The Kohler Experience: A Family, A Company, An Amazing Community
Kohler is iconic for its plumbing products but this village has so much more to offer, including the five-star resort, spa and golf courses along with museums and artisanal cuisine.
Rating (5)
Program No. 2074RJ
5 days
Starts at
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5 days
4 nights
11 meals
4 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Kohler, WI
American Club Resort

Activity note: Check-in available from 4:00 p.m. You are welcome to arrive as early as you like, but accommodations will not be available before the noted time.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table in the Lincoln Room adjacent to the front desk to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.

Dinner: In our private dining room, enjoy a plated dinner including fresh baked breads and rolls, soup, hot entree, and dessert. Beverage choices include coffee, tea, milk, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Please let your Group Leader know about any dietary restrictions or mobility needs prior to the start of the program. Periods in the schedule labeled "Free Time" or "At Leisure" offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable while going out to explore on your own, engaging in available activities independently, making new friends among fellow Road Scholars, or simply relaxing. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distance or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.

Floral Design, Design Center, Waelderhaus, Local History
Kohler, WI
American Club Resort

Activity note: Expect to be on your feet for about 3 hours today as we explore the Design Center (2 hrs walking along sidewalks and standing in exhibit) and the Waelderhaus Museum (1 hr standing and stairs).

Breakfast: In our private meeting room, the buffet offers a selection of fresh fruit, scrumptious pastries and hot cereal. Additional items may include yogurt or hard-boiled eggs along with coffee, tea, milk, juice, water.

Morning: Almost from the moment you step into the American Club, you will notice the fresh floral displays in every area. One of the hallmarks of a five-star property is fresh flowers in hotel public spaces and employing an in-house florist. To kick off our program, we welcome one of the floral designers to learn about various flowers and how to incorporate them into floral design. Discuss the characteristics of flowers, greenery and how to make cut flowers last. Learn some tricks of the trade that you can try at home. Following a short break, we will meet in the Lobby and take a short walk down the street to the Kohler Design Center. In the lower level, we'll be joined by a docent for an exploration of the history gallery. 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.

Lunch: Dining in the Village of Kohler is an unforgettable experience. Today, we'll gather at the Horse & Plow restaurant. This casual turn-of-the-century pub was once a bowling alley. Enjoy a pub salad, choice of 1/2 sandwich and soup; beverages include coffee, soda, tea, milk, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar.

Afternoon: Gather in the Lincoln Room and then board one of the complimentary shuttle buses, or you can walk, to the Waelderhaus Museum, which 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. Learn more about the craftsmen that built the building and the groups that use it today.

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.” The menu is chef's choice for a starter, entree and dessert. Beverage choices include coffee, tea, milk, water; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Enjoy some local history tonight when we welcome Mr. 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. Learn about the farm's history and the archaeological digs that have taken place. The collection of artifacts is one of the most complete in Wisconsin, including chipped stone tools and points, bone tools and copper implements.

JM Kohler Arts Center, Free Time, 4th of July Sousa Concert
Kohler, WI
American Club Resort

Activity note: Expect to be on your feet for about 2 hours today as we explore the art museum.

Breakfast: Private meeting room buffet.

Morning: Meet in the Lobby and then board our bus for a quick drive through the surrounding neighborhood to see Kohler's iconic home design before we travel to nearby Sheboygan, located along Lake Michigan. The John Michael Kohler Arts 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. Hear from an artist connected with the Arts/Industry program, a partnership between Kohler Company and the arts center. Gain a greater understanding of art from the artist's perspective as they create art alongside the craftsmen making tubs, sinks and toilets. Explore the collection in small groups. You are welcome to split off at anytime and explore on your own. And you'll want to stop in the bathrooms before you leave, as they're some of the most beautifully decorated restrooms in the world!

Lunch: Where would you like to go for lunch today? Use your gift card to grab a panini at the Sports Core's Take Five Cafe or sample the lunch fare at the Craverie Chocolatier Cafe before exploring the Shops at Wood Lake.

Afternoon: Free Time. Perhaps you will spend some time at the Design Center exploring all the latest Kohler products. The mezzanine level features artist-designed kitchens and bathrooms. Some of them are simply amazing! You might get some ideas to incorporate into your home. Be sure to walk all the way to the back to see the "Great Wall of China". Other options include self-guided pubic art and garden walks.

Dinner: Tonight we'll dine at Cucina Italian Restaurant with views of Wood Lake. Take the complimentary shuttle or walk to the restaurant at the Shops at Woodlake. The menu is salad, chef's choice pasta entree and dessert. Beverage choices include coffee, tea, milk, water; additional beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Walk or take the complimentary hotel shuttle over to Ravine Park for the John Philip Sousa concert starting at 8:00 p.m. There will be chairs set up at the bottom of the bowl for our group. You’ll be able to see the fireworks after the concert.

Historic Hotel, Culinary Demo, Championship Golf
Kohler, WI
American Club Resort

Activity note: Expect to be on your feet for up to 1 hour today as we explore the historic parts of the hotel (1 hr standing and stairs).

Breakfast: Private meeting room buffet.

Morning: Gather in the Lincoln Room for an exploration of this historic property. Originally built to house the immigrant craftsmen, The American Club was been transformed from a dormitory to luxury resort in 1981. Learn about the original uses of specific rooms and see the amazing transformation into luxury resort with courtyard gardens, priceless artwork, and cozy spaces for meeting friends. Next, we've invited one of the talented chefs from the Kohler Kitchens to come in for a culinary lecture. Learn more about food, nutrition and enjoy tasting.

Lunch: Enjoy a taste of Kohler at Blackwolf Run, Kohler's first 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 (the sausage and corn chowder is the signature soup), salad, entrees, desserts; beverages include coffee, tea, soda, milk, water; other beverages available for purchase from the bar. Enjoy some free time after lunch prior to our trip to Whistling Straits.

Afternoon: Meet in the lobby to board the bus and travel nine miles north to the Lake Michigan shoreline and Whistling Straits Golf Course. Mr. Kohler loves golf. In fact, the two championship courses have hosted several major tournaments including the 2012 U.S. Women's Open Championship, the 2010 and 2015 Men's PGA Championship. The second championship course, Whistlings Straits, will host the upcoming 2020 Ryder Cup. Learn what it takes to stage a major tournament from course design to housing players to parking for spectators. Even if you're not a golfer, you are sure to learn something new.

Dinner: Tonight is our farewell dinner at Whistling Straits Clubhouse Restaurant. 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. The menu is chef's choice of starter, entree and dessert. Beverage choices include coffee, soda, tea, milk, water; additional beverages available for purchase. Enjoy a leisurely meal with new friends in a stunning location.

Evening: At Leisure.

Kohler Factory, Program Concludes
Kohler, WI

Activity note: Expect to be on your feet for up to 3.5 hours today as we explore the Kohler Factory. You must wear shoes that fully enclose your feet. Some time will be spent outside walking between buildings. Check-out is by 12:00 p.m.

Breakfast: Private meeting room buffet.

Morning: By special arrangement, docents from the Kohler Factory will meet us in our meeting room to begin our exploration of the Kohler Factory. We'll split into smaller groups for either the standard experience or a slightly shorter experience; we will ensure we have closed toe shoes, put on protective eye wear, and protective listening devices. The Kohler Factory encompasses several buildings - pottery, brass, and foundry - that create vitreous china sinks to enameled cast iron tubs. Enjoy this behind the scenes look at the production process (note that some areas may be excluded due to maintenance or other unforeseen issues.) This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please visit our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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