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Discover Wisconsin: There's something truly magical about Green Lake Country
From charming downtowns that boast eclectic shopping and Wisconsins Largest Weekly Outdoor Flea Market to hiking, biking, camping and water activities, Green Lake Country offers something for everybody. (Photo supplied)
Relax. Retreat. Repeat. Welcome to Green Lake Country. Located about 11/2 hours northeast of Madison and 45 minutes southwest of Appleton, this region of Wisconsin consists of five communities: Berlin, Green Lake, Markesan, Princeton and Ripon.

Green Lake Country is surprising in all of the best ways. From the charming yet eclectic shops to be found on Water Street in Princeton to the stunning waterfront views in Green Lake, this area of Wisconsin is an ideal location for a weekend getaway. Here are 10 ways to get your itinerary started in gorgeous Green Lake Country:

1. Explore White River Marsh Wildlife Area just north of Princeton. Its 12,000 acres are perfect for biking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, hiking, trapping and snowmobiling.

2. Browse the shops of Water Street in downtown Princeton. They've got everything you could imagine, from thrift stores and jewelry shops to art studios and antique stores.

3. Sail across Wisconsin's deepest natural inland lake, Green Lake. Sailing has been a staple on Green Lake since the earliest visitors discovered the area, and with its gorgeous views and peaceful feel, it's easy to see why.

4. Set up camp on the bank of the Fox River at Riverside Park in Berlin. The park stretches 3,700 feet along the east bank of the Fox River, making it perfect for boating, fishing, camping, picnics and sports.

5. Visit Grand River Valley Museum and Train Depot in Markesan. It shines the spotlight on local history, which includes shops of a shoemaker, doctor, dentist, haberdasher and banker, as well as a train depot, one-room schoolhouse and agricultural museum.

6. Sample wine and practice yoga at Vines & Rushes Winery in Ripon with Marigold Yoga. Yoga classes will be held every Wednesday through September, with free wine tasting after yoga.

7. Take in a show at Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake. With all sorts of bands, workshops and events, you're sure to find something interesting at Thrasher Opera House.

8. Go bargain shoppin' at the famous Princeton Flea Market. It's known as "Wisconsin's Largest Weekly Outdoor Flea Market" and offers everything from antiques and crafts to vegetables, jewelry and trinkets.

9. Try hooking a muskie on Little Green Lake in Markesan. The 462-acre lake is known for its walleye, muskie, panfish and bass.

10. Enjoy some pizza on the patio at Izzy's Pub in downtown Berlin. The views are gorgeous and the food is delicious.

For more about Green Lake Country, stream "Think Green - Green Lake Country" at and download your free Green Lake Country itinerary.

Have you visited Green Lake Country? Share your memories with us using #DiscoverWisconsin.

- Mariah Haberman is the co-host of the nation's longest-running tourism TV show, "Discover Wisconsin." Her column is published Tuesday on the Life page in the Times.