11 Jul A Photo Essay: Wisconsin Road Trip with AmericInn Hotels #InnToWin
Even though we live about 20 minutes from the Wisconsin border, we really haven’t explored much of the state. So when AmericInn Hotels reached out to us about a summer road trip project that would see us exploring Wisconsin, we were excited to join in! The road trip was focused on adventure in “small town Americana” in conjunction with their “Fill Inn To Win” summer promotion, where you can play a game for the chance to win a free night stay. One winner is picked every day throughout the summer, so be sure to head on over and play!
I’m a firm believer that fun can be found in any tiny corner of the world, so we set off towards Wisconsin to see what we could find. Some of our favorite stops consisted of a tasting and tour of the Leinenkugel’s Brewery, wandering around the adorable town of La Crosse, kayaking on Mirror Lake in Mirror Lake State Park, mini golfing in Wisconsin Dells, biking along Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, visiting the Harley Davidson Museum and taking a selfie with the Bronze Fonz in Milwaukee, and exploring St. Feriole Island in Prairie du Chien. To top it all off, we ended our trip with a bang by watching a fireworks show over the Mississippi River.
Our itinerary sent us to AmericInn locations in West Salem, Tomah, Waupun, Sheboygan and Prairie du Chien, and we certainly found plenty of fun along the way. We’ve stayed at numerous AmericInn Hotels over the years—they are perfect hotels to stop at when road tripping around the Midwest. But, I have to say, we never realized all the fun personal touches and amenities each hotel had to offer! All of the hotels had a pool, hot tub, coffee and breakfast ready for guests to enjoy, and some hotels had pool tables, board games, movies, snacks, massage chairs and more!
Here’s a photo tour of our favorite adventures throughout our road trip through Wisconsin:
Our first stop was at the Leinenkugel’s Brewery in Chippewa Falls as we made our way to West Salem.
We stopped in the Leinie Lodge for some beer samples and a tour of the brewery. I always love getting a behind the scenes peek at how the production process works. My favorite beer was the Sunset Wheat, and the Summer Shandy came in a close second, and Micah’s favorite was the Wisconsin Red Pale Ale.
After the tour we made our way to West Salem to check into our AmericInn Hotel and take a dip in the pool.
One awesome perk at AmericInn is the coffee that is always ready and waiting for you, and I loved that they all had a variety of flavor shots to spice up your coffee–it was the perfect way to start out our day.
Our second day saw us exploring the nearby town of La Crosse, an adorable little town right on the Mississippi River.
We spent the afternoon wandering around shops, grabbing coffee, eating lunch and going for a walk along the river.
I loved the buildings in La Crosse–I’m not sure if this is a hotel or an apartment, but either way, I’d love to stay there for a bit. It looks like such a cool spot!
For breakfast the next morning in Tomah, we made our own waffles–we are always suckers for a good waffle, and they were definitely delicious!
After filling up on breakfast, we made the short drive to Mirror Lake State Park and rented a couple of kayaks.
The lake was so pretty–it was super calm and lined with trees as well as a few bluffs along the shore.
We were supposed to get rain all morning long, but thankfully we dodged it long enough to get in some kayaking!
After we were done paddling around Mirror Lake, we decided to go play some mini golf since the rain was still holding off.
We drove into Wisconsin Dells and stopped at Pirate’s Cove–as usual, Micah ended up winning, and he even snuck in a couple of hole in one’s!
After mini golf it was time for coffee before hitting the road again–we found an adorable spot called Bella Goose Coffee.
I always love finding cute coffee shops when we travel and this one was no exception! They made a great “red eye”, which is my latest obsession: black coffee with a double shot of espresso.
The next destination on our road trip was Waupun. As we made our way there, we could keep from stopping for a few photos of the giant wind turbines.
Our room was ready right when we arrived, so we took a quick break and then made our way back to the lobby for more coffee and some relaxing by the fireplace.
After dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant, we drove over to the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge which was only a couple of miles from our hotel. It was a great spot to get outside and enjoy nature–we went on a few short walks and took the 3 mile loop drive throughout the park.
The next morning we made our way over to Sheboygan for some bike riding along Lake Michigan.
We rented bikes from Sheboygan Bicycle Company and went out to explore the shore of the Great Lake in town.
We found some gorgeous views and also some pretty intense heat, so we decided to take a few breaks by the beach and marina on our way back to the bike shop.
When we arrived at our next hotel in Sheboygan, we found some much needed flavored water ready in the lobby–it was the perfect way to cool down after a hot bike ride.
In addition to infused water, this AmericInn also had popcorn and cookies–yum!
To wind down the evening and get ready for dinner, we played some pool by the pool.
Dinner for the evening was at Black Pig, a restaurant in downtown Sheboygan. I tried out the Cajun mac and cheese and Micah ordered a burger with truffle fries. Both were tasty and I loved the atmosphere of the restaurant–I could see myself becoming a regular here if we ever spent more time in the area!
Our last full day of our road trip led us on a short detour to Milwaukee, where we visited the famed Harley Davidson Museum.
The museum was filled with artifacts, history, and interesting stories. We really enjoyed learning about how the company started and evolved over the years.
After the museum and lunch, we decided we should get out and go for a little walk around Milwaukee. We stopped the Milwaukee Public Market and Colectivo Coffee (can you tell I’m a bit of a coffee addict?!)
And, we couldn’t pass by the riverfront without stopping for a photo of the iconic “Bronze Fonz”. After saying “Ayyyy!” and posing for a few photos, we were on our way to our last stop of the trip.
Our last night was spent at the AmericInn in Prairie du Chien, and once again, we were greeted with more treats in the lobby! This time we had a fantastic selection of six different cheeses and crackers. My favorite was the smoked cheddar, but the cheese curds are always one of my favorites, as well, and Micah was partial to the salami cheese!
As if the cheese wasn’t enough, a couple of hours later the front desk set out fresh-baked cookies and an ice cream sundae bar with a ton of different toppings to pick from.
Our room even had a hot tub complete with bath salts and a rubber ducky! In addition to all of this, they also had DVD’s available for check out, board games and a massage chair, which was perfect to test out after a long day of driving.
The Prairie du Chien location was also voted as having the best breakfast around, and we could see why–we had our choice of made to order eggs, waffles, hot oatmeal and much more.
After indulging in so much delicious food, we needed to get out for a walk, so we made our way to St. Feriole Island.
This island is filled with nature and history. As we wandered around the gardens we found one of the cutest Little Free Libraries.
We also made our way over towards the bronze statue park and the presidential trees.
Apparently, 22 presidents have visited Prairie du Chien, so there is now a park in place to commemorate all the presidential visitors. Each president has his own tree, and we found names such as Abe Lincoln, JFK, Herbert Hoover, Bill Clinton, Richard Nixon and many more.
After all the fun we had throughout the week, we definitely picked the right spot to end the trip–we were treated to not one, but TWO firework shows! The first was right on the banks of the Mississippi River and we scored some great seats on a log by the water.
The second show took place right across the street from our hotel, and it went on for well over an hour! It was one of the coolest firework shows we’ve seen in a while, and after watching outside for a bit, we made our way to our room to catch the show out our window.
We had a fantastic week exploring some great small towns in Wisconsin, and thanks to AmericInn, we had some great rooms ready for us at each stop!