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Haunting New Orleans

9

One visit is enough for some places, but that’s not how I view New Orleans. The city has a flashy array of personalities, none boring.

If I could be anywhere in the country as this month ends, it would be The Big Easy, and the Oct. 26 Packer-Saints football game is just one reason why.

Inside the fiercely creative city with French roots, a free spirit and big love of jazz is a mix of mystery and beauty, with an appetite for gumbo and the risqué. Some of the locals seem to be in costume all year, which makes it OK for visitors to shed a few inhibitions, too, especially as Halloween approaches.


Dining out on the farm

19

Lots of chefs develop farm-to-table menus to showcase local ingredients, but these restaurants go one step further. Each is on a Wisconsin farm and open all year.

North Star Homestead Farms, 11077N Fullington Road, Hayward: A trio of women — Ann Berlage with daughters Laura and Kara — operate a cafe, market and creamery on a 1919 farm in Sawyer County and Chequamegon National Forest.

A Grand vacation

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Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel — unusual because of its appearance, architecture, attitude and location — soon goes into hibernation for six months. The Michigan summer resort, a National Historic Landmark, is among the Midwest’s most precious getaways.

It’s among the pricier, too, but there are exceptions if you know how to time a visit. Schedule a weekday overnight this month, and the overnight rate could be quite affordable, as in $310 per room for up to four people (the Fall Bed and Breakfast Package). Breakfast goes far beyond cold cereal and pre-packaged muffins.

‘A’ is for agriculture and art

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What, besides corn and cows, might you find in farm fields near Reedsburg next month?

A. A woodwind quintet and ballet dancers.

Outdoor sculptures add a fun element to autumn road trips

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When fall colors hit their peak, we hit the road in search of the most brilliant blaze of hues. That part is expected.

What adds surprise to the awe of autumnal landscapes? Plan it right, and rural sculpture parks pop up amid the flaming oaks, maples, birches and sumacs.

Making art in the Northwoods

6

Outside are the tools and materials of a welder. Inside is the precarious pirouette of a dancer, the menacing glare of a warrior.

The unusual combination of what you see is as unexpected as the story of how Sara Balbin leaves her mark in the Northwoods, between Drummond and Cable in Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

Accordion pride

6

Once a month on a Tuesday night, the basement at Monroe’s Turner Hall fills.

Fans of all things Swiss devour Schublig sausages, potatoes with melted Raclette cheese, Hasli-filee pork medallions, cheese pie, fondue and more.

Kringle anyone?

5

In the world of pastry production, Danish kringle ranks among the most difficult and time-consuming of challenges. To do it right takes three days from start to finish.

That’s because of the number of times dough is rolled, folded with butter and set aside to rest. “The best quality kringle require patience,” notes a Food Network online recipe, for advanced bakers.

Rock on! Clear Lake, Iowa, remembers Buddy, Ritchie and The Big Bopper

8

The half-mile walk between northern Iowa cornfields leads to a pinwheel of copper Jell-O molds and, lower to the ground, stainless steel cutouts of a guitar and a pair of wings.

People who make this fence-line trek tend to leave a little something behind: loose change, notes, scarves, ribbons, flags, beads, needlepoint, necklaces, flowers.

Northwoods meets Old World at Garmisch Resort

10

When I think about classic summer resort design in the Midwest, Old World architecture isn’t the first thing to come to mind.

That is a part of what makes the Garmisch Resort, eight miles east of Cable, unusual in Wisconsin.

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