Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Cute Town of New Glarus, WI

I knew it was going to be cute, just looking at the town through Google Streetview.  But until I could get there and see it in person, I just wasn't sure how cute it would be.

The roads to get there, once off the interstate, were classic "Wisconsin."  Rolling hills, green farmland, pretty red barns, and plenty of silos.  My first time back to this state as an adult (I lived in Wisconsin for one year, back in 1953 when my dad was stationed as an exchange pilot at Truax Field AF base) was a business trip in early 1980's.  I was enchanted enough by what I saw to write a short article about it for our company newsletter.  That trip took me from Madison WI up through the heart of dairyland - through Lacrosse, Eau Claire, Wausau, and Oshkosh, making sales calls.  We even made a sales call to a Land O' Lakes cheese factory and got a tour and the chance to make purchases at the employee store.

Town of New Glarus.  Visitors are
welcomed by a lovely flower clock.

It was a relatively short but pleasant drive on very nice county roads to get to New Glarus and before I knew it I was past all the dairy cow farms and into the town. 

 A trip on foot from the motel to the little downtown area rewarded me with ample photo ops.  The town is populated not just by very nice people, but also by very nice cow statues, each decorated in unique colors and designs by their sponsors. 

It's a small little town area, just a few blocks long and a few blocks wide, but the residents work hard at retaining the Swiss feel of the town that was originated by its Swiss settlers.  

Even the streets are posted in both English and German.

A beautiful large church dominates the skyline, poking its spire high above the trees and all other buildings.

Pubs and beer halls sit cheek-by-jowl, pushing out nearly any other kind of retail business. 

Maple Leaf creamery

Just a very small sampling of stores catering to the tourist trade and a very fine ice-cream/chocolate/cheese shop in the center of town.

Sugar Creek trail system
visitor center, housed in
old train depot.

I found the visitor center for the area Trail System and poked my head in to chat a bit with the volunteer and to pick up some brochures about the area and about the trail system. 

For those of us who are into running or cycling the trails, this is an excellent place to set up home base.  There were enough amenities in town, including restaurants - even a Subway - and gas stations.  Even its very own micro-brewery! 

New Glarus Brewery

A laundromat was right next to the motel.  With my supply of groceries brought with me from Delafield, the mini-fridge and microwave in the room, I could have easily stayed here for a week or longer and never gotten bored.

New Glarus was definitely one of those little gems that can be overlooked by the interstate traveler.  If it hadn't been for our MTF get-together, I certainly would have been ignorant to its charms.

1 comment:

  1. What a cute little town. I too like to find the little towns off the interstates. We avoid the big highways when we can.

    I like the flower clock and thepainted cows. Very original.