Matt and I have a tradition of alternating years that we plan something for our anniversary and birthdays. We’ve done everything from a weekend trip, to a basketball game, to (last year) eating at Wendy’s with our three week old. We both love this because we get the opportunity to surprise each other and not one person always has to be responsible.

For our second anniversary, we were both knee deep in work. Before I started at my full-time job, we had been taking short weekend trips about once every 6-8 weeks, but with both of us working it had become a lot harder to get away. We both desperately needed a change of scenery, even if for just a few days! We both love Wisconsin and the previous trips we had taken there, so naturally when it was my turn to plan, I chose to put together a long weekend trip where we might be able to explore a new area of the state.

Now, you’ve probably already picked up that we enjoy visiting breweries and trying new beers as well as exploring whatever new town/city we happen upon. Originally, I had the idea to drive out to a bed and breakfast that was also a brewery(!); I was SO excited about this. You can imagine my sadness when I researched and found out that it was in a super small town, where by my Google search, there wouldn’t be any restaurants and the brewery itself wouldn’t be open. I tried SO hard to tack this on to either the first night or last night of the trip, but it just did not pan out. So, back the drawing board! Thankfully I found a few great online resources to look up various breweries in southern  Wisconsin and came across four different breweries within a couple hours of each other–two of which happened to be in Madison.

Once I figured out where in Wisconsin we would be going, it was easy to put the rest of the trip together. When I trip plan for us, I use TripAdvisor, Yelp, and even city websites to create a list of a handful of places that we might want to visit, this includes restaurants, breweries, museums, local events, points of interest, etc. I try to gather all the helpful information such as hours of operation, address, tickets needed, admission price, and any other helpful information. If I’m feeling really ambitious I put everything on a map so we can easily see what things we might want to do on the same day. We usually don’t set an itinerary unless we really want to see a particular museum and say it is only open on Friday afternoon, then we plan accordingly.

So, some of the things you’ll be reading about the next few days are from this southern Wisconsin and Madison trip. Because of our work schedules, we took three whole days (including travel), leaving on a Friday morning and returning Sunday late afternoon. We decided that we could have easily spent one more day in Madison because there were things we did pass up, but if you’re looking for a snapshot, I think we captured it. Here is an overview of what we’ll be covering the next few days.

Tuesday — Baumgartner’s Cheese Store and Tavern & Minhas Brewery, Monroe WI

Wednesday — New Glarus Brewing

Thursday — Hubbard Ave Diner, National Mustard Museum & Capital Brewery, Middleton WI

Monday — Wisconsin State Capitol & Madison Museum of Modern Art

Tuesday — The Old Fashioned & Marigold Kitchen

Wednesday — Ale Asylum