…within 50 miles…
Visitors to Milwaukee can discover fascinating urban attractions, but just beyond the city limits are areas of natural beauty, serenity, and perhaps even adventure. Within 50 miles of Milwaukee, southeastern Wisconsin offers a number of cultural and outdoor opportunities for visitors on short stays to the area.
Ten Chimneys, a 40-minute drive southwest of Milwaukee, was the spectacular home of theater greats Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2004, Ten Chimneys is now open for tours by the public (Tuesday through Saturday). Reservations are recommended (262-968-4110).
Old World Wisconsin offers re-creations of the farms and settlements of European immigrants in the Midwest in the late 19th century. This Wisconsin Historic Site is open Monday–Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm.
Kettle Moraine State Forest
Kettle Moraine State Forest, named for its collection of kettle holes formed as glaciers retreated from the area, contains glacial hills, kettles, eskers, kames, lakes, prairie restoration sites, pine woods, and hardwood forests. Some 50,000 acres constitute Kettle Moraine’s northern unit and a southern unit. The adventurous visitor might consider motoring along the 115-mile scenic drive through the Kettle Moraine region, in and between the two forest units. Along the way are places to picnic, hike, camp, bike, swim, fish, visit historical sites, and shop. Both units have many miles of hiking and biking trails.
A number of excellent bike trails in southeastern Wisconsin have been developed along abandoned rail corridors. The Glacial Drumlin State Trail (http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/specific/glacialdrumlin/ and http://www.glacialdrumlin.com/Home.html) heads west for 50 miles from just west of Milwaukee almost all the way to Madison. Hikers are also welcome on this trail and are not required to purchase a pass.
Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Johnson Wax Administration Building in Racine has been attracting tourists since it opened in 1939. As Wright described his creation, “There in the Johnson Building you catch no sense of enclosure whatever at any angle, top or sides. . . . Interior space comes free, you are not aware of any boxing in at all. Restricted space simply is not there.” Tours, by reservation, are offered on Fridays.
The Newell and Ann Meyer Nature Preserve, owned by The Nature Conservancy, is a 374-acre oak savannah and wetlands area 35 miles southwest of Milwaukee. Red fox inhabit the preserve, and visitors may also see sandhill cranes, bobolinks, yellow warblers, and many other birds.