Spring Beauty

Day 1:  Check in at one of our many local Bed and Breakfasts, including the Apple Tree Lane B&B, occupying a historic Victorian farmhouse on Apple Tree Lane or the Crystal River Inn, located in the neighboring village of Rural in an 1853 farmstead. Both are situated on the banks of the beautiful Crystal River. After settling in, enjoy a drink and a pizza at the famous Wheelhouse Restaurant, a local favorite since 1978, located on County Road Q. Then head downtown to the newly opened Rhythm and Brews coffee shop, for dessert and a live local band. Day 2:  After a filling breakfast at your B&B of choice, head out to the Wolf River Sturgeon Trail on Cty Hwy X west of New London to witness Sturgeon up to six feet long during the late March-early May spawning season. Benches and picnic tables dot this trail for those looking for some leisure or a place to sit and enjoy a wrap picked up on your way out of town at Sister‘s Fine Deli, on Royalton Street. After your meal, head to Hartman Creek State Park, off Highway 10 for miles of beautiful walking trails in the crisp spring air as numerous wildflowers, such as the beautiful white stars of Hepatica and the multicolored Bloodroot, come into bloom. Finally, enjoy dinner at the locally beloved Weasels. With its wide selection of pizzas, sandwiches, or other entrees, it is sure to satisfy after a relaxing day in the woods. Day 3:  Be sure to get an early start to enjoy bird watching opportunities in the area, including those offered at the Apple Tree Lane B&B or Crystal River Inn and the Emmons Creek Fishery Area, adjacent to Hartman Creek State Park. Over 250 species of birds, including the rare Grasshopper Sparrow, the American Kestrel, and the Bald Eagle, call this area home or are passing through, and are ripe for the viewing. Check www.WisconsinBirds.org for more information. After scouting these avian beauties, head to Chef Chu’s Chinese Restaurant, on County road QQ, for delicious Chinese cuisine, egg rolls, and a relaxing, jovial atmosphere. So come and visit us this spring to see what this awakening area has to offer. See you there. Submitted by Charles Pegorsch

Summer Memories

Day 1:  A vibrant energy comes to the Waupaca Area in the summer.  And at this time of year, Waupaca is all about choices. To start, check in at one of our many comfortable hotels, quaint B&Bs, cozy campgrounds, or rent a cabin, from rustic and traditional, to luxurious and fully stocked, at one of 50 local properties. Check the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce website for booking information. After settling in, head downtown for a Waupaca City Band concert in the historic bandstand, a Waupaca tradition for over 100 years, every Friday, mid June through July. Afterwards, grab some dinner at a nearby restaurant. We have many outdoor seating options including T Dub’s Pub, a friendly Irish pub located on Cooper Street behind Main Street overlooking the Waupaca River, or Simpson’s Restaurant for fine dining located on South Main Street with an outdoor deck overlooking Main Street. Or head over for a handcrafted pizza at the local favorite The Wheelhouse Restaurant overlooking the Chain-O-Lakes.

Day 2:  Wake up to a pleasant café-style breakfast at Cronies Café or Little Fat Gretchen’s, both local favorites on Main Street, or for something different grab coffee and pastries from Kwik Trip and take the short drive to Brainards Bridge Park on Bailey Street and enjoy breakfast in this beautiful hidden park complete with shelter, playground, and islands with bridge connections before heading to one of the many water-based activities to be found on our famous lakes and rivers. These  include the famous Crystal River Canoe (or tubing) Trip, departing every 20 minutes from Ding’s Dock; renting a kayak from Adventure Outfitters on Main Street for a 7.5 mile paddling adventure down the Waupaca River; or take a swim and lie on the sandy beach at South Park at the end of South Main Street. After your aquatic adventures, head to the Freckled Frogg, a unique cottage garden cafe in King for a refreshing salad, sandwich, or quiche, made with locally produced ingredients, or head to the family friendly Chain O’ Lakes Bar and Grill, for a chicken bacon ranch wrap, delicious Mediterranean pizza and one of 5 Central Waters beers on tap. The kids can enjoy the playground while the grownups visit on the covered outdoor deck. After lunch, take a relaxing stroll through the eclectic mix of gift and antique shops dotted around town. From historic buildings downtown, to former cottages and farms, you’re sure to find something unique in these cozy local treasure troves. Be sure to pick up a Waupaca Area Visitors Guide for a complete listing so you won’t miss a single one.  Then wrap up your day with a trip to the Clear Water Harbor restaurant and Bar for char–grilled sandwiches or grilled fish, and a frosty mug, and watch the sun set on the beautiful Chain O’ Lakes while listening to the live stage band.  If you’re still hungry make a stop at Moo’s Dairy Bar in Clear Water Harbor, Scoopers Ice Cream Parlor next to The Wheelhouse Restaurant, Dairy Queen or Culver’s of Waupaca for an after dinner treat.

Day 3:  Start your day the relaxing way with an hour-and-a-half Sunday champagne cruise on the elegant Chief Waupaca, for a leisurely brunch and tour of eight picturesque lakes. Or take the adventurous route with horseback riding at the Wild West Campground and Corral, after a delicious family-style breakfast at King’s Table Restaurant in King or the Waupaca Woods Restaurant in the Waupaca Woods Mall. Whether you’ve never ridden before or are a seasoned rider, Wild West has a horse for you. Before heading home, though, be sure to check out Cheesie Bob’s Bleu Cheese House in King, or Weyauwega Star Dairy in Weyauwega to pick up some famous Wisconsin cheese. From block cheese, to string cheese, to squeaky cheese curds, you’ll see why Wisconsin cheese wins more awards than cheese from any other state. So come and see why the Waupaca Area shines this time of year, and why people near and far say “In all the world, no lakes like these.”

Submitted by Charles Pegorsch

Fall Color Tour

Day 1:  Check in at one of our comfortable, cozy brand name hotels such as the Best Western Plus Grand Seasons on Grand Seasons Drive off Highway 10, for all the amenities of home, or go the rustic route and set up camp amid the falling leaves at one of our many local campgrounds, including those located in the beautiful Hartman Creek State Park. Go to http://dnr.wi.gov/ for booking information. Afterward, head downtown to Simpson’s Restaurant, a local favorite for eating and socializing since 1932, for anything from a hearty burger to a hot, buttery lobster dinner.

Day 2:  If camping, start the morning off right with a campfire breakfast assembled from the myriad of ingredients available at Fulton Street’s Pick n’ Save or Piggly Wiggly grocery stores, or check out the diverse menu at the Three Squares Family Restaurant across from the Best Western, for everything from buttery pancakes to delicious corn beef hash. Then head out onto Waupaca’s famous Chain O’ Lakes for a fall foliage boat tour to view the fiery forests of Waupaca on The Chief Waupaca, a luxurious double-decker sternwheeler paddleboat. Grab a butterburger basket for lunch at Culver’s of Waupaca before heading out along Hwy 54 (about 2 miles west to the trail head and parking) for a hike along the scenic Ice Age National Scenic Trail to explore the leaves up close. Or, if you’ve had enough of the outdoors for one day, head indoors for a friendly game at the Waupaca Bowl bowling alley off Lakeside Parkway. Afterwards, head downtown to the Rhythm and Brews coffee house for a wrap and a latte, not to mention a friendly bohemian welcome. Or, if a bigger dinner suits your taste, try the Clearwater Harbor bar and grill for a meal under the setting sun on Taylor Lake.

Day 3:  Wake up to a delicious omelet and steaming cup of coffee at Cronies cafe downtown before heading out to find that special something at one of our dozens of  gift and antique stores, each one different from the next and found nowhere else but here. After discovering your treasures of choice, head for a delicious sandwich or slice of pie at the Waupaca Woods Restaurant in the Waupaca Woods Mall. As you head out of town, take a drive down one of Wisconsin’s Rustic Roads, which are officially designated, scenic, lightly traveled, country roads, especially beautiful this time of year. (Pick up a free Rustic Roads guide at the Waupaca Chamber of Commerce office.) As you tour through the colorful canopies of lake country, you’re sure to have memories that will last you till next fall and beyond.

Submitted by Charles Pergorsch

Winter Getaway

Day 1:
Check in at one of our scenic bed and breakfasts, including the Green Fountain Inn on Main Street, or the Crystal River Inn in nearby Rural.  Or, go for the comfort of familiar at one of our brand-name hotels, including the Best Western Grand Seasons, complete with indoor water park or Comfort Suites Foxfire located on the beautiful Foxfire Golf Club. Either way you are sure to be welcomed with a warm friendly smile. After check-in, head down to Simpson’s Restaurant on Main Street for dinner, including everything from cheeseburgers to lobster to Friday night’s beer battered haddock. After dinner catch a movie next door at the historic Rosa Theater.

Day 2:WINTERREDMILL
Wake up to the sweet gooey goodness of a delicious cinnamon roll from the King’s Table restaurant in King  before heading out to stroll through the numerous antique and other shops in the area, including downtown shops such as Picker’s Playground and Lucky Tree. Grab a hearty lunch at the Waupaca Woods Restaurant, located on Fulton Street in the Waupaca Woods Mall, before heading out for a relaxing afternoon walk along our beautiful sections of the Ice Age Trail, or take a drive down our scenic Rustic Roads. Maps for walking trails and driving routes are available at the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce office on Main Street. Top off the evening with a trip to the famous Central Waters Brewery, in nearby Amherst off Highway 10, for a specialty brew such as Glacier Trail IPA, and even a brewery tour. (Tap Room opens at 3:00, tours start at 5:00) Afterward, head down to T-Dub’s Pub, located in the basement of an 1868 carriage factory and wagon shop on Cooper Street, for a delicious bite and a hearty Irish welcome.

Day 3:
Wake up to an uplifting service at one of the dozens of churches in and around Waupaca, then stop for coffee and an omelet at Main Street’s own Little Fat Gretchen’s café. Stop in for some homemade fudge at Main Street Marketplace on the corner of Fulton and Main, before taking a luxurious Sunday drive to view the many historic houses in the area. Unadorned by autumn leaves, there is nothing to distract from the intricate architecture of these grand old homes, including the C.A. Spencer House on Lake Street, later converted into one of the first hospitals in the Waupaca area, as well as the A.M. Penney house. This house is said to the one which inspired The Bates Mansion in Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary film “Psycho”. It is located at 404 South Main Street, just down from the post office. Pick up a tour guide at the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce.  So come, and be a part of our warm, welcoming community for a few days this winter. We hope to see you here!

Submitted by Charles Pegorsch