Have you ever watched Gilmore Girls and thought, “Wow, I wish I lived in Stars Hollow!” I love this show so much! It brings me comfort to escape into the life of my friends Lorelai and Rory. Stars Hollow is a goofy little town with no shortage of coffee, town events, and great community. I think I live in Wisconsin’s very own Stars Hollow–Baraboo. Baraboo, with its charm, strong sense of community, and fun town-wide events, has many parallels to Stars Hollow.
If you’ve ever found yourself saying, “I smell snow,” “Oy, with the poodle already,” or “Copper Boom,” then consider planning a weekend getaway in Baraboo, WI!
Before we get too far into it, let me give you the lay of the land. Downtown Baraboo really does have a town square that is essentially the center of everything. It’s so cute and is home to 40 locally owned shops. Whether you want to shop, get some great coffee, or have an incredible meal, Stars Hollow–I mean Barbaoo!–has everything!
We all know the iconic gazebo that sits right in the middle of downtown Stars Hollow. In Baraboo, we have two beautiful gazebos, and while they’re not in the center of the town square, they’re walking distance away and worth the stroll for the views.
Here’s how I compare Downtown Baraboo’s businesses to the ones in Stars Hollow!
Luke’s | Broadway Diner
Every single episode of Gilmore Girls involves Luke’s Diner in one way or another. Well, Baraboo has a charming diner of its own. Broadway Diner was not previously a hardware store, but it does have some fascinating history. It’s an authentically restored 1950s diner that was moved here from, funnily enough, Connecticut! It’s small and cozy, but much more aesthetically pleasing than Luke’s. I think that the Gilmore girls would love the Cinnamon Roll French Toast–an oversized cinnamon roll turned into some amazing french toast with cream cheese frosting!
Al’s Pancake World | Little Village
The restaurant that serves world cuisine, but not pancakes! Little Village is our own version of Al’s, and they have amazing food. You can get pasta, burritos, curry chicken, Moroccan chicken, and so much more. I love their pasta dishes and Hayden loves the Jamaican Jerk Burrito. There is something from everywhere and something for everyone!
Weston’s Bakery | Neat-O’s
Weston’s may be able to do cake and cupcakes with both buttercream and whipped cream frosting, but Neat-O’s is its own slice of dessert heaven. There are delicious doughnuts, custom cakes, cookies, and pies that could impress even the Gilmores!
Taylor's Olde Fashioned Soda Shoppe | Tin Roof Dairy
Now, we don’t have Taylor Doose, but we do have an old fashioned soda shop! Tin Roof Dairy serves up 32 flavors of ice cream as well as malts, shakes, and espresso. What they lack in penny candy, they make up for in impressive sundaes!
Kim’s Antiques | Eclectic Treasures
If you’re looking for antiques, but don’t have time to argue with Mrs. Kim, then Eclectic Treasures is for you! You probably won’t need to play Marco Polo to get around, but you will be able to hunt for vintage, antique, restored, and repurposed items. We have found so many charming pieces here and searching the shop never gets old!
Antonioli's Restaurant | Mama Mia
Undeniably, pizza is a staple in the Gilmore diet. Baraboo also has some really good pizza. Right in town, you can find Mama Mia, a great Italian restaurant that serves up some really yummy pizza. I’m not sure they’d be willing to make “the world’s largest pizza” for your next birthday party, but whatever you order will be delicious.
Full disclosure: I couldn’t remember the name of the pizza place they call so often in the show, and honestly I’m not sure if they ever say it, but research told me it is Antonioli’s Restaurant.
Stars Hollow Books | The Village Booksmith
In order for Baraboo to get a stamp of approval from Rory, there would need to be a great bookstore. Thankfully, the Village Booksmith would impress even Rory with their rare, out-of-print, and hard-to-find titles! The store is adorable and cozy and would make for a great place for a heart to heart with Lane.
No Coffee Shortage | Coffee Bean Connection, Nautical Coffee, & Bella Vita Cafe
If there is one thing that amplifies why I think Baraboo would be Gilmore approved, it’s the copious amount of coffee! We have three incredible coffee shops where you can grab your fix, not including a stop at the diner. Coffee Bean Connection, Nautical Coffee, and Bella Vita Cafe are all available for excessive coffee consumption!
Not only is Baraboo’s town square so cute, it’s full of fun events. Just like in the Hollow, there is always something going on. From cutesy festivals to movie nights, there’s something for everyone. I highly recommend a visit to Wisconsin’s very own Stars Hollow!
Don't forget to tag us in your pictures in Wisconsin's Very Own Stars Hollow!