Coincidence, kismet, a chance happy mistake. Call it what you will, a wrong turn either by accident or because you allow yourself the freedom to let go, can bring you to a place previously unknown to you.
I believe we are all where we are supposed to be at any given time, but that we can also manipulate that force at will by allowing a change of mind and heart. Some describe this as a flick of a switch. To me, it feels more that I’ve simply opened up my mind to curiosity and possibility. It is allowing myself to experience something or to learn that it is ok to make a mistake and let something good come out of a wrong turn to make it a great turn.
Milwaukee county has an interesting set of roadways that angle toward the city of Milwaukee and come from all of the outlying areas. These were the routes that farmers created to take their products to market. They also allow for a fun chance at finding a previously unknown to me neighborhood, a unique coffee shop or kitchy store filled with interesting gift stuff.
But if you have a whole day with absolutely nothing pressing to do, there are many fun filled drives to be found around Wisconsin.
Travel outside of Milwaukee and you can find lovely old towns fixed on every county highway in Wisconsin. It seems there is a trend to rebuild and remodel small towns with well built historical architecture.
Cedarburg is a long time well known artistic town close to Milwaukee. It’s filled with crafty shops, boutiques, coffee shops and trendy restaurants. Along with it came Thiensville and Grafton. All three are a fun trip even if you can only drive through on the way to a destination. Try taking highway 57 north through Mequon, Thiensville and Cedarburg. Then turn on to highway 60 to CTH-V through Grafton where it becomes Highway 32 and follow it in to Port Washington.
If you want to stop for lunch there is a coffee shop called Smith Brothers located in Duluth Trading Company where you can pick up a quick delicious meal. Smith Brothers was originally a long run local fish shanty that sadly closed in 1988. Try the original smith Brothers Fish sandwich! https://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/823/Smith-Brothers-Fish-Shanty
Since you’re already on a road trip, planned or not, keep going up I43 to the Sheboygan area. With its artist community, unique coffee shops, fascinating history and lovely shoreline, Sheboygan is one of my favorite cities. There is no doubt you will find a good day in this town!
Take a drive west of Sheboygan on highway 23 past Kohler, Sheboygan Falls and Plymouth. All three are worthy of a detour. If you don’t feel like taking this entire trip, make The Art Preserve in Kohler your destination. It is worth a trip on its own.
Getting back on the road, take 23 through Fond du Lac then turn on to Hwy 151 south and roll though Beaver Dam, stop for a coffee and keep going through Columbus and in to Madison, (one of my all time favorite old cities in Wisconsin!) for dinner on State street.
If you happen to have a whole weekend, stay over night in Madison and make your way back to Milwaukee via the small towns in either Waukesha county or north of the interstate through Sun Prairie, Watertown and the Oconomowoc lake area. If you’ve had enough fun, take I94 back to Milwaukee simply enjoying the beautiful landscape along the way.
Whichever way you choose, there are multiple places to see that will give you ideas for future day trips.
Enjoy the journey,