This four-day itinerary follows the coastline of Lake Michigan and ventures inland as well, featuring some of the state’s best museums and historical sites. Delve into automotive and railroad history, explore the state’s pioneer past, connect with Native American culture, take in horticultural splendor and satisfy your taste buds at traditional supper clubs.


National Railroad Museum, Green Bay

National Railroad Museum, Green Bay

Enjoy These Wisconsin Attractions and More:

  • S.S. Badger
  • Rahr-West Art Museum
  • Green Bay Botanical Garden
  • National Railroad Museum
  • Heritage Hill State Park
  • and plenty more Wisconsin attractions


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Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc. (Randy Mink Photo)

Rahr-West Art Museum, Manitowoc. (Randy Mink Photo)


Day 1. Attractions in Manitowoc and Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Hop aboard the S.S. Badger and embark on a journey across Lake Michigan from Ludington Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Once you arrive in Manitowoc, prepare to be captivated by the magnificent Rahr-West Art Museum. Housed in a stunning late 19th century Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion, this architectural wonder will transport you back in time. With its 13 bedrooms, 7 full and partial baths, and six fireplaces, every corner is waiting to be explored. The museum hosts an incredible collection of art by renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe and Andy Warhol. And here’s something mind-boggling: Did you know that in 1962 Sputnik IV, the famed Soviet satellite that captured the world’s imagination, crash-landed in Manitowoc? Yes, right outside this very museum!

Travel a short distance along the lake and be surprised that the town of Two Rivers is home to Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, which has the world’s largest collection of wood type and the tools to use it. Immerse yourself in a captivating world through the art of typography and delve into the rich history of American printing. From intricately designed letterforms to vintage printing presses, this museum is a haven for lovers of design, history and all things print-related.

The Automobile Gallery, Green Bay. (Randy Mink Photo)

The Automobile Gallery, Green Bay. (Randy Mink Photo)

Day 2. Museums and More in Green Bay, WI

In Green Bay, get outdoors and stroll the beautiful grounds of Green Bay Botanical Garden.  Schedule an experience in the herbal garden: See, smell and explore the wide variety of herbs used in culinary dishes, medicinal preparations and overall wellness. Then enjoy an herbal demonstration full of tastes, remedies and recipes. You will create an herbal scrub to take home.

The Automobile Gallery presents more than 100 years of automotive history and beauty ranging from an ultra-rare 113-year-old Cadillac Model T Touring Car to the space-age 2020 Ford GT Supercar. Whether you are an avid collector, an enthusiast or just a fan of history, you’ll marvel at the array of vibrant paint colors, the number of automakers represented and the diverse range of automobiles presented in authentic splendor. Your guest’s favorite will be the one that evokes the warmest memories.

Explore the National Railroad Museum and the historic trains, engaging exhibits and beautiful property. Highlights of the collection include the General Motors Aerotrain, General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s World War II command train, Union Pacific #4017 “Big Boy,” Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1 electric locomotive, the Pullman porters and Lake Mitchell car and Wisconsin 40&8 boxcar.

Heritage Hill State Historical Park. (Photo credit: Greater Green Bay CVB)

Heritage Hill State Historical Park. (Photo credit: Greater Green Bay CVB)

Day 3. More Things to Do in Green Bay

Nestled on the banks of the Fox River, Heritage Hill State Historical Park brings the pioneer past to life. Embark on a fascinating tram tour that will transport you through time. Marvel at Fort Howard, a fortress built in the early 1800s to safeguard and preserve the vital river routes into the heartland. It stands as a testament to the bravery and determination of those who defended this gateway to progress. Heritage Hill boasts another claim to fame—it was here that the first American settlement west of Lake Michigan took root. As you explore, immerse yourself in tales of Belgian immigrants who forged a new home in this very land. Their rich heritage and enduring spirit have left an indelible mark on the community.

Stop in at the newest attraction in Green Bay, the Mulva Cultural Center, to enjoy one of the traveling exhibits featured in this magnificent building. Savor a meal with beautiful views of the Fox River and the rotating art exhibits in the lobby. Visit the Amelia Cornelius Culture Park to immerse yourself in Oneida Nation culture and history. The Oneida Long House is a replica traditional home of the Oneida people. It is 65′ long, 25′ wide and 17′ high. The long house tells the story of its creation, the Iroquois confederacy, women and men’s roles, and Oneida’s participation in the Revolutionary War. Also on the grounds is Salt Pork Avenue, which has five reconstructed log homes that are over 100 years old.



Day 4. Experience Marinette County, Shawano Country, Appleton, Brillion, Calumet County

In Marinette County stop at the Peshtigo Fire Museum, which preserves stories from the deadliest wildfire in U.S. history. It tore through northeastern Wisconsin in October 1871—the same day as the better known Great Chicago Fire, only about 250 miles away. The Peshtigo fire scorched about 1.5 million acres, leaving only one building standing. It killed at least 1,152 people, injured about 1,500 and left another 3,000 homeless.

Travel west to Shawano Country and enjoy a truly unique and fun-filled attraction, Sun Drop University Museum. Learn the history of Sun Drop soda, watch movies on the history of Twigs, view the bottling process and, of course, sample their sodas.

We are off to another Queen Anne Victorian-style home, Hearthstone, in Appleton. This house was the first in the world to be lit by an Edison central hydroelectric power station. It retains many unique features, including the original Thomas Edison eclectroliers and light switches. Appleton was one of the first three cities in the world to be lit by an Edison central power station, the other two being New York and London. You’ll also be surprised to learn that Harry Houdini called Appleton his hometown. Exhibits at the History Museum at the Castle chronicle his childhood, early career, rise to fame and legacy with photos, video and artifacts used by the man himself.

As an outdoor power equipment manufacturer, AriensCo has been intertwined with the American landscape since 1893. At the company’s original manufacturing plant in Brillion, group tours have over 14,000 square feet of museum exhibits to explore. A guided tour tells the story of this country’s journey from horse and plow to horsepower. Historic vignettes allow guests to experience a 1890s factory, 1930s farm culture and a 1960 backyard – all under one roof.

Tonight be prepared for an extraordinary Wisconsin dining experience in the Calumet County region, which proudly boasts a staggering 16 supper clubs, each offering an authentic taste of Wisconsin. Immerse yourself in the true essence of supper club dining as you step into these charming establishments. Be sure to indulge in the most popular drink amongst locals—the legendary Brandy Old Fashioned. Sip on this classic cocktail as you soak up the warm and inviting ambiance that surrounds you. Brace yourself for a culinary journey that begins with a tantalizing relish tray, freshly baked bread, comforting soup and a refreshing salad. Your palate will be treated to an exquisite entree that showcases the finest flavors of Wisconsin cuisine. And let’s not forget about dessert—ice cream drinks that will transport you to dessert heaven!

Wade House Inn, Greenbush. (Randy Mink Photo)

Wade House Inn, Greenbush. (Randy Mink Photo)

Day 5. Wisconsin’s Greenbush, Cedarburg, and Racine for Travel Groups

Visiting the Wade House takes you on a journey through Wisconsin’s past with tours of the Wade House Inn, blacksmith shop and sawmill. Wade House is named for the stagecoach inn built by the town’s first European settlers, Sylvanus and Betsey Wade. Explore the Greek Revival-style inn, taste food from its kitchens, belly up to the bar in the taproom and play period games. On the grounds you’ll meet friendly farm animals, see sparks fly from the anvil and smell fresh sawdust. In the visitor center, enjoy interactive exhibits and discover the history of horsepower in the Wesley W. Jung Carriage Museum, which boasts Wisconsin’s largest collection of vintage carriages and wagons.

Located on an historic homestead, the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts in Cedarburg displays an extraordinary collection of quilts, from meticulously handcrafted masterpieces to modern and innovative designs. Walk through the galleries, surrounded by vibrant colors, intricate patterns and the unmistakable craftsmanship that goes into each quilt. It’s like stepping into a world where art and textile intertwine in perfect harmony.

As you depart Wisconsin, immerse yourself in the rich Danish heritage that Racine proudly boasts and treat yourself at one of its Kringle bakeries. From traditional almond- and pecan-filled Kringles to innovative flavor combinations that will tantalize your taste buds, these establishments are havens for lovers of the oval-shaped delicacy, Wisconsin’s official state pastry.

Four days is a healthy trip in Wisconsin, but there’s still so much more to see and experience. Be sure to Download the Circle Wisconsin magazine to learn about what else Wisconsin has to offer.

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