Tucked away in the tranquil woods of Wisconsin lies a place where time seems to pause, allowing the soul to breathe: Camp Wandawega. This iconic camp, with its rich history and captivating charm, has been a beloved retreat for many over the decades. However, among the myriad wonders it offers, the treehouse stands out as a particularly enchanting emblem of nostalgia and architectural beauty.
Tracing its roots back to the Prohibition era, Camp Wandawega began its journey as a speakeasy, then transformed into a Latvian church camp, a bona fide retreat, and later, a hotel. Each phase of its existence has imparted a unique layer to its story, making it a living testament to change, resilience, and the evolution of American leisure. And with this historic canvas, the treehouse is like a masterstroke that brings everything together. Fast forward to today, and it now boasts not just a legacy steeped in captivating lore, but also innovative additions that seamlessly blend the old with the new. One standout: Tom’s Treehouse.
Tom’s Treehouse isn’t just another structure; it’s a sensation. Spotlighted by notable publications and even gracing the screens of the Today Show, it captures imaginations and hearts alike. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that it stands as a tribute to community spirit, constructed from the ground up entirely by volunteers in over a year.
Ascending to the treehouse feels like stepping into another world, one that’s a blend of childlike wonder and adult sophistication. This isn’t your typical backyard build. Here, vintage decor meets modern amenities, rustic charm meets curated comfort. Every nook and cranny tells a story, every wooden plank and rope has a history. Its expansive windows, spanning from floor to ceiling, steal the show. They marry the indoors with the vast expanse outside, inviting nature to become an intrinsic part of the experience, and allowing guests to be caressed by sunbeams during the day and lulled by the whispers of leaves at night. The rustic ambiance, accentuated by raw materials and even a tree branch piercing the floor and window, ensures that visitors are truly ensconced in nature.
Beyond just aesthetics, Tom’s Treehouse offers spaces to rejuvenate. The ground floor boasts a lounge, a communal haven to bond, chat, or simply gaze out of the colossal windows. Those yearning for a solitary escape at Camp Wandawega can ascend the wooden ladders, finding solace in the two lofty perches above.
But here’s the twist: This treehouse isn’t up for grabs. It stands sentinel, an emblem of Camp Wandawega’s ethos—a rustic, no-frills homage to raw, authentic experiences. For visitors keen on an extended stay, a plethora of accommodations await. Be it the camp’s array of options, the charming Side-By-Side Vintage Cabins, the scenic Lakeview 3 Bedroom Cabin, or the spacious Top level old bunkhouse—all can be reserved via Airbnb.
Camp Wandawega itself is an embodiment of “camp chic.” Think summer camp memories—canoeing, archery, bonfires—but with an elevated touch. It’s a place where the joy of simplicity intersects with an understated elegance, where guests can dabble in both adventure and relaxation.
This harmonious blend of past and present extends to their approach to hospitality as well. The camp encourages a sense of community, of shared experiences, reminiscent of old-school camp culture. So, whether you’re bonding with fellow travelers over a shared meal or swapping stories under the stars, the spirit of togetherness is palpable.
And while the camp offers a plethora of activities and experiences, for many, the treehouse remains the star attraction. Whether it’s writers seeking inspiration, couples looking for a romantic escape, or families wanting to create memories, the treehouse beckons with its promise of magic.
While the camp has its allure, visitors mustn’t miss the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market. Lauded by connoisseurs as among the finest in the U.S., it’s a treasure trove, flaunting antiques spanning Victorian elegance, Mid-century Modern flair, to eclectic ‘70s kitsch.