at work, and a saw mill in full operation. A little further, the path takes visitors to another highlight -- the Wade House.

Visitors to the three-story, Greek Revival style Wade House are met by a costumed interpreter for a guided tour of the inn. Although westerns often depicted stage coach stops as harsh places, if you had the money, staying overnight in this upscale lodging made travel quite pleasant.

Henning's Wisconsin Cheese

Wisconsin is justifiably proud of its cheese. In fact, they even have a program to certify cheese-makers. The Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker(R) program is the only one of its kind outside of Europe. One of the alumni of the program is Kerry Henning who earned his a Masters degree in Cheddar in 1999 then Colby and Monterey Jack in 2002.

Family-owned Henning's Wisconsin Cheese started in 1914 and believe that small is good, and leads to better quality. Their milk comes from small family farms and each batch is tested to insure there are no growth hormones (rBGH) used on the cows. Further, the cows are not routinely treated with antibiotics. If a cow needs to be treated, they don't use the milk until treatment stops and the cow tests clean.

Visitors can take a see the old equipment used to make cheese while they watch the current process of cheesemaking through windows onto the production floor. There are also videos about cheese and cheese-making. And, of course, you can purchase their excellent cheeses. They use all natural ingredients and the flavors are superb -- the Mediterranean is a standout.

Quit Qui Oc Golf Course & Restaurant for an Unusual Round of Golf

Quit Qui Oc Golf Course offers three courses, including their 9-hole course called the Glacial Nine after the glacial process that shaped the Kettle Moraine area. When playing these holes, golfers can enjoy some of the features created during that glaciation. If you really want a challenge, you can choose to play all 27 holes.

The small cozy club house is a former farm house from generations ago. Quit Qui Oc Golf Course & Restaurant is wwned and run by a husband-wife pro golfers.

Henschel Indian Museum and Trout Farm

It's definitely an unexpected combination, but the Henschel Indian Museum and Trout Farm is nonetheless captivating. It harkens back to when people collected things and then opened their collection to the public who might not have been able to amass the sometimes hard-to-find objects. For the Henschels, it's Indian artifacts. By the bushel, literally. Finding artifacts on the farm turned out to be as easy as walking along the rows of planted corn and looking down.

In fact, the Henschel family has found so many artifacts that they started their own museum. When asked whether the numerous displayed pieces all came from the farm, Gary Henschel explained that almost all do, as well as the bushel bags currently in storage because there isn't enough room to display them all.

The intriguing large mound on top of the hill tells a totally different story. In the 1870s a "local mound digger" reportedly found a large vault that contained "many skeletons arranged around a large conch shell." Although a bit ghoulish perhaps, this find has been reproduced and is open to visitors.

And, of course, you can also fish for trout -- with a catch guaranteed.

If You Go

If you decide that more than one day is needed to enjoy this outing, the town of Elkhart Lake is centrally located and offers lakeside charm plus great restaurants and a range of excellent lodging. In particular, the Osthoff Resort dominates the lake and offer guests plush comfort, and world-class amenities. Another good choice would be the spacious condo units at Siebkens Resort which welcomes with gracious architecture and four generations of family history.

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Neala McCarten

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Updated: January 16, 2017

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