A Dose of Joy

By Shelby Rowe Moyer

There are countless reasons to love Wisconsin. We curated a list of a few of our favorite things — all of which are located or made in the Badger State. 

Eat + Drink

A State Celebrated Pastry — Racine Danish Kringle

If you’re a Wisconsinite, we’re guessing you already know about Kringle, which was named the official state pastry in 2013. These thin, melt-in-your-mouth pastries are made of flaky, buttery dough with a tasty filling inside. Our favorite is the almond Kringle topped with vanilla icing and sliced almonds, but there are dozens of varieties, like key lime, salted caramel cheesecake and strawberry rhubarb.

Have a Cold One — 3 Sheeps Brewing

We’re big-time fans of this Sheboygan-based brewery, because they’re always pushing the envelope with satisfying flavor profiles. Whether you’re an adventurous beer lover or not, we’re betting you’ll appreciate Tiki Time, “a citrusy golden ale that’s a little sweet and extremely refreshing.” Say no more! Check the website for 3 Sheeps inventory in Lake Geneva.

Sweet, Salty and Savory — Oodlesmack Popcorn

Located in the Wisconsin Dells is a treasure we dream about. Your movie night is about to get a whole lot better with a bowl of Oodlesmack’s legendary popcorn, which comes in a hypnotic array of flavors — from loaded potato to bubble gum to dark chocolate sea salt. Depending on your craving level, you can order bags that range from a one-cup serving to a whopping 105 cups.

Goods

Functional Art — Ephraim Pottery

We love when everyday items become a statement piece. In Lake Mills, handcrafted tableware, layered vases and ceramic tiles are masterfully designed. So, whether you need a new set of coffee mugs or cocktail glasses, wall art or an heirloom flower vase, you’ll be sure to find an ultra-unique conversation starter.

Dainty Adornments — Cire’ Alexandria Jewelry

The jewelry from Cire’ (pronounced sir-ree) Alexandria’s Stoughton-based workshop is timeless, understated and crafted to last a lifetime. Her designs are handmade with brass, bronze, sterling, gold fill and natural stones and manifest in the form of earrings, bracelets, rings, necklaces and hair pins. We’re partial to her coiled snake cuff, but really, it’s all stunning.

Celebrate the Outdoors — Forward Apparel Co.

State pride is strong, really strong. And we love our state for so many reasons, but a big one is its natural beauty. Forward Apparel Co. designs everyday ware celebrating the outdoors. Snag a super soft tee, embroidered snapback hat, campfire mug and so much more. Everything is designed and printed in the Badger State.

Play

Take a Hike — “60 Hikes in 60 Miles” by Kevin Revolinski

Maybe you already know the name Kevin Revolinski, because he’s the one who penned your trusty guide to Wisconsin tent camping or craft beer. But he’s also the author of “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles,” which recently released a third edition with five new hikes. We asked Revolinksi for some of his favorite hikes and he cited the 18-mile Ice Age Trail segment from Merrimaac to Devil’s Lake. It’s a tough one, he said, but worth the views.

Enjoy the Quiet — Four Seasons Nature Preserve

To escape everyday life, we love to head over to Lake Geneva’s Four Seasons Nature Preserve. Complete with a pond and dog park, it’s the perfect place to breath in some fresh air and bask in the summer sun, without committing to an all-day excursion.

An Art Epicenter — Milwaukee Art Museum

This is must-see for everyone in the state. Plan to spend several hours wandering through the labyrinth that is the Milwaukee Art Museum. Even if you’re not a big fan of the arts, we guarantee you’ll enjoy this. It’s truly spectacular. Don’t want to make the trek, or don’t feel comfortable going out in public? No problem! You can virtually explore the museum online.