Posts tagged with "Wisconsin"

The Northwoods of Wisconsin: An Outdoorsman’s Paradise

By Jake Porter & Vaughn Lowery

There is no better place in the United States to experience as many snow and cold-weather activities in one day as there is in the Northwoods region of Wisconsin. The two larger towns, Cable and Hayward, which are located in the far north of the state, act as home bases for tourists to Wisconsin. Hayward is a small, quaint town in Sawyer County, Wisconsin. It is characterized by its gently rolling hills, while Cable is just 15 minutes away. Aside from being known for it emphasis on outdoor activities, Cable is also renowned for being the starting point of the American Birkebeiner cross-country skiing race. There are also nationally renowned restaurants within a short 30 minute drive. Both locations offer an opportunity to escape from the stress of congested metropolitan cities and relax in the welcoming environment that both towns offer.

Traveling from the west coast, the north of Wisconsin is a dramatic change of pace from the bustling vibes of the many developed metropolitan cities. It is also the top destination for most snow-related adventure spots. The food and travel businesses in the area, the top two largest economies in the northern Wisconsin, are thriving and are welcoming to new small-businesses. With a well-developed and diverse school system in the surrounding communities, both towns are extremely capable of hosting both tourists and accommodating people intending to move to the region.

With their proximity to the great woods of the Chequamegan National Forest and the sparkling waters of Lake Owen and Namakagon, the recreational activities are abundant. Activities range from cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and winter fat biking. Cable is an epicenter for skiers, offering wonderfully groomed trails traversing the relatively flat landscape. At the start of the Birkebeiner trail in Cable, there is a newly built rest area and event center which offers a wide range of amenities including a source of heat in the wintertime. Snowmobiling is a crucial activity for the adventure-seeking traveler. It is also a staple for most of the locals in the area. In addition, ice fishing is a classic wintertime sport and can be done on most frozen lakes in the area. Fat Bike riding and snowshoeing can be done by most any able-bodied traveler. Bikes and snowshoes can be picked up at Howl Adventure Center, while snowmobiles can be rented from Hayward Power Sports.

As for the less adventurous travelers, downtown Hayward, which was named one of five Hallmark-worthy small towns in Wisconsin, is easy to explore. The downtown includes small boutiques and coffee/pastry shops which line the beautiful, quiet streets. Meet the artists at local art shops such as Art Beat and Nordic Northwoods, who specialize in fun, artsy gifts and souvenirs. Hayward Mercantile is a delightful place as well, filled with Wisconsin-made goods, while Ronnings, just a few doors down provides everything from moccasins to sweatshirts. Just 10 minutes away, Glassy Ladies Art Studio provides a fun environment to get your creative juices flowing while you learn glass fusing, bead making, metal-smithing, and how to work with stained glass.

After a long day in the snow, there is nothing better than a hot meal at lunch or at the end of the day. Lucky for you, there are countless, award winning, restaurants within close proximity. Tamarack Farms Winery is not only the number one winery in the area, but also provides small sandwiches and artisan pizza. The Old Southern Smokehouse, a creation of the award winning BBQ chef Dave Anderson, is the epitemy of a BBQ experience. Their menu consists of quality meats, fresh produce, and award winning sauces. The Landing, situated on the Chippewa Flowage is an amazing place known for its nationally renowned fish fry and its liquor bar. The owners, Chris and Elsie Lee are extraordinary people and are extremely hospitable. Located in Cable, The Brick House Cafe is a quaint place featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-in, and Dives with Guy Fieri. Serving sandwiches and fresh salads, they are known for their locally sourced meats and vegetables. It even occupies one of the oldest buildings in Cable, dating back to the 1800s!

Finally, The Rookery exhibits casual gourmet dining at its finest. The Rookery’s ever-changing menu features fresh fish specials and their famous bison steak. Here you will find some of the best vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options you’ll find anywhere in the northern Wisconsin communities. And what’s Wisconsin without cheese? Most of the restaurants and dives nestled in the towns serve a wide range of cheeses and fried cheese curds which are almost like a staple in the state. With all of these amazing options for food in the area, your taste buds are in for a real treat!

Not only is there a multitude of thrilling activities interspersed amongst the trails, forest, and lakes surrounding the area, there are also countless establishments in which to shop and also create art. Both communities are extremely sustainable, and are excitedly welcoming tourists and thrill-seekers alike. The spirit of the towns are quite endearing. The eager traveler definitely has a chance to fully experience what the area has to offer in a 5 day to a week span. Can you imagine visiting a region for the first time and immediately feeling at home and being welcomed by the locals? Can you imagine having access to incredible activities and nationally recognized eateries? Then the sister towns of Cable and Hayward should be at the top of your list of future travels. They are communities that are welcoming and make you feel at home, no matter your background, ethnicity, or culture.

Hayward Wisconsin, Wisconsin,  360 magazine

Restaurants and Eateries:

http://tamarackfarmswinery.com/

https://www.oldsouthernbbq.com/

http://www.thelcolanding.com/

https://thebrickhousecafe.net/

https://www.rookerypub.com/

Shopping and Art:

http://www.artbeatofhayward.com/

https://nordicnorthwoods.com/

http://haywardmercantileco.com/

https://ronningsofhaywardinc.business.site/

https://www.travelwisconsin.com/arts-and-culture/glassy-ladies-art-emporium-281937

Adventure Sports Rentals:

http://www.howlinbayfield.com/bike.html

https://www.haywardpowersports.com/

Wisconsin Osthoff Resort

Wisconsin

By Krishan Narsinghani

Wisconsin is known for their cheese and ice creams. A major food one may overlook is the Wisconsin cranberry. 360 Magazine had the opportunity to visit their tourism team for an exploration of lodging, dining, cranberry wonders and more.

The trip began at the Osthoff Resort at Elkhart Lake, a quaint fairytale land that makes a city kid feel free. The plot roots back to the age of the Potawatomi Native American Tribe, where the area still inhibits the same wholistic lifestyle. In 1885, the Osthoff Resort was built by Auto Osthoff and reimagined 100 years later to the four Diamond AAA rated majestic lodge guests see today. The 248 room boasts 1, 2, and 3-bedroom suites that fancy a kitchen (or kitchenette) and an individual private balcony. The grand hotel is the perfect family getaway, especially in the Summer. With a three-tear lake deck and Mirror Lake, there’s no disappointment when it comes to adult and kid-friendly activities.The deck includes a bar, live entertainment along with water sports open to guests and the public – aqua cycles, power boats, sailboats and pontoon cruises.

The resort offers a handful of different restaurants to try, Lola’s On The Lake being the choice for media on their first night. Lola’s infuses their dishes with fresh ingredients from the Osthoff Gardens that harvest over 11,000 pounds of produce including edible flowers available in 2019. It’s a farm to table atmosphere while the menu is consistently changes. 360’s personal favorite was the Rib Eye Steak Special with Potato Donuts. This mouth-watering meal introduced savory and sweet for new flavors that will wow your tastebuds.

360 Magazine enjoyed an afternoon cooking class inspired from their wellness menu that featured nutrient dense and natural sugar items. The foods prepared are purposely chosen so more guests with dietary restrictions can participate and indulge. Courses included a Lemon and Raspberry Chia Seed Pudding, Overnight Oats, Egg Shakshuka (Baked Eggs with Feta, Garden Tomato Sauce and Cilantro) and a Quinoa Salad with Halibut. The Shakshuka wafted aromatic Middle Eastern flavors that start your pallet off right and finishes with a taste of creamy tomato sauce and powerful spices.

Others enjoyed a natural spa and wellness treatment at Aspira, which translates to “infused with spirit.” Guests rejuvenate themselves through a variety of specials such as the meditation sanctuary that binds water from Elkhart Lake and hydrating cranberry facials.

In 1857, Wisconsin birthed Steven’s Point Brewery, the third-oldest independently owned and continuously operating brewhouse in the United States. The guided tour and tasting throughout the facility showcased new craft beers and history that withstood the Civil War, prohibition and The Great Depression. Their pilot brewing system has the capacity to make ten barrels of beer at one time essentially creating a microbrewery inside of a craft brewery. Enjoy a refreshing pineapple flavor, white chocolate stout or Octoberfest.

Ride along Cranberry Highway to Gottschalk Cranberry Marsh to witness a breathtaking sea of red fruits. Throughout the Fall season, visitors can drive around 50 miles of these beds from Wisconsin Rapids to Warrens. This antioxidant rich treat is grown on low running vines at bogs and later flooded with water. The berries float to the top and are harvested by picking machines. Local restaurants like Great Expectations (originally a fully women-owned business) incorporate these cranberries into nearly all their dishes. These partnerships make for signature items like their House-Made Ginger-Cranberry Moscow Mule and Unforgettable Grilled Cheese with Cran-Pepper Jam.

One of America’s favorite juices, Ocean Spray, is headquartered on a 70 acre manufacturing facility. Producing 3.6 millions gallons of concentrate a year, the company utilizes a complex system. Wisconsin will produce 5.9 million barrels of cranberries in 2018 making so called, “America’s Dairyland,” the nation’s No. 1 cranberry producer.

Overall, 360 left with a delightful taste and an aura revitalized. When visiting Wisconsin, come prepared with an empty stomach and an open mind for well-deserved Midwestern hospitality.

travelwisconsin.com

wiscran.org

Discovering magical Madison

360 Culture Editor Tom Wilmer and his associate, Annita Thomas from Atlanta, Georgia visit with Diane Morganthaler, Executive Vice President of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Diane shares a litany of cool things to do and see for the entire family

CLICK HERE to listen to the NPR.ONE Podcast interview

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s State Capital is deftly framed by the rooftop of Monona Terrace. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Many of Madison’s attractions are free, including the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Concerts on the Square, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and Wisconsin State Capital tours.

 

Original Frank Lloyd Wright 1938 rendering for Madison’s Monona Terrace

Madison, Wisconsin’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center was first proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938. But it was 21 years before the project was completed, sadly just weeks after Wright’s death.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural rendering for Monona Terrace on the waterfront in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Stunning rooftop vistas from Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Monona Terrace rooftop Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison, Wisconsin is passionately proud of their bike and pedestrian friendly culture

 

Classic theater in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

 

Don’t miss the free tours at Wisconsin’s State Capital in downtown Madison. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Friday evening is party time on the rooftop deck of the Edgewater Hotel and adjacent Boathouse on the lakefront in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Always time for a sunset paddle on the lake in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s weekly farmers market is crazy popular. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Exploring Madison, Wisconsin’s neighborhoods reveal endless architectural gems. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Classic circa-1917– Frank Lloyd Wright’s USONIAN homes remain strikingly contemporary a century later. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Daring distillers are passionate about their craft in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

If plants are your thing Madison is the place for you at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison’s Children’s Museum is a must if you’re bringing the kids. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum includes a rooftop garden complete with real chickens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM PODCAST

Gabriella Gearghardt at Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Join Gabriella Gerhardt, Development Officer at the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin. It’s a hands-on engaging place where free-play is the operative. Discover why NPR ranked one of the exhibits among the top ten in America, and learn about the live chickens, the human hamster cage, the engaging Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, and more—just for kids.

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s captivating Museum of Contemporary Art is another must-do. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The outside of the Museum of Modern Art in downtown Madison, Wisconsin beckons one to check out what’s on the inside. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Celebrating 117 years, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is the longest serving cultural organization in the city. Join Erika Monroe-Kane Director of Communications for an insider’s look at the ways the free-access museum brings art to the people and people to the art in MadisonWisconsin. MMOCA attracts visitors through engaging cutting-edge art that serves as powerful visual metaphors for social issues, and injustices.

CLICK HERE to listen to the Podcast interview with Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications

 

 

Sunset party at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Wisconsin’s State Capital is stunning night or day. iPhone 6s photo credit: Tom Wilmer

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Doggie Haven-Home For Life

360 Magazine Culture Editor,Tom Wilmer, reports from Wisconsin where he discovers a last hope option for unadoptable dogs and cats.

There are two standard options for dogs and cats that arrive at shelters and pounds: adoption or euthanasia.

Lisa LaVerdia decided to create another option that she dubbed The Third Door, providing a home for unadoptable dogs and cats.

Dr. Jane Goodall visits with Home For Life’s Raha

In a recent visit to Home For Life in rural Wisconsin Tom learns that LaVerdia was a successful lawyer with a specialization in asbestos issues and juvenile lead poisoning.

But mid-career, she took down her shingle, purchased 40 acres skirting the Apple River in Star Prairie, Wisconsin, and opened the Home For Life sanctuary for dogs and cats.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO Lisa LaVerdia on NPR.ORG digital media podcast

 

Lisa LaVerdia at Home For Life   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Central to Laverdia’s mission is to provide care for life for dogs and cats that are unadoptable—either due to severe health issues or traumatic injuries, often intentionally inflicted by sadistic tormenters.

Through a network of animal rescuers around the world, the dogs arrive from various countries including India, Southeast Asia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.

The facility includes temperature-controlled buildings and three catteries, including a building specifically for cats with communicable feline leukemia.

 

Journalist Heide Brandes visits with kitties at Home For Life   Photo Credit:Tom Wilmer

In addition to being home to an average of 100 cats, about 100 dogs reside at the facility in doggie accommodations that include suites and townhouses designed for dogs who need to live in pairs or small groups— complete with piped-in music.

Dog and cat runs are attached to each residential unit, along with four off-leash, expansive meadows.

 

Heide Brandes with paralyzed doggie at Home For Life  Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Staffer Barbara Swenson at Home For Life’s Cattery   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Latest News– Ashely Judd is scheduled to participate in Home For Life’s gala 2019 fundraiser!

 

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C

New Arts Center in Eau Claire, WI

The much-anticipated Pablo Center at the Confluence, Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s first major arts center located in the downtown district at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire Rivers, officially opens its doors to the public on Saturday, September 22nd.

The Center’s impressive inaugural season line-up includes dance productions, family-friendly performances, literary and film events, as well as musical guests spanning multiple genres, staged in either the 1,200+ seat theatre or the flexible 400-seat theatre. In addition to the performing art spaces, Pablo Center also includes multiple art galleries featuring regional and national visual arts displays across a variety of mediums. The galleries are free and open to the public. For full details and to purchase performance tickets, go to www.PabloCenter.org

Pablo Center at the Confluence also includes rehearsal, dance, and community rooms; visual arts studios and galleries, labs for sound and lighting and set and exhibit design; a recording studio, multimedia production and costume design spaces; a scene shop with space to support “makers and creators” and vocational training initiatives; and administrative offices for management, University of WI-Eau Claire faculty and Visit Eau Claire staff. The new visitor center will be located on the first floor and will open its doors to the public Oct. 26th.

Pablo Center at the Confluences is the result of a public-private collaboration, with funding through investments from the state, city, and county as well as philanthropic donations and new market tax credits. As a founding partner, the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire will utilize space at Pablo for student instruction and performance opportunities.

Multipurpose spaces on the third floor offer picturesque views of the Chippewa River and the iconic lighted Phoenix Park Bridge. These rooms are fully equipped with screens, projectors, and state-of-the-art sound systems, making them the ideal rental spaces for meetings and special events.

Grand opening festivities start at noon with a free open house that runs until 5:30 p.m., followed by a ticketed theatrical and musical performance at 7:30 p.m.

Visit Eau Claire will also be providing a sneak peek of its new visitor center and have Eau Claire giveaways sporting the new visitor bureau logo.

EVENT DETAILS

What: Pablo Center at the Confluence Grand Opening Celebration

When: Saturday, Sep. 22

Where: 128 Graham Ave., Eau Claire, WI

Website: www.PabloCenter.org

Details:

  • free open house from noon until 5:30 p.m.
  • 7:30 p.m. ticketed event, Grand Opening Celebration Cabinet of Curiosities, includes premiere of Pablo Center-commissioned work by designer/sculptor, puppeteer Chris M. Green and musical performances by the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra and the Chippewa Valley Sympathy Orchestra

Interview: Brenna St.  George Jones, director of artistic programming, Pablo Center at the Confluence

Opportunities:

  • Linda John, executive director, visit Eau Claire

About Visit Eau Claire

Visit Eau Claire is the area’s official tourism marketing organization with a role to better the city for all who live, work, study, and play here and a mission to bring visitors to the area. With encouragement and support from Visit Eau Claire and benefitting greatly from the independent spirit of those who call the community home, this northern Wisconsin university city is making a name for itself as a creative hub with a hip and homegrown music and arts scene and a robust entrepreneurial culture. This city of bridges sits at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, a breathtaking backdrop that inspires originality and encourages a love of outdoors at every turn. Midwest indie? Yes, really.

The Economist x Midterms

Today The Economist launched its first real-time midterm model, which uses statistical forecasting to predict how many seats in the House of Representatives each party is likely to win in this year’s US midterm elections.

View the model here:

Applying cutting-edge machine-learning techniques to political science, the model combines information from polling, past elections, special elections, fundraising, ideology and “fundamental” factors like the economy and incumbency.  It has been trained on every election cycle since 1942 and nearly 6,500 historical district races. The model will conduct 4.35 million simulated elections every day until the vote, live-updating to incorporate up-to-the-minute data.

The Economist’s midterm model currently predicts that Democrats have a 2 in 3 (or 65%) chance of taking the House, and holding an average of 222 seats, or 4 more than is needed for a majority.  It shows that there is a 95% chance that the Democrats will hold between 206 and 241 seats.

The Economist’s data team plans to launch a similar model to forecast Senate results later in the year once primaries are complete and more polls become available.

Find out more about The Economist’s midterm model here.

HALSEY x “ALONE”

HALSEY RELEASES VIDEO FOR

“ALONE (FEAT. BIG SEAN AND STEFFLON DON) »

CHECK IT OUT HERE

 

 

 

More about Halsey :

 

Website

Instagram

Twitter

YouTube

iTunes

Spotify

SoundCloud

 

 

 

 

50 Cent x Fuse’s Weekly News Rap

This week’s episode of Fuse’s Weekly News Rap features Baltimore talent StarrZ delivering a rapid-fire recap of the week’s biggest news stories. On the agenda today are 50 Cent’s reignited feud with Vivica A. Fox, Migos and Drake’s thrilling “Walk It Talk It” video, Toys ‘R’ Us  and Claire’s planned shutdowns, and more. The episode is available now onFuse’s official YouTube channel.

Every Friday, Fuse’s Weekly News Rap brings viewers a rapid-fire summary of the week’s hottest news and trends, delivered by the emerging rap stars you need to have on your radar so please be sure to subscribe to their channel and hit the notification bell to get your dose of celebrity news and hip hop culture.

 

Full episode available HERE

Eau Claire

By Hannah Audrey Lowe x Vaughn Lowery

The electric sensation of innovation and creativity was in the air as the 360 team walked through the quaint streets of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, whose name is French, meaning “clear water” because of the Eau Claire River. We couldn’t resist but make our first stop at Leinenkugel’s. Here the beer is German-style, crafted expertly with a Wisconsin vibe. The traditional fusion 150 years strong, founded by Jacob Leinenkugel, is a perfect example of what the citizens strive for; a well-rounded very cultural society infused with the Midwest pride.

In an interview with Linda John, the Executive Director of Visit Eau Claire, she responds to the city being compared to the very diverse Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas: “Yes, I like those! Those comparisons paint the right picture of imagination, independent spirit, music, and art, and that’s spot on. Yet we also hold on to quintessential Wisconsin traditions, we’re protective of our untouched natural resources, and, of course, we also throw in a little flavor of winter.”

As we continued our walk, it was impossible to miss the Sculpture Tour. The Sculpture Tour Eau Claire is a non-profit organization dedicated to making art accessible and interactive. One-of-a-kind sculptures by artists from all over North America are displayed as an interactive art exhibit. The pieces are owned by the artists and loaned to the city of Eau Claire eleven months at a time, replaced every May with new creations.

Next stop! Lazy Monk Brewing for a bite to eat and more great beer. The owner, who is originally from Czechoslovakia, moved to Eau Claire about twenty years ago. He found himself puzzled when he had trouble finding a local brewery that brewed their beers traditionally, like he was used to at home. For years, he perfected his craft sharing with friends and family along the way. Finally, the time came to open Lazy Monk Brewery LLC. With a passion for promoting local artists and workers, everything involved with the brewery was contracted locally from the storage design to the artwork to the plumbing. It goes without saying that this city is inspirational, figuring out the perfect fusion of so many different cultures and that of the Midwest.

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has played a huge role in the goal of constant improvement in the city. The success to Eau Claire is grounded on remarkable collaboration. On our visit, it was evident that love and teamwork is in place and keeps the city running. The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Visit Eau Claire have a spectacular relationship. The university allows the community to book sporting events and conventions. The university is at the community development table, eager to partner with and aid in increasing tourism for those events. In 2007, a community wide process named “Clear Vision”, led by the citizens of Eau Claire and facilitated by the National Civic League, was created. In the first year of establishment, several hundred people came together to discuss and tackle any issues that needed attention. Despite much conflict and difference of opinions, they began to make headway in modernizing and improving the city in which they all live. The need for an arts center was identified. With much pride, the Confluence Arts Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018, followed closely by the plans to open an events and a convention center.

Our next stop, Revival Records. Nostalgia hit the 360 team as we wandered through the endless isles, sifting through countless vinyls. This is the place to find tracks that take you back to your childhood or introduce you to a brand-new genre. Each year the store commissions an artist to create a poster that will go for sale on National Record Store Day, which falls on April twenty-first this year.

The theme of collaboration rings through the events, partnerships and businesses in Eau Claire. Our final stop in Eau Claire was The Classic Garage. What was once an auto repair garage, is now a classic 50’s diner decorated by timeless trimmings such as black and white checkered flooring and red and white booths. Rick Peyton’s Cadillac collection is rotated around the shop so that “Rick’s classic Cadillac of the day” is showcased underneath the canopy. Visiting this family friendly locale is a must when in Eau Claire.
As we concluded our tour, we left happy with an enlightened sense of what community is. Eau Claire works hard as a community focusing on innovation, encouraging established and new artists, modernizing their thinking and yet still preserving their values and Midwest Indie culture. It’s no doubt that they are forging their way into a great present and a fantastic future.

Top 5 restaurants to hit:

Mona Lisa’s

Randy’s Family Restaurant

Milwaukee Burger Company

Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse

The Nucleus

Top 5 coffee shops to relax in:

The French Press

Eau Claire Downtown Coffee

Goat Coffee House

Acoustic Cafe

Caffe TEMPO

Top 5 sites to see:

Crystal Cave

B-Framed Galleries

Sculpture Tour

Children’s Museum of Eau Claire

Autumn Harvest Winery

EAU CLAIRE

 

Eau Claire, Wis., has been owning its role in bringing an indie sensibility to the Midwest for several years now, with music, art, culinary and recreation offerings drawing favorable comparisons to a young Austin or mini Portland. For 2018, this university city situated at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers in the northwest part of the state brings it, with new businesses and events that will appeal to travelers with a similar independent spirit and penchant for the original, artful and playful. For more travel ideas and sample itineraries, log on to the official tourism website, www.VisitEauClaire.com.

Brand New for 2018

Artisan Forge Studios Expansion: Home to nearly 40 artisans, this artists’ guild, led by metalworks master Greg Johnson, recently added 16,000 square foot to its already 20,000 square foot garage-like space, with the addition filling up quickly with artists and businesses including a potter’s studio, a bike remixer who creates art out of old bikes, and a pop-up coffee shop to fuel all that creativity. One of the existing tenants, Eco Urban Timber, is introducing its first urban wood furniture line in 2018, reclaiming beautiful quirky urban wood and giving it new life as furniture. Outdoors, there will be a full courtyard experience for large-scale art installations and community gatherings. Artisan Forge Studios hosts events all year long, including Uptown Art Jams, artisan markets, outdoor muralist creations, and album release parties.

Confluence Arts Center to Open: The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, in collaboration with the entire community, will be opening its Confluence Arts Center in late 2018. This center will include a 1,200‐seat theatre and a flexible 400-seat theatre; visual arts studio and galleries; and labs for sound, lighting, set design, recording arts, and costume design. It will also be the new home for Visit Eau Claire’s interactive visitor center, located on the first floor.   

Mash-up of Coffee and Gears at Shift Cyclery: This full-service bicycle repair shop in downtown Eau Claire happily coexists with Soul Brewed Coffee Roasters. Get your necessary intake of caffeine at the craft coffee bar while your bike is tuned up.

Run to Blue Ox Running: Serious runners will appreciate that this specialty retailer in downtown Eau Claire is operated by two UW-Eau Claire alum who met when running cross country and track at the university.

Try Aerial Yoga at Sky Yoga: Yet another downtown business, this one is a yoga studio offering a variety of drop-in classes including aerial yoga, barre, strength and toning, and more. They even have classes for young yogis.

Candlewood Suites Caters to Extended Stay: Scheduled to open in fall 2018 on the city’s far south side, the Candlewood Suites Hotel will have 81 suites well suited for business travelers on extended stay. Guests will have access to 24-hour laundry facilities and a gym.

Pop-Up Shop Style

Tangled Up in Hue: Known for hosting pop-up artist showings, meet the maker events, and classes, this art collective supporting more than 100 artists will have a full event calendar for 2018.

Red’s Mercantile: This women’s lifestyle shop is planning a variety of group workshops for the coming year, like a clay bowl workshop during which participants create their own bowl for keeping jewelry and keepsakes safe, and a “learn how to make bath salts” workshop with attendees leaving with some Zen -inducing salts to take home.

The Local Store: The goods at this shop are either made locally or evoke a sense of place in the Chippewa Valley. Look for an expanded schedule of in-house events including night markets, meet the maker nights, author book readings, and film screenings.

For Those Who Live for Live Music

Chippewa Valley Blues Society: This group is responsible for the wildly popular Tuesday Night Blues concerts, celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018. This is the only free concert series in Eau Claire, and the show goes on rain or shine at the bandshell in Owen Park. Crowds of upwards of 2,000 music lovers are not unusual.  

Chippewa Valley Music Festivals: This group puts on Rock Fest, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018. Along with the live music, festival goers flock to the more than 7,000 campsites for their overnight digs. Set for July 12-14 in nearby Cadott.

The Master Singers: This is also the silver anniversary for this choral ensemble which presents seven performances each season. Over its 25-year history, more than 240 area musicians have performed with this group.

Revival Records: Each year this vinyl shop commissions an artist to create an original poster for sale exclusively on National Record Store Day, which celebrates the culture of indie record stores. In 2018, it’s April 21. Ask the store staff and they’ll even play your favorite album while you shop. The owners plan to add more live music events to the in-store schedule for the coming year as well.

For Foodies

Forage at Banbury Place: Aspiring home chefs and those who aspire to a career in culinary can both find a place at the table at Forage cooking classes. They also have a “Little Hands” class for kids. Check their calendar for meal events too, like pop-up Saturday brunches and food and wine pairing dinners.

430 Water Street: The owners of Mona Lisa’s, representing the finest of fine dining in the area, jumped at the chance to occupy the space next door upon learning it would become available in 2018. Look for a combo food/drinks/shopping experience, with a spring wine fling in April to kick things off.

The Nucleus: This bistro-style eatery is so popular that people line up outside waiting for the door to open for breakfast. In addition to their a.m. and lunch offerings Wednesday through Sunday, The Nucleus is now open for dinner and wine Thursday through Saturday.

The Lakely at The Oxbow Hotel: Look for full new line-up of food and music pairings in the Lakely Limited Series. The culinary team here is also planning Wandering Spirits craft cocktail demos and cooking classes with Chef Nathan Berg. 

Cowboy Jack’s: Just opened in June 2017 in neighboring Altoona, this restaurant gained a fast following thanks to its menu of handcrafted burgers and BBQ entrees paired with live music that leans country. In 2018 they’ll be enclosing part of their outdoor patio so patrons can enjoy views to the Eau Claire River in the winter months too.

Wagner’s Lanes: It may sound like a broken record, but this place is popular for its food and music pairings too, with concerts regularly selling out. For 2018 they’re building a new bar and restaurant area. Patrons can burn off the calories playing the lawn game Kubb, bowling, or playing indoor sand volleyball under a bubble.

A Decade for The Livery: Come 2018, the culinary team at The Livery restaurant will be celebrating a decade of serving up modern comfort food. This eatery in downtown Eau Claire’s North Barstow District is housed in a historic building that once served as a livery in the 1880s, later evolving from the horse transportation trade to life as an auto garage at one point as well.

 

 

Beer, Wine and Spirits

Brewing Projekt: This craft brewery opened its taproom in April 2015 and within two years outgrew its space at 2000 N. Oxford Ave, so it scoped out larger digs and found just what it was looking for across the street in the much larger 1807 N. Oxford building. The brewery has just settled in to its new space which now includes riverfront seating. In the spring, they’ll set up Kubb lawn games and feature food trucks too. The owners source ingredients locally whenever they can, including maple syrup and honey.

River Bend Vineyard & Winery: Husband and wife owners will be releasing their first ever Pinot Noir in fall 2018. Visitors to this winery in nearby Chippewa Falls can also enjoy live music events and partake of wood-fired pizza. They also have a “grain-to-glass” distillery operation, with 100% Wisconsin-grown vodka, a white whiskey ideal for summer sipping, and a gin derived from grapes.

Infinity Beverages Winery & Distillery: What makes this winery unique is its urban location. The owner sources ingredients from around the country, supporting American growers and suppliers. Look for a new array of “Experimentals,” wines and spirits made in extremely small batches, to be available exclusively in their Tasting Lounge, including a Wisconsin Spirit made from products the state is famous for including cranberries, cherries, dairy, maple syrup, and grain. Most recent releases included an apple malt whiskey and a sassafras chardonnay.

Arts, Culture and Film

Hmong New Year’s Celebration:  Immerse yourself in authentic Hmong culture during the 30th annual Hmong New Year’s Celebration Nov. 10-11, 2018. There will music and dance performances, a traditional “pov pob” ball toss competition, crafts, and food.

Downtown Sculpture Tour: This sidewalk sculpture tour in downtown Eau Claire is brand new beginning every May, with some three dozen sculptures revealed at that time. Visitors and residents may cast their vote for their favorite sculpture, with the winning sculpture purchased by the city for permanent display.

Micon Cinema: The Micon’s Downtown Budget Cinema is getting reserved seating following a recent remodeling. This downtown landmark, built in 1946, hosted the first-ever Eau Claire World Film Fest in fall 2017, as well as the first Midwest Weird Fest, an independent film fest that honors the horror genre.

City of Bridges

Downtown Eau Claire: The downtown district group gets credit for the river lights at Phoenix Park that will now recognize major holidays with different light shows for each holiday. In addition, the organization is spearheading re-decking, widening and general beautification of Grand Avenue Footbridge in 2018. Staying with the bridge theme, the new Haymarket Plaza at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers and adjoining pedestrian bridge will open in 2018.

Carson Park Drive Bridge Spruce-up: The bridge leading in to Carson Park from the historic Randall Park neighborhood and crossing Half Moon Lake has been widened and enhanced for the hiker and biker. The newly-christened bridge has multi-use trails along both sides plus bike lanes, and it now connects with the Chippewa River State Trail. This new causeway also includes ADA accessible fishing piers. Once inside the grounds, families with young children will love the all-new playground equipment in Carson Park.

Chippewa River Water Trail: A new trail map of the Chippewa River, with emphasis on downtown kayak, canoe and tubing put-ins and safe navigation along a four-mile urban route, is available online and at the city’s visitor center. The map also points out historical reminders of the area’s lumber era found along the way.   

Sports Report

Eau Claire Marathon: During the weekend of May 5-6,2018, runners will take to streets and bridges for the 10thannual Eau Claire Marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifying race. There’s also a half and relay, along with a 5K run/walk. All races start and finish in Carson Park.

National Beep Baseball Association World Series: The world series of baseball for the blind and visually impaired comes to Wisconsin for the first time. This competition for ages 15-45 takes place at the Eau Claire Soccer Park, July 31-Aug. 4.

2018 USA Curling College Championship: The season-ender college curling championship will be held in Eau Claire in 2018, with the Eau Claire County Expo Center, home of the Eau Claire Curling Club, the host facility. The competition takes place March 9-11.

Eau Claire Express Baseball: This collegiate summer baseball team, part of the Northwoods League, is looking to spruce up its facility at Carson Park with artificial turf, expanded restroom and concession areas, improved handicap accessibility, and permanent stadium seating. They’re hoping to break ground in 2018 once fundraising wraps up.

First Full Year

Metropolis Resort started “Airobics” classes in its new trampoline park in 2017 and the craze has taken off. They also installed an outdoor motorized zipline that takes riders in reverse for 700 feet before bringing them back down to the starting point.

Ramone’s old-fashioned ice cream parlor opened in summer 2017, with lovers of the frozen treat gobbling up gallons of specialty flavors with names like Superman, Fat Elvis, and a caffeinated Iced Latte-Da. This family-run business is also big on giving back to the community, with a “tip jar” program that has employees choosing the charity they’d like to donate to.

River Prairie Park and Development is located in neighboring Altoona on a bend of the Eau Claire River, and has quickly become a destination for kayakers and canoers eager to take off on a river adventure from the landing there. There’s also an amphitheater where local musicians perform and a pet-friendly trail system. Three event spaces for rent, with the largest able to accommodate 250, feature an indoor/outdoor bar and double-sided fireplace. This mixed-use development also includes shops, a hotel, and restaurants.  

The Chippewa Off Road Bike Association – CORBA, for short – test drove, so to speak, a CORBA Kids program in 2017, and it was such a success they’re growing it for 2018. This introduction to mountain biking is both free and fun, with an expanded series of events and rides planned for “kids and their keepers.” The volunteers who run CORBA describes themselves as “advocates to be outside and to make the outside a better place.” 

For up-to-date information on these businesses plus a calendar of events, log on to www.VisitEauClaire.com.

 

About Visit Eau Claire

Visit Eau Claire is the area’s official tourism marketing organization with a role to better the city for all who live, work, study and play here and a mission to bring visitors to the area. With encouragement and support from Visit Eau Claire and benefiting greatly from the independent spirit of those who call the community home, this northern Wisconsin university city is making a name for itself as a creative hub with a hip and homegrown music and arts scene and a robust entrepreneurial culture. This city of bridges sits at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, a breathtaking backdrop that inspires originality and encourages a love of outdoors at every turn. Midwest indie? Yes, really.

 

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Visit Eau Claire • 4319 Jeffers Road • Eau Claire, WI 54703


888.523.3866 • 715.831.2345 • info@visiteauclaire.com• www.VisitEauClaire.com