Nestled a short drive west of I-43 between Milwaukee and Sheboygan, Cedarburg feels much more removed than it really is. Its quaint downtown recalls beloved downtowns of yesteryear, which makes it seem a more distant place – and of a more distant time – than just a half-hour drive from Milwaukee or 45-minute jaunt from Sheboygan. Its close proximity makes it a great candidate for an easy weekend getaway. Pack your bags and make your to-do list. Cedarburg awaits!
With a growing reputation as a go-to spot for art, music, wineries and antiquing, Cedarburg has a lot to brag about. Oh, and did we mention great festivals throughout the year, too?
Start out by booking a reservation at the Washington House Inn. Built in 1884, the charm of this Cream City brick beauty oozes from every corner. There’s essentially no wrong time to visit, according to its innkeeper.
“There is something to do in all seasons in Cedarburg,” said Innkeeper Wendy Porterfield. “We are known as a Christmas town, our fall season is crisp, beautiful and bountiful [and] summers are always busy, with many things to do and see in our area.”
Check in for a night – or two – and enjoy whirlpools, cozy beds and, of course, breakfast in the morning.
Start your day by with a homemade breakfast right downstairs. Aside from the tasty home-cooked fare, you’re almost always guaranteed delightful conversations with the owners and your fellow guests. Meals shared in common spaces often lead to the best candid moments of trips away from home.
After breakfast, grab a coffee from Cedarburg Coffee Roastery, then take a walk over to the nearby Ozaukee Interurban Trail. Stroll along and burn off a few of your morning’s calories. Do as many or as few of the 30 miles of paved trails as your heart desires.
Do a little antiquing. Visit Cedar Creek Antiques, Creekside Antiques and Antique Addicts as you walk along Washington Street. Find the hutch you’ve been desperately searching for, the quaint mirror that would be perfect for the hallway or the random kitchen gadget that you just can’t live without.
Have lunch at the Anvil Pub & Grille. The adorable little pub takes up residence in the Cedar Creek Settlement’s former blacksmith shop. Sit on the patio, take in the scenic beauty of the neighboring creek and enjoy some Anvil Bites (fried cheese!) and a tasty beverage.
Walk over to Cedar Creek Settlement. What was once a mill that produced blankets and socks now offers about 30 unique stores and restaurants to choose from. Settle in for an afternoon perusing dozens of shops – and a winery! – all in one place.
“The architecture of this former 1864 Wittenberg Woolen Mill is authentically restored, historic, beautiful, and useful,” Settlement Executive Director Mary Gielow said. “The many Settlement shops are diverse and offer everything from original art, re-purposed furniture and collectibles, contemporary clothing and jewelry, old-fashioned candy and of course, the award-winning wines of Cedar Creek Winery.”
Wine down – ahem, wind down – with a glass of white or red at Cedar Creek Winery. Take advantage of the generous tastings, and then buy a bottle of the elixir that most intrigues you.
Plan to finish out the day by dining at The Farmstead. Opt for a Big Sky Steak or maybe the Coconut Chicken. Or, if your appetite begs for something other than steak, perhaps opt for small plates perfect for sharing, at the Stilt House. To satisfy your after-dinner sweet tooth, make sure you’ve made a stop earlier in the day at Amy’s Candy Kitchen to stock up on some of her gourmet chocolate. It won’t disappoint!
When to go?
For those who love art, consider visiting the second weekend in October for the Covered Bridge Art Studio Tour or the Plein Air painting competition in June each year, where artists from across the Midwest gather and show off their talents. But, if you don’t happen to make it during those times, you can still get your art fix at the Cedarburg Art Museum, the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts and the Cedarburg Cultural Center.