Cedarburg is a small city in Wisconsin, about 30 minutes by car north of Milwaukee. It is known for over 200 19th century buildings in its historic downtown and popular year-round festivals.
Cedarburg is most easily accessible by car, and is about a 25 to 40 minute drive from Milwaukee, depending on what area you are coming from. While I-41 and HWY-45 can also be used to access Cedarburg, the simplest routes from Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago are all via I-43.
Heading NORTH on I-43 from Milwaukee, the exit for Cedarburg is clearly marked. Follow Exit 89 for Pioneer Rd., and turn LEFT at the top of the exit ramp. Follow Pioneer Rd. WEST for approximately 4mi (about 8min) until you reach Washington Ave in Cedarburg. Turnning RIGHT and heading NORTH on Washington Ave. will lead you directly into the main street of Cedarburg.
There is no bus service throughout Cedarburg, but visitors without cars can use the Ozaukee County Express to reach the Ozaukee Co. Park & Ride lot located at the top of Exit 98 for Pioneer Rd. Visitors should arrange ahead of time for a taxi pick-up unless they have another mode of transportation, as Cedarburg is located 4mi from this bus stop.
Is it possible to reach Cedarburg by taxi, either from Milwaukee, or by calling the Ozaukee County Share Ride Taxi in advance for a pick up from the Pioneer Rd. bus stop. Be warned, a taxi from Milwaukee will cost between $50 and $70 depending on your location in the city. However, Uber is very popular among Milwaukee residents, especially those who live outside of the downtown area, because it offers cheaper long-distance fares than the Milwaukee taxis.
Walk! Once you are in town, everything in Cedarburg is accessible by foot. During festivals, the main street is often barred to cars and parking can be competitive. Many residents of Cedarburg just walk the mile or so into town from their homes when the weather is pleasant. There is an Ozaukee County cab service you can also contact in advance if needed. See link for details on service and pricing.
The Washington Avenue Historic District: The main collection of 216 historically-significant buildings
The Woolen Mill: Founded in 1854, which today is host to dozens of shops, two restaurants and a winery
Covered Bridge: Built in 1876, the last remaining covered bridge in Wisconsin
The Cedarburg Cultural Center: Hosts art shows and also sponsors musical performances, and also sponsors the Kuhefuss House Museum and the Cedarburg General Store Museum
Ozaukee Historical Society
The Wisconsin Quilt Museum
The Cedarburg Performing Arts Center: Draws theatrical and musical acts from around the nation.
Cedarburg is known for its festivals celebrating the seasons.
Winter Festival is held in February, featuring the ice sculptures, naturally, as well as bed and barrell races on Cedar Creek. There is a parade, a chili competition, and other family-friendly activities. There is a new theme every year.
The arrival of summer is the time to celebrate the ripening strawberry crop, and Cedarburg celebrates with the Strawberry festival. The Plein Air painting competition draws dozens of artists, and you find strawberry-flavored everything from wine to bratwurst. Games, live music and dozens of stalls transform Washington Avenue from main thoroughfare into summertime party. More than 100,000 festival-goers attended in 2009.
Arrival of fall brings celebration of the harvest at the Wine & Harvest festival. Traditional autumnal festivities include apple bobbing, pumking carving, live bands and plenty of good food.
Other festivals include German Fest and the Cedarburg Cycling Classic in July, and several Maxwell Street Days held throughout the warm season. See more at http://www.cedarburgfestivals.org.
Finally, the Ozaukee County Fair is held every year, two blocks north of downtown, showcasing the county's farm economy, sponsoring musical acts and other events, and featuring a classic midway
Cedarburg's shops are most well known for jewelry, artwork and antique home furnishings. Known around town for its green clock out front is Armbruster's, a jeweler which has been a fixture of the town for well over a century. It's current location on Washington Avenue was built in 1908.
North of Bridge Street & Washington Avenue is the Gem Shop, selling rocks and gems from around the world, found by the shop's proprietors.
The Cedar Creek Settlement, at Bridge Street & Washington, offers a variety of shops, and many more are located up and down Washington Avenue, including bookstores, flower shops, jewelers, art galleries, furniture stores, clothing boutiques, and much else.
An excellent time to shop in Cedarburg is during one of the many annual festivals, including Winter Fest, Strawberry Fest, German Fest and Wine & Harvest Fest. Maxwell Street days at the County Fair Grounds hosts small vendors selling everything from antiques to collectibles, knick-knacks, curios and odds-and-ends.
The Chocolate Factory, located at the intersection of Washington and Columbia, is a great place to go for sandwiches and ice cream, with a central location in the heart of the historic downtown. Next door is Amy's Candy Kitchen, where you can pick from a huge variety handmade chocolates, fudge and other sweets.
Tomaso's pizzeria sells locally famous pies and serves craft Wisconsin brews in a classic "small town midcentury" restaurant, located near the Cedar Creek Settlement. Also serving pizza by the slice is Sal's, which is found just south of the City Hall campus on Washington Avenue.
Just next door to Tomaso's is the August Weber Haus, which prepares fondue to accompany its wine wine, and also features dinner in a romantic environment.
At the Cedar Creek Settlement, at the corner of Bridge Street & Washington Avenue, there are two notable eateries. The Cream & Crepe Cafe serves crepes, soups, sandwiches and other tasty meals in a pioneer-styled section of the settlement next to Cedar Creek. The Anvil is a newer restaurant opened in the former blacksmith's shop, and it serves variety of meals and Wisconsin-brewed beer.
Cedarburg also offers a thriving cafe culture. The Java House, just north of City Hall, was the first to open in 1992. The Cedarburg Coffee roaster has earned a reputation in the Midwest for excellent coffee, and beans are roasted on the premises of the Washington Avenue coffee house.
There are several classic drive-ins, including Wayne's Drive-In at five-corners, featuring roller-skating servers, Out-and-Out south of downtown, creating dozens of healthy sandwiches and wraps, and Hefner's, which is just east of downtown on Columbia Avenue and servers burgers and home-made custard.
Up the main drag in the "new" part of town is a steakhouse named the Farmstead which is always popular.
There are several old-school bars downtown. Popular among these is Morton's WisconsInn just off of Washington Avenue at Center Street, C. Weislers on the south end of downtown, and the ever-popular Maxwell's at Bridge & Washington.
For wine drinkers, Ernie's wine bar is a located a few blocks from downtown, and the August Weber Haus serves wine, fondue and dinners.
At the Cedarburg Mill on Columbia Avenue you will find the town's local brewery and beer garden, Silver Creek, which brews a lager, a porter, a weiss beer and an India pale ale.
The two local stays are at the Washington House Inn, a stately bed-and-breakfast, and the Stagecoach Inn, which has a more rustic feel. Nearby Grafton and Mequon also have locally-owned and chain hotels a few miles away.