Edgerton, Wisconsin, is a charming small town with a big personality. Found in the Rock River Valley 4 miles away from the gorgeous 10,595-acre Lake Koshkonong, it is the perfect place to experience Midwestern hospitality while having fun.
This community was formerly known as Fulton Station. Still, it was later renamed and dedicated to Elisha W. Edgerton, a successful local merchant, and his brother Benjamin Hyde Edgerton, a civil engineer.
Whichever man the town is honoring, the residents are undoubtedly grateful for their contributions because Edgerton has become one of the best-kept secrets for tourism in recent years. Known for its picturesque downtown and its status as the epicenter of the southern Wisconsin tobacco industry in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there are so many great things to do in the area.
So whether you’re looking for history or just wanting to enjoy the great outdoors, these seven activities in Edgerton are worth a try.
1. Breakfast At Café On Main
This hidden gem is a family-owned business known locally for its homemade breakfast and pies.
I found the biscuits light and fluffy and the sausage gravy creamy with just the right amount of meat. The hashbrowns were that unique ideal of crispy on the top and bottom, yet not dry in the middle, while still seasoned and tasty all around. My husband’s Belgian waffle had a unique texture and slight, satisfying crunch that he craves, and that bacon? The perfect balance between crisp and still flavorful.
I love places with elevated food that doesn’t include a high price tag and friendly service that knows when to and not to approach your table and when to leave you to your meal and conversation. This quaint and cozy place is perfect for that.
The best part? Café on Main is open 7 days a week, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pro Tip: Be prepared for a little wait for your table. Locals know how great the food is; this is not a fast food joint.
2. Golf At Coachman’s Golf Resort
Are you looking for a blend of sport, nature, and bonding time? Hitting 9 or 18 holes could be just the thing! At Coachman’s Golf Resort, they have you covered with a beautiful 27-hole regulation course that is both enjoyable and challenging.
We found the water hazards and sand traps that may bring anyone to their knees. However, Coachman’s enables veritable rookies like us to keep up and enjoy the experience.
What we really loved was that they have clubs you can rent! It was one less thing to pack or haul. Just be sure to bring your balls and tees; we forgot and grabbed some quickly in their Pro Shop.
If you time your visit well, you can enjoy either lunch before your game or dinner afterward at the resort. The food is good.
Pro Tip: Make sure you have cash with you on the course. The drink cart comes around and doesn’t take plastic.
3. Get Pizza At The Fulton Store
You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge a restaurant by its pizza! We had heard about this place and its legendary cinnamon rolls, so we chose to hunt it down. Seemingly in the middle of the country, you see this unassuming exterior and might second guess yourself.
The Fulton Store obviously serves as the local go-to for that quick case of cold beer or gallon of milk but has so much more. Start with the bakery by grabbing a cinnamon roll or two and then a few packages of different kinds of cookies. You need to start here as people snap these up quickly, and you don’t want to miss out. We sampled everything from seven layered bars to cut-out cookies.
Then there’s the pizza. It is easy to see how it has won awards! With offerings of 14-inch or 16-inch, you can either build your own or try one of their specialty offerings like BBQ Bacon Chicken Ranch. We opted for a simple sausage and mushroom. I even ate the crusts, and I don’t eat pizza crusts.
I know they have more on their menu for breakfast and lunch offerings, but with pizza like that? I don’t think the Lincoln or Nicholas Baer sandwiches can compete, as great as they may be.
Pro Tip: They are very dog-friendly and have bowls of water available for Fido when you ask. They also have the work of several local crafters displayed that can only be paid for in cash.
4. Check Out Sterling North’s Boyhood Home
I always love hitting a house museum and how they preserve the memory of the “local who made it.” Sterling North was the local novelist known for his 1963 children’s best-seller, Rascal.
Those who read his works and learn of “Brailsford Junction” may find many similarities to Edgerton, and with good reason. He based it on his hometown. Sterling’s first novel, Rascal: A Memoir of a Better Era, is the tale of a young boy who falls in love with and befriends his pet raccoon in the mythical “Brailsford Junction.” The story really happened when he lived in this house and was turned into a Disney movie.
The museum room upstairs includes artifacts from North’s career, including the typewriter he used to compose Rascal and The Wolfling. The desk from North, the typewriter from his father, and the World War I uniform from his brother Herschel are also on display.
The Sterling North Society bought the house in 1992 and has since worked to create a place where scholars can come to study and enjoy North’s work. And if that wasn’t enough, the year 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of the Sterling North Home and Museum.
Pro Tip: It is only open on Sundays from May through November, from 1 to 4 p.m. unless you make an appointment. I would also suggest reading Rascal first or watching the movie so you can compare as you walk through.
5. Rent A Pontoon Boat From Floating Toy
Edgerton is the perfect summer destination for those who love spending time on the water. Lake Koshkonong, the second-largest lake in Wisconsin, offers plenty of opportunities for making a day out of being on the lake.
Floating Toy Pontoon Rentals offers a great selection of 12 different rental crafts to choose from for the day. Whether you’re looking to catch some fish with friends or hunt down nesting eagles to watch, they have the perfect craft for you.
One great thing about the lake? There are so many restaurants that dock on it. We could enjoy live music as we drove past one place and easily dock at The Buckhorn to grab a perfect brandy Old Fashioned Sweet before dinner.
Pro Tip: No pets or grills are allowed on the boats unless your pet is a service dog. There are other boat rental companies in the area if you need to bring Fido, but I witnessed the owner of Floating Toy go over and above to service a few other groups, thus my recommendation.
6. Dine At The Buckhorn
While technically not in Edgerton, this place has easy access right off the lake. The Buckhorn is a go-to spot for both locals and tourists alike. After a long day out on the lake, this is the perfect place to stop.
If you have never experienced a Wisconsin supper club, you are in for a treat. The Pope family knows how to care for people and has been doing it for over 90 years. You can feel the small-town hospitality from the picturesque outdoor patio to that perfect pre-dinner cocktail. The walls inside are a feast for your eyes with something different to see everywhere you look.
My husband went with the broiled walleye, and I opted for the 7-ounce fillet mignon Oscar-style (with crab, asparagus, and Bearnaise sauce). I literally moaned on my first bite of perfectly cooked steak.
How we saved room for the homemade Key Lime Pie is beyond me, but it was the perfect finish for our dinner.
Pro Tip: Get the Baked French onion soup. It is some of the best I have ever had and was perfect down to the beading on the broth. They also do live lobster boils — check their event calendar!
7. Rent A Cottage At Lakeland RV
We love “park and play” locations that act as a home base for us to enjoy an area, and Lakeland RV Campground is the perfect fit for that in Edgerton. You could bring your own RV or rent one of their gorgeous cottages.
Our cottage was charming inside, came with all the bedding and towels we could need, and even had dish soap! The fridge came in handy for our leftovers from eating around in the area, and the place is dog-friendly.
The campground also features horseshoe pits, tennis courts, shuffleboard, a heated visitor pool, and an enjoyable late-night campfire to enjoy with family and friends.
Other activities include live music every Saturday through Labor Day weekend, two private beaches to swim on Lake Koshkonong, Saturday afternoon bingo, outdoor movies, and even hiking trails to get you out into nature.
Pro Tip: While you can also bring your own RV to the area, they can’t guarantee you will get the site number that you reserve.
The Final Verdict
If you are looking for a small town with big city fun, look no further than the charming Edgerton. With its friendly people and welcoming atmosphere, you will feel at home.
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