Travelogue — Stockholm, WI

If you want to take a day trip or need a weekend getaway, Stockholm WI might be what the doctor ordered.  It is a small village on the shores of Lake Pepin on the Mississippi River in Southeastern Wisconsin.  It takes about an hour and a half to get there from the Twin Cities, but it is a beautiful drive on a 2 lane highway with pictureque views.

About Stockholm, WI

In 1851 Eric Peterson, a Swedish immigrant, set foot in the area of Stockholm, climbed the bluffs and took in the view of Lake Pepin.  Within 5 years, the area was surveyed and platted.  The main industries were fishing and clamming.  The clam shells were used for years to make buttons.  Due to overfishing, the fishing industry died and other materials were being used to make buttons.  The village languished for several decades before a renaissance in the 1970’s when artists moved to town and restored the buildings and opened galleries and stores.  People laughed when this town of about 100 people said they were going to put on an art festival.  This festival, which still exists, draws thousands of people to Stockholm for the 1 day event.

Stockholm is a Thriving Artist Community

Stockholm is a Thriving Artist Community

Today, Stockholm is still that quaint artists town.  There are galleries offering paintings, photographs, jewelry and pottery.  We stopped in to Stockholm Pottery and Mercantile and perused their offerings.  Liz and I both really enjoy pottery, especially when it is designed to be used everyday.  Diane Millner, the artist who owns this shop, specializes in just that. 

Liz picked out this vase from Stockholm Pottery and Mercantile.

Liz picked out this vase from Stockholm Pottery and Mercantile.


Dining Options

Be sure to stop in to Stockholm Pie Company for some of the best pie in the state of Wisconsin.  There are many different flavors available and you can wash it down with a nice hot cup of coffee.  See my review of the Stockholm Pie Company here! 

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie from Stockholm Pie Company

Peanut Butter Fudge Pie from Stockholm Pie Company

Need more than a slice of pie to satisfy your hunger?  You can order a pot pie or a savory pie or you can go across the street to Gelly’s Pub for their Friday Night Fish Fry or Saturday night smoked ribs.  In the mood for something a little more refined?  Try the Bogus Creek Cafe and Bakery.

Municipal Ammenities

After your slice of pie, pick up a Stockholm Walking Tour brochure a couple of doors down and learn the history of the town and it’s buildings.  It’s amazing how many of the buildings that make up the town are not where they were originally built.  It is a very compact town so the tour doesn’t have to take a really long time.  Just about every building has a story.

All around town, you’ll see blue bikes sitting in bike racks.  They are free to use to move around town.  You can go from the shore of Lake Pepin all the way up the hills to the Maiden Rock Winery and Cidery.

Blue Bikes

Blue Bikes

The fact that Stockholm offers public restrooms is not to be overlooked.  The simple convenience of it shows that no detail was overlooked when it comes to hospitality.

The town operates a campground on the shore of Lake Pepin.  There are several RV and Camper sites as well as a dedicated tent area.  There is a playground and boat launch.  The rates are very reasonable — $12/day for tents and $15/day for RVs.  The campground is only a block from the main drag, so it’s very convenient to go into town.  For more information on camping in Stockholm, click here.

Stockholm has a well developed Merchant Association with a nice website.  Visit to stay up to date on events in the area.

Next time you’re in the mood for a day trip, please consider following the Great River Road and be sure to stop in Stockholm.

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • Liz Lauterbach

    Stockholm is such a beautiful, quaint little place to visit.  People there are willing to chat and share a little more about the place.  I woke up to this morning with Raun poking me saying “get up and get ready, we’re heading out”.  Hwy 35 provides an opportunity to take twists, turns, hills, and beautiful sights all along the way.  The memories I have from the trip will always be with me.  I share the experience with those around me when I get the chance.  I am excited to go back to the area this Winter.  You can make it a short trip and just head to Stockholm for the day, or you can make the day trip and head down Hwy 35 continuing to take in the sights and wineries.  Enjoy your trip!