Groups can learn a new game, make pottery, cruise Lake Superior and tor a historic Main Street district
Day 1 Eau Claire
Explore an invigorating city of music, history and art with a visit to Eau Claire. At Carson Park we visit the historic baseball stadium where Hank Aaron played ball and also learn about Kubb, an old Nordic lawn game growing in popularity. Eau Claire is the North American Kubb Capital, hosting the largest tournament outside of Europe each summer. Within the park we’ll have the opportunity to visit the Chippewa Valley Museum and Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum. Learn about the early settlers and logging industry in Wisconsin at these two museums.Head downtown to enjoy a docent-led Eau Claire Sculpture Tour, with over 50 beautiful, unique and eclectic pieces of art changing each year and featuring local artists and those from around the world.
Day 2 Spooner/Ashland
Begin the drive “up north” and head to Cabin Ridge for a beautiful ride through the woods in a horse-drawn carriage (a busload will fit). Here enjoy the outdoors and learn about this old Irish Settlement before a delicious luncheon outside or in the log cabin. Our next stop will be the Potter’s Shed in Shell Lake. Tour the Spooner Creek Designs pottery manufacturing area, wander the beautiful garden and perhaps have a cup of java at the cafe. Groups can arrange hands-on pottery and art experiences as well. As we continue our journey, stop at the Namekagon River Visitor Center in Trego. The Namekagon River is managed by the National Park Service and offers a river scene diorama and presentation by a park ranger. The Namekagon River was one of eight rivers originally designated as protected areas by the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968, which made the Namekagon part of St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. Continue northwards to Ashland, named as one of the top 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Wisconsin by Theculturetrip.com. On the shores of Lake Superior, the town is also known as the Historic Mural Capital of Wisconsin. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the eight-block Main Street business district is the backdrop for a fascinating walk through Ashland’s history. After a day on the water, enjoy a superb Lake Superior whitefish dinner and head over to Big Top Chautauqua for an evening of musical entertainment in the big blue canvas tent.
Day 3 Ashland/Bayfield
Start with a delicious breakfast, then learn about the area at the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center west of Ashland. Stroll on the boardwalk, grab a pair of binoculars and check out the beautiful sights from the center’s five-story observation tower. Drive a short distance to Bayfield to hop on the Madeline Island Ferry. Upon arriving, a step-on guide will jump onboard and we’ll head to Big Bay State Park and enjoy the beauty of Lake Superior, perhaps dipping our toes in the largest of the Great Lakes. Before leaving the island, stop at the Madeline Island Museum and experience more than 300 years of island history, from Ojibwe lifeways to the fur trade, from missionaries and loggers to fishing and more. Be sure to stop in the Museum Store, which carries books, handmade jewelry, Ojibwe crafts and other unique gifts. Then stroll up the block to the Madeline Island Heritage Center, featuring three, 100-year-old buildings offering a glimpse of island life from another time.
Day 4 Butternut
This morning before heading for home, stop at the Butternut Area Historical Museum on Main Street. Built in the 1880s, this building is jam-packed with artifacts and memorabilia, as well as a gallery of early family photographs. Don’t miss the garage annex behind the museum that houses an 1870 pumper and a 1920 Model T fire truck.