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Dodgeville, Wisconsin, is a picturesque city in Southern Wisconsin, set among scenic farmland and hills. The town is perfect for a weekend trip because of its stunning parks, fantastic shops and stores, and family-friendly attractions.
Soaring sandstone cliffs, acres of steep hills, and vast farmlands enclose Dodgeville. Henry Dodge and 40 miners founded the town.
Dodgeville is primarily a modern metropolis, although its mining and farming roots are still visible. Visit downtown museums and sites after riding horses at Doby Stable or Folklore Village. No matter what you do, don’t miss out on Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ. If you read this guide and plan out the best things to do in advance, you can have an incredible time in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.
You have not one, but two amazing state parks in the immediate area.
BLUE MOUND STATE PARK
4350 Mounds Park Road, Blue Mounds, WI 53517
Blue Mound State Park is 25 miles west of Madison, along upstate road 18/151. The 1,153-acre park is popular with visitors seeking peace. Blue Mound State Park features the unglaciated hills of Wisconsin and its landscapes. Forests of oak, maple, hickory, walnut, willow, and pine make up the backdrop for Blue Mound’s 10 miles of cross-country skiing tracks.
Blue Mound’s wooded campsites and wheelchair-accessible cottages are open year-round. The campground has bathrooms and water fountains. Hunting enthusiasts will love Blue Mound, State Park as deer hunters use this park in the cooler months. Bear, wild turkeys, and several species of waterfowl are also plentiful in the region, making it a great hunting destination.
GOVERNOR DODGE STATE PARK
4175 State Highway 23, Dodgeville, WI
Visit Governor Dodge State Park if you enjoy being outdoors. Explore 5,000 acres of hills, valleys, lakes, and waterfalls. The park, which bears the name of Wisconsin’s first governor, Henry Dodge, is a popular spot for outdoor activities. Watch over 150 bird, deer, and fox species in the vast fields. Nighttime camping lets you hear owls and coyotes.
There are several recreational opportunities at Cox Hollow Lake, including fishing, swimming, and boating. Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are some of the winter season activities available to park guests.
Do you like horseback riding? The Horseback trails are ideal for hiking and exploring this area; there is a concession stand where you can buy or rent various items, such as clothing, food, and equipment. Governor Dodge State Park is great for unwinding and taking in scenic views.
IF YOU LIKE RIDING HORSES
Here is a great local place to check out:
4228 WI-23 Trunk, Dodgeville, WI
Ride through the beautiful countryside around Dodgeville and take in the sights. Dobby Stables provides quiet trail rides with a knowledgeable guide, suitable for riders of all ages and skill levels. Horseback riding across the ranch’s land takes you by the creeks, cornfields, valleys, and ridges.
There is a tranquil 45-minute trail ride ideal for younger riders and a daring 60-minute excursion to neighboring Governor Dodge State Park for more advanced riders. Although the ranch does not provide helmets, riders are welcome to bring their own.
Other Fun Things to Do in Wisconsin:
- Step Back in Time at Villa Louis
- America’s Black Holocaust Museum: Our Journey Through Time
- Pete’s Hamburgers Satisfies The Soul Of Your Taste Buds
- Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum: A Look at Canoeing History
- Fun Family Activities in Milwaukee
- Check out the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center of Manitowoc
- Free or Cheap Activities for Kids in Wisconsin
- Wisconsin Bucket List For Travelers
Once actually in Dodgeville, there are a few options for those picnics and outdoor gatherings:
501 S Dacotah St, Dodgeville, WI
Dodgeville’s Centennial Park is a family-friendly park packed with fun activities. Relax at the picnic tables in the shade of a pavilion or eat a meal cooked on the shared grill while the kids have fun on the playground equipment. This park’s horseshoe pit, tennis courts, and baseball field are perfect for friendly competition.
The Comer Swimming Pool Complex, which includes changing rooms, a kiddie pool, and a covered patio, highlights the location. That’s one of the few things that make this park unique, and it’s not common in other neighborhood parks. If you want to unwind in nature, you will find that Centennial Park is the ideal location.
600 N Bennett Rd, Dodgeville, WI
Harris Park is not just a park but a hub for social activities. Picnic areas and exciting playground equipment make this public park great for the whole family. Unlike other parks, this one boasts a big pavilion perfect for hosting community gatherings. Volleyball and baseball are popular summertime pastimes.
Community events include ice hockey games, marketplaces, and cookery competitions. The park is the finest place to experience Dodgeville’s active community because it holds sporting events and concerts.
Dodgeville is a progressive metropolis with great green places for leisure and recreation.
There are many opportunities to observe wildlife and flora here, and it’s also a great destination if you are looking for a tranquil and peaceful location.
Bloomfield Prairie is a tranquil, wildlife-filled area that spans 432 acres. Once used for farming, the land that is now Bloomfield Prairie has undergone 20 years of restoration to become a vibrant grassland bird habitat. You can’t help but feel calm and at peace as you stroll down the pathways at Bloomfield Prairie, which are replete with wildflowers, birds, and clean air.
THINGS TO DO NEAR DODGEVILLE WI: HIT THE LINKS
Dodgeville, Wisconsin, is home to ten different golf courses. TEN! Several examples are listed here.
17098 Country Club Rd
The 18-hole, par-70 course at Dodge Point Country Club will test even the most seasoned golfers. This course is 6,000 yards long and features a pro shop, a driving range, green, tree-lined holes, undulating terrain, and quick, challenging greens.
7899 Highway 18 and 151
All nine-hole courses in Deer Valley, Ridge, Prairie, and Valley are challenging and entertaining. The links-style layout, rough terrain, and significant elevation changes put golfers to the test.
400 Springs Drive
You can relax and have a great time at the House on the Rock Resort. Each 27-hole course has a unique scenery. The Resort’s 80 two-bedroom suites are among the most spacious in the world and look out over the beautiful grounds.
CHECK OUT HISTORY
I love checking out different communities and learning as I play. Check out these great things to do near Dodgeville WI:
3210 Co Rd BB, Dodgeville, WI
Folklore Village is where travelers can enjoy folk art and culture through eating, dancing, singing, and playing. They stage plays, workshops, and shows to teach about world cultures.
Try basket-making or gardening with your new friends. Join a choir or jam session to share your musical passions. Nationally famous folk art shows are available for those who would instead relax.
This historic site is home to several significant buildings, including Farwell Hall, Wakefield School, and Plum Grove Church. Folklore Village is one of Dodgeville’s most famous museums since it shows and discusses global customs.
FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT’S TALIESIN
5607 County Road C
Hands down, one of our favorite things to do near Dodgeville WI is to check out Taliesin! Taliesin is a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed residence, studio, and school on an 800-acre estate in the Driftless Area of southern Wisconsin, not far from Spring Green. Frank Lloyd Wright fans must see this 1911 mansion on the Wisconsin River.
The name Taliesin, which means “shining brow,” fits this structure. It no longer stands apart from the ground atop a hill but merges with its surroundings. The estate offers six tour options, including arts and cultural programs and occasional special events.
IOWA COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY
1301 N Bequette St, Dodgeville, WI
Are you curious about the best things to do in downtown Dodgeville? One excellent choice is the Iowa County Museum. The museum opened in 1976 and chronicled the region’s transformation from a mining town into a metropolitan city. The museum’s collections are extensive and one of a kind, housing anything from images of historical events to relics from the area, as well as family tree charts and microfilms of Iowa County’s newspapers.
Additionally, there are replicas of a mining camp and a schoolhouse from the past. Photographs of the Dodge Mining Camp Cabin and the Dodgeville Slag Furnace, two landmarks of this mining town, can be seen in the museum.
MINERAL POINT RAILROAD MUSEUM
11 Commerce St., Mineral Point, WI 53565
The Mineral Point depot is the state’s oldest, constructed entirely of local materials in 1856. The Mineral Point facility was operational from about 1969 to 1984. On September 2, 2004, it reopened to the public as a museum. The museum’s exhibits discuss numerous facets of the railroad’s impact on Mineral Point and the rest of southwestern Wisconsin.
Readers of any age, from dedicated rail fans to those merely curious, will enjoy reading about and learning from the colorful history of railways. You can push a button to make a steam locomotive move around a railroad yard while corresponding sounds play on a speaker. The average time spent on a guided museum tour is around 45 minutes, and going there would be a great way to spend a day.
OK – this is not a wild cave but a show cave. It is still really cool to check out!
CAVE OF THE MOUNDS
2975 Cave of the Mounds Road, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin
Cave of the Mounds has some of Wisconsin’s most incredible natural wonders.
The cave has magnificent formations to behold. The sedimentary rock within which this cavern formed is limestone made of fossilized seashells. Workers found the cave in 1939 while blasting limestone at a former dairy farm turned quarry.
The park offers family-friendly activities. Take a walk through the woodland restoration and perennial gardens. The cave is about 50 degrees so dress warmly—tennis shoes aid on smooth cave floors and tunnels that art often damp. The Rock Shop has hundreds of unusual rocks, fossils, and diamonds.
Check out a few of the fun places we like to grab a bite:
BOB’S BITCHIN’ BBQ
167 N Iowa St, Dodgeville, WI
Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ offers classic American barbecue, comfort cuisine, and craft brews in a hip, industrial setting. Delicious slow-smoked meat and a wide variety of unique sauces set Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ apart as a popular destination in the area. The beef brisket, jerked pork, and smoked sausages at this casual restaurant are all smoked in-house.
You can order a variety of appetizers, hearty sandwiches, or the featured dish of the week. Bob’s has eight different signature sauces that customers can use on their barbecue, so whether you’re a purist, looking for some spice, or prefer a sweeter barbecue experience, you’ll find something to your liking at Bob’s.
105 E Chapel St, Dodgeville, WI
Duke’s Brew Pub and Ale House, located on Chapel St., is a casual restaurant with a wide selection of beers and tasty pub grub. It’s a laid-back bar, but there’s exceptional coolness and a good time here. Drew’s is one of the best places to unwind with a cold beer and bar food, including burgers, hot dogs, and chicken wings. The unlimited hot dogs and chicken wings will keep you here for hours. Stop by this laid-back bar for live music and Wisconsin craft beer. Except on Sundays, you can visit this bar any day of the week.
The Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship is an annual event by the Iowa County Area Economic Development Corporation (ICAEDC) to highlight the state’s renowned cheesemakers.
While the festival has moved to Mineral Point, Wisconsin, the Dodgeville Area Chamber of Commerce continues to function as the event’s host. Those who want to compete in or watch the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship are more than welcome to do so; however, if you want to eat sandwiches that can hold their own against the finest in the tournament, you’ll need a VIP ticket.
WHERE TO STAY
While we have a map for you, this is a fun place to check into staying at:
DON Q INN
3658 Hwy 23 North Dodgeville, WI 53533
The Don Q Inn is the closest hotel option near the historic “home on the rock,” which inspired owner Donald J. Quinn’s eccentric design aesthetic. Everywhere you go, pieces of the past greet you. One of the best features of this establishment is its Boeing C-97. Each room has an air conditioner, an LCD TV, and a refrigerator.
You can enjoy the lobby’s ballroom, fireplace, and free Wi-Fi. In addition to having one of the earliest indoor/outdoor pool complexes in Wisconsin, guests also have access to a whirlpool that can fit up to eight people. It’s always a plus when a hotel has a clean, reasonably warm pool and hot tub.
Dodgeville is an excellent destination and the perfect place for a visit! Square dancing, shopping, boating, and barbecuing are just some of the many activities available in this beautiful city. Give Dodgeville, Wisconsin, some thought if you haven’t settled on a vacation destination yet.