At this point, spring seems like a distant hope buried under mounds of snow and months of cold.
But spring eventually will be here, and with the winter we've had, it calls for a break. While many are inclined to run as far south as possible, for those with less time or money, it is possible to enjoy a nice getaway right here in Wisconsin — even amid the snow and cold.
Check out these options for spring break getaways a little closer to home.
If you can't go south to get a tan, head north to the Wilderness Resort, 511 E Adams St. in Wisconsin Dells, for a little fun in the sun.
The resort's Wild WaterDome indoor waterpark features a glass roof that allows sunlight to pass through, giving spring breakers a chance to bask in the sun inside while there's still snow on the ground outside. Even palm trees grow inside the tropical oasis. Close your eyes and it's almost like you're in the Caribbean. Almost.
The Wild WaterDome also includes America's largest indoor wave pool, private cabanas available for rent and, coming in May, an adults-only indoor/outdoor swim-up bar.
Three more waterparks at the resort provide more opportunities for slipping and sliding, and because the waterparks are only open to resort guests, you'll never wait too long to take a plunge.
Choose from nine restaurants at the Wilderness, or head into town for more dining options. Keep the tropical spirit (and spirits) flowing at the Sandbar, 130 Washington Ave., a casual local joint with good food and a nice craft beer selection. The steak sandwich, on the menu for 60 years, is a perennial favorite. For pizza and local beer, you can't go wrong with Moosejaw, 110 Wisconsin Dells Parkway S.
History and luxury meet for the perfect romantic getaway at the American Club Resort, 419 Highland Drive in Kohler.
Built in 1918 as a lodging house for Kohler Co. employees, the building became a high-end hotel in 1981 and today is Wisconsin's only AAA Five Diamond resort — 29 years running. Each of the suites features one-of-a-kind touches and, of course, a custom bathroom with Kohler products.
Rooms in the more contemporary Carriage House are located above the award-winning Kohler Waters Spa and named after carriages once owned by the Kohler Co. Relax with complimentary morning coffee and afternoon tea in the intimate library or take in a view of the stars from the whirlpool or next to the fireplace on the glass-enclosed rooftop deck, open year round.
If you choose to leave your room, opportunities for diversions abound. Enjoy a couples massage or time together amid the soothing colors of a RiverBath at the spa, or get in some time on the cross-country ski trails at River Wildlife, a 500-acre private nature preserve. American Club lodgers can purchase a day pass to visit the preserve.
A dozen dining options stand ready to satisfy any cravings. The resort's centerpiece offering is The Immigrant Restaurant, featuring contemporary cuisine in rooms named for the area's primary immigrant groups. For more casual fare, head to The Horse and Plow, whose menu includes hearty pub food like Black Angus beef burgers, mac 'n' brats and a half-roasted Amish chicken. The Blackwolf Run Restaurant is located on the award-winning Blackwolf Run Golf Course
Visit March 19 and enjoy a Wine Dinner with Charles Woodson. Or indulge in a five-course meal at five Kohler restaurants during Five-Star Dine Around on March 26.
Celebrate the Beatles March 21-22 during The Beatles Celebration Weekend, featuring a live concert from the Liverpool Legends, a tribute band, on March 21, and a more intimate concert at the Beatles Brunch Unplugged on Sunday.
Wine, shopping and chocolate — three essentials for a girls' getaway — stand ready to entertain in charming Cedarburg.
The small town features two districts on the National Register of Historic Places, including downtown's main drag, Washington Avenue.
Start a getaway with a tour and tasting at Cedar Creek Winery, N70-W6340 Bridge Road, housed in a restored 1860s mill on the banks of Cedar Creek in downtown Cedarburg. A sister winery to Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Cedar Creek produces a variety of grape and fruit wines, including customer favorite Strawberry Blush, available seasonally in April.
Visit March 21-22 for the winery's open house, featuring wine and cheese tastings, live music, cooking demonstrations and a chance to meet winemaker Philippe Coquard.
Next door is the Cedar Creek Settlement, with a range of specialty shops offering everything from antiques, pottery and fine art to jewelry, clothing and unique gifts.
The city also boasts a vibrant arts scene, fueled by the Cedarburg Artists Guild, which now has more than 250 members. The new Cedarburg Art Museum, W63-N675 Washington Ave., opened last June in an 1894 redbrick Victorian with a permanent collection donated by a generous city banker. Also along Washington Avenue, the Main Street Gallery and Cedarburg Cultural Center display the work of local artists. In 2011, the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, N50-W5050 Portland Road, opened in an 1850s farmstead east of downtown.
The tour gets its name from Cedarburg's covered bridge, the last of its kind in Wisconsin. The bridge, built in 1876, is located three miles north of town in Covered Bridge Park, 1700 Cedar Creek Road, and is only open to pedestrian traffic.
Historic lodging options include The Washington House Inn, W62-N573 Washington Ave., the town's first inn, founded in 1846 in a wooden structure that was replaced with the current three-story limestone structure in 1886. Some of the inn's 34 guest rooms feature fireplaces, antiques and exposed limestone. Breakfast is served in your room or in the inn's gathering room and includes homemade baked goods.
Just down the street, The Stagecoach Inn, W61-N520 Washington Ave., includes 12 rooms in an 1853 building that served as an actual stagecoach hotel on the route from Milwaukee to Green Bay. The building's first floor is home to the inn's pub and Bernsteen's, the second candy shop opened by the Bernsteen family (the original shop is in Manitowoc) specializing in handcrafted chocolates.
For a douse of history and hops, head west to the state's Driftless Region.
Start your trip in Mineral Point, a quaint, historic mining town once dominated by Cornish immigrants who left behind a legacy of lovely limestone buildings. The entire city was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, the first city in Wisconsin to earn that designation. This preserved history can be seen along Shake Rag Alley and Pendarvis, 114 Shake Rag St., a state historic site that opens for the season May 7.
But a lesser known point of historical pride in this town is its claim as home to the state's first commercial brewery. In 1835, John Phillips built a brewery along a creek in Mineral Point.
Details on how long the brewery was in operation are fuzzy, but a few others followed, and today the Brewery Creek Brewing Co., 23 Commerce St., carries on the city's brewing legacy. Started in 1998 by Minneapolis transplants Jeff and Deb Donaghue, the brewery serves up a variety of European-style beers including a biere de garde, a French-style pale ale, and a Scottish ale. The brewery only sells beer on-site from the tap or in growlers.
In addition to the brewery, the Donaghues operate a seven-room inn in a historic limestone building, two cottages available for rent — with breakfast items like eggs and bread provided so you can cook your own in the cottage's kitchen — and a cozy brew pub.
For more brewing history, head about an hour west of Mineral Point to Potosi for a tour of the National Brewery Museum, 209 South Main St., which features a collection of brewery memorabilia including bottles, advertisements, glasses, trays and coasters. It is inside the historic Potosi Brewing Company building that operated from 1852 to 1972. The Potosi Foundation reopened the brewery in 2008, and it now serves up Potosi brews and food in an attached brew pub.
Updated: March 11, 2015
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