Best Things to Do in New Glarus, WI: 12 Must-See Places to Visit

by Jen
Best Things to Do in New Glarus, WI
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Are you longing to visit New Glarus this year? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in New Glarus. These quaint sights and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Looking for scenic landscapes in Wisconsin? Welcome to New Glarus. For many, the name might be unfamiliar, but those who’ve wandered its charming streets know it’s a place that captures the heart. From savoring Swiss-inspired cuisine, exploring artisan shops, or hiking breathtaking trails, there are many things to do in New Glarus that showcase its unique charm.

Tucked away in Green County, New Glarus is more than just a village. It’s also a vibrant tapestry of Swiss heritage interwoven with classic Midwestern charm. As you stroll through the town, the traditional chalet-style buildings stand as proud sentinels of a bygone era, whispering tales of Swiss immigrants who once sought to recreate a slice of their homeland in this new world.

Often dubbed “America’s Little Switzerland,” New Glarus doesn’t just wear its heritage on its sleeve—it celebrates it. The aroma of authentic Swiss delicacies fills the air, tempting travelers with a taste of Switzerland. And it’s not just about food and architecture. The village is also a haven for adventurers, history enthusiasts, and those seeking an escape from the hustle and bustle.

From internationally acclaimed craft breweries to festivals that transport you straight to the Alps, New Glarus is a treasure trove of experiences. So, if you’re yearning for a journey of history, culture, and breathtaking vistas, New Glarus awaits. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in New Glarus.

The top places to visit in New Glarus, WI right now
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Best Places to Visit in New Glarus

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Are you looking to experience the rich Swiss heritage by sampling delectable chocolates and cheeses? Or would you prefer scenic bike rides through rolling hills? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in New Glarus can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in New Glarus that you should know about.

1. New Glarus Brewing Company

Picture a spot where brewing is an art fueled by passion, where every taste of beer shares a story of dedication and tradition. That’s what the New Glarus Brewing Company is all about – a place that truly loves crafting authentic beer. Things to do in New Glarus? This should top your list!

Founded by Deborah and Dan Carey, the brewery has become synonymous with quality. Their commitment to using 100% natural ingredients ensures that every sip is a delightful experience. As you tour the facility, you’ll witness the intricate process of brewing, from selecting the finest grains to the meticulous art of fermentation.

The brewery’s hilltop location offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. This makes it a perfect spot to relax and savor their signature brews. Don’t miss out on their iconic “Spotted Cow” or the rich “Two Women” lager. Each beer has its unique flavor profile, a reflection of the brewery’s dedication to innovation while staying true to traditional brewing methods.

End your visit with a trip to their gift shop, where you can pick up souvenirs and, of course, a few bottles to relive the New Glarus Brewing experience back home.

Exploring New Glarus Brewing Company is one of the best things to do in New Glarus, WI.
Experience the essence of authentic beer crafting at New Glarus Brewing Company, where passion and tradition converge.

2. Swiss Historical Village & Museum

Dive deep into the rich history and see one of the best places in New Glarus – the Swiss Historical Village & Museum. This captivating spot offers a glimpse into the lives of early Swiss settlers who made New Glarus their home.

Coolest activities in New Glarus? Exploring this museum is undoubtedly one of them! As you wander through the 14-building museum complex, you’ll be transported back to the 19th century. Each building, from the cheese-making factory to the one-room schoolhouse, tells a unique story of the town’s Swiss heritage. The detailed exhibits and authentic artifacts paint a vivid picture of the challenges and triumphs faced by the settlers.

Engage with the interactive displays, and you might just find yourself trying your hand at traditional crafts or listening intently to tales of old. The museum’s passionate guides are always eager to share intriguing anecdotes. This makes history come alive before your eyes.

After your exploration, take a moment to relax in the serene gardens, reflecting on the indomitable spirit of the pioneers who shaped New Glarus into the charming town it is today.

Explore the past at the Swiss Historical Village & Museum, a captivating glimpse into the lives of early Swiss settlers.
Explore the past at the Swiss Historical Village & Museum in New Glarus, WI, a captivating glimpse into the lives of early Swiss settlers.

3. Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum

Step into a world of enchantment at the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum. This charming chalet, reminiscent of those in the Swiss Alps, houses a collection that’s nothing short of mesmerizing. For those pondering about the best things to do in New Glarus, a visit to this museum is a must!

From the moment you enter, you’re greeted by a vast array of artifacts, each with its own tale. Marvel at the intricately designed cuckoo clocks, each chirping in its unique rhythm, or the stunning Swiss stained glass that casts colorful patterns on the wooden floors. As you explore these captivating New Glarus attractions, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world that celebrates craftsmanship and culture. This makes your visit truly memorable.

But it’s not just about the artifacts. The chalet itself, with its detailed woodwork and authentic Swiss architecture, is a sight to behold. As you ascend the spiral staircase, you’ll discover rooms filled with rare collectibles from around the world, a testament to the town’s global connections that makes it one of the cool destinations in New Glarus.

The museum’s knowledgeable guides are on hand to share fascinating stories behind each piece. This makes your visit both educational and entertaining. By the time you leave, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for New Glarus’ rich heritage and the treasures it holds.

Enter enchantment at the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum, a Swiss Alps-inspired gem showcasing a mesmerizing collection.
Enter enchantment at the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum in New Glarus, WI, a Swiss Alps-inspired gem showcasing a mesmerizing collection.

4. Sugar River State Trail

Imagine a trail where every step brings you closer to nature’s wonders. That’s exactly what the Sugar River State Trail offers. For those wondering about the best places to go in New Glarus, this trail is an unmissable gem.

Spanning over 24 miles, this trail is a haven for both casual strollers and avid bikers. As you traverse its length, you’re treated to scenic views of rolling meadows, dense woodlands, and the gentle Sugar River flowing alongside. The soft chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, and the gentle gurgling of the river create a symphony that’s both calming and invigorating.

Several restored wooden trestle bridges dot the trail, each offering panoramic views that are perfect for those Instagram-worthy shots. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot some local wildlife, from playful otters to majestic deer.

For those looking to delve into the area’s history, there are interpretive signs along the way, shedding light on New Glarus’ rich past. So, not only do you get to soak in nature’s beauty, but you also leave with a richer understanding of the region. After your invigorating hike, explore what to do in New Glarus. This includes discovering Swiss heritage at local museums and savoring delectable treats, adding to the richness of your experience in this charming town.

Embark on a nature-infused journey along the Sugar River State Trail, an unmissable gem and one of the finest destinations.
Embark on a nature-infused journey along the Sugar River State Trail, an unmissable gem and one of the finest destinations.

5. Edelweiss Cheese Authentic Wisconsin

Ah, cheese! If there’s one thing Wisconsin is renowned for, it’s the delectable dairy delights. And when you’re in New Glarus, there’s no better place to indulge your cheesy cravings than at Edelweiss Cheese Authentic Wisconsin. For those pondering where to visit in New Glarus, this spot is a must.

Stepping into Edelweiss is like entering a world where cheese reigns supreme. From creamy bries to sharp cheddars, there’s a cheese for every palate. And the best part? You can sample them! The knowledgeable staff are always on hand to guide you through the vast selection, ensuring you find the perfect cheese to tickle your taste buds.

But it’s not just about the cheese. Edelweiss also boasts a range of local wines and craft beers, perfect for pairing with your chosen cheese. And if you’re looking to take a little piece of New Glarus home with you, their gift shop offers a range of cheese-themed souvenirs. After indulging, explore the enticing things to do in New Glarus, from picturesque hikes to exploring charming shops, creating a well-rounded and memorable experience.

So, if you’re a cheese aficionado or simply looking for a tasty treat, Edelweiss Cheese Authentic Wisconsin is the place to be. It’s truly one of the coolest activities in New Glarus.

6. New Glarus Woods State Park

When it comes to unique places in New Glarus that offer a blend of tranquility and adventure, New Glarus Woods State Park stands out. Spanning over 400 acres, this state park is a haven for those who love the great outdoors.

Imagine hiking through dense woodlands, with the sounds of chirping birds and rustling leaves accompanying you. The park boasts over 7 miles of hiking trails, each offering a unique perspective of Wisconsin’s natural beauty. For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, there are picnic spots dotted throughout, perfect for a relaxing afternoon with family or friends.

Camping enthusiasts are in for a treat too. The park offers both group and family campsites. This makes it a popular choice for weekend getaways. And if you’re into geocaching, there’s plenty of that to explore too!

One of the best things to do in New Glarus, a visit at this state park promises a day (or more) of fun, relaxation, and connection with nature. So, lace up those hiking boots, pack a picnic, and head on over to New Glarus Woods State Park. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Discover New Glarus Woods State Park, where hiking, picnicking, and nature connection await an unforgettable experience.
Discover New Glarus Woods State Park in New Glarus, WI, where hiking, picnicking, and nature connection await an unforgettable experience.

7. Maple Leaf Cheese & Chocolate Haus

If you’re pondering what to do in New Glarus that tantalizes your taste buds, look no further than the Maple Leaf Cheese & Chocolate Haus. This delightful establishment is a testament to the town’s Swiss heritage. It offers a range of cheeses that are nothing short of exquisite.

From the moment you step inside, the aroma of fine cheeses and chocolates envelops you, promising a culinary journey like no other. The store features an array of Wisconsin cheeses. This includes the famous New Glarus Swiss cheese, which is a must-try for any visitor. Best places to go in New Glarus if you’re a chocolate aficionado? The Maple Leaf Cheese & Chocolate Haus handcrafted chocolates are sure to leave you craving for more.

But it’s not just the products that make this place special. The staff at Maple Leaf are passionate about their offerings and are always eager to share their knowledge with curious visitors. They’ll guide you through the different cheese varieties, offering samples along the way, ensuring you find the perfect one to take home.

For those looking for unique things to do in New Glarus, a visit to Maple Leaf Cheese & Chocolate Haus is a delightful experience that combines history, culture, and gastronomy in one.

Experience Maple Leaf Cheese & Chocolate Haus, where exquisite cheeses and delightful flavors converge for a tantalizing experience.
Experience Maple Leaf Cheese & Chocolate Haus, where exquisite cheeses and delightful flavors converge for a tantalizing experience.

8. Primrose Winery

Coolest things to do in New Glarus? Well, wine tasting at Primrose Winery is undoubtedly one of them. Situated just a short drive from the heart of New Glarus, this winery offers a serene escape into the world of fine wines. With its picturesque vineyards and rustic charm, it’s a destination that beckons wine enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Upon arrival, you’re greeted with rows of grapevines, each telling a story of the dedication and passion that goes into every bottle. The tasting room, with its cozy ambiance, invites you to explore a selection of wines that capture the essence of the region. From crisp whites to robust reds, there’s a flavor profile to suit every palate.

The knowledgeable staff at Primrose Winery are always on hand to guide you through the tasting experience, sharing anecdotes about the winemaking process and offering insights into the unique characteristics of each wine. It’s this personal touch that makes a visit here so memorable.

For those wondering where to go in New Glarus for an authentic wine experience, Primrose Winery is a top choice. It’s not just about the wine; it’s about the journey, the stories, and the memories you’ll create.

Indulge in wine-tasting perfection at Primrose Winery, a serene escape with picturesque vineyards and rustic charm.
Indulge in wine-tasting perfection at Primrose Winery in New Glarus, WI, a serene escape with picturesque vineyards and rustic charm.

9. Ruef’s Meat Market

When you’re pondering about the best things to do in New Glarus, consider diving into the local culinary scene at Ruef’s Meat Market. This family-owned gem has been serving the community since 1928, and it’s a testament to the town’s rich Swiss heritage.

From the moment you step inside, the aroma of freshly smoked sausages and cured meats fills the air, promising a delightful gastronomic experience. The market showcases a variety of handcrafted products, from traditional Swiss sausages to mouthwatering steaks, ensuring there’s something to tantalize every taste bud.

For those looking for best places in New Glarus that appreciate the finer things in life, the selection of artisanal cheeses, sourced both locally and from Switzerland, is a must-try. Pair them with some of the market’s homemade crackers, and you’ve got yourself a picnic perfect for any of the scenic spots around town.

New Glarus places to visit often revolve around its Swiss roots, and Ruef’s Meat Market is no exception. Engage with the friendly staff, who are always eager to share stories of the market’s history and offer recommendations. It’s not just a shopping trip; it’s an immersion into the heart and soul of New Glarus.

10. Swissland Mini Golf

If you’re compiling a list of coolest activities in New Glarus, you can’t miss out on Swissland Mini Golf. This charming mini-golf course offers a delightful blend of fun and challenge. This makes it perfect for families, couples, or solo travelers looking for a light-hearted adventure.

The course is beautifully designed, with each hole offering its unique set of challenges. As you navigate the twists, turns, and obstacles, you’ll be treated to whimsical Swiss-themed decorations that pay homage to New Glarus’s rich heritage. It’s a mini-golf experience like no other, where every putt transports you to the picturesque landscapes of Switzerland.

But it’s not just about the game. The ambiance here is relaxed and inviting. Grab an ice cream from their on-site parlor and enjoy it on the patio, soaking in the views and the cheerful vibes. It’s one of those New Glarus attractions that effortlessly combines recreation with relaxation.

For those seeking a break from the more traditional tourist spots, Swissland Mini Golf offers a refreshing change of pace. It’s a testament to the town’s ability to infuse fun and culture into every experience.

11. Dischler Park

When you’re pondering over New Glarus things to do, taking a leisurely stroll or having a picnic at Dischler Park should definitely be on your list. This serene park, located in the heart of the town, offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The park is beautifully landscaped, with well-maintained pathways, benches, and a playground for the little ones. It’s the perfect spot to relax, read a book, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature. The tall trees provide ample shade, making it a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike during the warmer months.

One of the unique places to go in New Glarus for some quiet reflection, Dischler Park also hosts various community events throughout the year. From local fairs to music festivals, there’s always something happening that adds to the park’s vibrant atmosphere.

So, if you’re seeking a place to unwind, have a family outing, or just immerse yourself in the local culture, Dischler Park is the place to be. It’s a testament to New Glarus’s commitment to providing spaces that cater to both relaxation and recreation.

12. Baler House

If you’re wondering where to visit in New Glarus to get a true sense of its Swiss heritage, the Baler House is a must-see. This historic building, dating back to the early 1900s, stands as a testament to the town’s rich history and the Swiss immigrants who shaped its identity.

The Baler House, with its charming architecture and intricate woodwork, transports visitors back in time. Inside, you’ll find a collection of artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia that tell the story of New Glarus and its founding families. It’s a journey through time, offering insights into the lives, traditions, and challenges faced by the early settlers.

Things to do in New Glarus often revolve around its Swiss heritage, and the Baler House is no exception. Throughout the year, the venue hosts events, workshops, and exhibitions that celebrate the town’s roots. From traditional Swiss music performances to craft sessions, there’s always something engaging happening here.

In a town brimming with history, the Baler House stands out as a beacon of New Glarus’s proud Swiss legacy. So, when you’re in town, make sure to drop by and immerse yourself in a cultural experience like no other.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in New Glarus

Looking for more content on the top things to do in New Glarus? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to New Glarus:

What’s the best time to visit New Glarus?

The ideal time to experience New Glarus is during the summer and fall months. Summer offers vibrant festivals and outdoor activities, while fall showcases the town’s stunning foliage.

Is New Glarus family-friendly?

Absolutely! With its parks, mini-golf, and historical attractions, there’s something for every member of the family to enjoy.

How long should I stay in New Glarus?

A weekend getaway is perfect for covering the main attractions. However, if you’re keen on a relaxed pace and wish to explore deeper, consider extending your stay to a week.

Embrace the enchanting winter ambiance of New Glarus, offering cozy charm and seasonal allure.
Embrace the enchanting winter ambiance of New Glarus, WI, offering cozy charm and seasonal allure.

Is New Glarus worth visiting?

Absolutely! New Glarus is a charming town that offers a unique blend of Swiss heritage, delightful festivals, and scenic beauty. This makes it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking both relaxation and adventure. Here’s an overview of what New Glarus WI has to offer:

  1. Swiss Culture: New Glarus takes pride in its Swiss heritage, and you’ll find Swiss-style architecture, restaurants serving Swiss cuisine, and shops selling Swiss goods. The Swiss Historical Village Museum offers insights into the area’s history.
  2. New Glarus Brewing Company: If you’re a beer enthusiast, a visit to New Glarus Brewing Company is a must. They offer tours and tastings of their renowned craft beers, including the famous “Spotted Cow.”
  3. Outdoor Activities: The Sugar River State Trail is a popular spot for biking, hiking, and bird-watching. In winter, the area offers opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
  4. Festivals and Events: New Glarus hosts several annual festivals celebrating its Swiss heritage, such as Polkafest, Wilhelm Tell Festival, and Oktoberfest. These events offer music, dance, food, and a lively atmosphere.
  5. Charming Atmosphere: The village’s quaint streets, friendly locals, and unique Swiss charm make for a relaxing and enjoyable visit.
  6. Local Cuisine: Enjoy Swiss specialties like fondue and raclette, along with other delicious local fare.
  7. Proximity to Other Attractions: New Glarus is not far from Madison and other interesting Wisconsin destinations, making it a nice day trip or stopover.

Are there dining options in New Glarus?

Absolutely! New Glarus boasts a variety of dining options, from traditional Swiss eateries serving fondue and raclette to contemporary restaurants offering a mix of American and European cuisines, ensuring that visitors have a delightful culinary experience.

What town in Wisconsin is known as Little Switzerland?

The village of New Glarus in Wisconsin is often referred to as “America’s Little Switzerland.” This nickname reflects the community’s strong Swiss heritage, as it was founded by immigrants from the canton of Glarus in Switzerland in 1845.

New Glarus embraces its Swiss roots through its architecture, cuisine, festivals, and cultural attractions. Visitors to the village can enjoy Swiss-style buildings, restaurants serving traditional Swiss dishes, and events celebrating Swiss culture. The Swiss Historical Village Museum and annual festivals like Polkafest and Wilhelm Tell Festival further showcase the town’s connection to its Swiss heritage.

What is New Glarus Wisconsin known for?

New Glarus, Wisconsin, is famously known as “America’s Little Switzerland” due to its rich Swiss heritage, and it’s celebrated for its world-renowned New Glarus Brewing Company, which crafts some of the finest beers in the country. Additionally, the town’s traditional festivals, historic architecture, and scenic landscapes further solidify its reputation as a cultural and natural gem.

Concluding Thoughts on Touring New Glarus

New Glarus is more than just a town; it’s an experience. A place where Swiss heritage comes alive in every corner, from its historic buildings to its delightful festivals. It’s a destination that promises both relaxation and adventure, catering to history buffs, nature lovers, and everyone in between. As you stroll through its streets, you’ll be transported to a different era, one filled with rich traditions and heartwarming tales. So, pack your bags and set your sights on New Glarus, where every visit feels like a journey back in time, yet with all the modern comforts you’d desire. It’s a hidden gem, waiting to be discovered, and promises memories that will last a lifetime.

The top things to do in New Glarus, WI for all types of travelers
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