For a town with all the charm of a Hallmark movie, look no further than Cedarburg. Located just 20 miles north of Milwaukee on the picturesque Cedar Creek, the town of 11,000 residents offers the perfect blend of old and new.
Consistently ranked as a favorite small-town getaway, Cedarburg is certainly worth the drive. Visitors are charmed by the delightful mix of unique shops, gracious inns, cozy cafes, art galleries and museums, many nestled inside meticulously maintained historic buildings and all within walking distance of one another. Step back in time and soak in all of the beautifully renovated and restored historic buildings that now house restaurants, businesses and museums. Well-known for its many outdoor festivals, Cedarburg should be added to your summer list of must see destinations.
Selfie Spot: Cedar Creek
East of Amy’s Candy Kitchen, travel toward the corner of Washington and Columbia Avenues. Across from the mill is the most majestic, breathtaking backdrop of the Cedar Creek and Interurban Trail. Soak in the ambiance of this most beautiful sight and snap a selfie. The Interurban Trail and Covered Bridge are also selfie-worthy spots. As you stroll down historic downtown, have your phone ready as many of the historic buildings are also worthy of that signature selfie.
Six Must-See Spots
Cedarburg Cultural Center & Main Street Gallery
The Cedarburg Cultural Center, located in the heart of the city, has been a monumental fixture for the arts for the past 30 years. The free cultural center showcases work from local visual artists, hosts performances, offers educational presentations and exhibits, and also offers several classes for both children and adults. Inside the center is Main Street Gallery, a boutique gallery run by the Cedarburg Artists Guild that features the works of local fine artists. For the past 40 years, the Cedarburg Artists Guild’s mission has been to support local artists from painters, poets, sculptors and musicians. The over 200-member guild both recognizes and endorses artists throughout Cedarburg and Ozaukee County. For more information, visit cedarburgculturalcenter.org and cedarburgartistsguild.com.
Amy’s Candy Kitchen
Recognized for the “Best Caramel Apple” by the Wall Street Journal, Amy’s Candy Kitchen is a must. Since 1996, Amy’s has been perfecting the art and decadent taste of the caramel apple. Using jumbo granny smith apples and handcrafted caramel, Amy’s apples are like biting into a little piece of heaven. Each apple is assembled using the finest ingredients from Door County cherries to in-house roasted nuts. Other specialties include homemade caramel, toffees, brittles, fairy food and turtles. Open for curbside pickup.
Cedarburg Toy Company
Specializing in American made toys and accessories, the Cedarburg Toy Company (CTC) is a locally owned treasure trove for all things fun. Located in the heart of downtown, CTC has everything and anything a child or game enthusiast could ever want. The owners work with local toy makers and American made companies to offer clients a wide range of games, puzzles, novelties, books, and arts and crafts.
Owned and operated by the Cedarburg Landmark Preservation Society, the beautifully renovated Rivoli Theatre is a single screen theater located in downtown Cedarburg. This theater has been showing full-length feature films since 1936 and is the last remaining single-screen theater in Ozaukee County. In addition to showing feature films, the Rivoli is also available for rental. From business meetings to concerts, the Rivoli’s 234 seat capacity is the perfect space for your next big event.
Cedarburg History Museum and Visitors Center
With assistance from the Cedarburg Landmark Preservation Society, the old Hilgen & Schroeder Mill Store was renovated and remodeled to portray its original façade and interior. This unique space is home to The Cedarburg History Museum, Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Visitors Center. Those who visit are offered an opportunity to stroll through time with its many rotating exhibits, innovative technology exhibits, and permanent collection of the late Roger C. Christensen’s collection of artifacts and antiques stemming from the 1900’s to the 1950’s.
Cedar Creek Settlement
Take a shopping trip to Cedar Creek Settlement that also serves as a history lesson. Five mid-19th century buildings now house shops and restaurants that anchor Cedarburg’s Washington Avenue Historic District. Built by hand with stones from the creek bed, the woolen mill was built in 1864. Because of the ability to move water quickly through the waterwheel and generate power, the mill provided wool and other materials for the Civil War. In 1897, the mill provided electric power for the residents of Cedarburg. Today, the mill and the surrounding buildings are known as the Cedar Creek Settlement. The settlement is open year round and offers shoppers an experience unlike any other. With over 25 specialty shops including wine shops, pottery, art and clothing, the Cedar Creek Settlement is the perfect place to enjoy fun, food and art.
Your Cedarburg datebook
Maxwell Street Days
September 5 & October 3
Take a day off for some treasure hunting at Maxwell Street Days, a Cedarburg Volunteer Fire Department tradition since 1966 and the major fundraiser for the department. Over 600 vendor spaces will be filled with antiques, collectibles, produce, seasonal items, pottery, tools, old toys, architectural pieces, farm items and much more. 6am-2pm. Firemen’s Park, Cedarburg. 262-375-7630.
Wine and Harvest Festival
All are welcome to celebrate the fall harvest and enjoy yummy treats from the food court, local street performers and delicious Cedar Creek Wine. The festival will be held in historic downtown Cedarburg on Saturday, September 18, 10am-6pm and Sunday, September 19, 10am-5pm. 262-377-9620.
Come on down and enjoy authentic German cuisine, live music, dancing, and all things POLKA! Silly competitions include a sauerkraut eating contest and awards for best lederhosen. Oktoberfest will take place in downtown Cedarburg on Saturday, October 2, 11am-8pm and Sunday, October 3, 10am-5pm. 262-377-9620.
Covered Bridge Art Studio Tour
Get up close and personal with some of Southeastern Wisconsin’s finest artists and the spaces in which they work. Take the scenic route or expressway to any or all of the 50 unique artist locations. From music to traditional art, this tour hosted by The Artists Guild of Cedarburg showcases some of Wisconsin’s best and most unique talent. This experience is free to the public. The tours run 12-5pm on Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit cedarburgartistsguild.com.
Harry Potter Film Festival
October 29-November 11
Grab your wands and gowns, and mark your calendars for this magical event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce which has partnered with the historic Rivoli Theatre to feature multiple showings of all eight original movies in the Harry Potter film franchise. Local businesses will turn downtown Cedarburg into a mini Hogsmeade Village with costume contests, selfie stops, food & drink specials, Potter-themed window decor and more! For more information and showtimes, visit cedarburg.org or call 262-377-5856.
Visit Cedarburg on Halloween night from 5-9 p.m. for the annual Pumpkin Walk. Wear your best Halloween garb and see glowing pumpkins as you walk throughout downtown Cedarburg, along Washington Avenue and to the Visitor Center on Columbia Road. For more information, call 262-377-5856.
A Cedarburg Christmas
Mid-November to mid-December
If you want to experience a Hallmark Christmas movie in real life, head to Cedarburg during the holiday season when shopkeepers adorn their storefronts with seasonal decorations and thousands of twinkling lights brighten the downtown Historic District. Long renowned for its many traditional holiday events such as Festive Friday Eves, Rivoli Theater’s Holiday Film Series, Cedarburg Artists Guild’s Holiday Art Fair and A Cedarburg Christmas’ Santa’s Workshop, Cedarburg offers countless seasonal entertainment venues. For more information on daily events, visit cedarburgchristmas.com.
Cedarburg is home to a number of annual festivals, some of which have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19. For the latest information and updates, visit cedarburgfestivals.org.