BEYOND CHEESY WISCONSIN
by Robert Kaufman
Madison, the “City of Four Lakes,” is Wisconsin’s State Capitol but from other populous cities to small rural towns to quaint fishing villages along the byways and highways, the Badger State is awash in adopted slogans, including: “Bratwurst Capital of the World” (Sheboygan); “Loon Capital of the World” (Mercer); “Jump Rope Capital of the World” (Bloomer); “UFO Capital of the World” (Belleville); “Troll Capital of the World” (Mount Hereb); and in the “who knew” category, Green Bay, best known as the home of football’s Lambeau Field and Packers’ Cheeseheads, is the renowned “Toilet Paper Capital of the World!”
Fortuitously, Wisconsin’s oldest city is located an hour north from where the king of toilet bowls, Walter Kohler, set up shop at the turn of the 20th century. Today, visitors can explore the Kohler Design Center, a 36,000-square-foot museum (no charge) showcasing the company’s history and products, including a floor-to-ceiling display of plumbing fixtures in all colors, shapes and sizes.
Continuing south along the eastern shores of Wisconsin lies the appetizing “Sausage Racing Capital of the World.” Perhaps, more celebrated as “Brew City,” the metropolis of Milwaukee thrives on its beer heritage with full credit to barons Pabst (historic Pabst Mansion offers tours) and Schlitz in the late 1800s to the city’s current avalanche of craft brew masters.
Beyond a full menu of Milwaukee’s culinary eats and drinks, you don’t have to be born wild to savor an educational visit to one of the city’s icons, the world’s only Harley-Davidson Museum, located at the site where production of the legendary two-wheeled driving machines began over a century ago.
Bordered by two Great Lakes (Michigan and Superior) with over 1,000 miles of coastline and a feast of natural wonders in between, “America’s Dairyland” offers a four-season inventory of experiences, so wherever you happen to find yourself just smile and say “cheese!”