15 answers

Any Recommendations for a Girls' Weekend Destination in Wisconsin or Iowa?

I'm planning a girls' weekend with 3 friends from college. 2 of us are in Minneapolis and 2 are in Chicago, so we're looking for someplace quiet and pretty sort of in between the two cities. We mostly want to hang out and reminisce, but it would be great if there were antique shops or other fun activities nearby, and nice views. We'd like to stay somewhere where we can do some of our own cooking, so maybe a cabin or condo, preferably not too expensive. Does anyone have a favorite vacation destination like that in Wisconsin or Iowa?

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Sundara Spa in the Wisconsin Dells. Fantastic! I went with my husband, but there were clearly several girlfriend groups there, too!
For something opposite that, you might also have fun exporing south of Rochester in the Harmony, Preston MN area. Its amish country with lots of biking, b&b's and antiques.

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Check into Clear Lake, Iowa. Cabins sell out in advance, so don't wait too long.

Have fun!

Hayward, WI is a cute little town with a variety of activities. There are antique and art stores. I have some friends who own a luxurious B&B there, but there are also inexpensive hotels and rental cabins available. In addition to the shops and art galleries, you could canoe, miniature golf or hang out at a lake. The owners of the B&B also hosts teas, show drive-in style movies and may have spa activities available. There are both nice and casuaul restaurants in town. Let me know if you need any additional information. Have fun!

Sundara is wonderful!

Hi - yes - Green Lake Conference Center in Wisconsin! My hubby's fam has been going there every other summer for over 30 years. You can rent a house or cabin or even camping area and the nearby towns are perfect. If you can get a place on the lake, you'll never leave.
Best wishes!

I recommend Galena, IL. It will be about 3 hours from Chicago and 5 from the Twin Cities. It has everything you described...my husband grew up there and we were just there for Memorial Day. We rented a house in the country from a company called Amber Creek Vacation Rentals 800-781-9530. Good luck and have fun!

Sundara Spa in the Wisconsin Dells. Fantastic! I went with my husband, but there were clearly several girlfriend groups there, too!
For something opposite that, you might also have fun exporing south of Rochester in the Harmony, Preston MN area. Its amish country with lots of biking, b&b's and antiques.

There's Jellystone Park in Warren, WI (about 45 min west of the Dells) and right off of 94. I know they have cabins/villas you can rent.

website is: www.thethreebearsresort.com

we did an "eco" b&b in madison and had a great time just hanging out in madison. http://www.arbor-house.com/

i love madeline island/bayfield in wisconsin - it is so beatiful there! also cable, wisconsin has some great antique stores

My Sister lives up in the U.P. and my Mom and I live in the Twin cities.

Half way for us is Wausau WI. We stayed at the Jefferson Inn. I don't remember if they have rooms with kitchens (ours didn't), there were definatly places that did have kitchens in the area. BUT there is a REALLY nice Spa attached to the Jefferson Inn. They have these really cool mini treatments so you don't have to be there all day but you feel like a princess when you leave anyway :o)

It is a really cute town and there are a lot of hiking trails nearby(Rib mountain I think). We unfortunatly didn't get out too much when we went because I had an awful back ache but it was cool enough that we want to go again this year.

Have FUN!!

We just rented a farmhouse in Spring Green, Wisconsin with my husband's family. There are four bedrooms and a nice large well-supplied kitchen. The view's are absolutely breathtaking - rolling hills, lush green. It's out in the country, so you can see all the stars and hear frogs and owls at night. It's also midway between Minneapolis and Chicago (well, pretty midway). Fairly close to Madison. If you're interested in architecture, it has some historical significance - Frank Lloyd Wright used to spend summers in this farmhouse - it belonged to his uncle. He built Taliesen just a mile from here - you can see part of it from the farmhouse. The farmhouse is sortof Frank Lloyd Wright inspired - the school came in a added some elements in his style.

Here's the website if you're interested:

Email me if you would like some more photos (there's some on the website, but I have more).

Oh, and one of the best parts - there is a beautiful fireplace - we used it every night!

Hi Sara-
Any of the major cities- like Milwaukee ?? Door County nice.
If you want to get away outdoors- now is the time before the bugs come out.
Have fun and good for all of you.
B. J

My friends and I have gone camping at Jellystone in Warrens almost every summer since we were in high school - they've expanded so much, and camping is no longer required, cabins and a hotel like building are all available. It's a great destination, but you have to drive a distance to get to anything other than Jellystone.

Spring Green Wisconsin is also a really neat scenic place; House on the Rock is an amazing place to go and explore.

Galena, IL is also wonderful - my cousin got married there last summer, and the town is just beautiful - built into the side of a hill, it's an old town mainstreet with neat shops and stores and whatnot. There is a large golf course/resort just outside of town, otherwise Dubuque, IA is only about a 15-20 minute drive away, with lots of hotels (the Hampton Inn there is only a year or two old, and has lots of great amenities - I used to manage one, and the one in Dubuque is great!) Galena/Dubuque are a bit more of a drive than some of the WI destinations, but would probably be my main recommendation.

Door County Wisconsin is fun and pretty. While its known for its Cranberry Fields during the Fall harvest, it's breathtakingly pretty in the Summer months too. Here's a link to places you might want to visit.


St. Croix and Taylors Falls Wisconsin is nice too. Here's a B&B in the area:


Wisconsin Dells has a lot to offer in all those areas. It is not just waterparks and family stuff. There are some really great spas and restaurants too. Also, the Fox Valley area of WI is wonderful. Try the Heidel House Resort in Green Lake. Lots of quaint little shops in the area and a pretty good mall about 45 min north in Appleton. Have fun!

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