By Bethany Erb

Some things pair well together: rich pumpkin pie and cinnamon-dusted whipped cream, or crunchy fall leaves and cashmere sweaters, or frost-bitten Wisconsinites in the Napa Valley…did that last one catch you by surprise? Me too. As your token Wisconsinite on campus, I’m still adjusting to California’s laid-back vibes and sunny skies (it’s really not that hard).
California is pretty special, it’s true. But Wisconsin has its own vibrant culture that makes me proud to call it home.

Here are three reasons to visit Wisconsin (and yours truly!) this summer:

1. The Sunny Smiles Unless you’re a Vikings fan, Wisconsinites are some of the friendliest people you’ll meet. Whether shoveling out your driveway after an apocalyptic blizzard, or inviting you to the neighborhood barbecue, we’re focused on making you feel at home. To top it off, Green Bay, WI, is titled one of the “Happiest Cities of America”. What’s not to love? We’ve got our ‘Cheesehead’ on our shoulders.

2. Our Award-Winning Cheese We’re not called “America’s Dairyland” for nothing. Driving through Wisconsin’s grassy farmland, speckled with quaint rust-red barns, it’s easy to see why artisan cheesemakers flock here to hone their craft. Want a taste? Head to the Nitty Gritty Restaurant and Bar, in Madison (my hometown), for their famed cheese curds. Fresh, salty cheese curds are to Wisconsin what Cioppino is to San Francisco. Little bits of firm, pre-aged cheese, they’re our state’s classic “must-taste” food. The squeakier, the better! Trust me on that one.

3. Unleash Your Inner Packer As home to the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin is known for its fanatical football fans. In fact, we’re known as some of the most annoying fans in the country. But with rumored fans like Harry Styles and Larry the Cable Guy, the appeal is clear. Looking for tickets? Sorry! Tickets to Lambeau Field have been sold out since 1960, and there are around 70,000 people wait-listed. But, I recommend you take a tour through Lambeau Field, listening for faint echoes of wild cheers and shrill cries of defeat (definitely not from us). There’s a palpable energy that is alluring and nostalgic, and maybe—just maybe—you’ll catch the Packer-bug. It’s pretty contagious.

See you soon!

Your Wisconsinite,
Bethany Erb