- October 15, 2021
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USA TODAY 10Best
October 14, 2021 // By Jacky Runice
By Jacky Runice
Chicago Local Expert October 14, 2021
The American Club is the Midwest’s only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond resort-hotel — Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.
You can can spa, golf, dine and drink, learn to be a better cook, get immersed in art, execute a perfect downward facing dog and hike soaring sand dunes – all in one place – amid nature’s seasonal palette. Consider an autumn outing to Destination Kohler, just a few miles west of Lake Michigan, 55 miles north of Milwaukee and a two-and-a-half-hour-drive from Chicago.
Try a French-inspired tasting menu at the award-winning Immigrant Restaurant — Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.
The resort features several dining establishments, including the award-winning Immigrant Restaurant, offering New American cuisine with modern European flourishes (lobster crème brûlée with Ossetra caviar, please).
Get your fill of Wisconsin pub fare like beer/cheese soup and grilled local bratwurst at the Horse & Plow or grab some elevated comfort food (fried smelt, she-crab soup, burgers and pizza) at Taverne on Woodlake. Seek out some of the handcrafted KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates available at The Shops at Woodlake, too.
Road trip loop: A short and cheesy route through America’s Dairyland
Road trip loop: A short and cheesy route through America’s Dairyland
River Wildlife offers self-guided river fishing — Photo courtesy of Matt Addington
You need to torch some calories before or after indulging in the impressive menus at Kohler’s eateries. Sign up for hot yoga, soul sculpt, vinyasa or gentle yoga, surrounded by pristine wilderness at Yoga on the Lake. Kick your energy up and get sweaty at a Bold Cycle class. Swim, play tennis or take a group fitness class at Sports Core.
Hike through the colorful fall walking trails along the Sheboygan River via the resort’s River Wildlife. Nearby Kohler-Andrae State Park is one of the last natural preserves along the Lake Michigan shore. There are rolling sand dunes, miles of beach and eight hiking trails that burst with color in autumn.
Kohler Waters Spa pool and relaxation area — Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.
Since the human body mainly consists of water, it‘s not surprising that it has so many healing applications, from flushing the organs when you drink it to relieving pain and improving circulation by relaxing in a whirlpool. Kohler products have been helping humans get their H20 via coveted kitchen and bath fixtures since 1873 and, when it comes to water therapies, you can’t beat the only Forbes Five-Star rated spa in the state: Kohler Waters Spa.
Even though there’s a long list of wonderful body treatments, massages, facials and salon services (and special autumn treatments available through November 30), you should experience at least one hydrotherapy treatment, such as a Cascading Waterfall Massage or the new Still Waters treatment that aims to balance the pituitary and pineal glands while enjoying body and mind restoration via a Kohler custom Vichy shower.
Open, rugged and windswept terrain defines The Straits®, sculpted along two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline — Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.
The resort claims two award-winning championship courses: Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run, both on bucket lists for any golf enthusiast. The courses have hosted three PGA Championships, the U.S. Senior Open, two U.S. Women’s Opens and, just last month, the Straits at Whistling Straits was the first public course in a quarter century to host the famous Ryder Cup.
The Straits is situated along two miles of rugged Lake Michigan shoreline, and the new The Baths of Blackwolf Run features a 10-hole par 3 course, two-acre putting course, and food and beverage service. (Straits and River courses close after play on October 31; Irish and Original Championship at BWR close after play on November 7th).
Let your inner home designer loose at the three-level Kohler Design Center — Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.
Architects and designers converge on the three-level Kohler Design Center for inspiration – and so can you. Immerse your inner designer in a colossal array of Kohler products, designer galleries and technology, and learn a bit about the Village of Kohler, one of the country’s first planned communities.
The stunning Art Preserve is a satellite campus of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center — Photo courtesy of Harold Rail
Each year, exhibitions at the contemporary art museum, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, focus on a specific theme (in 2021, it’s “Return to the Real”). Beginning October 17th, until March 2022, see “Bernard Langlais: Live and Let Live On,” complete with artworks, artistic scraps, audio-visual materials and first-person accounts of the artist who called his work “painting with wood.” Now through February 20, 2022, get “Ingrained in Wisconsin” via objects made from wood by regional makers.
The brand-new Art Preserve, a satellite campus of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, is home to a jaw-dropping collection of artist-built environments and sculpture from all over the country that are now housed here. Make reservations online at both of these splendid facilities.
Kohler’s collection of private cabins provide space and comfort for families and friends — Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.
Destination Kohler – the Midwest’s only Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five Diamond resort-hotel – offers luxury accommodation at The American Club Resort Hotel, a model of gracious hospitality for 100 years that once housed European immigrant factory workers employed by the Kohler company.
There’s also the handsome Carriage House (home to Kohler Waters Spa); Inn on Woodlake (boutique-style guest rooms and multi-bedroom suites, perfect for groups or families); and secluded cabins surrounded by nature.
- The American Club
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The annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience is the premier culinary event of the Midwest — Photo courtesy of Kohler Co.
The premier culinary event of the Midwest takes place October 21-24, 2021 with cooking demos, seminars, tastings, luncheons, evening gatherings and live entertainment. Located in the “nation’s breadbasket” and “America’s Dairyland,” the intimate Kohler Food & Wine Experience is farm-to-table nirvana held annually, so if you can’t make it this year, pencil it in for next.
Imagine having the opportunity to interact with and learn from some of the country’s most popular chefs, wine experts and restaurateurs like Rick Bayless; “Top Chef All Star” winner, Melissa King; Fabio Viviani, a fan favorite on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” who operates 16 eateries across the country; and your favorite cooks and hosts from PBS’s “America’s Test Kitchen.”
Get schooled in sake, discover the secrets to a classic steak dinner and learn to pair chocolate, cheese and wine. Check out current availability on packages/tickets in real time on the website.
Whether it’s wine or water treatments, it’s “bottoms up” this autumn at Destination Kohler.
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About Jacky Runice
Born in Bucktown when bulletproof was a home safety choice and not a coffee order, Jacky Runice has been knocking around Chicago as a professional print, online and broadcast journalist and editor specializing in separating the riff from the raff in politics, culture, entertainment, food and pure unadulterated fun. In her best Chicagoese, Jacky asks, “Who has the time or money to blow on hotels, attractions, restaurants, exhibits, concerts and activities that blow?”
Read more about Jacky Runice here.
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