The story of Wineries and Grille in St Croix Falls began at a picturesque Wisconsin orchard. Former owners Linda and Mike Welch were busy crafting delicious apple wines from the fall’s harvest when the phone rang. "I’ve got 20 pails of ripe grapes,” the voice on the other end of the line said. “What do I do with them?" Out of the goodness of their hearts, Mike and Linda sprung into action, blending the grapes with their apples to create unique local wines. Their process evolved, as did their humble orchard, which now encompasses Wineries and Grille. Though they have since sold the orchard, they continue to produce apple and grape wines. They also market and sell wines from other local makers who have a talent for making outstanding vintages but struggle with the vagaries of marketing, sales, or convincing customers that some bottles contain genies.
Linda and Mike have a knack for tracking down Wisconsin’s best wines, partnering with producers such as Seven Hawks Vineyards to spread forward-thinking drinks. They sell new wines crafted from cold-weather hardy grapes at the University of Minnesota. They also carry national labels, such as Canyon Road from California, which is specially crafted for dining, and international labels from Spain, South Africa, and elsewhere. But even stronger than Linda and Mike's love for ambrosials is their love for St. Croix Falls and its local produce and game. Their son Greg uses these local ingredients to create hearty entrees with elk, rainbow trout, and hand-cut steaks. They pair smoked pork chops and crisp salads with bricks of homemade fudge and cheesecake, for meals that highlight the subtle flavors in their wines and leave diners yearning for more.
Amid the lake-speckled country of northwestern Wisconsin and draped over the terrain’s volatile elevation changes rest the bentgrass fairways and greens of Siren National Golf Course. Sculpted into the land in 2001, the course forces players to corral golf balls over terrestrial ripples with peak-to-peak amplitudes of more than 100 feet, but it offers five sets of tees and generous landing areas as a friendly gesture to less experienced players. After starting out with a moderate-length par 5 to warm up, golfers must hit a long uphill shot—206 yards from the back tees—to reach the par 3 third hole’s green, which is fronted by an intimidating rock wall. The designers saved the hardest hole for last, however, as players must make a decision on the 18th tee to use the driver, lay up for a full wedge shot into the small green, or chip onto the back of a carrier pigeon.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,737 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.1 from the back tees * Course slope of 132 from the back tees * Five sets of tees per hole
Breezes from Big Butternut Lake coil through the surrounding hardwood forests, sweeping piney air across the fairways at Luck Golf Course. The 6,093-yard, par-71 course rests on the lake's southern shore, where undulating terrain offers scenic vistas of the lake's glassy surface. Though tree-lined fairways are a constant throughout the course, golfers will notice a shift in terrain midway through the round. Ten holes snake through pine trees and hardwoods, while the other eight regular holes and six black holes roam over rolling countryside dotted with maples and oak trees. Water hazards also come into play on 12 holes, including on the seventh?a par-four rated as the course's most difficult hole?where a pond fronts the green to summon errant approach shots and golf carts in need of a bath.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-71 course * Length of 6,093 yards from the farthest tees * Course rating of 70.9 from the farthest tees * Slope rating of 126 from the farthest tees * Five tee options * Scorecard
Approximately 6,000 years ago, when Sumerian scholars were devising some of mankind's first mathematic systems, a mile-thick sheet of ice began to melt half a world away in the region known today as Minnesota. Slowly, the glacier shrank and poured gallons of water into the land around it, leaving behind gorgeous rock formations dotted with artistic ridges and eye-catching striations. Perhaps most notable of these formations is a structure that resembles a cross, which inspired settlers to name its surrounding river St. Croix, or "holy cross."
Today, modern humans can catch a glimpse of these awesome sights thanks to Wild Mountain. Seasonal activities include skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, where snow-goers explore 100 acres of hills encompassing 26 runs, bunny slopes for newcomers, and four terrain parks for the seasoned veterans. Wild Mountain also holds daily lessons, youth and adult programs, as well as racing competitions and camps run by knowledgable and trained northerners.
Relaxation is both a concept and a destination at Soma Health & Fitness, where sleek wooden floors are bathed in the sunbeams streaming in from symmetrical skylights. Here, visitors steep selves in soothing services such as massage therapy and physiotherapy, which pairs clients with certified professionals for one-on-one treatments that tackle movement difficulties with postural correction, muscle stimulation, and ultrasound treatments to seek out cursive injury reports spelled out in knotted tendons. Rehabilitative kinesiology combined with yoga and cardio fitness classes in the fully-equipped gym boost clients' cardiovascular health and muscle tone while providing an outlet for emotional renewal.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts 1,689 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.