4 Ultimate Food Trails
Southwest Wisconsin: Pastures of plenty
Swiss immigrants brought their doe-eyed cows to southern Wisconsin in the 1800s, and the golden promise of cheddar, Havarti and Jack has lured travelers ever since. But if you come here just to get your dairy on, you're missing out.
The verdant valleys between the Mississippi River and Madison cradle one of the Midwest's most diverse pockets of food culture: high-brow, hole-in-the-wall, farm-fresh, ethnic and even downright kooky. You can buy bulging melons from a produce stand in Spring Green, then drive 40 minutes to Middleton and find yourself amid the National Mustard Day fest, where families feast on free hot dogs and frozen mustard custard.
We couldn't resist making this a long-weekend (300-mile) drive, but if you'd prefer a more compact, two-day trip, visit just the Swiss villages of New Glarus and Monroe or explore the Amish farms and roadside stands around Viroqua.