Spring Green is a small village in Wisconsin, only one hour from Madison, the state capital. Although the town is not very big, there are plenty of activities for locals and tourists. When the weather is warm, there are popular outings and activities such as watching a play at an outdoor amphitheatre, walking through a nature preserve, and camping at a historical state park. Other options include taking an art and culture program, visiting an opal jewelry shop, dining at a prime rib buffet, or sampling a variety of hot teas at the local tea shop. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.American Players Theatre

American Players Theatre
© American Players Theatre

American Players Theatre (APT) is a classical indoor and outdoor theatre. It was founded in 1980 by Randall Duk Kim, Charles Bright, and Anne Occhiogrosso. There is an outdoor amphitheater with 1,089 seats and an indoor theatre called The Touchstone with 200 seats. Before each show, guests can buy a picnic dinner or bring their own food to enjoy in the picnic areas. More than a hundred performances take the stage in the outdoor amphitheater during the season, which runs from June to November. The theatre group usually performs plays by classic playwrights, such as Shakespeare, and George Bernard Shaw.

5950 Golf Course Rd, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-588-2361

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2.House on the Rock

House on the Rock
© House on the Rock


House on the Rock is a local tourist attraction designed by Alex Jorden Jr., that opened in 1959. Along with the “house” that sits on Deep Shelter Rock, this complex features distinct rooms, shops, and gardens. From the time House on the Rock opened, additions to the original structure were made. So, some of today’s highlights include areas named “The Streets of Yesterday,” “The Heritage of the Sea,” and “The Music of Yesterday.” Furthermore, the complex features a large indoor carousel with 269 animals, hundreds of chandeliers, and more than 20,000 lights. During the Christmas season, the carousel transforms using a Christmas-inspired theme.

5754 WI-23, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-935-3639

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3.Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin

Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin
© Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin

Taliesin is an 800-acre estate where the home, studio, and school of Frank Lloyd Wright sit. Before Frank Wright died in 1959, he named his estate Taliesin, to pay tribute to his Welsh heritage. The literal translation of the word is “shining brow.” To honor Wright’s legacy, a number of programs, workshops, and culinary events take place at Taliesin. Examples include summer youth workshops, art and culture programs, and The Taliesin Food Artisan Immersion Program. This last program teaches about the connection between architecture, the land, food, art, and community. This harmony is paramount to the success of creating a healthy food system.

5607 County Road C, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-588-7900

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4.Spring Green Preserve

Spring Green Preserve
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In 1972, Spring Green Preserve received the designation as a State Natural Area. Since then it’s been nicknamed the 'Wisconsin Desert' because of its sandy prairie that runs along a former Wisconsin River terrace. The preserve grows a special kind of flora and fauna that can adapt to the dry landscape and hot environment. Plants found here include the false heather and prickly pear cactus. Bird life at the preserve is diverse with birds like the dickcissel. For recreational activities, visitors can reserve a campsite, hike the park’s trails, ride motorcycles or ATVs, and go skiing or snowmobiling in the winter.

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5.Tower Hill State Park

Tower Hill State Park
© natmacstock/stock.adobe.com


Tower Hill State Park neighbors the Wisconsin River and is often visited due to its many historical structures, including the Helena Shot Tower. The original tower was built in 1832 and a century and a half later it became part of the National Register of Historic Places. The park opens during the warm weather months where visitors can see the exhibits documenting the use and construction of the tower. There are trails and 15 campsites at this park that feature picnic tables, and fit pits. Campsites are family-friendly and can accommodate up to six people per site.

5808 County Rd C, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-588-2116

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6.The Opal Man

The Opal Man
© The Opal Man


The Opal Man is a jewelry gallery that primarily carries Australian opal. This gemstone has several varieties which are carried at the gallery, such as, boulder, white, crystal, treated matrix, and opal doublets. Dennis Dahl is the owner of The Opal Man and brings nearly 50 years of experience to the business. The entire team at the gallery brings a wealth of knowledge, which helps to answer customer questions. Services offered include cutting, polishing, appraising jewelry pieces, and designing custom pieces from this precious gemstone. The gallery was formerly a gas station over a century ago and is a member of Wisconsin's Register of Historic Places.

137 S Winsted St, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-588-9317

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7.Freddy Valentine's

Freddy Valentine's
© Freddy Valentine's

Freddy Valentine’s is a restaurant and pub located inside the historic State Bank of Spring Green. Established in 2012, by husband and wife, Dave and Jeaneane Owen, this restaurant provides a unique environment to customers. The building is over 100 years old and features lion heads and terracotta pillars on the exterior. Inside there are coffered ceilings, a bar made from repurposed 20th-century marble, and the original safe door. Food served at Freddy V’s is just as magnificent as the building’s architecture. The menu features English fare, international dishes, plus a wide array of beers, along with wines and spirits.

134 W. Jefferson Street, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-588-0220

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8.Riverview Terrace Cafe

Riverview Terrace Cafe
© Riverview Terrace Cafe

The Riverview Terrace Cafe sits on the Taliesin estate and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Local, seasonal, farm to table food is available on the menu, much of which is grown on the Taliesin farms. The cafe firmly believes that understanding good food is possible when respect is given to nature. Although Frank Wright didn’t live to see the completion of the cafe, his former apprentices completed construction in 1967. Thus, it finally became the ‘gateway’ of his estate, just as he envisioned. During this time, the restaurant’s name was The Spring Green, and it stayed that way for 25 years.

5607 County Rd C, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 877-588-7900

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9.Arthur's Supper Club

Arthur's Supper Club
© Arthur's Supper Club

Arthur's Supper Club is a casual dining restaurant for families, friends and couples, looking to enjoy a steak or seafood dinner. Since 1966, this supper club has been a favorite local spot best known for their prime rib buffet, lobster dishes and complimentary homemade bread, served at every table. Inside the restaurant is a full lounge and bar that serves classic cocktails, and a variety of wines and beers. Plus, there is live music and other entertainment playing here several nights a week. Outside, there are two separate and distinct outdoor patio areas that feature beautiful waterfalls.

E4885 US Highway 14 and 60, Spring Green, Wisconsin 53588, Phone: 608-588-2521

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10.Bird of Paradise Tea

Bird of Paradise Tea
© Marta P. (Milacroft)/stock.adobe.com

Bird of Paradise Tea opened in 2006 by husband and wife, Wayne Farra and Maya Madden. They were once jewelers, who developed a love and passion for tea when they visited the International Tea Expo. While at the Expo they found a collection of teas that they now serve in their tea shop. Bird of Paradise began selling teas online in 2007, in order to reach a larger clientele. Wayne and Maya like teaching novice tea drinkers about different types of teas, their origin, and how to select a tea. Only the best and highest quality teas get chosen for this tea shop.

120 Albany St, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-588-7509

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10 Best Things to Do in Spring Green, WI



Spotlight: House on the Rock

Located between the cities of Dodgeville and Spring Green, Wisconsin, the House on the Rock is a tourist attraction that opened in 1960. The house itself is a feat of architecture and design, placed as it is at the top of Deer Shelter Rock, which itself stands 60 feet atop the nearby forest. A truly remarkable achievement, it features several breathtaking aspects from varied and distinct inspiration and architectural designs.

Whilst its infamy doesn’t reach far out of the Midwest, the House on the Rock is said to draw more visitors every year than any other spot in Wisconsin. It’s an eccentric and single-minded vision that carries on in the vein of its original builder, Alex Jordan Jr.

The project has now grown far beyond just the House on the Rock. It now also includes many buildings that contain eclectic, exotic, and whimsical exhibits and displays. The attraction remains open all year round, but offers differing experiences based on the time of year.

Year-round draws include first and foremost the Infinity Room, which extends an unsupported length of 218 feet and soars 156 feet above the valley floor below. The room has over 3,000 windows and offers an unsurpassed view of the surrounding scenery.

The world’s largest carousel finds its home here and it’s a truly astounding feature. With over 269 handcrafted animals, 20,000 lights, and 182 chandeliers, the indoor creation is beautifully designed and frankly a magical view to behold.

As mentioned, the house has an ever-revolving roster of attractions and features. Visits of particular interest include The Dark Side, which is the Halloween event, as well as a Christmas celebration. The entire venue is decorated and themed during these times and visitors can either choose to pay for single ticket admission or purchase a package that includes a stay at the resort as well as the tour. All year round there are also spa packages on offer, which include an extended getaway.

The House on the Rock Inn is a truly unique option for guests who choose to stay overnight. Guests can stay in the standard room, upgrade to a larger one, or even stay in the specialty room, which includes a whirlpool. The indoor and outdoor pools provide a relaxing swim and the kids will enjoy playing in the 45-foot submarine.

If you are looking for a getaway with an eccentric, eclectic, and electric range of diverse attractions and architectural marvels, the surrounding village of similarly themed shops, streets, houses, and curiosities are of equal interest and you can make a real trip of your visit. It retains the charm and steadfast determination to create something truly unique, the dream of its original builder.

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Spotlight: Taliesin Preservation (Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center)

The Taliesin Preservation is in Spring Green, Wyoming. Visitors to the Taliesin get to marvel at the beauty of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, enjoy nature’s panorama, and follow the arc of Wright’s imaginative vision. The Taliesin is the name that has been given to Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and the eight-hundred-acre architectural estate which encompasses buildings from every decade of Wright’s career.

History

Taliesin was the man’s main residence from 1911 to 1959. It served as his lab for innovation and architectural plans.

In 1886, Wright had spent three semesters as a student in engineering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The nineteen-year-old went to Chicago to pursue and architectural career. Once there he worked at J. Lyman Silsbee’ s firm for a year and then joined the Adler and Sullivan firm in 1889. He spent four and half years working directly with Louis Sullivan.

In 1932 Frank and his wife Olgivanna Lloyd Wright established the Taliesin Fellowship, which was a community that focused on providing training in architecture with a “learn by doing” approach. The training emphasized appreciation for all art and permitted students to design and then work on the structures of the Taliesin estate.

The architectural genius of Wright has become timeless. Over one third of his buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places and twenty-four of them are National Historic Landmarks. Taliesin was dubbed a National Historic Landmark in 1976.

Attractions

The Taliesin offers several different tours of its grounds.

Frank Lloyd Wright Visitor Center: Gateway to Taliesin- Tours of the estate begin and end at the Visitor Center. The Center boasts a bridge-like design that spans two hills along the Wisconsin River. It was originally drafted by Wright as the “Riverview Terrace” that would serve as a restaurant specializing in fine dining for both locals and tourists.

Tours- Taliesin offers numerous tours of the Taliesin estate that are created for interest level.

· Hillside Studio and Theater Tour- This tour give visitors a private glimpse into sixty years of the life of Wright who is considered America’s greatest architect. This tour showcases the Assembly Hall, Hillside Drafting Studio, Romeo and Juliet Windmill Tower, and the Hillside Theater.

· House Tour- This tour takes visitors through the room of Taliesin that Wright dreamed and then constructed. It includes a tour of the Living Room, Loggia, Bedrooms, Wright’s Personal Studio, Landscaped Gardens, Wright’s Innovative Fixtures, Asian Art and Collected artifacts, and the courtyards and terraces. The courtyards and gardens offer visitors a breathtaking view of the valley that Wright’s ancestors settled.

· Highlights Tour- This tour allows visitors to experience two of the significant, yet vastly different buildings that Wright built and designed: Hillside and Taliesin. The tour offers an overview of Hillside’s Assembly Hall, Fellowship Dining Room, the Hillside Drafting Studio, and the Hillside Theater. After touring Hillside visitors are driven over to Taliesin and allowed to enjoy Wright’s Personal Studio, The Living Room, Wright’s Guest Bedroom, Wright’s Bedroom, Mrs. Wright’s Bedroom, and the restored Loggia and Loggia Terrace.

· Estate Tour- This tour shuttles visitors to Taliesin campus to participate in a four-hour hike that wanders through the Driftless country hills. This tour allows visitors to explore Hillside, hike by the Romeo and Juliet Windmill tower, take in a close-up viewing of Tan-y-Deri, and walk by the Midway Barns. A break is given halfway through the tour on the terrace with refreshments, after which visitors tour the inside and outside of Taliesin.

· Twilight at Taliesin- This tour takes place in the early evening and offers a two-hour relaxed tour through Taliesin. Visitors can experience the gardens and courtyards in the twilight of early evening. Once the guided portion of the tour is over, visitors can wander through the house on their own while partaking in hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The landscaped grounds, The Birdwalk, and Wright’s home are some of the highlights of this tour.

Educational Opportunities

The Taliesin offers several programs for educational purposes to both children and adults.

Artistic Programs- Various artistic programs are offered throughout the year to enhance the knowledge gained by visiting the Taliesin about Wright and his architectural visions.

Musical Programs- Taliesin offers musical programs throughout the year.

Architecture Camp for Kids- These camps are designed to teach the basics of architecture and build on it through the camps that come after.

Field Trips­- The Taliesin offers several different options for teachers to use when planning field trips, from tours to a completely immersive experience that takes the entire day.

Dining

The Taliesin offers casual dining at the Riverview Terrace Café.

Shopping

The Taliesin Bookstore offers a variety of items including publications on architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright.

5607 County Road C, Spring Green, WI 53588, Phone: 608-588-7900

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