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A Taste of Wisconsin

Total Mileage/Average drive time
78 miles, 1 hour, 45 minutes

Wisconsin is home to America's dairyland, with more dairy farms than any other state and a dairy heritage that spans over 160 years. The cheese made here has won more national and international awards than any other state or country. In fact, Wisconsin is the only location outside of Europe that has a master cheesemaker program and crafts more than 600 different varieties of cheese.

1) Monticello
Starting Point

This is the epicenter of cheesemaking in Wisconsin and what better place to start than at Edelweiss Creamery, a 140 year old artisan cheese factory producing authentic copper kettle Swiss cheese: its the only cheese factory in the U.S. to produce a traditional, big-wheel 180 pound Emmentaler Swiss Cheese. The Dining Room is a quaint restaurant for a quiet dinner and drinks, where each meal is prepared fresh. Local cheese is featured in several entrees and a regional cheese platter is available for an after dinner course.

2) Madison
33.9 miles, 47 minutes

Get the low down on all things dairy at the Babcock Hall Dairy Store, located on the University of Wisconsin campus, where over 70 flavors of ice cream have been invented. Take a free tour to view milk, cheese and ice cream production in the Dairy Plant before stopping at the Babcock Ice Cream Shop and Dairy Store for lunch or a tasty treat, and cheese to go. Shop and taste at Fromagination where you can sample Wisconsin artisan cheeses before purchasing. Then savor an artisan sandwich crafted with specialty meats, Wisconsin cheeses, and gourmet spreads before topping off your meal with a square of Fromagination chocolate.

3) Sauk City
16 miles, 19 minutes

No visit to Sauk City is complete without a stop at the Carr Valley Cheese Store, where over 100 different cheeses, made from cow, goat, and sheep milk, are available for sale. There are 3 Carr Valley Cheese Factories in Wisconsin that craft old world fine cheddars, feta's, blues, cardonas and truffle cheeses that have won over 400 national and international cheese awards. Leystra's Venture Restaurant offers classic Wisconsin food served in a historic building that was once a milk plant, then a cheese shop, but now offers a comfortable, down-home atmosphere for family-style dining. Breakfast items, sandwiches, entrees and daily specials are on the menu, along with malts, shakes, floats and homemade pies.

4) Wisconsin Dells
29 miles, 40 minutes

The Dells offer a wealth of dairy-related experiences, and you can start with a tour at Thunder Valley Inn to experience what life is like on a real dairy farm. Visit the newborns at the calf nursery, watch as the Holstein herd is brought into the milking parlor and milked, and round out your visit with a farm-style meal at a threshing dinner show. Then it's off to Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty for a rustic meal at one of Wisconsin's favorite restaurants. Soak up the atmosphere of an 1890's logging camp, enjoy delicious, all-you-can–eat meals and take a tour of the facility.