Subs, Sputnik, and sundaes make a trip to Two Rivers and Manitowoc a must | Travel | Chicago Reader

Subs, Sputnik, and sundaes make a trip to Two Rivers and Manitowoc a must 

A “Dream House” designed by Frank Lloyd Wright also makes the trip to Wisconsin unforgettable.

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Alpaca meet and greet, LondonDairy Alpacas Ranch - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Alpaca meet and greet, LondonDairy Alpacas Ranch
  • Matthew Gilson

Alpacas, Sputnik, exotic wooden fonts, Prairie School architecture, underwater war machines, and the exact spot where the ice cream sundae was invented in 1881 (maybe)—all within a three-hour drive of Chicago—make a trip to Two Rivers and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a total must.

At least for my family. So earlier this year we booked two nights at Two Rivers' Bernard Schwartz House, aka Still Bend, designed for Schwartz, a Wisconsin businessman, by Frank Lloyd Wright along the lines of the "Dream House" the architect devised for Life magazine in 1938. We cooked in the kitchen and played board games by the fire, all the while basking in the truly dreamy space and light of this stunning home.

The next morning we explored hand-carved wood typefaces and artwork—some vintage, some the recent work of visiting artists—at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, which is housed in a factory building where wooden type was manufactured as far back as 1880 and includes work space today.

A few miles south, the USS Cobia, a WWII submarine, is docked in the Manitowoc River alongside the excellent Wisconsin Maritime Museum. For $44 per person, you can overnight on one of the sub's bunks—including a few atop (what once were live) torpedoes.

A short drive away in Manitowoc, you can check out the Frisbee-size brass ring embedded just a few feet north of the intersection of North Eighth and Park Streets, which marks the spot where a chunk of the Soviet Korabl Sputnik-1 satellite crashed to earth in 1960. Manitowoc celebrates the landing every year with Sputnikfest, a two-day event that among other highlights features an "alien drop," an alien pet contest, and the Ms. Space Debris Pageant. This year the festival's September 7 and 8.

Back in Two Rivers, we visited the LondonDairy Alpacas Ranch, where a group of friendly yet feisty alpacas ate snacks from our hands. Inside Washington House, a former inn that now serves as the Two Rivers Visitor Center, is Berners Ice Cream Parlor, which lays claim to having originated the sundae in 1881. To our deep regret, it was closed during our visit—all the more reason to return.   v
 

1st floor view from the dining room to the main room, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend' - MATTHEW GILSON
  • 1st floor view from the dining room to the main room, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend'
  • Matthew Gilson
Stairs to 2nd floor sleeping rooms, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend' - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Stairs to 2nd floor sleeping rooms, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend'
  • Matthew Gilson
1st floor den area, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend' - MATTHEW GILSON
  • 1st floor den area, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend'
  • Matthew Gilson
2nd floor bedroom, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend' - MATTHEW GILSON
  • 2nd floor bedroom, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend'
  • Matthew Gilson
1st floor entry area / doorway to master bedroom, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend' - MATTHEW GILSON
  • 1st floor entry area / doorway to master bedroom, Frank Lloyd Wright Bernard Schwartz house, AKA 'Still Bend'
  • Matthew Gilson
Project wall, Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Project wall, Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
  • Matthew Gilson
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
  • Matthew Gilson
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
  • Matthew Gilson
Font: #138, 18 line. Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Font: #138, 18 line. Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
  • Matthew Gilson
Font: Concave Tuscan X Condensed, 10 line. Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Font: Concave Tuscan X Condensed, 10 line. Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
  • Matthew Gilson
Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum
  • Matthew Gilson
The USS Cobia is a WWII submarine floating in the Manitowoc River, docked at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Wisconsin. - MATTHEW GILSON
  • The USS Cobia is a WWII submarine floating in the Manitowoc River, docked at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Wisconsin.
  • Matthew Gilson
Sputnik crash site, Manitowoc - MATTHEW GILSON
  • Sputnik crash site, Manitowoc
  • Matthew Gilson

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