They came to the North Country; Norwegians, Swedes, the Finnish, Germans, and Swiss because it looked like where they came from, and the weather they were accustomed to. They found Native Americans who had lived there for centuries, yet settle they did, establishing farms, towns, breweries, manufacturing, mining, logging, fishing, and more. Wisconsin is named the Badger State, not because there are lots of badgers, but because the first Europeans to settle were itinerant lead miners who burrowed into the hills for shelter rather than wasting time creating proper houses. The whole lot of varied immigrants were joined in the cities by Poles, African Americans, Irish, and more, to work in the factories, intermingling all their cultures, foodways, architecture, and lifestyles into one that is now uniquely Wisconsin. Today, Wisconsin’s more than 1.2 billion dairy cows produced over three billion gallons of milk. There are more than 4,000 of the Native American effigy mounds out of the 15,000-20,000 that were originally built, still existing. The first American kindergarten was started in Wisconsin, along with the first Socialist member of the US House of Representatives. Traveling around, some of the weirdest places in the state include the Statue of Romeo, the Killer Elephant in Delavan, the upside-down White House located in Wisconsin Dells, the Home of the Troll in Mount Horeb, and Chatty Belle, the world’s largest talking cow in Neilsville. Enjoy all these unusual offerings along with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Spring Green, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the University of Wisconsin Madison, and all of the absolutely wonderful authentic food you’ll find every place you visit.

Wisconsin Scenic Byways