Massive ice castle sprouts near downtown Wisconsin Dells

A farmer’s progress comes at the mercy of Mother Nature, and that’s true for Dan Beck’s crew in Wisconsin Dells, too. He jokes that they have an icicle farm, and above-freezing temps are about as bad for growing them as lack of rain to a corn farmer. Another challenge is wind that races in from(…)

Best lodging of 2016: Eau Claire to Tobago

A memorable overnight getaway doesn’t have to break the budget, or maybe it’s high time that you splurged. Where? I count these properties as remarkable, based on my travels and experience in 2016. Lismore Hotel, Eau Claire: Swanky new accommodations downtown are a quick walk to the riverfront, artsy venues and other casual to classy(…)

Old Fashioned products, recipes, nostalgia, roots

To you, an Old Fashioned is the unofficial cocktail of Wisconsin and a popular prelude to special meals, especially during end-of-year entertaining. To Bob Meyer, the mixed drink is a matter of heritage and livelihood, intensely personal and a part of his family’s legacy. He bottles and markets Meyer Brothers Old Fashioned Mix, which provides(…)

Gridiron game introduces UWO to Salem, Va.

More thrilling than a Wisconsin Badgers victory at the Cotton Bowl, I’ll dare to argue, is an Oshkosh Titans trip to the Stagg Bowl in Salem, Va., on mid December. If all goes well for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh football team during semifinal play, the squad heads to the NCAA Division III championship for(…)

Take Ten: Museum exhibits worth a wintry road trip

Take a break and consider a museum road trip where traveling or seasonal shows pay attention to unique endeavors in fine art to pop culture and fantasy to reality. Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture Museum, 3000 Poberezny Rd., Oshkosh: At least 30 pieces of nose art – drawings on World War II bombers and fighter aircraft(…)

Bayless, Frontera Foundation grants help family farms

Rick Bayless knew what he wanted after doing book research in Mexico around 30 years ago: Start a restaurant that served authentic Mexican food. So the Chicago chef opened Frontera Grill, which earned a James Beard Foundation award as Outstanding Restaurant in 2007. His biggest challenge wasn’t finding the perfect music, art or menu ideas.(…)

Titletown, Bucks, Eau Claire: Major projects boost reasons to travel

At least four Wisconsin cities are pursuing huge projects that will give travelers new reasons to visit. The Wisconsin Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus described it as “an infrastructure boom” during the group’s annual conference this month. Here are quick updates. Titletown District, Green Bay: Pro football is why we make our way to(…)

Madison museum is all-year tribute to military veterans

This presidential election sure felt like a nationwide battle, regardless of whether you think we won or lost, and that is what compelled me to visit the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison on the morning after votes were tallied. Here live the stories and artifacts of wars beyond words and ballot boxes. I needed to(…)

Breakfast: an all-day meal whose variety grows

Remember what Mom used to say about breakfast? Most important meal of the day. Less predictable, as time goes on, is when and what is breakfast. It’s no longer just about eggs, bacon, pancakes … or mornings. Academic researchers recently suggested dessert for breakfast may spur weight loss and dark chocolate at breakfast may enhance(…)

About clowns in Wisconsin, where coulrophobia rules at a Manty B&B

What’s the difference between a clown and a mime? Not much these days because neither is talking, at least to me. Widespread chatter – make that panic – about criminals dressed as clowns has brought a yanking of clown costumes and masks from Target stores, clown costume bans in school districts from California to Connecticut(…)