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Welcome to the Baraboo Area

Welcome to the 2020 edition of Discover Real Baraboo. Whether visiting for the first time or making the Baraboo Area your new home, the purpose of this publication is to welcome you to – and educate you about – a community like no other!

“Discover Real Baraboo” is the slogan we use to invite you into our community. With this invitation, you are encouraged to explore everything the Baraboo Area has to offer. Whether your passion is the outdoors, shopping and dining or circus history – or if you’re here to get out of the everyday hustle and bustle to explore our lifestyle – Baraboo has something for you.

Baraboo is located in the Driftless Region of the Upper Midwest. Its location, a scenic paradise that’s close – but not too close – to metropolitan areas, gives visitors and residents alike access to a wealth of opportunities. From its natural gifts to the people who call it home, Baraboo doesn’t disappoint.

Founded in the early 19th century, Baraboo is named for an 18th century French Canadian fur trader named Francois Barbeau. In 1846, Baraboo became the Sauk County seat, and a few years later, home to the Ringling family, whose brothers grew up and formed a world-renowned circus. The Ringling family chose to make Baraboo its winter headquarters for many years, and the show’s birthplace would later become home to a state historical site, Circus World. In addition, Baraboo is the home of the International Clown Hall of Fame, the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the International Crane Foundation.

If you love the outdoors, Baraboo has you (un)covered! Located next to Wisconsin’s most popular state park – Devil’s Lake – and a few short minutes from Mirror Lake State Park, there are plenty of astonishing sights and recreational opportunities nearby. For example, you can take a trip down the Baraboo River, once the backbone of local industry, now one of the longest stretches of open river in the country.

In addition to historic sites and natural wonders, Baraboo plays host to fairs, markets, festivals, concerts, performances and art tours – bringing fun to the community throughout the year. You will see a glimpse of our annual events in this publication under “Calendar of Events.” For a full dynamic schedule of events, visit baraboo.com.

Baraboo treasures its past and prepares for its future, as evidenced by its vibrant schools, a local University of Wisconsin campus and healthy and diverse array of industries and businesses. We hope you will find the Discover Real Baraboo guide a useful tool to start your exploration of this special part of the United States. It won’t take you long to see this is a great place to visit or call home!

The Baraboo Area Chamber of Commerce