3 Wisconsin Roadside Attractions Actually Worth the Stop

By Christina Lorey

July 7, 2023

And the state’s #1 tourist trap…

Amidst all the Kwik Trips and Culver’s, you’ll find a variety of questionably quirky attractions on any given Wisconsin highway. All are unusual, most are one-of-a-kind, and a few are actually worth the stop.

Casago, a platform for vacation home rentals, ranked the biggest tourist traps in the country and world, based on TripAdvisor reviews that have the words “tourist trap” in them.

What’s Wisconsin’s? The Mars Cheese Castle in Kenosha.

When Mario and Martha Ventura first opened their cheese shop in a renovated schoolhouse at the intersection of highways 41 and 43 in Kenosha County, even they couldn’t have dreamed what it would become.

Today, that shop is a castle, selling more than 1,000 different types of cheese, novelty souvenirs, gift baskets, wine, sausage, sweets and more. 

Here are three more roadside attractions that tourists often miss:

1. The exact center of the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere

Poniatowski
Did you know the precise center of the Northern half of the Western Hemisphere is in Wisconsin? If you ever find yourself in Marathon County, stop by the Wausau Central Wisconsin Convention & Visitor Center to sign the 45 x 90 Club guest book and pick up a commemorative coin!

Credit Roadside Attractions

2. A graveyard for discarded fiberglass statue molds

Sparta
The FAST (Fiberglass Animals, Shapes and Trademarks) Corporation is the premier manufacturer of fiberglass statues, water slides, and larger-than-life creations of all kinds. But all those hollow molds take up a lot of space, so when the company is finished, it lines them up in a field on its property. See if you can spot the ones from old Wisconsin Dells attractions.

Credit FAST Corporation

3. The world’s largest talking cow, Chatty Belle

Neillsville
In Clark county, cows outnumber humans four to one. So it makes sense it’s home to the world’s largest talking cow! The 16 foot tall, 20 feet long “Chatty Belle” was named by a first grader who won her school’s contest in 1967. Her prize? 100 lbs. of butter! Drop some change in Chatty’s coin-operated voice box, and she’ll talk to you.

Credit Chatty Belle Facebook page

Author

  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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