We recently wrote an extensive list of things to do in Wisconsin, broken down by region. One of those things in Southeast Wisconsin included visiting Old World Wisconsin. Old World Wisconsin is a fascinating place to visit and certainly one of the more interesting things to do in Wisconsin this summer!
Old World Wisconsin is located in the village of Eagle and is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Milwaukee. Visiting this charming open-air museum is like taking a step back to when the pioneers first found their way into Wisconsin in the 19th century. If you're ready to bring history to life with us, it's time to book your trip to one of our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts.
The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association is a unique collection of Inns around the state, each of which strives to provide a warm welcome and an unforgettable stay - it's an experience that goes far beyond what you'll experience at traditional, bland hotel chains. See the unique with us, and book a room at one of our Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts.
Step Back in Time at Old World Wisconsin
Old World Wisconsin encompasses more than 600 acres and 60 historic buildings that have been restored. As you explore these buildings and meet the people of Old World Wisconsin, you'll experience what life must have been like for pioneers living in Wisconsin between 1840 and 1910. There's not just one story being told at Old World Wisconsin, and that's one of the best things about visiting this treasure in rural Wisconsin.
As you wander the grounds and explore the various buildings, you'll meet costumed actors and animals to help guide and enhance your experience. You can even try your hand at multiple tasks the pioneers engaged in! Here are a few things to look forward to during your next visit to Old World Wisconsin.
- Crossroads Village is built as a pioneer city "main street," where you'll find the general store, a blacksmith, a church, and restored homes formerly occupied by Irish and Yankee immigrants.
- If you want to learn more about life on the farm, you can also do that at Old World Wisconsin. You'll also learn more about an early African American community in Wisconsin and explore homesteads from Pomeranian, Polish, and Hessian immigrants.
- Another part of Old World Wisconsin is the Scandinavian Homesteads, in which you'll learn all about surviving in pioneering America from the vantage point of Finnish, Norwegian, and Danish immigrants.
- Old World Wisconsin also showcases how sports and technology helped to shape these early communities. A highlight of this experience is the chance to ride on a traditional high-wheel bike.
- There are also various heritage animals in Old World Wisconsin, including traditional breeds of cows, horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, and more.
While visiting Old World Wisconsin, don't forget to grab a taste of modern Wisconsin while you're at it. Beermaking is a huge part of Wisconsin's culture, and you can learn more about it at Old World Wisconsin's Brewhouse. There are new immersive exhibits here, where you can see, smell, and taste some of Wisconsin's best beer.
Best Place to Stay Near Old World Wisconsin: Eagle Centre House Bed and Breakfast
Hike in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit
When you're done visiting Old World Wisconsin and looking for more things to do in the area, head to the stunning Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit. It's about 15 minutes from the village of Eagle, Wisconsin, and features a vast network of hills carved by former glaciers, kettles, lakes, prairies, and hardwood forests that are simply stunning.
This section of the Kettle Moraine State Forest covers 22,000 stunning acres of Wisconsin, with more than 100 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. There are also beautiful lakes in this part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, which are perfect for paddling, boating, and fishing. Here are a few highlights for the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit to look forward to this summer:
- There are plenty of hiking trails throughout the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit. Popular trails include the Bald Bluff Nature Trail, which reaches one of the highest points in Jefferson County, the Scuppernong Trail System, the Lone Tree Bluff Nature Trail, and so much more. Segments of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail also run through the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit.
- Bike trails are another prominent feature of the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit. There are more than 30 miles of designated mountain biking trails, which are suitable for riders of all abilities. Of the bike trails here, the most popular are the Emma Carlin and John Muir Trail Systems.
- There are boat launches in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit, too, which means it's an excellent place for kayaking, canoeing, and boating. Launches are found at Ottawa, Rice, and Whitewater Lakes. Gas-powered motors are not allowed on Ottawa Lake. Fishing is very popular on these lakes as well.
- If you want to get in the water and cool off on a hot day, the best place is Ottawa Lake or Whitewater Lake. Both have swim areas but no lifeguards.
- In addition to hiking and biking trails, there are 87 miles of horseback riding trails in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit.
A state trail pass is required to access the trails at the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit.
If you're ready to enjoy the best things to do in Wisconsin this summer, including Old World Wisconsin and the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit, it's time to book your room at one of our exceptional Wisconsin Bed and Breakfasts.