Seek and ye shall find new holiday traditions

For better or worse, holiday festivities soon will consume many of us. Whether it’s a Santa in every parade, a candy cane in every stocking or a fruitcake on every guest list, December can be an extraordinary example of magic, generosity and tolerance. So, what’s it to you – a month of annoying ruts, comfortable(…)

Shop online when planning next vacation

The Internet has become an amazing tool for deciding where to go on a vacation, then comparing prices for various elements of travel. When a trip is being taken close to home, the state Department of Tourism’s site (www.travelwisconsin.com) has long been an excellent starting point. It’s surely not the only helpful online resource, though.(…)

Caretaker Gazette: Readers live their dream

“CARETAKER WANTED. We have a 600-acre farm in rural Steuben. Wish to exchange free rent in a 3-bedroom farmhouse for part-time care of horses, barns and property. To apply …” Steuben is in Crawford County. Too close to home? Then consider this: “CARETAKER NEEDED in St. John, Virgin Islands, for a physically fit, mobile, 83-year-old(…)

Aspiring innkeepers learn realities of B&B life

The next time you head to South Carolina, consider bringing your horse. The ink just recently dried on Jerry and Linda Gray’s purchase of the Schell Haus, a six-room bed-and-breakfast on 25 acres in Pickens, across from Table Rock State Park, in the northwest part of the state. What does that have to do with(…)

Mill City Museum examines flour power

A new museum in Minneapolis is all about flour and power, potential and resilience, reputation and ruins. The Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., on the banks of the Mississippi River downtown, has been open less than two months. It is a candid, airy and fascinating testimonial to what used to be the world’s(…)

Grand Excursion: big Mississippi River party

Thanks to Millard Fillmore, expect a huge surge of activity on the Mississippi River next summer. One of the 13th president’s biggest parties, with the Rock Island Railroad Company, occurred there almost 150 years ago. Now more than 50 riverfront communities are preparing for a high-profile re-enactment. There will be hundreds of events to attract(…)

Fall Art Tour: artistic inspiration in rural areas

In 1979, Jura Silverman became smitten with the picturesque nature of Spring Green, so the paper and printer maker moved her art studio, from Chicago. She has not regretted the decision. Jura was the first artist to set up shop there, and now her business – a former cheese warehouse, built in the early 1900s(…)

River museum, parks appeal in Dubuque

Dreary, steep and old. That was my first impression of Dubuque, back in the 1970s, after visiting a friend who landed there because of her first job out of college. The Mississippi River’s presence was largely industrial. Character and charm were lacking. My friend was glad for our visit; no one else had made the(…)

Culinary travel hot trend with vast potential

Let’s assume that you are hungry for something different this month. Wisconsin and its neighboring cities have an abundance of food expos, fancy wine dinners, ethnic culinary getaways, cooking seminars, demonstrations and product samplings. Culinary tourism is becoming more deliberate in both rural and urban settings. People who love to travel must eat, and now(…)

Reader mail: Alaska, ferries, birding, apples

One of these days, I’ll get “Roads Traveled” online, so reader mail can be published in its entirety. Until then, here’s a delightful dip into the mailbag. — “There is a single birding festival coming up that features field trips which investigate enormous numbers of migrating birds and their habitats in three states: Wisconsin, Minnesota(…)