Tucked into Wisconsin’s stunning Driftless region, Spring Green is home to some iconic Wisconsin destinations. Among the beautiful rolling hills, you can tour Frank Lloyd Wright’s home–Taliesin, the unique House on the Rock, and the legendary American Players Theater. These well known attractions have kept me coming back to the area, but after spending a weekend in town, I found a new love for Spring Green!
The attractions are remarkable and remain something everyone should see, but the artisan shops, locally sourced food, and great people provide even more to explore. Spring Green is full of spunk and character that we fully enjoyed over the course of our weekend stay.
This post is sponsored by Explore Sauk County, but all opinions are my own.
SPRING GREEN TRAVEL GUIDE: THINGS TO DO
Shop Downtown - Local Goodies
Charming Spring Green has no shortage of things to do. We spent an afternoon shopping at the local businesses and were very impressed by the options. The first shop that stood out to us was Convivio, home to adorable nicknacks, gifts, nice bottles of alcohol, paper goods, and a very cool bar in the basement. Their bartender Jerry was so kind and made a killer drink. I bought a cute new journal and then we enjoyed a cocktail before continuing on our way. We checked out Arcadia Books, a local bookshop with a great selection that also offers cafe services. Our next stop was The Opal Man, a stunning local jewelry shop showcasing remarkable pieces with different varieties of opals. These one of a kind pieces are absolutely stunning and make for a great gift. Another shop that really stood out to us was Simply Rooted. Not only do they serve up Cedar Crest ice cream, cafe drinks, and a variety of chocolates, but their store is full of homegoods, furnishings, snacks, and other fun little treats. Hayden found himself looking around the beautiful patio sets, and I couldn’t get enough of the adorable hair accessories. Shopping in downtown Spring Green really has something for everyone!
American Players Theater - See a Show
The American Players Theater is a well known outdoor theater that is devoted to the classics. It sits on 110 wooded acres and has an annual attendance of over 100,000 people. Each summer, they put on a rotation of shows that bring people from near and far. The APT grounds have lots of picnic areas that you are welcome to dine at prior to the show. Pack a charcuterie board and a bottle of wine and enjoy this incredible space. Or, if you’re a little short on time, you can stop into Wader to pick up premade snacks and sandwiches on the way. Once you’re full and ready, put on your bug spray and make your way up the hill to the theater. There are no carry-ins allowed, but you can purchase additional snacks and drinks at the concession stand. Once you’re stocked up, take your seat and get ready to see an incredible show!
This is an outdoor theater, so make sure you’re dressed for the weather and pack a poncho just in case.
Hike - Take in the Driftless
The beautiful bluffs of the driftless area will have you itching to get out for a hike. We started our trip checking out Tower Hill State Park. You can hike to the top of the bluff for great views looking over the Wisconsin River Valley and a historic site that explains how lead shot was made in the 1800s. All of the trails in the park total approximately 2 miles.
The other hike we checked out was Spring Green Preserve*. This State Natural Area is called Wisconsin’s Desert. There is one trail, an out and back, that totals about 3.5 miles and takes you along a very interesting landscape. You will see prairies, cacti, and thickly wooded areas. The trail is sand in most parts and starts off at a gradual incline before switching to a steep climb up the bluff for another view of the valley. It is such an interesting area, unlike anywhere I have ever been in Wisconsin!
*Note: No dogs are allowed in Spring Green Preserve.
SPRING GREEN TRAVEL GUIDE: GREAT FOOD
Savor the River Valley - A Local Effort
The food scene of Lower Wisconsin River Valley is the product of what happens when local chefs team up with local farmers to bring you locally sourced meals! Savor the River Valley is working to enhance food tourism to promote unique food-related businesses and help them become an attraction or destination of their own. You can taste their efforts coming to life in Spring Green!
Homecoming - Wood Fired Pizza
We love pizza! (I mean, who doesn’t?!) We are always on the hunt for good, wood-fired pizza. Homecoming seems to be a town favorite–and we can see why. It’s in an old school house in downtown Spring Green and open on Friday and Saturday nights. They have locally sourced, creative menus and some weekly features. In true That Wisconsin Couple fashion, we ordered food to share. We ordered the Bell Pie–creamy roasted bell pepper sauce topped with mozzarella, kalamata olives, red onion, pepperchinis, and feta. It was unique and so great and we couldn’t get enough!! We also ordered the weekend’s feature: a lasagna with locally grown spinach, handmade pasta, bechamel, mozzarella, and parmesan. It was one of the best pasta dishes we’ve ever had! We were raving about it to everyone we met that night. It was so creamy, rich, and truly incredible. I hope to see that feature back on the menu again soon–we would travel back just for that! If you’re making the trip to Spring Green, I highly recommend dinner at Homecoming. Not only are you supporting the remarkable restaurant, but you’re also helping support lots of local farmers that they source ingredients from.
Great news!! The owners of Homecoming will be opening another restaurant in downtown Spring Green THIS SUMMER! We can’t wait to check out Reunion, a fine dining supper club-esqe restaurant that will be housed in a beautiful old bank in town.
Spring Green General Store - Delicious Classics
After we had worked up an appetite shopping, we were thrilled to dine at Spring Green General Store. It had been on my list for years, and I could not wait to check it out. They serve breakfast and lunch and also have a shop inside. Hayden ordered the tuna sandwich and I got the pulled pork. The meals were delicious, but the star of the show was definitely their raspberry lemonade! We sat on their all-season porch and devoured our lunch before getting back to downtown shopping.
Baron Brooks - Legendary Burgers
We were having an after dinner drink and gearing up for karaoke when we got to chatting with a local. He filled us in on his area recommendations and said we should stop into Baron Brooks for a burger. Well, we weren’t quite ready for a burger at that point in time, but we did stop in for a beer before calling it a night. We walked in and felt right at home! Baron Brooks is a cozy bar that reminded us of our favorite hometown bar, The Downtowner. The bartender Brittany was so kind and we loved getting to chat with her. She has worked at Baron Brooks for 15 years and gave us her local insight on the area. She told us more about their legendary burgers–Their grill is known for being perfectly seasoned and serves up copious amounts of burgers each week. This cash-only bar is very affordable, doesn’t have a fryer, and they locally source their meat and buns. We could feel that the community runs deep there and loved every second of it! We ended up going back the next day to share one of their legendary burgers for dinner, and it completely lived up to the hype. It had a good char and was perfectly cooked–we savored every bite! Highly recommend checking out Baron Brooks–tell Brittany we say hi!
SPRING GREEN TRAVEL GUIDE: GRAB A DRINK
Slowpoke - Cocktails & Cabaret
We went to check out Slowpoke after our dinner at Homecoming, and it was a very fun time! They have an impressive cocktail menu and a beautiful space. Guests can take turns playing their vast collection of records and board games, and they often have live music. We happened to be there on karaoke night, and Hayden got up there to belt it out. I definitely thought he crushed his version of Ol’ Red, but there were a lot of really good locals out there showing off their incredible voices!
SPRING GREEN TRAVEL GUIDE: WHERE TO STAY
Steampunk Manor Bed & Breakfast
As soon as we arrived at Steampunk Manor, I instantly had a smile on my face. They had the most beautiful flowers in bloom and a gorgeous wrap-around porch. We were greeted by the incredible host, Daniel. He was so sweet and full of local knowledge and recommendations. We stayed in Bashnya Tower, a beautiful room with a private bath. The common areas are cozy with lots of places to lounge, and there’s even a cash bar available on site! Upon arrival, we got to order our breakfast from a diverse menu, and then after a great night’s sleep, we came downstairs the next morning to a seriously impressive 3 course meal. First came a cheesecake strudel that I’m still dreaming about!! Next was some fancy applesauce and Carr Valley bread cheese with 4 different jams. For the main course, I got the Breakfast Sliders–one sweet and one savory and both delightful. Hayden got the Steampunk Surprise–he was so impressed with the savory crab cake and egg breakfast! It came with a stuffed mushroom and sweet potato fries. We always enjoy staying at a bed & breakfast, but Steampunk Manor was exceptional with their great attention to detail and delicious food.
Need a fall escape? We hear Steampunk Manor takes Halloween VERY seriously!
SPRING GREEN TRAVEL GUIDE
This trip was so great for us and I hope you enjoyed reading SPRING GREEN TRAVEL GUIDE - A COZY WEEKEND GETAWAY! We were impressed with all the attention to detail–the kind people we met sharing their knowledge and recommendations with us, the B&B’s intricate place settings, and the prioritized use of local ingredients everywhere we went. It was obvious that the community runs so strongly throughout the town. We thoroughly enjoyed Spring Green and will absolutely be back for another visit!