Cedarburg is an awesome destination for a short Milwaukee-area road trip. Just over 20 miles from Milwaukee, it's easy to get to and fun to explore, with its antique shops, wineries, and old-times inspired specialty shops. It's also fun to just walk down the streets; the charming, small-town feel pervades any trip there.
One of the most popular destinations in Cedarburg is the Cedar Creek Settlement, an old mill that has been converted into a mall of sorts with a restaurant, winery, and various antique, clothing, and specialty shops, including a family favorite -- a general store with toys and candy. Walking from the Settlement, down the street to Washington Avenue, your inclination is to turn left toward most of the other Cedarburg shops.
Next time you're in Cedarburg, fight your instinct and turn right on Washington Avenue, to discover a hidden treasure -- The Gem Shop.
This store has an amazing collection of rocks and gems. In addition to the rocks on display, there are tons of drawers you can pull out to look at and touch even more rocks.
The Gem Shop has something for everyone, whatever your interest in rocks may be. The hands-on nature of the store allows kids to get involved, and kids' interests are encouraged, as browsing the products available, and activities sponsored by the store, attest to. There is even a "Kids' Corner" at the shop's website, with information about activities, such as a Fossil Hunt Contest. The products for kids are fun and educational -- geode and fossil excavation kids, rock collections, and even rock candy.
For those lapidaries out there (a new word I discovered at the Gem Shop -- lapidary is defined as "a person who cuts, polishes, or engraves stones) who are interested in getting their hands dirty, so to speak, the shop has got you covered too! The shop sells books on the subject, has brochures advertising mining trips and conventions, and you can even get tips on drilling rocks and purchase the equipment needed to do so. The shop's website also organizes the rocks that are available by specimen, a more scientific classification than just how pretty the rocks are.
But, for those non-lapidaries who just like the prettiness of rocks and gems, The Gem Shop has plenty too! There are lots of displays of nice sparkly rocks and gems, as well as jewelry made from the beautiful specimens.
Visit The Gem Shop on your next trip to Cedarburg, and enjoy an excursion that feels as much like a museum visit as a shopping trip!