Wisconsin: Montello, Family Vacation Ideas - Fishing, Movies, and Sour Lollipops.
Imagine a spot with enough small town charm that it could be a movie set. That's Montello. It has the ideal small town atmosphere, the old stone buildings, faded billboard signs, two lakes, and as the center piece four waterfalls cascade over red granite into the old quarry. This quaint little town is in central Wisconsin, a blip on the tourist map but just minutes from White Rock Lake Resort and great fishing adventures.
My cousin and I discovered Montello on our first escape from parents. We had two choices Princeton or Montello, and we took the road heading west. Small towns in Wisconsin are always comfortable, meaning real and friendly, meaning folks make eye contact. Residents answer questions with eagerness and an unmistakable accent, likely caused by eating too many cheese curds. Even before we saw the governmental green population sign, I had an image of Montello.
One stop light controls the traffic and provides a those waiting for the light to change, time to enjoy the waterfalls tumbling into the quarry. Montello has an interesting if limited assortment of shops, the town works for me. Providing an ice cream shop, antique stores and a movie theater and Montello delivers, the comfortable and friendly. Not-to-be missed is B & B’s Country Store.
Located on Montello Street within view of the falls, this is the spot to shop for good stuff, like jawbreakers, candy lipstick-sweet tarts, and candy buttons. They also have bubble tape (sour apple) and blow pop way sour lollipops. The 100-year-old building, with hardwood floors, wooden cases and marble counters, creates the feeling of and an old-time candy store. Candy is still scooped from glass jars. Above all, they offer a lovely menu of ice cream flavors with toppings and malts as well as shakes. Want to try a coke float? This is the place. During our week in the area we were able to return five out of the seven days to enjoy hand scooped and packed luscious Wisconsin creamy ice cream. It is not all sweet, sweet, sweet. They also sell coffee, tea, toys, games, candles, handmade soaps and lotions. Take in an old movie.
The obvious benefit to Montello is the old movie theater. Old meaning vintage, it is slightly quirky in a fun way, no high resolution screen, no balcony or surround sound, yet it works. The comfy burgundy colored leather seats are framed by slightly worn yet still black, wrought iron. Two aisles divide the 1960s space making it friendly. Be forewarned that the theater has one show time daily and only one movie per week, on the plus side you won’t be able to argue on what movie to see. The movie selection is always a popular one. We saw da Vinci Code. The snack prices are great. Imagine paying $1.00 for popcorn! And the movie ticket was only $3.00, making it very affordable teens or families. The theatre is located on the main street near the red granite water falls which makes it hard to miss.
Montello is wireless, really! Well, maybe not the city but, there is a spot. For most teens, and I am no exception, staying connected to my friends even when I am away with the family, is important. So, I am always looking for connection spots. White Lake Beach Resort has wireless on the deck near the restaurant and I discovered that the local laundermat in Montello also has wireless connections. Do the laundry, surf the web, and check e-mail in one location, cool.
White Lake Beach Resort.
19th Avenue Montello, Wisconsin 53949. 1(608) 297-2278 or www.whitelakebeachresort.com
Montello Movie Theater
. 30 East Montello Street 53949. (608) 297-7300. B & B’s Country Store
. 28 W. Montello Street WI 53949. (608 297-7511, toll-free 1-877-335-0180 or www.bbscountrystore.com Freitags IGA Foods
. If you find this store, you will see the laundermat with Internet connections. This IGA sells cheese curds, just in case you feel the need. 628 Main St. 53949. (608) 297-2848.