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The Kohler Experience: A Family, A Company, An Amazing Community

Program Number: 2074RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/27/2014 - 5/1/2014; 10/26/2014 - 10/30/2014; 4/26/2015 - 4/30/2015; 7/2/2015 - 7/6/2015; 10/25/2015 - 10/29/2015;
Duration: 4 nights
Location: Kohler, Wisconsin
Price starting at: $895.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: History & Culture Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 11; 4 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 4 Dinners    

Founded in 1873, the Kohler Company has grown from making farm implements and bathtubs to a world-renowned example of American product design and innovation. In 1912, the company moved its headquarters out of Sheboygan to the rural land to the west and founded the Village of Kohler. The first planned community in the Midwest, Kohler has been a smashing success — a thriving community, a masterpiece of landscape architecture and a grand golf and spa destination. Take field trips to the Kohler Factory, the Waelderhaus Museum and the John Michael Kohler Art Center, hear from an artist-in-residence and experience Kohler through the eyes of locals.




Highlights

• Experience old-world hospitality at the five-star American Club Resort and delve into the history of the Village of Kohler and its 50-year master plan.
• Learn more about the lives of the early immigrant craftsmen and their desire to become American citizens.
• Go behind the scenes of the Kohler Factory and Design Center to see how plumbing fixtures are made.



Activity Particulars

Walking and standing for up to two hours at a time; some uneven terrain and stairs.




Date Specific Information

7-2-2015

Join us for Independence Day festivities on July 4th in Kohler including the parade right past The American Club, a John Philip Sousa concert in the park, followed by fireworks at dusk.



Coordinated by Covenant Harbor.




Kohler

The village of Kohler is a high-end year-round resort whose golf club hosted the 2010 PGA Championship. The village offers fine dining, shopping, spas and an array of sports.



Accommodations
The Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond-rated resort and spa.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Richard Palm

A favorite of many of our participants, Chef Richard Palm is a Pastry Chef at The American Club Resort in Kohler, Wisconsin. After dabbling in religious dtudies and working as a Sunday dchool literature writer, Richard found himself in culinary school in Sweden. After graduating at the top of his class at a French culinary school, he was convinced his true calling. His vast knowledge of food and engaging personality make for stimulating lectures for both the mind and the palette.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   The American Club
  Kohler, WI 4 nights
 The American Club
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: Escape to where village charm meets old-world elegance. The American Club once provided housing, meals and recreational facilities for immigrant employees who could not afford housing. Today, The American Club Resort is a Forbes Five-Star Resort Hotel and the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel providing unique, luxurious décor that creates a singular quality experience room by room. Hop on the complimentary resort shuttle for a meal at one of the resort's nine restaurants. From pub-style, to Italian to fine dining, you're sure to find cuisine that you'll rave about. Relax and renew at the four-star Kohler Waters Spa. Traditional spa treatments are just the beginning; tray one of a collection of water-inspired services to meet your needs. If you're a fan of golf you'll want to bring your clubs and test your game on Kohler's championship golf courses, Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. As host of the 2004, 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships; the 1998 and 2012 U.S. Women's Open and the 2020 Ryder Cup, The American Club Resort offers a golf experience unlike anywhere in the world.
  Contact info: 419 Highland Drive
Kohler, WI 53044 USA
phone: 800-344-2838
web: www.americanclubresort.com
  Room amenities: Honor service bar, feather comforters and pillows, turn down service, TV, VCR, phone.
  Facility amenities: Swim at the Sports Core Health & Racquete Club, a private club accessible to guests of The American Club.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call for rates Please call the resort for availability and rates.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for rates Please call the resort for availability and rates.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Registration begins at 4:00 pm at hotel in Kohler, WI. You will be staying at The American Club that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 10:30 am after final lecture. You will be staying at The American Club the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Complimentary covered parking is provided. Lower level parking gives participants access without steps.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Kohler, WI
  Nearest city or town:  Sheboygan
  Nearest highway: Interstate 43
  Nearest airport:  Gen. Mitchell International Airport (MKE), Milwaukee, WI.
  From End of Program
  Location: Kohler, WI
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Milwaukee to Kohler

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
GO Riteway
phone: 800-236-5450
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$55.00 for 1 person, $70.00 for 2 people (approximate cost)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1 hour 

 

Distance:

 

65 miles

   

Make reservations at least 72 hours in advance. Collect baggage and proceed to the GO Riteway kiosk in baggage claim. Call or make reservations online at www.goriteway.com.

 
Driving Directions
  Appleton/Fond du Lac Take Highway 41 South to Fond du Lac. From Fond du Lac take Highway 23 East. Go past Plymouth toward Sheboygan. Exit County Trunk Y South. You'll be going south into Kohler. Hotel entrance will be on your right.
  Chicago or Milwaukee Take I-94 West to Highway I-43 North. It is approximately 55 miles from Milwaukee to Sheboygan. Exit 126 onto Highway 23 West. Exit County Trunk Y South. You'll be going south into Kohler. the American Club Hotel entrance will be on your right.
  Green Bay Take I-43 South. It is approximately 60 miles from Green Bay to Sheboygan. At Sheboygan exit Highway 23 West. Exit County Trunk Y South. You'll be going south into Kohler. The American Club Hotel entrance will be on your right.
  Madison Take I-94 East to Milwaukee. It is approximately 90 miles to Milwaukee and 55 miles from Milwaukee to Sheboygan. Exit 126 onto Highway 23 West. Exit County Trunk Y South. You'll be going south into Kohler. The American Club Hotel entrance will be on your right.
  Minneapolis/St. Paul Take I-94 East (you'll actually be traveling south) to Sun Prairie. From Sun Prairie take Highway 151 North to Fond du Lac. (Highway 151 is mostly freeway) From Fond du Lac take Highway 23 East. Go past Plymouth toward Sheboygan. Exit County Trunk Y South. You'll be going south into Kohler. The American Club Hotel entrance will be on your right. OR Take I-94 East (you'll actually be traveling south) to Mauston. From Mauston take Highway 82 East, at I-39/51 Highway 82 East turns into Highway 23 East. (Highways 98 and 23 and both 2 lane paved highways). Take Highway 23 East to Fond du Lac. From Fond du Lac take Highway 23 East. Go past Plymouth toward Sheboygan. Exit County Trunk Y South. You'll be going south into Kohler. The American Club Hotel entrance will be on your right.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check-In / Welcome Dinner / Orientation
(Sunday, April 27)
   
 Afternoon: WELCOME TO KOHLER! Plan for an afternoon arrival. Hotel check-in available from 4:00 pm. PROGRAM REGISTRATION. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the Lincoln Room across from the front desk to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, up-to-date schedule and to confirm the time and place of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please pick up your packet at the front desk. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: Join your fellow participants at 5:30 pm for our welcome dinner in our private dining room.
 Evening: ORIENTATION. Your Group Leader will give an overview of the program, provide additional information about your accommodations and answer any questions. Then you'll have a chance to introduce yourself to the group and tell a little about your hometown and hobbies.
   
Accommodations: The American Club
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: History of Kohler and The American Club / Walking Hotel Tour / Waelderhaus Museum / Native American Heritage and Archeology
(Monday, April 28)

Note: Hotel Tour involves one hour of sustained walking and standing.



   
 Breakfast: Join us any time from 7:30-8:30 am for your continental breakfast buffet. You'll find a selection of fresh fruit, scrumptious pastries and hot cereal. Additional items may include yogurt or hard-boiled eggs along with a variety of breakfast beverages.
 Morning: Gather in the meeting room at 9:00 am for a lecture on THE HISTORY OF KOHLER AND THE AMERICAN CLUB. With a population just under 2,000, the Village of Kohler encompasses an area of just 4.5 square miles yet supports diverse cultural and recreational amenities. The Village was incorporated in 1912, developed as a garden/industrial community by Walter J. Kohler, son of Kohler Company founder John Michael Kohler. Using the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, the noted landscape architect who designed New York's Central Park and the Biltmore Estate's grounds, Walter Kohler developed one of the nation's first and finest planned communities. Originally built to house the immigrant craftsmen, The American Club was been transformed from a dormitory to luxury resort in 1981. With this history in mind, join the Concierge for a WALKING HOTEL TOUR.
 Lunch: Dining in the Village of Kohler is an unforgettable experience. Today, we'll gather at the Horse & Plow, just steps from your meeting room. You'll find a casual turn-of-the-century pub atmosphere. Enjoy a pub salad, choice of 1/2 sandwich and soup and a non-alcoholic beverage.
 Afternoon: Gather in the Lobby at 1:45 pm to board the hotel shuttle for the WAELDERHAUS MUSEUM. The Waelderhaus was built in the architectural style of the Bregenzerwald region of Austria, ancestral home of the Kohler family. This "house in the woods" features carvings, woodcuts, iron and pewter work.
 Dinner: The Village of Kohler offers a cuisine to meet every taste. Tonight we'll board a bus at 5:00 pm and travel nine miles to the Whistling Straits restaurant at the PGA championship Whistling Straits golf course. The restaurant is located in the fortified stone clubhouse with a scenic view of Lake Michigan. Whistling Straits head chef has created a menu especially for our group that highlights the restaurant's Irish flair and includes a garden salad, Irish stew, dessert and non-alcoholic beverage.
 Evening: Gather in our meeting room for tonight's presentation on NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY with Gary Henschel from Henschel’s Indian Museum. Since the first Henschel homesteader settled in 1849, the family's land has yielded evidence of 10,000 years of human occupation. The collection is one of the most complete in Wisconsin, including chipped stone tools and points, bone tools and copper implements.
   
Accommodations: The American Club
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: John Michael Kohler Art Center / Championship Golf at Kohler / Kohler Floral Design
(Tuesday, April 29)
   
 Breakfast: Join us any time from 7:30-8:30 am for your continental breakfast buffet.
 Morning: Gather in the Lobby at 9:00 am to board our bus for today's field trip. After a quick drive through the neighborhood to see Kohler's iconic home deign, we head to Sheboygan to explore the JOHN MICHAEL KOHLER ART CENTER. JMKAC docents will take you through this historic, yet modern gallery. The center was established to allow the artists from the Kohler factory to share their full expressions of art with the community, now focusing on American contemporary art exhibits of paintings, photography, sculpture and other art forms. You will hear a lecture from a resident artist, enabling you to understand ART FROM THE ARTIST'S PERSPECTIVE. And you'll want to stop in the bathroom before you leave, as they're some of the most beautifully decorated restrooms in the world!
 Lunch: Enjoy a taste of Kohler at Blackwolf Run, Kohler's second PGA championship course. Located along the Sheboygan River, the Canadian lodge pole clubhouse restaurant offers panoramic views of the river and course. Sample the fare on the lunch buffet with a variety of soups, salad, entrees, desserts and non-alcoholic beverage.
 Afternoon: Gather at Blackwolf Run at 2:00 pm to discover what goes into creating a CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF COURSE AT KOHLER. The Village has two -- Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run. Take the complimentary shuttle back to The American Club for the afternoon lecture. You've probably been admiring the beautiful fresh flower displays scattered around the hotel all week. Gather in our meeting room at 4:00 pm to learn more about KOHLER FLORAL DESIGN from the head florist and take some tips home to create your own masterpieces.
 Dinner: Tonight we'll savor history and fine food at the Wisconsin Room. In 1918, Walter J. Kohler built the American Club to house young men who immigrated from Europe and found work at Kohler Co. to build some savings before they brought their families across. The Wisconsin Room served as their dining hall. One of the three stained glass windows at the west end of the room bears the following quotation from John Ruskin – “Life without labor is guilt, labor without art is brutality.” Enjoy a soup, grilled chicken breast with potato puree, seasonal vegetables and a Kohler seasonal slice of pie for dessert.
 Evening: Take this evening to enjoy the area or relax with a good book in The American Club's old world charm.
   
Accommodations: The American Club
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kohler Factory and Design Center / Free Afternoon
(Wednesday, April 30)

Note: Kohler Factory Tour requires the option of one or two hours of sustained standing and walking.



   
 Breakfast: Join us any time from 7:30-8:30 am for your continental breakfast buffet.
 Morning: After breakfast, Docents from the Kohler Factory and Design Center will join you in our meeting room to escort you to the KOHLER FACTORY to explore the production of vitreous china, brass and enameled cast iron plumbing products. Here you will see how artist's concepts are incorporated into functional fixtures. You can choose either a one- or two-hour tour. Following the factory, wander over to the DESIGN CENTER for a self-guided tour. You'll find a video presentation and museum that takes you back to the beginning of plumbing fixtures in America. The gallery features the "Great Wall of China".
 Lunch: Where would you like to go for lunch today? Use your gift card to grab a quick panini at the Sports Core's Take Five Cafe if you want to get a jump start on your free afternoon. Or sample the lunch fare at the Craverie Chocolatier Cafe before exploring the Shops at Wood Lake.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a FREE AFTERNOON to explore the Village, resort and surrounding area. Take a self-guided audio tour of the Village gardens, featuring the work of former Artists in Residence. Or return to Sheboygan to walk the lakefront.
 Dinner: Tonight is our farewell dinner at Cucina Italian Restaurant with views of Wood Lake. Enjoy a salad, pasta entree and dessert. Share your favorite parts of the program with your fellow participants.
 Evening: Relax in our meeting room with some toe-tapping music from the Water Street Hot Shots.
   
Accommodations: The American Club
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Pastry Chef Demonstration / Program Concludes / Departure
(Thursday, May 1)
   
 Breakfast: Join us any time from 7:30-8:30 am for your continental breakfast buffet.
 Morning: Gather in our meeting room at 9:00 am for a PASTRY DEMONSTRATION from the Kohler Kitchens. Tasty treats are a welcome way to wrap up a delicious program. This concludes our program. Check-out by 12:00 pm. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Kohler, WI Golf in Kohler
Designed by the legendary Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye, Kohler’s four championship golf courses are all ranked among the best in the United States by the leading publications, and The American Club Resort is the only resort with four courses ranked in America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses for 2011/2012 by Golf Digest. WHISTLING STRAITS. A throwback to the raw freshness of Ireland sculpted into the Wisconsin coastline, Whistling Straits offers two courses which have hosted the PGA Championship, U.S. Senior Open and the Palmer Cup. Experience these two must-play courses, the Straits Course and the Irish Course - both ranked among the best in the United States. BLACKWOLF RUN. Melded into a river basin formed by the flows of glacial runoff, Blackwolf Run features courses which have hosted the U.S. Women’s Open and the Andersen Consulting World Championship of Golf. Experience these extraordinary courses, the Meadow Valley Course and the River Course – ranked among the best in the country. Contract Mr Ed Elsner, Tournament Coordinator at 920-803-3014 for special golf rates for Road Scholar guests. For additional information, visit www.americanclubresort.com
  Kohler Waters Spa
Relax and replenish your mind and body. Located next to The American Club Resort, the Kohler Waters Spa is conveniently located so you can drop in for a nourishing treatment, or step into a robe and experience all-day immersion. From our treatment rooms to our inviting locker room areas and warm relaxation pool, Kohler Waters Spa provides well-being around every corner. Enjoy our glass-enclosed rooftop deck with whirlpool, fireplace and lounge—a relaxing co-ed area to be enjoyed year-round. Contact the spa directly for services rates and ask for the Road Scholar guest discount. For additional information, visit www.americanclubresort.com
  Sheboygan County
Known as “the spirit on the lake,” the City of Sheboygan rests on the Lake Michigan shores about halfway along the state’s eastern seaboard on Interstate 43. Sheboygan is just 55 miles north of Milwaukee, 60 miles south of Green Bay, 110 miles northeast of Madison, 140 miles north of Chicago and 340 miles from Minneapolis. Our beaches are brighter. Our fish are bigger. Our golf is better. Our food is the best! And it’s fun to say our name. Try it…go ahead…She-boy-gan. How do you Sheboygan? We surf, kite surf, wind surf, sail, kayak, jet ski, boat, fish, bike, hike, climb, race, golf, eat, drink, dance, relax, spa, enjoy. And we fry brats! We are the Bratwurst Capital of the World, after all. So come Sheboygan with us! For additional information, visit www.visitsheboygan.com
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Chasing Dirt: The American Pursuit of Cleanliness


Author: Suellen Hoy


Description: Americans in the early 19th century were, as one foreign traveller bluntly put it, "filthy, bordering on the beastly"--perfectly at home in dirty, bug-infested, malodorous surroundings. Many a home swarmed with flies, barnyard animals, dust, and dirt; clothes were seldom washed; men hardly ever shaved or bathed. Yet gradually all this changed, and today, Americans are known worldwide for their obsession with cleanliness--for their sophisticated plumbing, daily bathing, shiny hair and teeth, and spotless clothes. In Chasing Dirt, Suellen Hoy provides a colorful history of this remarkable transformation from "dreadfully dirty" to "cleaner than clean," ranging from the pre-Civil War era to the 1950s, when American's obsession with cleanliness reached its peak.



The Company Town: The Industrial Edens and Satanic Mills That Shaped the American Economy


Author: Hardy Green


Description: Company town: The very phrase sounds un-American. Yet company towns are the essence of America. Hershey bars, Corning glassware, Kohler bathroom fixtures, Maytag washers, Spam—each is the signature product of a company town in which one business, for better or worse, exercises a grip over the population. In The Company Town, Hardy Green, who has covered American business for over a decade, offers a compelling analysis of the emergence of these communities and their role in shaping the American economy, beginning in the country’s earliest years.





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