Many of Wisconsin’s small towns boast charming Main Streets and picturesque historic buildings in their downtown areas that offer unique gifts and goods. Read on to discover four great places to make memories with friends and find some goodies along the way.
A beautiful, artsy town about 40 miles west of Madison best known for its Frank Lloyd Wright connections (Taliesin, for one) and American Players Theatre, Spring Green’s Main Street area is full of one-of-a-kind shopping, too.
Must-Stop: Set in a 1910 converted cheese warehouse, the Spring Green General Store is a brightly painted building that houses a wonderful café and retail space selling clothing, gifts, toys and gourmet food items. Although the name is old-timey, this inviting space is a smartly merchandised and thoroughly up-to-date stop that’s perfect for browsing with friends.
Great Gifts: Visit Prairie Flowers & Gifts and Convivio for beautiful spaces filled with unique goods. Prairie Flowers has jewelry, handbags, home accessories, baby gifts and a floral cooler for custom flower arrangements. Convivio specializes in home and tabletop luxuries, plus gourmet food items, a curated selection of wine, and a small child and baby section for those with little ones.
Special Interests: Bookworms will love Arcadia Books, which owner James Bohnen modeled after vibrant big-city bookstores. Find books in every genre including many by Wisconsin writers. Bonus: Their café is fabulous and makes dishes out of locally sourced ingredients!
For gorgeous stoneware pottery made by hand, Wilson Creek Pottery is a must. Located in a former cheese factory, the women-owned business specializes in functional yet beautiful pieces that can be used in everyday life.
Off the Beaten Path: Stop in Nina’s Department & Variety Store for a little bit of everything—pharmacy goods, kitchen items, a large selection of toys and old-timey candy. For some sparkly treasures, visit The Opal Man, a Spring Green staple with many gorgeous jewelry pieces to choose from.
This quaint “burg” north of Milwaukee has more than 200 preserved historical buildings that create a truly charming atmosphere. One must-stop is the Shops of Cedar Creek Settlement, a collection of specialty stores and restaurants located in a converted wool mill, as well as the picturesque main drag on Washington Street.
Must-Stops: The area is chock-full of tasty spots for gourmet food gifts. The Olive Sprig specializes in exquisite olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars plus other culinary delights (pastas, wine and sauces). Bohemia proudly represents some of the area’s most notable artists and craftspeople offering local art, handmade gifts, accessories and home decor. It’s located near the area’s marquee stop, Cedar Creek Winery, that offers tours, tastings and of course, great gift ideas in the form of Wisconsin-made wines.
Great Gifts: Up The Creek sells a combination of vintage items as well as new finds like tote bags, clever signs and home accessories.
Special Interests: Within Cedar Creek Settlement, you and your crew can find all kinds of specialty shops including an apothecary, an Amish guild, a creperie, and much more.
Off the Beaten Path: The area also has a nice variety of vintage, resale and consignment shops like Itty Bitty Piggies (new and gently used baby/children’s items) and Corner Closet (women’s).
The colonial style of downtown Delafield’s buildings makes for an eye-catching and pleasant stroll any time of year. Get your friends together for a daytrip to explore the wide variety of shops in this lively town.
Must-Stop: Element Style showcases the latest trends in clothing, shoes and accessories in a chic and welcoming space.
Great Gifts: Oliva Di Vita is perfect for the gourmand in your life who appreciates a fine olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar or specialty vinegar.
Special Interests: Clear Water Outdoor specializes in apparel and gear for outdoor adventurers—check out their “gearage” filled with top-of-the-line gear for kayaking, cross-country skiing and stand-up paddleboarding.
Off the Beaten Path: The Hidden Staircase carries beloved book series like Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Dick and Jane as well as The New York Times bestsellers, cards and gifts. The Rickety Robin is an antique shop a few blocks off the main drag. The owners specialize in restoring vintage furniture, and you can also find jewelry, dolls, collectibles and other treasures from the past.
Known most notably for The American Club and Whistling Straits, Kohler is a scenic village with many gems to explore, including The Shops at Woodlake.
Must-Stop: ARTspace is a complement to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and has a companion gift shop in nearby Sheboygan. Here, you and your crew can find handcrafted goods and art pieces made by North American artists that you can’t find anywhere else.
Great Gifts: Delight a little one in your life with a gift from Little Love. This stylish baby and children’s boutique offers clothing, toys, gifts and more. The Kohler Gardener is a gorgeously-merchandised space with, you guessed it—gardening goods—as well as unique ceramics and home décor.
Special Interests: Enjoy Scentualities, a luxe boutique with apparel, jewelry and indulgent bath and body products—plus high-end Frette linens.
Off the Beaten Path: The Wisconsin Trader celebrates the spirit of the Midwest. Find home décor, Wisconsin-made food products and Sconnie-themed clothing and bring home something special from your adventure.
To keep the fun going, check out these Native American business and attractions in Wisconsin.