20 Best Things to Do in New Glarus, WI

New Glarus, WI
Kristen Prahl / Shutterstock.com

New Glarus is a quaint little village in Green County, Wisconsin.

While it’s not necessarily a top travel destination, it’s still worth visiting for uniqueness and small-town charm.

The place is best known for its Swiss heritage, outdoor festivals, and breweries scattered across the area.

It’s not lacking in natural sights and outdoor trails, either, if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

If you’re interested in those things, then put this place down on your travel itinerary and visit it.

Here are just a few of the best things to do in New Glarus, Wisconsin:

Stop Over at the New Glarus Woods State Park

Road of New Glarus Woods State Park lined with trees
Schieve Photo / Shutterstock.com

The New Glarus Woods State Park, with its 411-acres of free and open land, is a great place to stop by if you’re looking to do different outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, and snowshoeing.

You can also access the Sugar River State Trail through this park, a 23-mile trail perfect for cyclers and hikers.

Playground of New Glarus Woods State Park
Archbob, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Many events take place in this area if you want to socialize with your fellow travelers.

You can, for example, join the annual New Glarus Trail Run and see the lovely natural sights around you while appreciating the excellent terrain for running.

You can also participate in group hikes if you’re looking to meet new friends and traveling companions.

Landscape of New Glarus Woods State Park
Yinan Chen, Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Go to Linstroth’s Valley View Farm

Get to know New Glarus’ unique culture and customs by visiting Linstroth’s Valley View Farm.

This farm will be a great destination if you’ve got a green thumb.

The people running this farm genuinely care about their produce and the food their customers consume.

They do everything by hand, whether it’s planting, weeding, or harvesting, so you don't need to worry about the quality of your produce.

The establishment also hosts several events throughout the year, such as quilt shows, so participate and have fun if you ever get the chance.

Visit the New Glarus Brewing Company

Front exterior of New Glarus Brewing Company
Cliff (cliff1066™), CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled at the edges of New Glarus is a quaint little brewery that’s run by an enthusiastic couple eager to share their love for the art of brewing.

Deborah Carey founded the brewery in 1993 as a gift to her husband, and they brewed their first beer in October of the same year.

Side view of New Glarus Brewing Company's exterior
Chris Harrison from glendale, az, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Take a self-guided tour to learn how the establishment brews its beers and the different devices and ingredients they use.

You can also stop by their gift shop to purchase some world-class beers and a souvenir.

Learn New Glarus History at the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum

The Chalet of the Golden Fleece is a snapshot of the village’s rich Swiss history and is a must-visit for any history buffs.

Architect and owner Jacob Rieder designed the building, which has design features traditionally found in Bern, Switzerland.

Construction began in 1937.

It still reflects its owner’s love for collecting and finding the extraordinary in the mundane.

The museum houses his collection of wood carvings and sculptures, and historical needlework, such as samplers, tapestries, and lace pieces, which visitors can examine closely if they so wish.

Follow the Badger State Trail

Trails at Badger State Trail
Devin Tolleson / Shutterstock.com

Here’s another one for the outdoor lovers out there!

The Badger State Trail is a 40-mile-long rail trail famous for its three tunnels.

The trail starts just south of the Lowell line, and you’ll pass by several interesting sites on your journey.

One of the tunnels you’ll pass through would be the Steward tunnel, which is just a hundred yards to the right of the trail on Pratt Road.

You'll need flashlights and jackets to guard against the dark and damp.

Play A Round at Swissland Miniature Golf

What activity can be more fun than playing miniature golf with your family and friends?

Are you the competitive type or the kind of person who lets their rivals get a good shot in the spirit of camaraderie?

Whatever the case, you can host competitions amongst yourselves and get a grand prize at the end.

Swissland Miniature Golf is the best place to go for such an activity.

They have different packages for different groups of people.

Whether you’re only going with two other companions or are planning to charge in with a party of eight, this place can accommodate your needs.

Go to the Bailey’s Run Vineyard and Winery

Wisconsin has no shortage of vineyards and wineries, and Bailey’s Run Vineyard and Winery at N8523 Klitzke Rd is worth visiting.

The place is relatively young, only starting in 2017, but it’s already leaving its mark on the industry with its motto of “Where Wine Goes to Have Fun.”

They serve all sorts of wines to cater to different tastes, so make sure to find one that fits your sensibilities and gives you that certain spark in your soul and warmth throughout your body.

Maybe you’re into traditional red wines for the romance of it all.

Try out their Remember Me Red or the Rebel Faith if that's the case.

Or maybe you prefer sweeter variants, something light and something easy to take in.

They have caramel apple flavors and strawberry fumes that’ll surely take you in with their great taste alongside the even better company.

View the Products of the Bramble Patch

Exterior of The Bramble Patch
Corey Coyle, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

No vacation is complete without souvenirs; after all, how else would you remember your journey and talk about it with your friends back home?

But, it can be challenging to get just the right piece that’ll encompass everything you’ve seen and done.

Is it unique enough? Interesting? Does it show off the culture of the place you’ve been to?

Fortunately, The Bramble Patch at 102 5th Ave is the best place to go for novelty items.

View some of their locally made products, such as jewelry and slippers; you can even buy sets of Polish pottery to get something truly unique for your home.

The store also sells different food products, such as honey, syrups, and jams, that you can munch on your journey home or give as a gift to your loved ones back home.

Marvel at the Sights of the Sugar River State Recreational Trail

If you’re still looking for outdoor activities, don’t fret.

New Glarus is not the place to run out of those things anytime soon.

Head to the Sugar River State Recreational Trail that starts at the Newport Recreation Department.

The natural sights around New Glarus are hard to get bored of.

There’s always something new to find and discover, so make sure to snap a few pictures as you walk this trail and find new things you’ve never seen before.

The trail itself meanders alongside the Sugar River, and it’s hard not to wander with it.

Take the time to relax, get a breather, appreciate your surroundings and company, maybe even get to know the strangers you meet on the trail, and make a few friends.

Enjoy the Flowers of Brenda’s Blumenladen

Vibrant flowers and a three tier fountain at Brenda’s Blumenladen
Corey Coyle, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Flowers are the universal symbol of beauty, and Brenda’s Bumenladen at 17 6th Ave takes this beauty to the next level for its patrons.

They have a garden you can visit to view and appreciate their flowers.

Lose yourself in the intoxicating natural aroma and fall in love with the explosion of elegant colors that’ll fill your senses.

Oval-shaped fountain at Brenda’s Blumenladen
Corey Coyle, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Maybe even go on a date with your romantic partner if you have the chance.

It’s easy enough to imagine: walking along corridors of flowers, hand in hand, basking in each other’s warmth, and falling in love again.

Don't forget a fresh bouquet for your partner, and show how much you appreciate them.

Products of Brenda’s Blumenladen
Corey Coyle, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Relax at the Belleville Community Park

The community park sits between the northern and southern portions of the residential districts.

It is nearly surrounded by Lake Belle View, giving you sights that take your breath away.

Go to the park and take the chance to sit back and relax, take in the beauty of your surroundings, and rest from a full day of traveling and sightseeing.

Enjoy a picnic with your family and friends or take advantage of the park’s facilities to play sports, such as fencing and baseball.

You can also book parts of the establishment to host weddings, anniversaries, or events to give your celebration a more magical and wondrous feeling.

Wind Down at Puempels Old Tavern

Exterior of Puempels Old Tavern
Corey Coyle, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

End your trip with a visit to an old tavern and reminisce about your journey.

Puempels Old Tavern, located at 18 6th Ave, first opened its doors in 1893, and it’s been going strong ever since.

Stepping inside the building feels like being transported into the past for the first time.

The weight and memories of history wrap their arms around you in a warm and welcoming embrace.

The tavern carries on the old Swiss traditions that built this town and is a great place to visit if you’re looking for warmth and a good time.

Have a drink, try out the local food, and enjoy the friendly and light atmosphere that Puempels provides.

Head over to the Swiss Historical Village Museum

What makes New Glarus unique is the amalgamation of cultures, which gives it its own identity that you won’t forget.

After its Swiss founders, the village itself can trace its roots to its Swiss identity.

These people were immigrants named New Glarus coming from the canton Glarus in Switzerland.

When you visit this place, you’ll glimpse what pioneer life was like centuries ago.

You’ll see village buildings, schools, the blacksmith’s shop, and so many other things, and each of them contains period furniture, tools, and implements.

Take a self-guided tour so you’ll have the time to take in the village and sights at your own pace.

Otherwise, join a docent-led tour for a more comprehensive experience.

Go for a Stroll at Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Memorial Park is one of the leading parks in New Glarus—a great spot for families and for couples.

The park is one of the bigger ones you can find in New Glarus, making this a great place for an afternoon stroll or even for some light jogging.

It’s right next to a school as well, allowing the park to be a quaint and quiet spot no matter what time of the week you visit.

There are several other amenities here, spearheaded by a baseball field and a tennis court.

If you’re looking for a quiet spot to do some walking, you can find Veterans Memorial Park along 2nd Street.

Grab a Bite of a Local Favorite at Sugar River Pizza

Located along Railroad Street, Sugar River Pizza is a can’t miss restaurant as there are only three chains in the country—all of which are in Wisconsin.

This pizzeria is a favorite of the locals because of its creative pizza creations and its vibrant atmosphere that’s perfect for large gatherings.

One of the most recommended food items here are their Mac & Cheese Pizza along with their Taco Pizza—bizarre creations that surprisingly work, especially if you’re feeling famished.

If you’re visiting on a clear day, try to get seating on the patio as it’s one of the best spots in the restaurant.

Sugar River Pizza is also conveniently located along the Sugar River Trail, so it’s a fantastic stopover when you’re biking along the route.

Experience Swiss-Style Living at Chalet Landhaus Inn

If you want a picturesque and Swiss-style stay in New Glarus, Chalet Landhaus Inn is one of your best options.

It’s a beautiful hotel that has everything you’d want plus more, as it offers elegant rooms that give you that rustic Swiss ambiance of Wisconsin without sacrificing comfort.

Even its facade and lobby are great places to appreciate its Swiss heritage..

They have a slew of amenities here at your disposal, including a swimming pool, sauna, and access to a walking and biking path thanks to its location.

Located along Wisconsin Highway-69, Chalet Landhaus Inn is also within walking distance to a lot of the prime restaurants in Downtown New Glarus, so you won’t have to worry about venturing far.

Go Down the Memory Lane at Glarner Stube

Interior of Glarner Stube
jgagnon, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Glarnet Stube is both a Swiss pub and a historic place where you can get a bit of old-school, Swiss nostalgia thanks to its aesthetic.

Dating back to the early 1990s, Glarner Stube’s wood-paneled style architecture makes it a must-visit if you want to munch on some pub food with a 90s-style ambiance.

Its bar counter is one of the best places to sit inside, as you’ll be able to take photos of its awesome interiors best in that area.

Of course, the food and beverages won’t disappoint; try their hash browns, Swiss cheese, and ribeye steak and pair it with their assortment of beer options.

Glarner Stube is one of the prime restaurants in New Glarus, situated in the heart of the village along 1st Street.

Catch an Art Fair at Village Park

Welcome sign of Village Park
Corey Coyle, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Village Park is another famous recreational space in New Glarus where its annual art fair events happen.

This festive and vibrant art fair is a great way to immerse yourself with the community of New Glarus.

You’ll find various interesting artworks and other craftsmanship items as you go through the booths in Village Park.

There’s also live music plus food and beverages, making this a great all-rounder to appreciate art and simply have a good time.

The art fairs at Village Park happen during the much anticipated Heidi and Wilhelm Tell Weekend Festival of the village, a historic celebration of New Glarus’ Swiss heritage.

Final Thoughts

New Glarus is a great little village, rich in history and even more affluent in culture.

You’ll never run short of sights to see in this place, and its unique Swiss identity marks it as a unique destination that you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’re looking for something different, that's still ready to welcome you like an old friend, visit New Glarus.

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