In Wisconsin, you can get an eco-friendly massage, eat at a farm-to-fresh restaurant, hit up a bike trail, and spend the night at a green bed and breakfast, all in a day’s work. Earth Day is just around the corner, and as you ponder ways to give back to the planet, why not sweeten the deal for yourself with a green vacation in Wisconsin.
Celebrate this Earth Day, and every day, by supporting a green certified business, attending an eco-friendly event, or enjoying the great outdoors. To get you started, here are some excellent ways to travel green in Wisconsin.
Use Travel Green Wisconsin Certified business directory as your guide
Planning a green vacation in Wisconsin has never been easier. With the Travel Green Wisconsin directory, you have access to all Wisconsin green certified businesses right at your fingertips. From restaurants to museums, to coffee shops and bed and breakfasts, to state parks and even golf courses, these businesses all had to pass the Travel Green Wisconsin certification process to earn their prestigious title.
Breathe easier at the Harley Davidson Museum
The Harley Davidson-Museum in Milwaukee has recently earned green certification. It is the first museum to be awarded the GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certification. As you breathe in the exceptionally clean air, check out the museum’s impressive design lab, engine room and motorcycle gallery.
Bike the Badger State Trail
The Badger State Trail, which happens to be Travel Green Wisconsin certified, extends from Madison to the Illinois state line, the trail stretches a total of 40 miles. Bikers travel through varied terrain from rolling hills and meadows to woods and ravines. However, the highlight of the trail is the restored 1,200-foot long Stewart Railroad Tunnel, also known as the darkest tunnel in Wisconsin. Built in 1887, the tunnel has a slight curve, so when visitors look in, they see nothing except total darkness. Those brave enough to enter should bring a flashlight.
Make a Green Trip to a Wisconsin State Park
You’d expect Wisconsin’s state parks to be upholders of environmental responsibility. Wisconsin’s green certification program has inspired many parks to kick it up a notch and become a Travel Green Wisconsin Certified destination. Recent parks that have made the cut: Tower Hill State Park in Spring Green, Governor Nelson State Park in Waunakee; Kinnickinnic State Park in River Falls; Military Ridge State Trail in Blue Mounds; Point Beach State Forest in Two Rivers; Roch-A-Cri State Park, in Two Rivers; and Governor Dodge State Park in Dodgeville.
But the more important question – how are these parks making a difference? Turns out it’s the little things. Governor Nelson uses a solar powered hot water heating system, Tower Hill and Kinnickinnic put rehabilitation projects in place to restore their prairie and shoreline, Military Ridge prints materials with soy ink and Point Beach offers bicycle rentals to visitors.
Order food that’s farm-to-fork fresh
The field/farm to fork movement in Wisconsin is large and mighty tasty. The idea behind the farm to fork movement is to support local producers and farmers and promote green living. By using Wisconsin grown produce and naturally raised cattle, chefs prepare menu items that are ever changing with the bounty of the season.
Visit Field to Fork Café and Grocery in Sheboygan, an establishment that strives to work with local ingredients whenever possible, cultivating local relationships with artisan producers and in turn, becoming a steward of the earth. Field to Fork offers a large and delicious breakfast and lunch menu. Visitors can also purchase fair trade products, sample the in-house roasted coffee or select a drink from the raw juice bar (an easy way to get your daily two to four fruit servings). And get this, Field to Fork has a cheese cave built into the floor filled with Wisconsin artisan cheese and meat from locally raised naturally pastured animals.
Bed and sustainable breakfast
The historic Pinehurst Inn in Bayfield earned the highest score of any Travel Green Wisconsin certified business (all 300 of them). The eight-room inn, which includes an on-site spa, sits in a serene location in a historic main house built in 1886. While you’re there, take a kayaking adventure in the Apostle Islands. Rent from recently Travel Green Wisconsin certified Living Adventure Inc. in Bayfield. Then stop in for a bite to eat at Big Water Café & Coffee Roasters for an eco-delicious lunch.
The birds are calling
Birding is another “green” sport that requires nothing except binoculars and a love for the outdoors. The Horicon Marsh in Horicon is the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States and now is the best time to visit the marsh, as April through the end of May is the peak of most spring migrating birds.
Another cool bird spot is the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in Baraboo, a restored prairie and wetlands covering 100 acres. The ICF is the only place in the world where you can see all 15 species of cranes, including the rarest of all, the whooping crane.