What to DO in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin


For my very first visit to Wisconsin, my 43rd state, I explored Elkhart Lake in May 2022. Learn about my awesome accommodations and all of the delicious dining experiences in my article: Where to STAY and EAT.

Experience all of our amazing adventures in my videos below:

GoKarts 🏎 at Road America 🏁🇺🇸The National Park of SPEED🏎

READY TO RACE? I absolutely LOVED go-karting at Road America which is America’s National Park of Speed! 🇺🇸🏁 You can participate in four miles of fitness, go karting and even come camping. It is not only family friendly but also one of the world’s fastest permanent road racing tracks. There are race weekends for NASCAR, INDYCAR and MotoAmerica.

How did racing get started in Elkhart Lake?

In the early 1950’s, sports car races were being run on the streets in and around Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. When the state legislature banned racing on public roads, a man named Clif Tufte organized a group of influential local citizens and leaders of the Chicago Region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). This group developed plans and sold stock to build a permanent racecourse. The overall vision of Road America grew out of the dreams of Tufte, a highway engineer, who chose 525 acres of Wisconsin farmland outside the Village of Elkhart Lake for the track.

Tufte’s dream became a reality in April 1955.  The natural topography of the glacial Kettle Moraine area was utilized for the track, sweeping around rolling hills and plunging through ravines. By September 10, 1955, the track’s first SCCA national race weekend was held. At 4.048 miles in length, with 14 turns, the track is virtually the same today as it was when it was first laid out and is revered the world over as one of the world’s finest and most challenging road courses. Road America was even recently was named the 2021 Best NASCAR Track in America as voted on by USA Today readers. 

I love to drive and have an entire YouTube playlist of driving experiences! At Road America, we were invited to drive the UTVs for an off-road driving experience through the rugged, wooded terrain of Road America’s 640-acre property located in the beautiful Kettle Moraine. My drive buddy, Greg, and I each had a turn to drive the Wolverine X4 over various types of terrain. I would love to do this again as well as come back to see a race weekend, go camping and do more driving!

UTV driving at Road America

My adventures while staying at Shore Club Wisconsin including Road America and hiking the Ice Age Scenic Trail

What is the National Scenic Ice Age Trail?

From the National Park Service–“A mere 15,000 years ago during the Ice Age, much of North America lay under a huge glacier. Mammoths, saber tooth cats and cave lions roamed the earth! Some of the best evidence of this glacier is found in Wisconsin such as the state’s many lakes, river valleys, gently rolling hills, and ridges. The nearly 1,200 mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail, established in 1980, traces the glacier’s edge.”

I hiked two miles of this stunningly beautiful trail with Jackie Scharfenberg, Forest Naturalist/Environmental Educator from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Ice Age Trail Visitor Center Kettle Moraine State Forest – Northern Unit. I look forward to returning to hike more of this trail.

What to DO in ElkhartLake?

🧀Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese 🧀

Henning’s Wisconsin Cheese is a fourth generation family owned cheese factory based in rural Kiel, Wisconsin that features an on-site cheese store and museum. Henning’s offers a wide variety of cheese, including Cheddars & Colbys that have won many national and world awards. Henning’s is one of the last Wisconsin cheese factories making mammoth wheels and June Daisies, aka Hoop Cheese. I loved watching how they make the cheese!

Time to Play GOLF ⛳️ at Quit Qui Oc

Quit Qui Oc Golf Club & Restaurant is a third generation family business owned and operated by Todd and Rachel Montaba. The original golf course opened in 1927. Quit Qui Oc is Menomenee Indian (and a little French) for “land along the crooked river.”

SHOP: in Village Square at Two Fish Gallery for art and ceramics and Vintage Elkhart Lake for wine

Exploring Elkhart Lake

  • RELAX: at Aspira Spa at The Osthoff Resort with a Sacred Waters Healing Massage
  • DREAM: at ThrottleStop where you can see, shop or sell your car! 200 historic motorcycles, 75 showroom cars and a collection of vintage, rare, limited, and restored automobiles.

Relax at The Osthoff Resort and Aspira Spa!

  • RELAX at Aspira Spa with Sacred Waters Healing Massage
  • EAT at Otto’s
  • STAY at The Osthoff Resort

ThrottleStop for your Driving Dreams

HOW to get to Elkhart Lake? I flew from Los Angeles to Dallas to Milwaukee on the way there

and from MKE to ORD/Chicago to Los Angeles on the way back! It is about an hour drive from Milwaukee to Elkhart Lake.

Read all about Where to STAY and EAT in Elkhart Lake

Elkhart Lake at night! Photo by Lisa Niver!

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries on six continents. This University of Pennsylvania graduate sailed across the seas for seven years with Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean, and Renaissance Cruises and spent three years backpacking across Asia. Discover her articles in publications from AARP: The Magazine and AAA Explorer to WIRED and Wharton Magazine, as well as her site WeSaidGoTravel. On her award nominated global podcast, Make Your Own Map, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors, and as a journalist has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty-two times. Named a #3 travel influencer for 2023, Niver talks travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, her YouTube channel with over 2 million views, and in her memoir, Brave-ish, One Breakup, Six Continents and Feeling Fearless After Fifty.

2 responses to “What to DO in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

    1. Hi Nomadic Samuel!
      Great to hear from you!
      I did love the cheese and everything else about Elkhart Lake.
      Where do you go next?
      Hope your fishing trip after your final post on perfect portfolios has been great!

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