Farm-to-table refers to an urban dining trend, but visitors to the Manitowoc area have a unique opportunity to explore their curiosities about the foods they consume and experience agriculture in unexpected ways.
A natural starting point for agriculture exploration lies inside the big red barn along Interstate 43. Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center brings to life the story of how food gets from the farm to the table. Farm Wisconsin—named among USA Today’s 10 Best New Attractions—features 10,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits. Visitors can churn “butter,” drive a combine simulator or dig in kinetic sand while learning about sustainability. The Farm Wisconsin experience also includes a bus or video tour of a modern dairy farm and a unique birthing barn, where guests have the opportunity to see the miracle of calf birth.
The farm-to-table theme at Farm Wisconsin comes full circle with the Wisconsin Café featuring breakfast and lunch items highlighting Wisconsin agricultural products, as well as the Farm House Store, which carries products like cheese, wine, beer, maple syrup, honey, and 16 flavors of Cedar Crest ice cream.
From Farm Wisconsin, visitors can make other stops in the area, based on specific curiosities. Unique farm experiences like LondonDairy Alpacas and Pine Crest Historical Village provide one-of-a-kind connections to animals, fiber, and the agricultural processes of bygone days. In the Woods Sugar Bush allows visitors to explore maple syrup-making processes. Local farmers markets, Newton Meats, Suzie-Q Fish Market, and Wilfert Farms allow food enthusiasts to get up close and personal with food products raised locally.
Celebrate “America’s Dairyland” and see how cheese is made at Henning’s Cheese Factory, or enjoy hand-scooped ice cream at the Cedar Crest Ice Cream Factory and Parlor while snapping a selfie with Bernice, the giant fiberglass cow. Shop hundreds of product varieties at Pine River Dairy, the Cheese Nook, and commemorate the birthplace of the ice cream sundae by visiting the Historic Washington House’s Berners’ Soda Fountain.
Wine enthusiasts need not travel to Napa to learn about grapes and winemaking. The Manitowoc area has several great options to learn more about how grapes are grown and wine is made. Walk a vineyard and taste wine made at Silarian Winery & Duck Creek Winery, and travel up the coast for more great options. Beer drinkers have several local authentic watering holes to explore to learn more about beer brewing.
The area welcomes visitors to create an adventure to remember through agri-tourism. Learn about food’s origins, meet genuine people, and experience a delightfully different way of living in the Manitowoc region.