Whether you’re planning a day trip or considering a personal or business move, Hartford and the surrounding area has a lot to offer. With a population of just over 15,000 people and several new housing projects in the works, Hartford is currently the second-fastest growing municipality in Wisconsin.
Only a 10-minute drive from downtown Hartford to Interstate 41, Milwaukee-area commuters have easy access and residents and visitors enjoy a unique relaxed-yet-vibrant community vibe away from the hustle and bustle of a big city.
Affordable housing, business opportunities, and quality of life are attracting downsizing retirees, new families, and business start-ups. Downtown Hartford, specifically, has continued to grow and offers an eclectic mix of shops, new housing, dining options, activities, and services found nowhere else.
Discover and explore some of the many area “landmarks” in and around the immediate Hartford community.
Schauer Arts Center
Filled with culture and history, the Schauer Arts Center was transformed from a canning factory built in 1919 into a non-profit, regional center for the arts that inspires creativity and connects people.
Since opening in 2001, the Schauer Arts Center presents professional touring performances in the Ruth A. Knoll Theater and regional artwork in the Suckow Family Art Gallery, and also serves as a home to the Hartford City Band, Hartford Community Chorus, The Hartford Players, and the Kettle Moraine Fine Arts Guild.
The Schauer Arts Center strives to be a vital resource that fosters, supports, and enriches the cultural, educational, and social well-being of the community by serving as a gathering place where people from all walks of life enjoy and participate in the arts.
The year-round Schauer School of the Arts offers music, theater, dance, and visual arts education for all ages, levels, and visions.
147 N. Rural Street, Hartford, WI
Pike Lake State Park
The Pike Lake Unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest is in the middle of the Kettle Moraine, a strip of glacial landforms which extends through southeastern Wisconsin to Lake Winnebago. The forest is named after the 522-acre, spring-fed kettle: Pike Lake.
Powder Hill, a large glacial kame, provides the opportunity for a great hike and view. Visitors can enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, fishing, picnicking and much more within the forest.
3544 Kettle Moraine Road, Hartford, WI
Holy Hill is located in southeast Wisconsin, on the highest elevation in this part of the state. More than 500,000 people from all over the world visit the Basilica and National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill each year. Some come to admire the beautiful architecture of the neo-Romanesque church built in 1926. Others make a pilgrimage to Holy Hill to worship, to meditate or to pray for healing. Regardless of what brings people to Holy Hill, they are bound to be touched by its peaceful environment and to be renewed in body, mind and spirit.
Holy Hill was declared a Shrine with "Portiuncula Privilege" by Pope Leo XIII in 1903. And, as a result of the increasing number of pilgrims, the Discalced Carmelites of Bavaria were invited to staff the Shrine in 1906. On November 19, 2006, the Shrine was elevated to the status of Basilica.
Holy Hill includes 435 beautiful acres in which to experience peace, beauty, and prayer. It also features a cafe, gift shop, and overnight accommodations.
1525 Carmel Road, Hubertus, WI
(262) 628 - 1838 (Monastery)
Erin Hills Golf Course
Architects adopted a minimalist approach in designing Erin Hills, as nature had sculpted the land so well that the golf holes seemed to emerge from the property. With bentgrass greens and fine fescue fairways, this walking course is quite literally a change of pace.
Experience the thrilling range of challenges, from a terrifying 140-yard hole to a brute of 620. Seasoned caddies will assist you hole-by-hole to achieve not only your best possible score but also the most fun. This public course has risen quickly in the rankings, with Golf Digest listing it as the 9th best public course in the United States and the 44th greatest course overall.
Erin Hills was the host of the 2017 U.S. Open and is a great local destination for golfing, dining and meeting.
7169 County Road O, Erin, WI
Since 1980, Monches Farm has been “a destination for adventurous and discerning gardeners”, featuring hardy field-grown perennials, herbs, dried flowers, gifts, antiques & garden design.
In addition to live garden offerings, the farm houses an on-site gift shop and regularly hosts special events. It can also be rented as a wedding venue.
5890 Monches Road, Colgate, WI
Downtown Hartford Events
In partnership with the Hartford Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Hartford Business Improvement District Board serves as an active host for about a dozen yearly “official” downtown events.
These events include: the Iced on Main Ice Carving Event, Ladies’ Night Out - Jet-setting Around The World, Old-Fashioned Block Party and Classic Car Show, Maxwell Street Day, Autumn Fest (featuring the Pink Pumpkin Run), Holiday Merchants’ Open House, the Downtown Christmas Parade, Small Business Saturday, Midnight Madness, Saturday Farmers’ Market, and the Wednesday Night Market.
Downtown businesses are active participants in these events, and their unique and eclectic offerings are a draw for local and out-of-the-area shoppers, diners, arts/music lovers, those looking to be pampered, and overnight visitors.
In addition to the official events, businesses in the downtown regularly hold classes, fundraisers, concerts, and other shop/business events: Check the calendar, as new events are added often.
Downtown Hartford is also a great place to join us as a vendor! We are specifically looking for quality artisans and food trucks/stands to set up at our upcoming downtown events.
Interested? View the 2019 downtown brochure for a quick list of past/upcoming events, or go straight to our events calendar. From there you can read more about a specific event, and follow a link to the Chamber of Commerce to sign up.
Wisconsin Auto Museum
History comes alive at the Wisconsin Automotive Museum. Showcasing transportation history, the museum is Wisconsin’s largest auto museum, featuring an ever-changing display of classic and vintage autos and artifacts plus the largest assembled group of Hartford-built Kissel luxury automobiles.
The museum’s striking art deco interior sets off 110+ vehicles on exhibit, including: Pontiacs, Studebakers, Chevrolets, Kaisers, Fords, and other cars from around the world. The collection is rounded out by displays of automotive artifacts such as gas pumps, signs, license plates, oil cans and other petroliana. An assortment of outboard engines built in Hartford from 1930s – 1990s are also on display.
147 N. Rural Street, Hartford, WI
Westphal Mansion Inn Bed & Breakfast
This stately mansion was built by August and Mary Schott Westphal in 1913 as a single family home for four, and was spacious enough for high society entertaining and socializing.
Located on a triangular lot overlooking historic downtown Hartford, this English Tudor-style home has a Frank Lloyd Wright-style brick and stucco exterior and Arts & Crafts interior.
Early property features included a central vacuum, intercom system, a two-car heated garage with Hartford’s first car wash, and a state-of-the-art hot water heating system. The exterior landscaping was accented by a three-foot deep concrete fountain, which was built on the front lawn of the estate in 1917. Beautiful rose garden beds surrounded the mansion and delighted visitors.
Westphal Mansion Inn is now an elegant bed and breakfast, offering luxurious modern amenities like robes, decadent chocolates and fresh flowers. The eight well-appointed guest suites offer antique decor and vintage queen and king beds with cozy down comforters.
Mornings begin with unique teas and Stone Creek Coffee, followed by an elegant full four-course breakfast - including dessert!
Contact Westphal today to book a memorable stay, steps from downtown Hartford.
Jack Russell Memorial Library
The Jack Russell Memorial Library is a two-story, 35,000 square foot community gathering space in downtown Hartford that opened to the public in October of 2011 and occupies the land that formerly housed Hartford High School.
The beautiful building is topped by angled wood beams (an architectural a nod to the mills that used to line the nearby Rubicon River) and overlooks the serene Mill Pond.
A 2007 gift of $2 million from Geraldine Russell was made in memory of her husband, Jack, and this was the spark needed to ignite public support for the project. The project's bill was paid with $5.2 million in private contributions and $5 million from city taxpayers. An additional $1 million came from the library’s trust fund.
100 Park Avenue, Hartford, WI
Holy Hill Art Farm
This 160-year-old 80-acre farm is located in the heart of the Kettle Moraine near Holy Hill. The rustic property has been transformed into a unique event destination.
Only open during special events, the farm hosts square dance farm dinners, music/music tribute nights, art markets and more.
Little Switzerland opened on December 7, 1941, with its last day of operation under its original owners on March 10, 2007. The area was completely remodeled in the summer of 2012 and re-opened with new owners in the fall of 2012 as a year-round restaurant and winter ski area.
The ski hill has 18 runs, 4 chairlifts, 2 handle tows and 2 rope tows covering both sides of the hill. Three terrain parks and a chalet are at the bottom of the hill, along with a full service restaurant, bar, game room, snack bar and pro shop.
There are six runs, including a beginner terrain park, on the front side of the hill, and eleven runs on the back side.
105 Cedar Creek Road, Slinger, WI
Veteran’s Memorial Aquatic Center
The new Veterans Memorial Aquatic Center opened in 2016 and features an eight-lane, 50 meter pool leading into a fan-shaped zero-depth swimming area. Have fun solo - using the waterslide with plunge pool, or buddy up for the two-person raft slide. Relax in the lazy river or lounge in the sun or plentiful shaded areas. The center also features two diving boards (1 meter and 3 meter), a “Spinbrella” water feature, deck games/activities, as well as toddler areas. A concession stand nearby serves typical fast foods and there are locker rooms with showers.
2018 open hours were May 26th through August 31st.
777 South Main Street, Hartford, WI
(262) 670-3730 (Hartford Parks & Recreation Office)