Short Vacation: New Glarus, Wisconsin
Switzerland, the scenic European country nestled between France, Germany and Italy, often gets overshadowed by its neighbors. France’s food, Germany’s beer and Italy’s art often take center stage, but that’s not to say that Switzerland doesn’t have anything to offer.
We’re not suggesting you drive your RV across the Atlantic Ocean. But we are suggesting you check out New Glarus, Wisconsin, the stronghold of America’s Swiss heritage and culture – and it’s located not too far from Iowa. If you’re in the mood for scenic camping, great adventures and a craft-brewed beer or two, New Glarus is right for you.
WHERE TO STAY: NEW GLARUS WOODS
New Glarus Woods has 20 drive-in campsites in the Lead Road Circle campground for RV or pop-up trailer camping, and it’s perfect for the discerning camper looking for peace, quiet and an opportunity to relax around nature.
Located close to the Sugar River State Trail, you’ll find wooded campsites and quiet solitude here, and you’ll also find a number of nearby trails to hike, bike or run on. Woods are all around, so it’s a perfect spot to start a campfire, let the kids run around, and look up at the stars.
Built in 1937, this unique building is an exact replica of a Swiss chalet, right down to the flowers on the windowsills. Inside, you’ll find an extensive collection of of painted furniture, antique silver and pewter, original artwork, paintings and etchings, samplers, prints, Swiss scissors cuttings, quilts, fabrics, antique glass and china, coins, stamps, Swiss woodcarvings, Swiss dolls, and more!
Many RVers are the type to pop open a beer around the campfire after a long day of travel. If you know that feeling, you’ll love New Glarus Brewing.
This quaint little brewery nestled on the outskirts of New Glarus offers tours, a beer garden and (of course) samples of their award-winning, 100 percent natural brew, made on site. New Glarus offers a selection of six beers year-round, plus a variety of seasonal selections – no matter when you go, you’re guaranteed a new brew.
As a warning, vehicles longer than 14 feet are currently restricted from visiting the brewery on account of parking limitations. Plan accordingly!
Yes, you read correctly: footgolf. This distinctly New Glarus invention conceived as a mashup of soccer and golf is played just like golf but with a soccer ball. You kick the ball down the fairway of the course to a designated soccer ball-sized hole located away from the golf greens, counting each kick as a stroke.
Kids, adults and anyone in between can give it a shot (pun intended).
Photo courtesy matthewthecoolguy