Fort Atkinson is located approximately 1 hour north west from Milwaukee and 40 minutes southeast from Madison. It is located in Jefferson county along the Rock River. The city is filled with a handful of parks, awesome restaurants, local farming communities, and more. Here is your Fort Atkinson itinerary.
Kona and I took the RV on this trip! We stayed at Wishing Well RV Resort and my goodness - they have everything! I have only stayed at a few campgrounds in the RV so far but this one has been the best. The campsites are not right on top of each other leaving plenty of room for some privacy. The sites are clearly marked and very clean. Whether you're looking to embark on outdoor adventures or simply unwind amidst the serene surroundings, Wishing Well RV Resort has it all!
Kona and I discovered a dog park on the campground - she was thrilled. They also have multiple pools, inflatables, WATER inflatables, an event area, playground, drive-in movies, horseshoe pits, and more! There truly is something for everyone. If you are considering a campground in the Fort Atkinson area, you must stay here!
THINGS TO DO
The Fireside Theatre stands as a beacon of entertainment and culinary delight. It has been on my bucket list for quite some time. I was FINALLY able to attend a show and I will absolutely be back. We attended a Sunday matinee for Mary Poppins. We enjoyed a bunch buffet followed by a show. The theatre is gorgeous and the gift shop is massive. You can spend ample time there in between your meal and the show. I am hoping to check out a dinner show sometime in 2024.
We were lucky enough to attend Fort Atkinson's Rhapsody Festival. The festival is a city-wide with live music at local businesses. Additionally, there is a kids section with a duck race and other fun things to do! We enjoyed walking the city listening to tunes while shopping and snacking at some of the dining options.
Hoard's Dairy Farm is located in Fort Atkinson. You can schedule a tour at the farm to learn about all of the work that goes into keeping the 900-acres of land running smoothly. The farm has almost 250 cows, most of which are Guernsey cows. I learned so much about the history of the farm, what is grown there now, the cow milking process, along with all of the awesome technology that has helped dairy farms over the years.
After I toured the farm, I went back to Hoard's Creamery office and sampled some cheese. We tried 5 different varieties - some are award winning! Hoard's Creamery Cheese can be found it many local Sendik's, Festivals, and small specialty cheese stores.
FOOD & DRINK
Start your morning with a coffee and a breakfast sandwich from Beauty and the Bean. This spot is very unique in the sense that it is half hair salon (beauty) and half coffee shop (bean). I have been here a handful of times and there is always a line out the door; that's the sign of good coffee. I ordered a bacon, egg, & cheese bagel sandwich and a caramel latte. Perfect way to begin the day!
My first stop for dinner in Fort Atkinson is a spot that I have been wanting to check out for a long time: Fort 88 Smokehouse. Their cheese curds have been on my list for years and I was finally able to give them a go! It was 97 degrees out this day, though, so I couldn't leave Kona alone in the RV. We ordered takeout and shared our dinner. We ordered cheese curds, a brisket melt, and brussel sprouts - yum!
We also had the opportunity to visit Paddy Coughlin’s Irish Pub for lunch and it was one of the best meals I have had in a long time. We ordered Muenster cheese curds made with Kraemer Wisconsin Cheese and a fish fry with beer battered fries. The curds were served with ranch dressing and a dill aoili which I loved. I talked to Erin, the owner, about how involved Paddy's is with the community. They work with several local farmers for a lot of the ingredients used in their dishes. I love local supporting local and that should give you more of a reason to visit this pub.
We spent dinner on the shores of Lake Koshkonong at Island Bar & Grill. They have live music on Friday nights and the place was poppin! The patio in back of the restaurant is huge and filled with dozens of picnic tables. There is also an outdoor bar area - so fun! We ordered the Wisconsin Cheese Curd burger with fries and firecracker shrimp tacos with tater tots on the side. The service was super fast and the food was delicious, highly recommend!
After our meal at Island Bar & Grill, I was craving a sweet treat. We stopped at the iconic Frostie Freeze for some ice cream cones - Kona included. This ice cream spot has been open since 1983 and is one of the most well known stops in Fort Atkinson. They are seasonal, so make sure to check their hours before your visit!
There is no shortage of parks in Fort Atkinson and Kona and I love to hike. We checked out two different hikes during our weekend. The first was Effigy Mounds at Indian Mounds Park. The park is five acres and features 11 mounds that have been preserved for almost 1,500 years! The mounds are different animal formations as well as conical mounds. It is a pretty cool piece of history to learn about.
We also checked out Dorothy Carnes County Park which was absolutely beautiful in the early morning. This park features 512 acres of land and 9 miles of hiking trails. Rose Lake is located in the middle of the park and majority of the area has been designated as State Natural Area. The park is mainly used for hiking, bird watching, picnicking, dog walking, and more!
Fort Atkinson is filled with local providers of dairy, meat, and vegetables. Lots of small businesses lean on each other for product which is one of the many charms of this town.
I spent a good chunk of my morning visiting Jones Market. The Jones family has been in Fort Atkinson since 1830 and are best known for their all natural sausage. The market sells things such as ham, bacon, cheese, artisan foods, and more! They also serve lunch items and ice cream. If you are in the Fort Atkinson area, you must check out this well-known destination.
Fort Atkinson Farmers Market is held on Saturday mornings. You can choose from lots of local goodies such as fruit and vegetables, canned goods, and craft items. There is live music at the market and it is very dog friendly.