American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
We're so excited to launch our "If These Trees Could Talk" events this weekend. In honor of this momentous debut, we wanted to share some of the other lovely and unique shops, restaurants and attractions in the Spring Green area that would pair well with your visit to APT. We've all been cooped up just a little too long. Now is the perfect time take in a Driftless autumn, and to take advantage of the time we have left before the snow blows. For more information, including deals from local businesses, visit our Dine, Shop, Explore page before you head our way. And if you haven't yet, make sure and get your tour tickets.
For much of our audience, APT has become synonymous with summer. It’s more about the feeling this place evokes than any actual weather pattern, and the warmth and excitement of those fleeting summer months is, indeed, something that permeates this place. That said – if you’ve never been to Spring Green in the autumn time, you are missing out on an experience just as joyful as those shiny warmer months that tend to get all the glory. Plus, the mosquitoes are largely deceased, which is its own reward.
Spring Green is part of the Midwest’s Driftless region. Physically, that means that the glaciers largely missed this area, giving the land the unique rolling hills and bluffs that make it such a cherished vacation spot. It is, in a word, breathtaking. And when you add the annual changing of the leaves from glossy green to shades of autumnal sunset, it’s a destination well worth the drive down Highway 14, and off the beaten path. In fact, you could also define “Driftless” as a wish to remain right where you are, riding the wake of a perfect fall day.
Another contribution to that Driftless feeling is the activities that are located within and around a 7-mile-ish stretch just around the theater. The closest attraction is Taliesin, just down the road. Home to Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture school (and once home to Frank himself), you can sign up for a variety of tours of the home and grounds. And for the first time, self-guided tours are available for your socially distant pleasure. If you’re a fan of vast, quirky collections, or Japanese gardens; elaborate carousels or Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, you’ll want to make the pilgrimage to The House on the Rock, where every visit is a truly remarkable experience.
The Wisconsin River is another result of the glacial miss that formed the land beneath APT’s stages, and it’s a hotbed of activity in the summer months, drawing bikers and boaters; people who fish and people who bird-watch and people who just want to hear the water glide by. While the summer crowds have departed, these activities are still in prime days – some would say the best days. And if outdoorsy is your thing, The Wisconsin Riverside Resort offers all of the above - camping, canoeing and dining all in one convenient spot. Another riverfront option is Tower Hill State Park, right across County Road C from APT. And if you want to camp, but are willing to branch further abroad, Governor Dodge sports two lakes in nearby Dodgeville, and Blue Mounds State Park offers plenty of sites, walking trails and general peace and beauty. And again, not to beat a dead invertebrate, but fewer mosquitoes.
Bugs or no, sleeping on the ground isn’t for everyone, so it comes in handy that the area has a number of fantastic places to rest your head. In Spring Green, for example, you have The Roundbarn Lodge, a solar-powered establishment on Highway 14, just across the street from Arthur’s Supper Club. Or The Silver Star B&B, an exquisite log cabin inn sporting 10 private guestrooms. Feel like something a little different? The Steampunk Manor Bed & Breakfast is a short walk from downtown and your stay is accompanied by a three-course breakfast. And outside the bounds of our burg in nearby Mount Horeb, the Grandstay Hotel & Suites is an award-winning establishment nestled in the Troll capital of the world.
All of those options play a part in memory-making while you’re visiting the area. But the heart of Spring Green beats in its eclectic downtown. Arcadia Books, an independent bookstore owned by frequent APT Director James Bohnen, is sure to flutter the pulse of any book lover. There are shops to dress you up (Ali Kauss Adornment for unique handmade jewelry, Nina’s Department Store for casual clothing and other fun supplies, The Spring Green General Store for fantastic women’s wear and gifts), shops to fulfill every home need (Convivio offers exquisite kitchen supplies, while Panacea, as the name suggest, has a little something for everything, be it home, body or soul). Gorgeous hand-made pottery - dishwasher safe, no less! - awaits you at Wilson Creek. And if you venture out on Saturdays from 8 am to noon, visit the Spring Green Farmer’s Market for fresh produce and meats, as well as baked goods, soaps, and homemade dog treats.
And while we’re on the topic of food, you may want to pick up a little something to share with your group on the APT grounds. A number of Spring Green’s restaurants are offering to-go options for your picnicking pleasure, including The Spring Green General Store; Driftless Food Tours, offering locally sourced picnics and cheeses; The White School Collective, an aptly named restaurant offering dine in and carry out on Saturdays and Sundays. One of Spring Green's favorite gathering places, The Shed, is a great place for pizza and a beer (and sometimes live music in the courtyard). Or if you’ve already packed your picnic, but are looking to wet your whistle, The Slowpoke Lounge and Cabaret has indoor and outdoor seating, as well as fantastic craft cocktails. Perfect as a warm up for your tour, or a nightcap to top off a full and fulfilling day.
That’s just a taste of what’s packed into this tiny plot of land. Pluck each part that appeals to you, and pair it with your trip to APT. After all, our lives have been so restricted recently. Everyone could use a little joy. A little poetry. A little adventure. It’s all right here in Spring Green – a secret microcosm just across the border from the real world.