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Jan 16, 2010 06:33 PM

Suggestions for road trip from Twin Cities to Door County ??

Hi, We are planning a road trip from Minneapolis to Door county, WI in mid-june .Our plan is to stop by and visit some historic towns, enjoy the scenery and ofcourse , find some great places (locally owned, family friendly, hidden gems) to stop by for meals on the way to Door county and back. We will be camping at Peninsula State Park for a few days as well. We have not travelled along that route before and would welcome some suggestions to make our trip a memorable one :)

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  1. Having family in Green Bay, I've driven 90% of this trip dozens of times, including last weekend. I have to say that the while incredibly smooth to drive, the stretch of Highway 29 from I-94/Chippewa Falls to Green Bay is uneventful. The only must stop for me is Nueske's in Wittenberg for some of their out of this world bacon. They have a retail store and an outlet type of store (in a gas station) or consecutive exits, right off the highway. The retail store naturally has the larger selection, so I would recommend that one.

    Otherwise that drive is, as I said, fairly uneventful.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BigE

      I'd save restaurant money for Door County itself.

      A quick note on nueskes: You can buy bulk bacon (5 lb. or more) for a substantial discount, so if you have any bacon-loving friends, be sure to take orders if you don't think you can scarf it down yourself.

      1. re: kevin47

        Good point that I failed to mention. I just picked up a ~4 pound bag when I went. I believe the bulk variety is $4/pound.

    2. Thanks! Will check out Nueskes.
      I can't say I am surprised to hear that the drive is uneventful :) I was looking online for a while and could not find much myself.So i thought I would try here. I hear Door county has a lot to offer. I guess I am going to have to make the most our time in Door county and we will concentrate on planning for that part of the trip now.
      Thanks again !And if there are recomendations for Door county itself, please let me know,..

      1. There's an insinuation in this thread that between the Cities and Door County lies a vast culinary wasteland, and that's just not true. Granted, you won't find much in towns like Wausau and Green Bay that you can't get in MSP, but to dismiss this region as "uneventful" is to miss out on some unique adventures. As the proverb says, the reward is in the journey, not the destination.

        Wausau has recently seen a boom in Mexican restaurants, mostly pretty bland except for the outstanding El Tequila Salsa. You'll find authentic foods like tacos al pastor and chicken in molé verde here along with more familiar fare for the less adventurous. Fun atmosphere, too - airy and bright, usually pretty lively.

        Wausau has two brewpubs and I can recommend both. Madison-based Great Dane opened a location here and has a huge, diverse menu with items like African Peaunut Stew and Brats & Mash. Locally-owned Red Eye specializes in funky, wood-oven pizzas with toppings like squash and carmelized onions (no - it was actually really good). Beers at both places are top-notch - but if you're driving, maybe that's not a big draw. Kids aren't out-of-place at either pub, but I don't believe there's anything special for them to do here.

        One place the kids will get a kick out of is the Wausau Mine Company, which was constructed to look and feel like a ramshackle mine shaft. The architectural design is really cool - whimsical and inspired - but the food, unfortunately, is less so. Not terrible, just ordinary.

        I'm no expert on Green Bay chow - you can find other posts on this board from people who are, however - but I can attest that there is one place, just blocks off of Hwy 29, that is a unique culinary treasure not to be missed: humble Chili John's restaurant, progenitor of one of America's five indigenous varieties of regional chili according to the Jane and Michael Stern. Don't freak out cuz it's served over spaghetti noodles; this sumptuous, oily, spicy, meaty glop is one of a kind. Not everyone's cup of tea, but you haven't lived until you've tried it.

        Towns along the way like Menomonie, Chippewa Falls and Shawano I don't know as well, and can't tell you whether these places are "eventful." Maybe some day I'll get off the highway and learn more. Hope your journey is a rewarding one - I know the destination will be. Door County is a great place to visit in June.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Rick from Point

          I will check out all the places you mentioned, this is the kind of information I was looking will give me a start..sometimes it's hard to know exactly where to start searching, a few leads help ! The description of Chili John's is tempting, sounds like the kind of place and food that we almost always like.Finally some places to look up..thank you very much!

          1. re: Rick from Point

            Thank you so much for this post. I have to fly into Wausau this week for a few days and this is exactly the type of info I was trying to find. Coming from California I may check out the Mexican but I am definitely checking out the beer. :)

          2. Check out Marieke's Gouda, artisnal cheese made and sold right on her farm about 2 miles off of Hwy 29 near Thorp.
            Another interesting cheesemaker, albeit a little less highbrow, is Yellowstone Cheese in Cadott WI. They have some really wild flavors! Fresh curds are sold Wednesdays and Saturdays.

            1. Our family has made the trip 3 times now for vacation. (This makes it our only repeat vacation destination so far: we like that much.) It is one of the longer drives we do for vacation ( 5.5 hours at the posted I think) so are more geared towards just getting there rather then sight seeing / chowhounding on the way. (I may now start making a Nueske bacon stop now that I have been clued in to that, however.) We leave late morning, eat some basic road food on the way and are able to have supper after settling in, in Egg Harbor. After that, we enjoy the fantastic green bay sunset.

              Enjoy your trip. I have never camped at Peninsula Park but have rented bikes there, enjoyed the beach etc. Its an awesome place.