Photo: Stayman/Shutterstock

How to Become More Wisconsin in 16 Easy Steps

by Jennifer Billock Dec 2, 2015

1. Hang out at the Mars Cheese Castle.

If you really want to be more Wisconsin, you have to embrace our wonderful food traditions. Start by visiting the Mars Cheese Castle.

2. Drink from a bubbler.

Water fountains are just decorative aqua features. If you want a drink, you use the bubbler.

3. Devour a Kringle.

While you’re in the Mars corner of the state (the southeast, by the way), indulge in Racine’s famous Danish kringle pastry—flaky dough stuffed with fruit, cheese, nuts, or anything else you can dream up, and the official state pastry of Wisconsin.

4. Get away from it all and go up north.

Hook up the boat and drive it up to a cottage or cabin in the Northwoods.

5. Drive on The I—and stay on your side.

Interstate 94, one of the main arteries through the state, is no longer “94.” It’s “The I.” And if you live east of The I, you won’t venture west much. It’s just so far.

6. Conduct a highly scientific burger experiment.

In Kenosha, join in the citywide best burgers debate and conduct your own showdown between The Spot and Big Star.

7. Embrace local food traditions—food on a stick and fish fries.

Head up to Milwaukee for some authentic German sausage and food on a stick at the state fair. And then go to any supper club in the state to observe our time-honored tradition: the Friday fish fry.

8. Drink Wisconsinbly – Chase a Bloody Mary with a beer and have a Brandy Old Fashioned.

Just like food, we have very specific beverage traditions. Always chase a Bloody Mary with a beer. Always have your Old Fashioneds with brandy.

9. Experience the boozy joy of Door County Cherry Bounce.

It’s a divine mix of tart cherries from Door County, whiskey, and sugar, sealed in a jar and left to infuse.

10. Learn about Wisconsin’s pop culture icons.

Familiarize yourself with Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days. Eventually, someone will tell you to visit the Bronze Fonz or exclaim “Schlemiel! Schlemazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated!” And you better know what they’re talking about.

11. Wear a wedge of cheese on your head.

Buy yourself a foam cheese hat, even if it’s kitschy.

12. Religiously follow The Pack.

Cover your body in green and yellow paint for a Packers game.

13. Don’t neglect Wisconsin’s festival season…

Rock out to your favorite band at Summerfest, and munch on a pretzel necklace at Beer Fest.

14. …or our completely weird museums.

Fill up on gourmet condiments at the Mustard Museum.

15. Get really into winter sports.

Hop on a snowmobile and cruise around the state, go snow tubing, strap on some skis or a snowboard. We’ve got it all.

16. For the love of god, learn how to drive.

Give the right of way to people turning left, move over from the fast lane on the expressway if someone comes up behind you, and never ever drive like someone from Illinois. We hate those FIBs. (If you don’t know what that means, find out here.)

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