Every pizza at Gruzy's Italian Beef House & Pub starts with housemade dough and sauce, but the end results hardly ever look the same. That's not only because Gruzy's culinary team crafts both Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas and crispy thin-crust pies, but also because each can be crowned with more than 15 topping selections ranging from capicola and Italian beef to mushrooms and sporty peppers. Deep-dish pans and fiery peppers aren't the only Windy City staples to appear on Gruzy's menu. Spicy giardiniera smothers sandwiches already piled high with Vienna Italian beef and sausage, and traditional fixings top classic Chicago dogs served on poppyseed buns as opposed to old Chicago Bulls stat sheets. The rest of Gruzy's menu showcases Italian and pub favorites, such as three-cheese tortellini with chicken and alfredo sauce or shrimp battered in Red Hook Ale.
Flat Creek Inn & Suites furnishes cozy lodging and hot breakfast for up to four adults and two children, enveloping minds within the calm of Wisconsin's scenic Northwoods. Double queen rooms and king suites swathe sleepers in plush beds surrounded by rustic log furniture, wall ornaments made from dried flowers, and a kitchenette with microwave, oven, and coffee maker. In king whirlpool suites, a TV-clad bedroom connects to a sitting area via refined french doors, and in the bathroom, bubbly jets massage sore muscle and add a challenge during apple-bobbing competitions. Flat Creek Inn's wood-paneled game room entertains kids and grandparents alike with billiards tables, and the indoor pool and eight-person hot tub stay toasty even when snowflakes are falling outside.
A tile on the floor inside Dubh Linh points the way to Dublin, warning that the journey is a long 4,657 miles. Despite that distance, locals needn’t travel at all to experience the energy of a real Irish pub. With house-brewed beers and tons of live entertainment, it’s not so hard imagine that just outside Dubh Linh’s doors lies its namesake city.
When creating the house’s beers, the brewmaster works in small batches, each of which makes about four to eight kegs’ worth of brew. To get your hands on a pint, you need only look to the wooden bar where each one resides. Spanning a variety of styles, the beers at any given time may include a citrusy double hop IPA, maple ale, a light peach radler, and a potato stout made from Idaho potatoes.
Alongside that labor of love, the kitchen plates a full menu of pub fare spiked with both Irish and local flavors. Fresh-smoked Lake Superior trout opens meals before diners move on to plates of tender corned beef and cabbage. Six unique wings platters require a choice between sauces such as Wexford buffalo and spicy garlic. Once stomachs are full, regular events keep the festivities going. Whether coming for trivia, free pool on game nights, or comedy shows, there’s something here for every taste.
After the lodge's two award-winning golf courses close in late October, skiers and boarders ride on natural snow at Giants Ridge for the winter, with snowmakers enlisted to outsource Mother Nature's surplus work. Warmer weather excursions in nearby Superior National Forest include more than 1,500 miles of canoe routes in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness, as well as hiking and biking among old-growth boreal forests.About an hour's drive south in Duluth lies Glensheen, a 39-room Jacobean Revival mansion whose original 1908 interior remains largely intact, offering an imitable glimpse into early 20th-century midwestern culture. Down the shoreline, belly-flopping river otters and black-crowned night herons entertain at the Great Lakes Aquarium, which hosts 15 exhibits' worth of amphibians, birds, aquatic animals, and sofas that have sprouted fins.
Inspired by their love of Germany's Rhine Valley, the Shimek family shares the joy of their days abroad with their European-style vineyard without having to hurl their fellow countrymen across the Atlantic. Chateau St. Croix Winery & Vineyard, a 55-acre plot, is complete with stables, a fishing pond, and an art gallery. The heart of the vineyard, though, is its 2.5 acres of grapes, nearly five tons of which are grown in six varieties for use in their award-winning wines. Visitors can sample Chateau St. Croix's sundry varietals and blends after a half-hour tour, pairing each sip with chocolates, cheeses, and crackers.