Vacations in the Eastern U.S.A.
of Madison Tour
A bicycling vacation of Madison, Lake Geneva & Frank Lloyd Wright's Home
|Day 1 l Day 2 l Day 3 l Day 4 l Day 5 l Lodging l Getting There l Cycling l Extend Your Stay|
Come see for yourself why this region is annually rated as one of the top ten bicycling destinations in the country! We start and end in Madison, a city which effortlessly blends big city culture with small town charm. Scenic lake views, miles of rolling terrain, a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s home Taliesin, and of course, the famous local Wisconsin brews and cheese cap off this Midwestern adventure to what is quickly becoming a foodie paradise!
in Madison, the heart of south central Wisconsin.
After bike fitting and a quick lunch, we’ll pedal miles of paved
bike trails along lakes Mendota and Monona that border the heart of the
city. Stand up paddle
boarders, sailors and kayakers dot the lakes as we pedal by.
Popping out into the countryside, pastoral views of rolling farm
fields dotted with Holsteins and iconic red barns provide views worth
stopping for. The
afternoon’s spin ride is just the thing to warm us up for a great week
of cycling in America’s Dairyland!
explore one of Wisconsin’s small town great escapes!
A pleasant morning ride transports us to New Glarus, established in
1845 by emigrants from Glarus, Switzerland.
rolling hills, farms, wooded pastures and grazing cattle are much like the
alpine meadows around Glarus, Switzerland.
Pedal through the quiet streets lined with chalets and Swiss
museums and listen for the sound of yodeling and alphorns!
A short distance south of town is our first authentic Wisconsin
brew pub. A catered lunch
awaits us on the beautiful terrace overlooking the town and surrounding
countryside. Tour and taste
and savor the sunshine before heading back on to Madison via roads with
ridge views of the distant city skyline.
Should you opt to shuttle back, the afternoon is yours to explore
vibrant State Street, the pedestrian avenue which embodies the soul of the
city. Hundreds of shops,
galleries and restaurants line this street that connects the University of
Wisconsin campus to the Capital region of downtown.
for a beverage of choice on the Edgewater’s new lakeside terrace before
dinner on your own tonight. Numerous
farm-to-table options are within walking distance of the inn.
Distance: 40 - 65+ miles
and inspiration from Wisconsin’s famous native son, Frank Lloyd Wright,
can be seen throughout the cities and countryside of south central
Wisconsin. We begin our day
after breakfast with a short shuttle to Frank Lloyd Wright’s personal
home and studio, Taliesin. A
private guided tour awaits us of the Taliesin estate, truly one of the
architecture world’s great treasures.
Even those not generally interested in architecture will be
fascinated by the quirky and imaginative rooms that Wright built and lived
in for 50 years.
our way after our tour through the prairie edge of the Wisconsin River
Valley to the natural beauty of the Wisconsin Heights.
Craggy hills rise above the fertile valleys through which we bike.
We land early afternoon in the whimsical town of Mount Horeb.
Norwegian heritage, artists, hipsters and farmers all can be found
in this pleasant but decidedly urban feeling village.
We will pedal along the main drag known as “Trollway,” complete
with a collection of carved Scandinavian wooden trolls - some gardening,
some biking, some eating - but all welcoming us to the heart of the town.
Explore the streets dotted with specialty shops before dining on
the delicious gourmet pizzas and great pub fare of The Grumpy Troll Brew
Pub. Should you wish, pop into
the Fisher King Winery for a sip of Wisconsin’s local wines.
the remainder of the afternoon in vibrant Madison before we gather as a
group to savor yet another of Madison’s infinite number of fresh local
Distance: 43 miles, with options to
reluctantly leave Madison behind today as we make our way east to land
dotted with rolling ridgelines, open prairie, and small lakeside
communities. Glacial forces
carved this gorgeous landscape, forming the gentle hills, sparkling lakes,
and clear river streams that continue to captivate visitors. We
will stop for a catered lunch at Aztalan, one of Wisconsin’s most
important archaeological sites. Explore
the grounds that were home to the ancient middle-mississippian culture
that thrived here in 1000 A.D. before heading out on the bike to continue
to our journey to Delafield.
along the shore of Lake Nagawicka in the Kettle Moraine hills, Delafield
has a quiet charm all its own. Its
historic downtown is a pleasant blend of housing, specialty shops,
award-winning restaurants, and day spas. Historic
sites include Hawks Inn, a colorful frontier stagecoach stop, and the
campus of St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy, the oldest military
academy in Wisconsin. Our home
for the night is the Delafield Hotel steps away from the charming business
district. Unwind with a
massage or treatment at the on-site spa before dining on your own this
evening at one of the many downtown options.
Distance: Up to 59 miles
Delafield and Lake Geneva lies the southern end of the Kettle Moraine, the
landscape shaped by the glaciers that covered the region thousands of
years ago. Forests and bogs
rise from the prairie and welcome us along our route to charming Lake
Geneva. Lunch is on your own
today in one of the numerous options in this vibrant lakeshore resort
Lake Geneva has been a summertime playground for Chicago’s wealthiest
families, which can be seen in the grand palatial homes that surround the
beautiful lake. The lake
itself is spring-fed, which accounts for the crisp, clean, clear water.
Opt to explore some of the boutique shops, pedal along the scenic lakeshore to catch a glimpse of the beautiful homes, try your hand at stand up paddle boarding, or simply relax in your lakefront room savoring the peaceful water view from at The Geneva Inn, our home just outside the bustling town.
us for happy hour on the lake before dining as a group on the lovely
cuisine of the Geneva Inn.
Distance: 38 miles inn to inn, with options to
final day begins with one last breakfast on the shores of Lake Geneva
before a short shuttle to the northwest.
Our final ride spins toward Madison on empty backroads seemingly
created for road cycling enthusiasts!
Rolling wooded terrain interspersed with ridgetop views of the
surrounding open pastureland dotted with cows provides perfect views of
quintessential Wisconsin. One
last trip on the vast network of Madison’s paved bike paths takes us
the final stretch home. Lunch
and showers await before departure.
Distance: 38 - 45 miles.
Olbrich Botanial Gardens & Bolz Conservatory: Olbrich Botanical Gardens, winner of the national Garden of Excellence Award, features 16 acres of outdoor specialty gardens, including a sunken garden with an eighty-foot reflecting pool and a perennial garden with a meandering stream. A two-acre rose garden with a two-story, stone rose tower highlights Midwest-hardy shrub roses. The exotic Thai Pavilion and Garden is the only one in the continental U.S. The year-round tropical Bolz Conservatory, a sunny 50-foot-high glass pyramid, houses ferns, palms, and flowering plants along with a waterfall, birds, and fish. http://www.olbrich.org/
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art: Changing exhibits and collections of contemporary and modern art. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. The museum's permanent collection includes nearly 5,000 works of art, with a solid core of American prints, photographs and drawings. The collection also encompasses paintings, sculptures, and other works by some of the most innovative artists of our time. http://www.mmoca.org/
Wisconsin State Capitol: Rising between the picturesque waters of Lake Monona and Lake Mendota, the magnificent granite structure of Wisconsin's Capitol glows like a beacon, accenting the Madison skyline. The best way to experience the beauty of the Capitol is to see it yourself. Free tours are offered daily, year-round except for select holidays. http://tours.wisconsin.gov/
Overture Center for the Arts: Overture Center for the Arts is a stunning architectural landmark in the heart of Madison’s thriving cultural arts district. In addition to housing ten resident organizations and presenting more than 200 performances, art exhibitions, and educational and community events each year, Overture offers a variety of venues for performances, corporate meetings, conventions, trade shows, weddings, banquets, and receptions. http://www.overturecenter.org/
State Street: Lined with restaurants, charming boutiques and specialty shops, the real heart of downtown Madison can be found on State Street. During the summer, State Street comes to life with musicians, dancers, and outdoor patio dining. Spanning seven blocks, State Street has something to interest everyone–from art galleries and coffee shops to bookstores and pubs. Take in the best Madison has to offer by relaxing on a warm summer evening with a beer on a warm summer evening on State Street.
Monona Terrace: Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright himself, the Monona Terrace is often an unseen treasure just steps away from the State Capitol building. Featuring rooftop dining, the popular Lake Vista Café overlooks both Lake Monona and downtown Madison’s cityscape. The café offers fresh seasonal specialty foods in addition to menu offerings like Tandoori Chicken Skewers and tossed salads, making this Café an ideal place to enjoy a meal. Additionally, Monona Terrace is home to the William T. Evjue Rooftop Garden. This rooftop garden features exquisite trees, plants and foliage with wonderful views of the city, securing Monona Terraces' spot as a top summer destination in Madison. http://www.mononaterrace.com/
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