By Mayna Kaczkowski
“Sure, honey, go hunting…you deserve a break. Oh, and honey? Some of the girls asked me to go on a long weekend with them. You don’t mind, do you?” From sipping to zipping, we’ve got your girls’ weekend adventures covered:
Move over, cherry and apple; the grape has moved onto the peninsula! One perfect way to spend a weekend is swirling, sniffing and sipping on the Door County Wine Trail. Each of the six wineries has a tasting room. At Simon Creek, sample an American Chardonnay while gazing at the rolling landscape through the windows. Door County Distillery is the latest addition to Door Peninsula Winery, producing spirits such as cherry vodka and peppery gin. Harbor Ridge is the newest kid on the peninsula—pick up some Pleasant Ridge Reserve farmstead cheese next door at brand new Wisconsin Cheese Masters, to pair with light (but not sweet) Knockin’ Heads Red. Tastings are free. Then spend the night at gorgeous White Lace Inn in Sturgeon Bay or Blacksmith Inn in Bailey’s Harbor—both have spa tubs, fireplaces and lovely breakfasts.
Cedarburg: Shopper’s Delight
Holiday shopping list? Check. Credit cards? Check. You’re all set for a weekend of boutiquin’ in Cedarburg! Washington Avenue and the surrounding streets are filled with shops; pick up a slinky or some Golden Books at Cedarburg Toy Company and a bejeweled purse or blingy bracelet at Bangles & Bags. Foodies love Cedar Creek Trading Post—think peanut butter fudge and gourmet popcorn—and Amy’s Candy Kitchen, with its huge, hand-dipped caramel apple concoctions. When you’re all shopped out, visit Galioto’s for a cocktail and some tapas—perhaps Acapulco Shrimp and Avocado or a Fresh Baked Brie Platter. Finally, tuck yourself into the crisp linens at historic Washington House Inn, waking up to breakfast delicacies such as Fresh Berry Trifle.
Lake Geneva: Zip It Good…
Maybe you’d just like to hang out with your girlfriends…high above the forest floor, zipping from one platform to another in an exhilarating treetop ballet. Lake Geneva Canopy Tours certainly gives you something to talk about over cocktails—fabulous views, five skybridges, three spiral stairways, one floating helix and multiple ziplines. Afterward, stop in at legendary Popeye’s for a beer and their famous Skordalia (Greek Garlic Lover’s Dip)—after all, it’s just the girls—then check into the Grand Geneva for a night or two of spoil-yourself luxury. There you can ice skate, sled or take a sleigh ride. Later, try downtown’s Baker House for dinner—there’s live ‘40s and ‘50s cocktail music on Fridays. Wear fishnet stockings or vintage clothing to receive half-price martinis!
Wisconsin Dells: Everyone’s a Winner
Start at the casino, end on the massage table; even if you don’t walk away with extra cash, you’ll still feel like a million bucks. Test your luck in games of chance at Ho-Chunk Casino, then dine downtown at trendy, creative High Rock Cafe, with entrees such as Corgan (butternut squash ravioli with bleu cheese, spiced walnuts and paprika oil), and Chicken Picatta, with its decadent lemon caper buerre blanc. Spill into your comfortable king-sized featherbed at Sundara Spa —they have 26 spectacular private suites, with designer bathrooms, gorgeous fireplaces and sunken living rooms. Begin the next day with a Purifying Bath Ritual to clear out the cobwebs. Then select your favorite treatment(s): a Skin-Polishing Muscle-Soothing Massage or Radiant Glow Organic Facial, for example. Ahhhhh.
Bruce: It’s Snow Good
Who needs Aspen? Check into a Northern Boundaries Cabin at Christie Mountain, and spend your days on the gentle slopes, skiing, tubing or snow-boarding. If you’re up to a challenge, check out the four terrain parks, ranging from low-to-the ground rails up to hold-your-breath jumps. Experienced downhill skiers will love the wooded Timber Pup and Timber Wolf runs. The ski lodge is a beautiful log chalet with food and a full-service bar, plus a ski rental shop. Later, head back to the cabin for a relaxing evening by the fire—if you feel like making dinner. If not, head to Jo Krazy, for made from scratch pizzas featuring local fresh ingredients baked in a stone oven, fresh baked sub rolls or made from scratch soups.
Spooner/Shell Lake: Dinner on Wheels
Kick off a creative start to the weekend at The Potter’s Shed in Shell Lake. Design a beautiful mosaic sculpture or paint a piece of pottery, then head to Pair O' Lakes Lodge in Spooner for Wednesday or Friday night fish fry with a view. Check into charming Country House Motel for the night—don’t forget your swimsuit; there’s an indoor pool and hot tub—and spend the morning hours exploring downtown’s shops and museums. Later, hop on board the Great Northern Railroad for an unforgettable experience: begin with a glass of wine and a cheese platter, then move on to an elegant sit-down dinner. Afterward, join the club car dance scene, as the train rolls through 20 scenic miles between Spooner and Springbrook, or simply relax and wind down with the girls.