New in travel: Sundara grows, big Peeps show

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal for many of us. That includes tourism and food in Wisconsin; neither is a stagnant industry, and here is new-to-me proof. — Work soon begins on an almost $9 million expansion of Sundara Inn and Spa, on the outskirts of Wisconsin Dells. The nationally touted and adults-only(…)

Take Ten: big anniversaries

Birthdays and anniversaries generate fanfare, especially when the number of years ends with a zero. It’s that way for events and attractions as well as individuals and their relationships. Here are 10 reasons why 2017 will be a good reason to party in Wisconsin. June 8 marks the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright’s birth(…)

Underwater treasures make Lake Michigan a National Marine Sanctuary contender

Deep below the surface of Lake Michigan, dozens of known shipwrecks stay intact because of isolated locations, frigid water and a lack of salt to erode what has sunk. “We have masts still standing on a schooner, almost like a prop for a movie,” says Russ Green, regional coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric(…)

Reader mail: AirBnB, craft breweries, accordions, Bob Dylan

When asking for AirBnB stories earlier this winter, I expected tales about money saved and friendly connections made during domestic travel. Two of you took a chance on Airbnb.com during international trips, and I’m rewarding your willingness to engage personally with other cultures. “Sitting on the veranda of The Tree House Lodge, overlooking Long Bay(…)

Iowa Chicken Run: a rural Mardi Gras tradition

On his head is a cowboy hat, between his lips is a whistle and in his hands is a stunned, slow-blinking chicken. The man, Rodney Victorian, leads an impromptu lineup of tractors, wagons, horses and ATVs through Iowa. Not the state, but a weathered town of 3,000 residents in southwest Louisiana. When he toots the(…)

Take Ten: Fox Valley breweries

Midwest Features Syndicate is partnering with the Department of Journalism at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to help students gain work experience and build a writing portfolio. This week’s author is Jessica Zemlicka of Ripon, a senior majoring in journalism with a public relations emphasis. She chose to spotlight breweries “to celebrate the experiences they(…)

Field Museum explores tattoo art, history, logic, popularity

More people are adding an indelible mark on their life, based on a process that is thousands of years old. When asked to write about tattoos during my first newspaper job around 1980, it was hard to find anybody besides military vets and bikers to interview. Now nearly one-half of Americans who are 18 to(…)

Great chili debates: sauce to seasoning, mac to meat

If you seriously doubt our nation’s ability to seriously but pleasantly debate anything, I have one word for you: Chili. After asking Facebook friends what makes a bowl of chili distinctive, passionate preferences bubbled up pretty quickly. Geographic loyalty mattered a little, but certainly not politics. Hallejulah! What must chili contain to be worthy of(…)

2017 travel hot spots: Canada, Europe, Finland, Montreal, Anchorage

Visionaries bring out their crystal ball in January and share what they know, think or hope for the new year. That is especially true during years when a new U.S. president begins work, but the whirl of predictions thankfully doesn’t begin and end with politics. As you burrow in for the winter and await vacation,(…)

Carnival’s new Vista: waterpark, brewery, IMAX

Name a village of 4,500 with a brewery, waterpark, casino, IMAX theater and dozen dining outlets specializing in steak to sushi. Thirty years have passed since my first Carnival sailing, and the cruise line no longer is simply a nonstop floating frat party. Sun decks, slushy drinks, silly games and gyrating dancers remain, but this(…)