Shawano is a small Wisconsin town in Shawano county near Shawano Lake, a heaven for boating, kayaking and cooling off in the summer. Nearby, Wolf River is known for fly fishing, whitewater rafting and paddling. The town has a nice historic downtown district with antique shops and stores famous for the locally made barn quilts. Twig’s Beverage Museum tells the story of the local soda company and its popular Sun Drop soda many locals grew up to love. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.

1.Twig's Beverage Museum, Shawano, WI

Twig's Beverage Museum, Shawano, WI
© Twig's Beverage Museum

Twigs Beverage museum and gift shop was opened in 2015 in Shawano, Wisconsin, to share the rich history of Twigs Beverage, a popular local, family operated business famous for its Sun-Drop soda, a drink made with 100 percent pure sugar. The museum’s walls feature artifacts and memorabilia and tell the story of the Sun Drop humble beginnings. There are also old soda machines and an older working jukebox, which plays a song for a quarter! The entrance to the museum is free. There is a short movie on the history of Twigs Beverages and visitors are offered free samples of their sodas.

920 S Franklin St, Shawano, WI 54166, Phone: 715-526-5031

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2.Angie's Main Cafe, Shawano, Wisconsin

Angie's Main Cafe, Shawano, Wisconsin
© Angie's Main Café

Angie’s Main Café was opened in Shawano in 1998 with the goal of offering quality home-cooked food that is not only delicious but is also good for you. Their dairy, produce and eggs are purchased from local farmers. The café is located in an original ice cream shop created by Henry Dehn in 1948. Charming very pink café is cozy and welcoming, with many original touches from its ice cream parlor past. Angie’s café started Smart Plate Initiative in 2013, introducing special menu items recommended by the local health professionals. They are marked green on the menu and are mostly prepared with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins. Items market yellow on the menu are little less strict when it comes to health criteria. The menu, both for breakfast and lunch, is extensive and has something for everyone.

132 S Main St, Shawano, WI 54166, Phone: 715-524-6240

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3.Anello’s Torch Lite, Shawano, Wisconsin

Anello’s Torch Lite, Shawano, Wisconsin
© Anello’s Torch Lite

The Torchlite is a popular restaurant in Shawano, Wisconsin, located on the site of an infamous Continental. Continental, built in 1897, was one of the first restaurants in Shawano. It went through many incarnations – it was at times a bar, a restaurant, and even a house of ill repute. It was added on and renovated many times, to finally become Anello’s Torch Lite in 1981. Spacious, bright and comfortable, the Torchlite offers Italian and American food in a family atmosphere, with pleasant outdoor area and even a petting zoo for the kids. Large menu has an eclectic mix of everyone’s favorites, a full service bar and full menu takeout. There are always homemade soups, fresh house-baked breads, a 21 item salad bar and much more.

1276 E Green Bay St, Shawano, WI 54166, Phone: 715-526-5680

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3 Best Things to Do in Shawano, Wisconsin

More Ideas in WI: Cave of the Mounds

Cave of the Mounds is in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. Visitors to the cave will enjoy touring the cave and its various activities. Cave of the Mounds gets its name from the Blue Mounds. The West Mound is 1, 716 feet and is the highest point of Southern Wisconsin.


The East Mound is only 1,489 feet. The Cave can be found below the East Mound’s Southern Slope.

The Cave of the Mounds was discovered by accident in 1939 when limestone quarriers blasted into the cave from the Brigham Farm quarry. The quarrying stopped and was never picked up again. The blast opened the limestone cave that was over twenty feet high and opened into other galleries and room that contained many mineral formations.

The Cave was closed to preserve it until lights, and wooden paths were installed. The cave was opened to the public om 1940. The wooden paths were soon replaced with concrete walkways. A big stone building was erected to replace the cave’s original entry and theatrical lighting was employed to make the colors and shapes of the cave stand out. Picnic areas, rock gardens, walking trails, a visitor’s center and gift shops were later developed and opened at the Cave of the Mounds.

Things to Do

The Cave of the Mounds offers activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Cave Tour-Guided tours are offered daily all year round. Visitors get to enjoy the Cave’s constant temperature of fifty degrees all year. This make the cave cool in the summer and warn during the winter. The tours are taken on lighted and paved walkways that make it easy for people of any age. Visitors will be impressed with the amazing crystallized rock formations and sparkling pools.

Gemstone and Fossil Dig- The Cave offers visitors the chance the sift for fossils and gemstone at the Quarry’s Edge Mining Sluice. The mining rough bags are about three to five pounds and include the choice of real fossils, pirate’s treasure, premium gemstones, or arrowhead mixtures.

The Cave of the Mounds also offers a new attraction: Quarry’s Edge Fossil Dig ad Crystal Quest. This attraction provides children the chance to act as the paleontologist and dig for fossils and treasure at on the three dig sites.

Geologic Timeline- Cave of the Mounds offers an enormous recreated Geologic Timeline that visitors can follow while examining the geologic processes that have occurred and forms of life that have developed and evolved throughout the Earth’s life.

Discovery Center- The Brigham Farm barn has been renovated into a Discovery Center for visitors to learn about cave formations, rock specimens, and fossils through displays.

Hiking and Biking Trails- Cave of the Mounds is linked the extensive bike trail system of Wisconsin. It can be found off of the Military Ridge bike trail. Nature trail surround the Cave and wander through oak savanna and prairie areas. Visitors can walk these trails exploring and searching for evidence of the cave below.

Gardens- The Cave of the Mounds area offers visitors the opportunity to explore the ongoing restoration of the savanna and prairie gardens. Visitors are also invited to investigate the rain and rock gardens that showcase perennial flowers that grow among the various rock formations. All the plants and flowers in the gardens have attracted a wealth of different butterflies for visitors to study and enjoy.

Educational Opportunities

Cave of the Mounds offers several educational opportunities for students.

School and Youth Programs- Students are offered the Cave Tour as the main component of their field trips, but teachers can ask that other programs be added to the tour.

· SpeleoQUEST- This program offers the chance to learn how caverns, limestone, and speleothems develop and form. It includes a tour of the Cave above ground.

· PaleoTALES- Students learn through hands-on experience about how fossils are identified, discovered and classified.

· RocksROCK- Students learn about the Earth’s basic components and how to identify the different minerals, rocks, and gemstones.

· Geo Journey- Students are instructed in the basic principles of geology including fossil formations and rock types, and get to explore the huge geologic timeline.

· Diggings to Discovery- Students get to play archaeologist and investigate the cultural history of Cave of the Mounds.

· Mound Bound Orienteering- Students get to learn the basic principles of using a compass for finding their way and navigation.


Cave of the Mounds offers a snack bar that is located inside the Visitor Center. Some of the offerings include Fiddleheads coffee, sandwiches, chips, popcorn, cookies, ice cream, rock candy, and hot or cold beverages. There are also picnic areas on the ground for visitors to use.


Check out the unique Rock Shop before leaving the Cave.

2975 Cave of the Mounds Road, Blue Mounds, WI 53517, Phone: 608-437-3038

More places to visit in Wisconsin

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More Ideas in WI: Kenosha History Center

The grounds of the Kenosha County Historical Society in Wisconsin consists of four different exhibition galleries within two buildings, as well as a facility for archives, staff offices, and a gift shop. Housed inside the Kenosha History Centers are three of the exhibition galleries, the Archives, main offices, and the center’s gift shop. The historical society’s other building is the Southport Light Station, situated next to the Kenosha History Center, which houses the fourth exhibit gallery.

The purpose of the Kenosha History Center is the collection and preservation of artifacts, information, and records critical to the knowledge and understanding of the history of Kenosha County’s industrial, ethnic, cultural, and social heritage since the time of its settlement. The History Center utilizes these artifacts and materials to share the knowledge of the Country, whether by acting on their own or collaborating with other organizations and individuals. The Kenosha History Center spreads the knowledge they collect of the history of the local area through its exhibits in the museum, research, outreach programs, and historic sites for the benefit of its visitors and the local community.

The Kenosha History Center houses three exhibit galleries that share the local history of Kenosha County. The Lyman Gallery is actually the lobby area of the center. Located within the foyer of the entrance is a display case that showcases local businesses of Kenosha Country that have existed for at least a century. Displays that have been on exhibit have included Gottfredson and Nicoll Jewelry Stores, American Brass, Snap-on, Hansen Funeral Home, and Andreas Gift Shop. Additional exhibits are displayed throughout the lobby area. The lobby also contains a clothing store, toy shop, housewares stores, and photography studio as part of its period displays.

The Yesteryear Gallery at the Kenosha History Center highlights the story of the county’s early beginnings. As visitors enter the Yesteryear Gallery, the oxcart of the Upson family is the dream of the storyteller. This oxcart traveled from the state of Connecticut to the territory at the time of Wisconsin by ship and by barge. Visitors are encouraged to imagine the challenges a settler family faced on their journey, as well as the opportunities that awaited them. Agriculture became vital to supporting the quickly growing community as more settlers arrived in the area of Kenosha County.

The collections at the Kenosha History Center date back over a large period of time, featuring items that were used during the early settlement of the area, such as an early tin lantern up to a telephone from the twentieth century. Residents of Kenosha County bought an array of merchandise and goods from the year 1835 to the year 1910, allowing the HIstory Center to showcase a broad selection of items over a wide range of time. A display of a General Store, which was a crucial community fixture and became an institution of America, is one of the highlights of the Yesteryear Gallery. The gallery also features a railroad ticket office, an apothecary, and other businesses of the past.

220 51st Place, Kenosha, Wisconsin, Phone: 262-654-5770

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More Ideas in WI: La Crosse County Historical Society

Riverside museum permanently closed on December 31st, 2019 and is being moved to a new location on Main St in La Crosse. The new museum is set to open around June 1st, 2020.

The La Crosse County Historical Society in Wisconsin consists of far more than simply the collection of artifacts it has in its possession. The organization owns and manages the Historic Hixon House, and is also responsible for curating various exhibits at the Riverside Museum. The Historical Society also provides the community with special events and educational programs year-round that aim to bring the history of La Crosse County to life for the entire region. The group plans something for all history enthusiasts.

The mission of the La Crosse County Historical Society is to enrich the lives of the community through engaging with the region of La Crosse County’s history. The organization was founded in the year 1925, and was incorporated in the year 1939. The goal was to collect all kinds of historical artifacts and materials related to the history of La Crosse, and to use these to encourage the sharing of knowledge about the region’s history. This original purpose of the La Crosse County Historical Society is still the foundation of what the group believes today, however, they also believe that there is much more for the organization to achieve.

The Riverside Museum houses a collection of artifacts from the La Crosse County Historical Society that are on display for public viewing. These artifacts cover a wide range of local history, including that of steamboats, logging, settlers, pearl button making, and prehistory from the Archeology Center of the Mississippi Valley among much more. During the museum’s open season, visitors can explore the Riverside Museum as a self-guided tour. Guided tours are also provided throughout the year by calling the organization in advance to schedule a tour. The museum is open to the public from Memorial Day until Labor Day, every day of the week, and tickets can be purchased from the La Crosse Historical Society’s website.

Groups tours for visitors of all ages for both the Historic Hixon House and the Riverside Museum can be scheduled by contacting the office of the La Crosse Historical Society. Adults and children alike will enjoy the history of the river, as well as the War Eagle artifacts. Guides are often available for tours at the museum, or visitors and small groups can choose to explore on their own as a self-guided tour. The Historic Hixon House, a home constructed by Gideon Hixon, is a tour led by a docent of the La Crosse Historical Society that is great for group of all ages.

The collection of War Eagle artifacts held by the La Crosse Historical Society totals more than six hundred and fifty items. This artifact collection is reminiscent of the terrible tragedy that occurred in 1870: the sinking of the War Eagle, a Wisconsin steamer. The sinking of the ship, however, is only a portion of the local history that is represented in these fascinating artifacts. The story of how these items were retrieved from beneath the water’s surface and how they eventually came to be at the Riverside Museum is an interesting story in itself.

14 West Avenue South, La Crosse, Wisconsin, Phone: 608-782-1980

More Things to Do in Wisconsin, Things to Do in La Crosse

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