Photo by Annie Spratt
Located in southwest Wisconsin, in an area that is rooted in the agriculture industry, Driftless Wisconsin is naturally a wonderful region to explore agri-tourism with access to a variety of experiences. Given all the locations for discovering agri-tourism in Driftless Wisconsin, it is best for travelers to follow a two day itinerary that will give them enough time to visit each destination and take in everything there is to see and do. A weekend exploring agri-tourism in the Driftless allows visitors to learn more about the area and support local farmers and agriculture businesses in the area.
The best way to explore the agri-tourism of the region is to pick a place to stay for a night and venture out from there. Farm visits to farm stays to farmer’s markets, this two day Driftless Agri-tourism itinerary will cover all the bases and features plenty of interesting, exciting and educational attractions. If you are planning on staying overnight in the area, the itinerary will highlight a farm bed and breakfast where you can stay during your visit. Travelers can look forward to days full of farm tours, workshops, events, festivals, and more. Before you head out for your trip, be sure to call ahead to the agri-tourism stops that require scheduled tours or registering for events to ensure you will be able to visit every stop on the itinerary.
Photo by Canva
Start your two-day agri-tourism vacation in Viroqua, Wisconsin, a small Driftless town with a lively downtown district that has been named to the Wisconsin and National Register of Historic Places. The first agri-tourism stop of the day will be at B&E’s Trees, but Viroqua is a great place to grab breakfast to prepare for a day of driving and walking. The Viroqua Food Co+op and Wonderstate Cafe are two great local places in downtown Viroqua where you can grab a coffee and a quick bite to eat before heading out. If you get into town early, you may have some extra time before heading to your first scheduled agri-tourism tour. One way to fill this time is at the local Driftless Wisconsin farmers markets. Some great options include the Ferryville Farmers Market, the Gays Mills Farmers Market, and the Prairie Street Farmers Market.
After breakfast, you’ll hit the road for a scenic 22 minute drive to the first destination, B & E’s Trees, which is located outside of Cashton, WI. B & E’s Trees is an off-grid Wisconsin farm where pure, organic maple syrup is crafted, aged, and then sent off to be enjoyed by folks all around Driftless Wisconsin. Upon scheduling a tour before your visit, the small team at B & E’s will give you a tour of the farm, explain their partnership with Central Waters Brewing Co. and their process of making pure, barrel aged, organic maple syrup. Travelers should be sure to wear clothes and shoes they don’t mind getting dirty, and it’s important to note the farm facilities are rustic and the tour travels through steep and hilly areas.
The tour time can vary based on the number of questions asked by the group and the weather conditions. But with the travel time and depending on when you arrive at the farm in the morning, once the tour is finished at B & E’s Trees you should be ready to head to the next destination around noon. At this point in the day, travelers should consider stopping for lunch before the next farm visit. Westby has some great places for lunch including Borgen’s Cafe.
Photo by Iga Palacz
After lunch, travelers will want to head back on the road again to the next agri-tourism stop, Wehling Farms & Country Store in Westby, WI. If you’re coming from B and E’s, turn right onto Lars Hill Road and head southwest to Country Road P. Here you’ll turn onto Lovas Hill Road and follow your GPS or directions to the farm. If you’re coming from Westby, you’ll travel northwest on Highway 14 before turning right on Lovas Hill Road. Upon arrival, visitors should be ready to explore the farm by foot, have a glimpse into life on the farm, and even take home meat, farm fresh eggs, local cheese, and crafts.
At Wehling Farms & Country Store travelers will learn about Farmer Danika’s how and why for getting into farming, the rules of being a certified organic farm, their venture of custom raising heifers, their store, and hear some funny farm stories. The tours are great for farmers or non-farmers of any age and can last over an hour long depending on the number of questions from the group. Visitors to the farm who also plan on shopping at the country store can explore the farm without a tour fee, and have a personal tour if Farmer Danika is available at that time. If you would like to guarantee a guided farm tour, call ahead and book a private tour for your group between 10:30 am and 4:30 pm on Mondays through Thursdays.
Photo by Photo Nic
As evening approaches you should have enough time to hit the last three stops on the winery and brewery tour, if you time your day out right and don’t spend too much time at one place. From Vernon Vineyards, head back towards Viroqua on Highway 14 to Readstown and then head south to the next destination, Soldiers Grove, WI. Here you’ll find the next stop on your winery and brewery tour, Driftless Brewing Company. Visit the taproom to try some of their hand-crafted full-flavored ales and lagers made from locally and regionally sourced ingredients. Next you’ll want to find your way to County Road C and head west toward Ferryville and the next stop, Sugar Creek Winery of Wisconsin. Sugar Creek has a variety of wines to sample and buy to take home with you.
You’ll make the final stop of the tour by heading back to Westby to Branches Winery. Head north on the Wisconsin Great River Road for a scenic view of the sunset over the Mississippi River, especially during the summer, until you reach Genoa. Then head back up to Viroqua and finally arrive back in Westby for the last stop of the day. You’ll be able to make it to your final destination with plenty of time to spare for relaxing and wine tasting. Especially since the winery is open from 1pm to 8pm on Saturdays, and 1pm to 6pm on Sundays.
Branches Winery’s wines range from dry reds and crisp whites to sweet table and dessert wines, so you’re sure to find something you’ll like. If you’re ready to eat an early dinner, or grab some appetizers to hold you over, Branches has outdoor wood-fired pizzas, local cheese and charcuterie plates, and desserts. Make sure to explore the beautiful tasting room, as well as the surrounding area and outdoor patio for the full experience.
Photo by Katherine Hanlon
After your stay at Hidden Springs Creamery, you’ll want to get an early start for your second day of exploring agri-tourism in Driftless Wisconsin. The next and final stop on the itinerary is Driftless Curiosity in Viola, Wisconsin, a 200 acre organic farm with unique farm experiences for all who visit. The drive from Hidden Springs Creamery to Driftless Curiosity will take about half an hour, but if you plan on stopping somewhere along the way for breakfast you’ll want to plan accordingly. This can also be another time to visit the nearby farmers markets if you didn’t have time to on the first day. We recommend you eat a hearty breakfast to prepare you for a full day of activities and events at Driftless Curiosity.
Being a unique agri-tourism destination in Driftless Wisconsin, you may want plenty of time to explore Driftless Curiosity on your final day, especially if you’re traveling with kids. You can participate in workshops, events, and various learning opportunities focused on farming, social justice, the arts, and experimental education. As you are planning your trip, you may want to check the Driftless Curiosity workshop and event schedule first and plan your trip dates around the schedule and purchase tickets if you wish to partake in an activity.
Many of the events and workshops will start around 10am and run until 4pm, which is why you may spend the entire second day of your agri-tourism trip at Driftless Curiosity. The workshops and events are separated by season and include but are not limited to Beekeeping 101, Maple Syrup Workshop, Herbal Wildcrafting, Food Preservation Workshop, and Traditional Mexican Weaving.