Top Spots for Small Meetings in Rock County, Wisconsin
Looking for a great new getaway location for your next Midwest team-building event, retreat or small meeting? There are many options in the state of Wisconsin (and you get the added bonus of abundant cheese curds).
Take Rock County. Located just over the state border from Illinois, 83 miles from Chicago O’Hare Airport and 75 miles from Milwaukee General Mitchell Airport, Beloit and Janesville offer unique locations for small meetings.
Ironworks Hotel has an almost-steampunk feel, with wood complemented by metal elements throughout. It offers 3,300 square feet of flexible event space that can be used for small meetings, or receptions and banquets of up to 100. The hotel’s 54 guest rooms are spacious and chic, and suites feature a double-sided fireplace and the option of a soaking tub. The hotel’s Merrill & Houston's Steak Joint is a classic steakhouse.
Diagonally across from Ironworks is Hotel Goodwin. The property’s 34 sleek guest rooms and suites come with a record player, an eclectic assortment of vinyl albums (picture The Who, The Smiths, Artie Shaw, and the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang soundtrack), and a super-comfortable leather sofa. Guests rave about the rainforest showers and the hotel’s Velvet Buffalo Café.
The Goodwin’s indoor/outdoor rooftop space (pictured above) is perfect for receptions for up to 60 attendees. Up to 30 people classroom style can be accommodated indoors, and a small private dining room that can seat 14 is also available.
Beloit Club, a private golf club with luxurious landscaping, offers meeting space for up to 200 attendees. Rental packages can include team-building and leisure activities such as golf, golf clinics and the virtual Ironworks Golf Lab. Members receive a discount, but membership is not required to rent the space.
For a unique special event experience, Beckman Mill provides a gorgeous setting that ties in the region’s history. Painstakingly restored by the volunteer Friends of Beckman Mill organization, the buildings and grounds show what mill life was like at the beginning of the 20th century.
While you’re in Beloit, we recommend that you stop by Lucy’s 37 Burger Bar and grab a stuffed burger and a boozy milkshake. Or head out to Double B Farm for a fresh-cooked farm-to-fork breakfast or lunch, pet a goat, and pick up some of Barb’s famous “Duck Butt” muffins for later (the muffins are made with duck eggs and butter from the farm along with rum and a variety of other fresh ingredients – no ducks were harmed in the making).
If you’re a beer drinker, don’t miss G5 Brewing Company. The Gunderson family and head brewer Tim Goers are on a mission to make the craft brewery a destination for beer drinkers everywhere by brewing unique, “one and done” beers. From a vegan milkshake IPA (you heard that right) to a cocoa and vanilla stout and an electrolyte-replenishing ale brewed with sodium, calcium, potassium and mango, you never know what you’ll find — but the one constant is a wide variety of offerings, all of which are delicious.
For more information on holding meetings in Beloit, go here.
County seat Janesville is the largest city in Rock County, and provides some additional options for events and group outings.
The 20-acre Janesville Rotary Botanical Gardens features 26 themed gardens that showcase more than 4,000 plant varieties. New designs are periodically introduced. Groups can also book indoor meeting space: the facility has four small meeting rooms that can also be combined for larger events. The atrium offers natural light with direct access to the gardens.
While you’re in town, try breakfast at Citrus Café. The menu is extensive and the pancakes are as big as your head. For dinner, head to Lark. Whether you’re an omnivore, vegan, vegetarian or gluten-intolerant, you’ll find something tasty on the menu to meet your dietary needs. Cozy up to the small bar and order a cocktail from bartender Billy Burg, who can also answer possibly any question ever posed about the history of cocktails. Or for all-day traditional Irish pub fare and more, head to O’Riley & Conway’s.
In the summer, both groups and individuals can take in a Rock Aqua Jays show. The most successful water ski show team in the world performs twice-weekly water ski shows on Sunday and Wednesday evenings from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Just over the town border from Janesville is Milton House. The museum documents what life was like early in the town’s history, and is the last certified Underground Railroad Station in Wisconsin that is open to tours. Guests can make their way through the same passage (which has been expanded since its origin) that former slaves once used to get one step closer to freedom. Milton House also has a small room available for group bookings.
For more information on holding meetings in Janesville, go here.
Interested in other Wisconsin meeting locations? Check out our destination articles on Lake Geneva, Eau Claire and Elkhart Lake, plus learn how Madison is streamlining booking with its “One City, One Contract” program.