Every Friday in 2013, the Let’s Fly Away Across the USA series will feature a different state, documenting the things we love about each sate and what you should do or see when you visit.
For Wisconsin, Sierra says
I’m Sierra, and I blog at SierraBB. I grew up in WI from birth to 18 years old. My mother’s family is all still in Wisconsin.
I love the camaraderie, the honesty and the laid-back appeal. I never feel like I have to impress people when I’m home (which isn’t always the same here on the East Coast) and that I can just relax and have a bloody mary. When I land in Milwaukee, I feel like the entire state gives me a big “welcome home” hug. I also love how WI has a big city (Milwaukee), a great college town (Madison), and plenty of farmland. WI also has the best fall.
1. Pike Lake State Park (Hartford, WI). This State Park is on Pike Lake and has an abundance of nature trails. Take the trails to the “Tower” (favorite place to go to at night in high school) and you can see the forest and the lake.
2. Culvers. This Midwestern staple has the BEST custard and cheese fries, ever! Make sure to get a chocolate malt a butter burger (or veggie burger!), too, for the full experience.
3. Miller Park. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, there are few things more “Wisconsin” than a night out at the ball park. Have a Miller, grab a hot dog and enjoy the cheap seats at Miller Park.
For bonus points
Visit Alterra on the Lake. Lake Michigan is HUGE and larger than most people would think. Go to the Alterra on the lake and grab a coffee and walk along the lakefront. Also stop at the Milwaukee Art Museum — it’s gorgeous! They even shot a Victorias Secret commercial there a few years ago.
Wisconsin is known for their beer and their food, enjoy it when you’re there, and think of the calories later.
- Bloody Mary from Kelly’s Bleachers (near Miller Park)
- An Old Fashioned Fish Fry (get the potato pancakes at Johnny Manhattan’s!)
- Spotted Cow — the BEST beer and only available in Wisconsin. Also grab a bottle of Lakeview Brewery’s (everything in the beer is from WI) Coffee Stout
- A cream puff, preferably from the State Fair
- Cheese curds from Culver’s
- Custard from Kopp’s or Pop’s
- Corn on the cob, but only if it has a pot of butter to dip it in (I’ve been told this is a Wisconsin thing?!)
For Minnesota, Rita says
I’m Rita, and I blog at The American Edit. I currently live in Minneapolis and moved here 7 years ago after college.
Minnesota-nice is a real thing. The people here are genuinely nice — we say hello to strangers on the street and we care how your day was. It felt weird to me when I moved here and now I’m sure people think I’m the crazy girl saying hi to everyone when I travel!
Minneapolis has all of the perks of a big city (amazing restaurants, shopping, more theatre per capita than anywhere except NYC, incredible creatives, brilliant museums, etc.) but is so livable and manageable.
Being in the middle of the country, you can get to CA or NYC very easily. I love to travel, so I appreciate this.
Minnesotans take advantage of the weather. This is one of the most active/bikable/healthier states, and I think that’s due to the fact that people here just make the most of everything. Our winters can be incredibly cold, but they are sunny, and you’ll still see people outside running or walking or cross country skiing. In the summer, EVERYONE is outside doing anything and everything… it makes for a lively environment, which I love!
1. Walker Art Museum + Sculpture Garden. I used to live right across from this garden, so it was basically my front yard. Such a fun place to wander and people watch.
2. Anywhere in northern Minnesota. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes (I think there are actually more), and they are beautiful. A weekend at a cabin “up north” or boating on the Mississippi River (it starts here!) is the perfect way to unwind and catch up with friends and family. And maybe go to small town bars and play fun bar games, too…
3. Mill City Farmer’s Market. A sunny fall day in the city, along the river, eating amazing food, buying local produce for the week ahead, and walking around the gorgeous old buildings… it’s one of my favorite things to do.
For bonus points
I love minnesota…. but if you have a choice, don’t plan a trip here between October and April! And find someone who has a cabin and/or a boat to visit in the summer!