By Rachel Hershberger
Built atop a lofty stone column, House on the Rock is an extensive collection of one man’s imagination come to life. With everything from the world’s largest carousel to the Infinity Room jutting out over a 150-foot drop to an enormous sea creature longer than the Statue of Liberty is tall, House on the Rock is sure to entertain children and adults alike.
The entire complex of collections, gardens and buildings can take half a day to tour, so we recommend making a weekend of it! Check out our recommendations for lodging, dining and things to do nearby.
Freddy Valentine’s is a classic former bank building on the outside but inside showcases a style inspired by Wisconsin architect Frank Lloyd Wright, with a kitchen visible from the center dining room and an ornate bar constructed from repurposed materials. Enjoy an English dish prepared with local ingredients at this pub.
Delivering one of Wisconsin’s finest traditions – the supper club – Arthur’s offers tasty meals and superb service. If you happen to stop in on the first Saturday of any month, be sure to order the prime rib buffet. You won’t be disappointed.
If a pizza is what you’re in search of, The Shed is the place for you. While you wait, enjoy a round of pool or try your luck on the gaming machines while drinking a beer from one of five local breweries.
To spend the evening at this 1865 brick Victorian Italianate bed & breakfast is to step back in time. Complete with iron beds, restored formal parlors, an ornate wraparound veranda and a stunning main staircase, we highly recommend The Walking Iron for your weekend getaway.
Located just eight miles from the House on the Rock attraction, the resort features two-room suites and features everything from dining and spa services to 27 holes of championship golf.
Book a stay at the inn and take your pick of relaxing at the indoor or outdoor pool after spending the day exploring The House on the Rock. The kids will love the 45-foot submarine in their own play pool!
Just a mile from Spring Green and roughly 10 minutes from the House on the Rock, the Spring Green Motel gives you a quiet space of gardens and gazebos to relax. Get up early for the continental breakfast, and plan to unwind around the fire pit after sunset.
Things to Do
Tackle the challenging bluff trails or stroll the easier routes to visit the park’s restored shot tower and melting house that from 1832 to 1860 were used to manufacture lead shot. The stunning panoramic views of the Wisconsin River Valley are only the cherry on top of this state park.
Fresh curds made daily, need we say more? Stop by Cedar Grove Cheese for some of Wisconsin’s finest specialty and organic cheeses since 1878.
Take a tour of the 800-acre National Historic Landmark known as the Taliesin Estate. Home to six Frank Lloyd Wright-designed structures, including his personal home, this property offers an inspiring look into the life of the Wisconsin son hailed as America’s greatest architect.
As one of the country’s most popular outdoor classical theaters, this Shakespearean troupe offers five rotating plays during the summer months. Arrive early and grill on-site at the theater’s picnic area before you head up the hill for a top-notch production under the stars.
No matter the weather outside, the cave at Cave of the Mounds remains a cool 50 degrees year-round, making it the perfect spot to tour in any season. Kids go crazy and so will you over the funky stalagmites, stalactites, and the 6-foot fossil of a giant cephalopod – relative of the squid!
Make a pit stop at this 5,300-acre park and leisurely walk down the half-mile trail to Stephens Falls. If you want to spend some time outside, take the day to explore the nearly 40 miles of hiking trails or have a swim at one of the park’s two lakes.
Want to explore more architectural marvels? Check out Wisconsin's top man-made wonders!