Galentine's Weekend in Whitewater, Wisconsin
It's almost Valentine's Day but more importantly, Galentine's Day! Looking for a fun weekend away with your gal pals? Whitewater is the perfect spot. Whitewater, Wisconsin is located about 1 hour southwest of Milwaukee and 1 hour southeast of Madison. There is something for everyone: adorable coffee shops, well-maintained hiking trails, delicious pizza, lake activities, local shopping, live entertainment, and much, much more!
My friends and I were lucky enough to stay at a wonderful cottage across from Whitewater Lake. Honestly, it was perfect. The cottage was about a 15 minute drive to downtown Whitewater, less than 10 minutes to the Ice Age Trail, and less than 10 minutes from Staller Estates Winery (very important detail). It's located right in the Kettle Moraine State Forest which allows for beautiful views and plenty of wildlife.
The cottage is large enough for 8 guests and has 3 levels allowing for plenty of space. There is a recreation room in the basement stocked with a TV and board games for your entertainment. The kitchen has all of the supplies you need - including fresh and delicious coffee beans from Nordskov Coffee. There literally is not a better way to start the day.
We spent Saturday night in the game room working on a 1,000 piece cheese puzzle, playing 'Sorry' and drinking a few glasses of wine. Sometimes girls night is best spent relaxing, and that's exactly what we got while staying at this cottage.
THINGS TO DO
Staller Estates Winery
If you are a wine drinker, Staller Estates is the cutest. We visited on Friday night for a wine tasting: 4 wine pours of your choice. The winery is inside of a barn and it is absolutely gorgeous. Plenty of tables, bottles of wine for purchase, AND, most importantly, a cooler full of cheese. We ordered a glass of wine after our flight of wine because it was just that good.
Barista Cats Cafe
Barista Cats Cafe had it's opening weekend while we were in town - lucky us! You can hang out with cats while drinking coffee... what a dream. We had a reservation on Saturday morning and got our fill of kitten cuddles. The coffee was delicious and the cats were adorable. Tons of toys to entertain them with and lots of beds for the cats to rest.
Whitewater Indoor Market
On Saturday mornings, you can shop the Whitewater Indoor Market located inside of the library. It's a bit small, but worth the trip. There are local makers with baked goods, beautiful pottery, fresh eggs, handmade soap, and much more. It's a fun little stop to find some goodies.
FOOD & DRINK
What's a better way to start the weekend than a good ole fish fry? 841 Brewhouse has one of the best! Their beer battered cod is deep fried to perfection. They brew their own beer - it's very good! They also have a list of fun cocktails to dabble in. Either way, you will not leave here hungry or unsatisfied. Everything we ate was delicious.
Second Salem Brewing
Unfortunately, 841 Brewhouse does not serve fried cheese curds during their fish fry BUT Second Salem Brewing is here to save the day. They serve Ellsworth curds with a side of ranch dressing. Stop here after dinner to enjoy fried curds with one of their craft beers. The perfect nightcap.
When asking for recommendations in Whitewater, I received an overwhelming amount of responses for Jessica's. Jessica's is a family-owned diner serving huge portions and unlimited coffee. Seriously, we drank so much coffee. We tried some of their breakfast sandwiches as well as a skillet. The food came out fast, it was a reasonable price, and all of it was so tasty. This is definitely the perfect spot to start your morning in Whitewater.
Sweet Spot Café
The Sweet Spot Café is a fantastic place to grab a bite for lunch. They offer a wide variety of soup, salad, sandwiches, flatbread, and more. Most importantly: they have baked goods. We ordered salads, a sandwich, and soup, and it was all delectable. The portion sizes were quite large and the food was served very quickly. I tried their baked potato soup (my favorite) and YUM! I would love to visit Sweet Spot again the next time I am in Whitewater.
We decided to take it easy on Saturday night and grabbed a pizza from Gus's Pizza Palace. Gus's is another spot in town that was highly recommended. We built our own za: pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and spinach. We added a side of potato wedges for good measure. The pizza was ready when we arrived and piping hot. We opted for thin crust and it was crispy and crunchy - the way all thin crust should be. They are known for having some of the best pizza in Whitewater.
The Fuzzy Pig
The Fuzzy Pig is located a little outside of downtown but it is worth the drive. They have a Country Store with so much adorable stuff. They currently have an entire section of the store dedicated to Valentine's Day. I told my friends that I could spend 48 hours browsing and still not see everything. It's packed! We had a great time exploring and found some goodies to take home with us.
Don't let the name fool you - they don't only sell boots! We were surprised by the wide variety of shoes at Dale's Bootery. If you're looking for a new pair of kicks for you or a friend - you will find them here. They have extremely friendly employees, too, which makes the shopping process that much easier.
The Book Teller
All us girls love to read, so when we found The Book Teller, we were thrilled. The Book Teller sells a variety of used books as well as unique crafts made by local artists. There is space to hang out and read - the perfect spot for relaxation!
We got lucky and the weather was nice enough for a hike! We checked out the Ice Age Trail and it was terrific. We hiked the Whitewater Lake segment and the Clover Valley segment. The Whitewater Lake segment was my favorite. It was easy to walk through the snow and provided us with some beautiful views of Whitewater Lake and Rice Lake. I hope to go back when the weather is warmer to kayak in Whitewater Lake and hike even more of the IAT.