Whole Life Magazine

October/November 2013

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Page 27 of 43

VACATION IN THE HEARTLAND ~ A tiny Wisconsin town celebrates year-round sustainability ~ In Los Angeles we're blessed with an abundance of restaurants cater- and the Paddock Club has photos to prove it. Gangsters trafficked ing to health-conscious foodies, but imagine an entire town empha- libations from Canada for guests who came to gamble and play the sizing local, organic and sustainable. What if nearly every restaurant slots. Local lore holds that gaming machines hurriedly dispensed and business actively supported regional farmers and ranchers, as with during a bust still lurk beneath the lake's usually placid surface. well as each other? When that happens, food becomes inextricably But for maybe 10,000 years before the area became popular interwoven with a sustainable local economy. for gamblers and vacationers, Potawatomi natives—who named the lake Great Heart Lake for its re Way east of our trendy culinary semblance to an elk's heart—enjoyed mecca, in a part of the country once the bounty of this fertile land, infled by many a current Southlander, cluding deer, elk and bear, all mostly Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin is just such gone now. Henschel's Indian Museum a town. Admittedly it's a good bit is filled with their beads and blades, smaller than L.A., but that in itself arrowheads and bones, bear teeth is hardly a guarantee of harmony; and an atladdle (a tool used to launch business owners in plenty of similararrows), some of which reputedly date ly sized burgs—this one's year-round to 8,000 BC. Amiable Gary Henschel population is 947—tolerate one anreadily shares stories of the burial other with bared teeth as they battle caves on the property his family has for market share. Elkhart Lake, howowned since 1849, one of which is still ever, seems to be a thumbnail of the accessible. Macy's Santa Claus philosophy in the classic film Miracle on 34th Street: If one host can't accommodate, you'll SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE be happily directed elsewhere. MiracDespite its diminutive size, Elkhart ulously, local business owners under- Potawatomi burial cave at Henschel's Indian Museum Lake accommodates a variety of tastes stand that a rising tide floats all boats. and budgets, with summer homes dot And in this case the boats aren't just figurative. The town takes ting the shoreline, historic B&Bs, and three adjacent beachfront its name from a serene, spring-fed lake notorious for its healing wa- resorts where guests casually wander back and forth enjoying the ters. While it's difficult to vouch for the healing part—although the various amenities. tap water at the Osthoff Resort seems unusually silken—it does have The four-diamond, all-suite Osthoff 's traditional décor is the a magical quality. most sophisticated, as behooves a resort that offers conference seat The water's curative reputation attracted early visitors who ar- ing for a thousand; all units have cozy fireplaces, balconies and wellrived first by horse and carriage, later by train, hoping to recuperate equipped kitchenettes. Onsite indulgences include the gorgeously from such ailments as consumption and tuberculosis. Trains also redesigned Aspira Spa, L'ecole de la Maison French cooking school brought fashionable "Gilded Age" visitors from Chicago, St. Louis (butter and cream heaven, not recommended for vegans), and both in- and outdoor pools. and Milwaukee. In the early 1900s Prohibition was decidedly not observed here, Next door, Siebkens has been in the same family since 1916. 28 wholelifetimesmagazine.com Photos: Elkhart Lake Tourism (top left); Les Tension (top right); Abigail Lewis (center) BY ABIGAIL LEWIS

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