Plan a Fall Weekend Getaway

The summer is at an end, school is starting up again and fall is right around the corner — arguably one of the most beautiful seasons in Wisconsin.

It’s time to start planning a weekend away — whether for your family, a group of friends or just a relaxing break from all the world’s worries — Middleton offers the perfect retreat.

Fall color in Middleton Wisconsin
Fall color in Middleton.

RELAX IN NATURE


Pheasant Branch Conservancy
. Take a stroll through 519 acres of protected conservancy land with Pheasant Branch Creek flowing through to Lake Mendota. The trails here are beautifully maintained for biking and hiking (or running, if that’s your thing!), many are ADA accessible and many allow you to bring along your four-legged family members (just check the signage for pet-friendly paths and keep all dogs on a leash, please!). Bird-watchers also enjoy the conservancy, as well as avid runners, bicyclists and photographers. Several parking lots surrounding the park make accessibility to the trails easy and the Friends of Pheasant Branch have created several maps to assist visitors.

Plan your trip to coincide with the best fall color, here.

Lake Mendota, photo by Roel Rocero

Lake Mendota. It’s sunrise and the sky’s hues of orange and pink reflect off the waters at Lake Mendota as you glide through the water in your kayak. Morning fisherman and birds are your only companions as you welcome the day.

Lake Mendota is a glacial-made lake bordering the City of Middleton and fed by Pheasant Branch Creek. Residents and visitors can drop their own boats into the water at Marshall Park and Mendota Park Boat Launch. You can also rent your own kayak, stand-up paddle boards, mega paddle boards, tandem kayaks, canoes, and pontoon boats from Marshall Boats, which is open 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Memorial Weekend through Labor Day, and for fall hours, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays through Sundays, Sept. 7-26.

Pleasant View Golf Course. Pleasant View Golf Course is an award-winning course on the west side of Middleton — just minutes from Greenway Station and Downtown Middleton. From the club house, take in the panoramic views of the city with the State Capitol in sight while enjoying breakfast, lunch or a cocktail. The course offers 27 holes of championship golf across three, nine-hole courses, plus a par-3, executive 9-hole course. Make sure you book your tee time in advance.

Diners enjoy the patio at the Free House Pub, downtown Middleton

CREATURE COMFORTS


Downtown Middleton
. A convergence of historic and modern architecture lines the streets of downtown Middleton. Find a relaxing atmosphere with shops, restaurants and sidewalk cafes. Sip wine at Grape Water Wine Bar (indoors or outdoors); enjoy a craft beer in “Middleton’s backyard” at

Capital Brewery & Bier Garten

Capital Brewery & Bier Garten (live music on the weekends); enjoy a grilled salmon dinner on the patio of the historic Free House Pub; or pick up a mixed six-pack and artisan burger from Longtable Beer Cafe and head over to Stone Horse Green.

If a good walk is what you need, the Middleton Area Historical Society offers a historic walking tour, as well as a landmarks tour (best done by car). You can also enjoy some of Middleton’s public art downtown and then hop in your vehicle to see the rest!

And do not forget the one and only National Mustard Museum — the museum is free and filled with more than 6,000 types of mustards, as well as mustard memorabilia. The shop upstairs offers numerous mustards to take home to enjoy or give as gifts.

Shopping: If in need of some retail therapy, downtown Middleton’s boutiques include everything from home décor; men’s, women’s and children’s fashion; specialty gifts; handcrafted jewelry; locally made art and more. And do not forget Greenway Station’s outdoor shopping and dining with well-known brands like the Loft, Bath & Body Works, World Market, and so much more — all walkable from any parking space.

LODGING

Whether looking for a pool for the family, king-sized suites to stretch out in, or room service to enjoy, one of Middleton’s nine properties  are sure to suit and all minutes from downtown Middleton. You can even hop the free Middleton trolley — which makes a loop from each hotel property to the downtown district on Fridays and Saturdays. Otherwise, all parking in Middleton is free and there are several large public parking lots, street parking, and business parking available to shoppers.

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