And according to Executive Travel Magazine, there truly is no place like my hometown. Well, they say one other place is better, but we’ve all known since grade school that first is the worst and second is the best.
Huffington Post recently posted an article on the Best Small Town’s in America. And guess what? Little ol’ Spring Green, WI is number two on that list. The towns were selected based on their strong sense of community, culture, and the arts. Ironically enough, SG has a very large presence of all three.
Why is this ironic, you ask?
The population barley exceeds 1500.
The total village area is 1.8 square miles.
But let me tell you, there’s a whole lot of love in that tiny little town. And I have a whole lot of love FOR that tiny little town.
In 1979, the American Players Theatre set up shop on 110 acres of woods in Spring Green and quickly began drawing crowds to its 1,148-seat outdoor amphitheater with a Shakespeare-heavy repertoire. APT’s Skippeth-Out-of-Work-Early Thursday Nights (June through October) are a nice way to start off a long weekend in town; musicians stroll the banks of the beautiful Wisconsin River, and gas grills are fired up before the evening’s starlit performance. Another idea for midweek fun: The cheekily named Sh*tty Barn draws on Spring Green’s central location between Chicago and Milwaukee to lure musicians into town for intimate shows. Taliesin, the summer home and school of Frank Lloyd Wright, is also requisite visit. And for a different architectural experience, spend a few hours puzzling over the bizarre House on the Rock, an amalgam of buildings and kitsch that’s also a resort. The grounds include a championship golf course, and it’s just across the street from APT, “in a country sort of way,” as the locals put it. In other words, it’s about a mile down the road.
The Sh*tty Barn? Seriously fun. I don’t have any photos from my adventures there, but I borrowed a couple from Mountain Follows Sea so you could see just how cool this not-so-shitty barn really is.
The real bonus is Furthermore Beer, a local SG brew, on tap right inside the barn!
And yes… Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin and The House on the Rock; they play a part in making Spring Green what it is too.
But what really makes SG a gem is the people.
You need not look far for a friendly smile, an enthusiastic wave, or a chat about the latest news in town.
From the SG originals, whose grandparent’s grandparents settled in Spring Green, to the American Players Theater actors who’ve made SG their home, either temporarily or permanently, it seems nearly everyone from Spring Green has a bit of the friendly bug. And that’s the sorta bug you want to spread, ya know?
You can read about American Players Theater, Taliesin, the House on the Rock, the Wisconsin River, etc. But to truly experience all that Spring Green has to offer, you’ll have to visit. And I suggest you do. I’ll be there over the weekend and I couldn’t be happier about it.
There’s no place like home.