More than a century after it blossomed into a circus headquarters and hosted dozens of acts, including P.T. Barnum's legendary Greatest Show on Earth, the town of Delavan proudly exhibits its distinctive past. Big-top tributes can be seen at Tower Park, where statues of circus animals such as a giraffe and an elephant savor their amnesty from mini-golf courses. Delavan's early days live on through Greek Revival architecture that dates back to the mid-1800s, including the Allyn Mansion and the Israel Stowell Temperance House, originally an alcohol-free safe haven that eventually served as a government meeting center.Delavan's quaint downtown district, lined with old-fashioned lampposts and brick-paved walkways, boasts an assortment of antique stores and small cafés. Throughout the rest of the town, well-manicured parks and 13 miles of forested shoreline along Delavan Lake create a scenic backdrop for horseback rides, hiking, water recreation, and composing haikus on the ground with leaves.
Broadlands Golf Club's 18-hole course spans 6,884 yards of open terrain organized in a majestic, links-style layout. Glassy waters, mounded terrain, and tall native grasses flank fairways and greens throughout the course, letting golfers experience the charms of golf's old Scotch-Irish courses without having to swap their golf ball out for a potato. Throughout the course, dimpled orbs speed across bentgrass fairways and greens, which provide a smooth and fast surface for flush drives and testy breaking putts. The course punishes slow starters and jet-lagged drivers with the par 5 second hole, a relatively straight, 534-yard tract that demands precision to avoid a green heavily fortified by six sand traps. To prepare golfers for their rounds, Broadlands offers lessons, an onsite driving range, and a satellite tour of their course.
Course at a Glance:
The course at Glen Erin Golf Club harkens back to the earliest days of golf with a links-style layout inspired by traditional courses in Ireland. Though it opened in 2003, the course pays homage to yesteryear with rolling fairways, oversize greens, and deep pot bunkers. Native fescues ensnare wayward shots that venture outside the first cut of rough, forcing players to chop through dense grasses with scythe clubs just to get the ball back onto shorter grass. The back nine is bookended by par 5s on holes 10 and 18, each more than 575 yards in length and unreachable in two strokes for all but the longest hitters or golfers who have wired their golf ball with hummingbird wings.
Course at a Glance:
• For $40, you get 18 holes of golf and cart rental for two Monday–Friday before 3:30 p.m. (up to an $80 value), plus 10% off food and drink at the restaurant and lounge. • For $50, you 18 holes of golf and cart rental for two Saturday–Sunday after 1 p.m. (up to a $96 value), plus 10% off food and drink at the restaurant and lounge.
Five trails descend down the slopes at Highlands of Olympia, ranging from the beginner-friendly bunny hill to the East Bowl, a black diamond that challenges advanced skiers to face the biting winds as they carve through the incline. The mountain also features a terrain park where snowboarders grind over rails and boxes, and tow ropes pull inner tubes up the hill before they are released for a speedy 1,000-foot-long descent that covers a 60-foot vertical drop. A half-hour’s drive from downtown Milwaukee, Highlands packs a day’s worth of entertainment into the neatly packed snow, from the onsite bar and restaurant to lessons in which instructors impart the secrets of picking up ham-radio signals with outstretched ski poles.
Paganica's 18-hole golf course spans 6,576 yards of tree-lined fairways for a challenging but player-friendly layout. Water hazards come into play on seven holes, including the signature fourth hole, a 427-yard par 4 where approach shots must carry 186 yards of water to reach the green and spare golf balls the trouble of befriending barnacles. Throughout the round, well-aimed drives will be necessary to bisect the course's narrow fairways, setting up favorable shots into moderately fast greens. With three tee options, the layout challenges aces when played from the tips, and forward tees cater to beginners or those mistakenly teeing up a bocce ball.
Course at a Glance: