Madison Road Trip

Get out of the house!

Category

Long Weekend

Salmo Lakewalk Trail

This magical trail starts in an inauspicious parking lot. The first section follows the road, but soon turns off into a gorgeous wooded area. Boardwalks go over and around marshy areas, which team with insects, fish and frogs. The trail… Continue Reading →

Windmill Island Gardens

The Windmill Island Gardens do not disappoint. It’s an island, there are extensive gardens, and a massive functioning windmill. Like much of Holland, MI, the high-point of the year is during May for their tulip festival. Like other parts of… Continue Reading →

Saugatuck Dunes State Park

The western shores of Michigan are famously beautiful year-round. During summer, their sandy beaches are packed with vacationers. But they’re just as nice, albeit a bit chillier, in Spring or Fall. Saugatuck Dunes State Park has a stretch of open… Continue Reading →

Tulip Fest in Holland, Michigan

There are two main areas at the Tulip Fest. The major draw is, obviously, tulips. With a number of tulip growers in the area, the town hosts a festival with tulips everywhere. There are mass plantings in parks, down the… Continue Reading →

Nelis’ Dutch Village

Imagine if Disney’s Imagineers came up with a cheesy, but pretty, Dutch village to add to Epcot…then accidentally left it in a parking lot in Michigan. Nelis’ Dutch Village is a tiny fantasy of a lost, and probably partially imaginary,… Continue Reading →

Book Nook Java Shop

A good bookstore is worth a bit of a drive. The Book Nook Java Shop (and wines, and food, and gifts…) is an hour north of Holland, MI in Montague. This little gem provides all the entertainment and goodies you… Continue Reading →

Linmar Garden

This was one of our holy grails of locations. Not because it is hard to get to, but because the garden is only open 1 hour a day, 5 days a week. Miss the 11am tour Tue-Saturday and you’re out… Continue Reading →

Belvedere Mansion

This stately home has an amazing history. This massively strong and elegant home was built by one of America’s wealthiest citizens, Russell Jones, and is the basis for the term “keeping up with the Joneses.” As you view the property,… Continue Reading →

Houghton Falls Nature Preserve/Echo Dells

Not to be confused with Houghton Falls, MI, this wonderful preserve is an off-the-beaten track gem. Well groomed trails and wooden paths wind through piney woods, past a small waterfall, sandstone overhangs and a winding creek. The path ends on… Continue Reading →

Upper and Lower Potato River Falls

Expect some stairs when visiting the Potato River Falls. But the climbing is worth the view. Not quite as impressive as Copper Falls, but the red water and rocky falls are still a trip worth making. Sadly, no potatoes spotted… Continue Reading →

Interstate Falls

Not the most romantic of names, nor the most awe-inspiring of falls. But Interstate Falls are still a good hike with a nice waterfall view. Hat tip to Troy Hess, author of Waterfalls of Wisconsin: The Wild Waters of Intrigue,… Continue Reading →

Monk Botanical Gardens

Billed as “Wausau’s Happy Place”, this 30 acre garden is a lovely new(ish) location to visit. Donated in 2003, the 30-acre gardens are clearly still a work in progress. What is there and growing in is quite attractive. Wander through… Continue Reading →

Chicago Botanic Garden

The Chicago Botanic Garden is amazing! There’s something for every plant lover here – Japanese gardens, English cottage gardens, experimental plants, natives, edible, tropical and even artwork made of plants. With nearly 400 acres, wear comfy shoes and plan to… Continue Reading →

The Garden Door – Peninsular Research Station

Tucked behind a collection of utilitarian buildings off Highway 42 is a lovely garden maintained by the Door County Master Gardeners. Wander through arches covered with vines, down winding paths, past a busy pond and through waves to sedges. The… Continue Reading →

Newport Beach State Park

Newport Beach offers very little in amenities, and that is its charm. There is one bathroom and it only offers backpack camping. The rest is simply peaceful nature with acres of beach and woods to explore. The park is a… Continue Reading →

Door Bluff Headlands County Park

Door Bluff Headlands is another winner of a county park. With breathtaking views from limestone bluffs, winding trails and fantastic woods, the park also has the added advantage of being off the beaten track. It takes a bit of getting… Continue Reading →