Grand Opera House


Worth the Drive: Clintonville

Posted on July 6, 2017 by Dan Meyer


Appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors and learn about the rich history of technological innovation at these attractions.

Four Wheel Drive Museum
It’s no surprise that the birthplace of four-wheel drive technology would have its own museum, but Badger Four-Wheel Drive Auto Company (now known as Four Wheel Drive) has maintained its museum remarkably well over the years. The museum chronicles the development of four-wheel drive and its growth in the industry while displaying many makes of the first cars to use four-wheel drive in the country. The museum is open Saturdays from 1-4pm until September.

077-CLT-Arbor-ViewArbor View Gardens
Arbor View Gardens has been a work in the making since 1975, inspired by a love of gardening and a deep interest in the variety of plants capable of growing in Wisconsin. The 35-acre botanical garden features more than 1,000 species of non-invasive plants and officially opened to the public in 2000. The gardens continue to flourish today, thanks to methodical record-keeping and continued support from visitors. It’s hard to beat the beauty of hundreds of plants in full bloom. Open Wednesday–Sunday from 10am–4pm.

Blueberry Haven
The seeds of Blueberry Haven were first planted in 2002. Now, the family-owned business has over 15,000 Highbush blueberry plants available for picking from mid-July through August (or until the berries run out!). Blueberry Haven allows you to pick your own berries, or you can buy the pre-picked blueberries, ready to be made into pies, smoothies, muffins, or just eaten one by one until you’re coming back for more. Open Tuesday–Saturday from 7am-1pm.

Glendale Farms
Glendale Farms and Blueberry Haven are a match made in heaven. Glendale Farms is also located just outside of Clintonville, offering PYO (Pick Your Own) strawberries, peas and beans. The family owned farm has existed in its present location since 1893 and began growing strawberries in 1978. If the drive up to Clintonville has you too tired for picking your own berries, Glendale Farms also offers pre-picked berries. Open Monday–Thursday from 7am-7pm and Friday–Sunday from 7am-5pm.

Great Wall of China
Who would’ve thought you could find the Great Wall of China right in Clintonville? According to legend, the town has the unique honor of being the only place in the world outside of China to host a section of the wall. The section was given to the community by Sun-Yat Sen due to Four Wheel Drive’s innovations in engineering. Visit Pioneer Park to see it in addition to one of the most unique collections of stones in the state.

Bonus for the History Buff: The History of North Central Airlines077-CLT-North-Central-Airplane
North Central Airlines may be relatively unknown today, but it was once one of the largest airlines in the nation. Founded in 1944 with just two planes flying out of Clintonville, the company continued to grow until it flew more than 56 aircraft to over 100 destinations across the United States. The airline’s most iconic craft was the DC-3, used from 1951 to 1969. In 1958, the number of DC-3s in the North Central Airlines fleet grew to 32, passing every other airline in the country. So what happened to North Central Airlines? It eventually followed in the footsteps of many other airlines around the country and consolidated in 1978. After several mergers and acquisitions, the airline was consolidated into Delta Airlines. Although the name may have changed, you can still find the history of one of Wisconsin’s largest airlines in Clintonville today.

Up Next: Clintonville’s Signature Events of the Summer


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4 Responses to Worth the Drive: Clintonville

Pat Dougherty
July 10, 2017 at 8:24 pm

Clintonville has great options. The Bluebird will sometimes offer you a sample of fresh baked cookies. That is a wonderful treat. The Living Room is a great place to meet people for wonderful coffee and lively discussions. Rosie’s is also in the Living Room if you are looking for a special vintage gift. Lots of interesting little stores on Main Street and a Farmers Market on Thursdays from 3 to 7.

Sandy Hager
July 13, 2017 at 4:39 pm

There is an excellent restaurant across the street from The Bluebird, it is called “Who’s On Main?” You won’t be disappointed. Check it out.


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