By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 12, 2023 at 9:02 AM

There are things I enjoy about camping: campfires, hikes, lakes and rivers, finding supper clubs and new breweries, running along country roads.

Frantz has one queen bed.

Tempering these positives are pit toilets, waking up in a damp tent, showering in flip-flops in a sand- and mosquito-laced toilet building, raucous campground neighbors and that odd tendency Wisconsin has for serving up 100-plus-degree days – or rain (or both) – whenever we hammer stakes into the ground.

Recently, I found the perfect solution: Getaway Wild Rose's tiny cabins in Central Wisconsin.

Gladis has two queen beds and, thus, four Adirondack chairs.

These beautiful modern-but-comfy temperature-controlled cabins have everything you need for a relaxing time in the woods: a bathroom with shower, a small outfitted kitchenette, luxurious beds, fire pits, Adirondack chairs and picnic tables and best of all ... quiet.

You can sneer and argue this isn’t camping, but it’s no less so than arriving with a camper and anyway, I don’t care, I love it.

Getaway Wild Rose is one of the latest outposts of Getaway House tiny cabin rentals, which has more than two dozen facilities around the country, from New England to the Pacific Northwest, California to Texas to Florida, and numerous in the Midwest and South Atlantic states.

Bed view
A view from the bed.

Based in Brooklyn (though staffers went fully remote in 2021), but founded by Minnesotan Jon Staff, Getaway has created oases of country quiet that are located less than two hours from many major American cities, including, as of last December, Milwaukee and Madison.

To create the outpost in Wild Rose, which is west of Oshkosh, Getaway purchased 317 of the 400 acres that were, from 1946 until 2021, the site of Camp Napowan, a Boy Scouts facility.

Getaway gussied up the grounds, installed 40 cabins – each bearing a name (we checked out Gladis and Frantz) – and appears to have thought of pretty much everything, starting with contact-free check-in and check-out.

The roads, site driveways and seating areas are “paved” in gravel and sites and directions are clearly marked.

All the cabin sites are pretty wooded, though some feel more private than others. Even though we were there on a warm late spring weekend, during which the outpost was largely occupied but not apparently sold out, it was quiet morning, noon and night.

Music and shouting are banned and Getaway asks that campfires wrap up by 10 p.m., though we saw a few that went a little later, but were enjoyed by campers at a respectfully low volume.

There are single-queen cabins and double-queens, which have a loft, and we had one of each. Dogs are welcome for a small extra fee.

You can tell immediately which sites are single-queens and which are double by the number of Adirondack chairs arrayed around the site’s firepit: either two or four.

There’s also a picnic table and a dark grey plastic campfire kit box (pictured below) that includes firewood and firestarters, which you can use for a small fee that it charged to your on-file credit card after you depart.

There are a number of add-ons, like S'mores kits that you can get, too.

Campfire kitX

The dark grey cabins, built on trailer chassis, are sleek and modern, but blend into the setting.

Stepping inside is a revelation, and the fact that for some reason they smell just like the staterooms on Viking’s Octantis, which means it was love at first site for me. (I think the scent comes from the wood used to build the interior furnishings of the cabins and staterooms, both of which have a certain Scandinavian vibe.)

Directly in front of you is the kitchenette, with a stainless steel sink, small fridge and a two-burner electric stovetop. Below the sink is a trash bin and next to it on a countertop is a container with utensils, silverware and small packets of olive oil for cooking.

In spaces above and below the countertop are glasses, mugs, plates, bowls and cookware.

books and radioX

Another cubby holds a pretty great-sounding Tivoli radio. In Frantz, we got tons of stations, but in Gladis may 20 yards away, we couldn’t get anything, though via the magic of Bluetooth and our phones we had plenty to listen to.


A stack of books about getting away – including a copy of Wallace Stegner’s semi-autobiographical novel “Crossing to Safety” – is there to provide inspiration. A deck of cards is there, too, for fun.

To the right of the entrance is the bathroom with a toilet and shower stall and towels worthy of a fine hotel.

The shower is stocked with shampoo, conditioner and body wash, and there’s also a small first aid kit in the bathroom.

Across from the kitchen, to your left when you enter the cabin is a table with chairs on one side and a built in bench on the other.

Here you’ll find a cellphone “lock box.” It has no lock, but is symbolic of the Getaway philosophy of “disconnect to reconnect.” This, too, is why the company says it did not install WiFi in the cabins.

On the table are also some flyers with some suggested hiking spots and other things to do in the area, as well as the outpost rules for campfires, quiet, etc.

Hanging just above is a USB-charging lantern.

In Frantz, the bed took up about half the cabin space and was built next to a full-wall window looking into the woods.

Frantz bed
Frantz interior.
Gladis interior.
Gladis interior.

In Gladis, a similar (but not exactly the same) setup had another lofted bed above, with a small ladder tucked off to the side next to the kitchen counter.

Personal reading lights are installed in the walls on each side of the bed.

All of the windows have rolling blinds for privacy.

Gladis loft
The Gladis loft.

The cabin interiors are paneled in light wood that may remind some of Up North cabin interiors, but made me feel like I was in a recording studio.

The cabins were bright, comfortable and well-appointed.

What did I miss? WiFi.

Because our cell phones had basically no reception whatsoever, it was a challenge, for example, to search for places to eat and then get directions to them; to find local breweries and their hours; to see if our favoring tubing location was open for the season.

Chain O'Lakes
The Chief Waupaca at Clearwater Harbor.

And as much as I want to completely unplug, commitments at home required occasional internet access. Those commitments weren’t a source of stress, but the inability to deal with them quickly and effectively in the absence of connectivity was.

However, we made do, and yes, Pliska’s Crystal River Tubing was open for the season, so we tubed. And we went up to Waupaca and dined out over the small marina and enjoyed ice cream at Clearwater Harbor restaurant before taking a 90-minute boat tour around the Chain O’Lakes on the Chief Waupaca, a 1963 vessel built to deliver Chief Oshkosh beer.

The Milty-Wilty.
The quarry at Redgranite.

We visited the unique Mosier’s Sporting Goods in Redgranite, where we also checked out the quarry from which the town got its name, and we ate frozen custard at the Milty-Wilty in Wautoma.

Though we didn’t visit them on this trip, beer lovers will note that Central Waters in Amherst, Hinder in Waupaca and Omega Brewing in Omro are each about a 30-minute drive from Getaway. There is also an mind-boggling range of supper clubs.

Just across the road is Lake Napowan, which has a public boat launch if you’re a lucky boat owner, and there are a few sections of the Ice Age Trail (Bohn Lake and Mecan River) nearby, too.

nature trailX

Back at the outpost, we walked the nature trail, played numerous rounds of Bananagrams and a variety of games with that deck of cards, plus we cooked pancakes for breakfast, had a sort of picnic dinner thanks to a nearby grocery store and made s’mores over the campfire.

A scene from my run.

I even got in a run along the farm-lined country roads and enjoyed a proper shower upon my return.

That’s the kind of camping I can get behind.

For more information or to book online visit

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.