Adventure Andy: remote ecotourism trips

If you truly want to escape the world’s turmoil, Andy Kammer can help by sending you far away. What’s the logic in that? The DeForest (Dane County) native’s specialty is eco-tourism in remote locations: kayaking in Costa Rica, snorkeling in Panama, studying Mayan architecture in Belize, tracking lions in Zimbabwe, South Africa. From stays inside(…)

Stay or go? Japan plans remain in place

One of my toughest deadlines lately had nothing to do with writing. Less than two days into the war with Iraq, 12 women in Wisconsin each had to decide how much we wanted to participate in a sister-state cultural exchange to Chiba, Japan. The 10-day trip will happen in May. Until last week, we could(…)

Expect shorter trips, last-minute decisions

WISCONSIN DELLS – I hear that you want to stay closer to home, and that’s understandable, but a lot of people hope you don’t barricade yourself until war talk ends. Their livelihood, and the state’s economic health, depends on your decision to leave home once in a while. About 1,000 tourism industry leaders were here(…)

Funjet just one part of Mark Travel Corp.

Here is an incredible journey that had a humble and noble beginning, more than 70 years ago in Kenosha. That’s when Edmund La Macchia began to reunite families, arranging their transport by steamship from Italy to America. Now La Macchia Enterprises, based north of Milwaukee in Bayside, is a several billion dollar entity that is(…)

State tourism to tout arts, eco-friendly sites

It looks like an emphasis on eco-tourism and arts/culture will make Kevin Shibilski, the state’s new tourism secretary, different than his predecessor. “I love the Packers, but there’s more to us than cheering them on and wearing cheesehead hats,” says the former Stevens Point senator, who this month will host his first Governor’s Conference on(…)

Arizona in spring: Catch Cactus League play

A new catch phrase for the Milwaukee Brewers is “It’s coming together,” and that expresses a hope for renewed vitality from the fans as well as the team. Well, I’ll do my part in a couple of weeks by heading to Phoenix and watching the major leaguers in spring training. The season opened this week(…)

Reader mailbag: what to do during winter

Janey Kimpton knows there is beauty in rural Wisconsin – and in Rural, a picturesque village on Highway 22, a couple of miles from King and four miles south of Waupaca. “The Crystal River winds through the little town, which has bed and breakfasts, craft shops and mid-1800 buildings,” writes Janey, who lives in Warrens(…)

B&B owners know how to enhance romance

The romance of Valentine’s Day is history, for this year, unless you want to fuel the passion, in your own home or that of another. How? Some of the softest hearts around are operating Wisconsin’s bed and breakfast inns, and they are quick to offer advice. We got more than 50 responses after asking: What(…)

Tourism rep: vacation, getaway not the same

Minnesota wants to replenish what the rest of the world takes away. That is a marketing theme for the state, the heart of one effort to drive tourists north and westward – from Wisconsin – as impending war and a weak economy hover menacingly. “Send ’em over here,” says Jim Keller of Itasca State Park,(…)

Sundara rides to top of spurt in spa choices

I have lain naked on a bed of hot stones, and under a 105-degree canopy of steam. I’ve been wrapped in foil, oiled up to smell like cinnamon, rubbed down to feel like limp spaghetti. Strangers have worked on my feet to get kinks out of my back. They have pulled on my limbs, massaged(…)