Wisconsin’s Great Northeast

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Northeast Wisconsin Itinerary at a Glance

Northeast Wisconsin offers a treasure house of history and culture for travel groups to experience. With something to offers all groups and ages, Wisconsin is a great destination for travelers.

Sample the region’s industrial past, maritime lore and dairy farming heritage on this four-day swing that visits cities like Manitowoc, Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Sheboygan and Milwaukee. Delve into fine art, encounter Native American culture and catch the spirit of one of pro football’s most fabled franchises. You’ll experience these great attractions and more:

  • Wisconsin Maritime Museum
  • Rahr-West Art Museum
  • Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame
  • Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center
  • National Railroad Museum
  • Milwaukee County Zoo

Details and Tips

Region: Midwest

Category: Activities

Length: 4 Nights

Suitable for: Adults and families seeking to enjoy museums and history

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Day 1: Activities in Manitowoc, WI

Board the SS Badger in Ludington, Michigan, for your journey across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Relax aboard this historic steamship car ferry, enjoy a game of Badger Bingo, watch a movie or just enjoy the morning strolling the deck. After crossing one of the Great Lakes, head over to the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Discover engaging experiences, exhibits, and learning opportunities as you explore the museum. Head outside to tour the USS Cobia, which served in the Pacific in WWII. The Cobia serves as an international memorial to submariners. Just down the road, you’ll visit the world’s largest collection of type at the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. The rich history of American printing, from newspapers, advertisements, and posters, will take you back in time, and you will see how the wood type is influencing modern designers and printers. The Rahr-West Art Museum is housed in a Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion built in the 1890s. Admire the beauty of the restored historic mansion and enjoy the wonderful blend of fine exhibits, including works from Georgia O’Keeffe, Andy Warhol, and Pablo Picasso.

Day 2: Things to Do in Green Bay

Begin your day at the hallowed grounds of the Green Bay Packers, Lambeau Field and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame. The HOF is a tribute to the greatest story in sports, as told through enhanced interactive exhibits and a trove of artifacts. Your group can also take in a stadium tour, which includes heading down to the field level through the Players tunnel, just as the team has done throughout the history of the Packers. The Oneida Nation offers reservation tours featuring the buffalo overlook, historical exhibits and hands-on experiences. Also, visit one of America’s largest, oldest rail museums, the National Railroad Museum. It features the Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive & Command Cars, Union Pacific “Big Boy,” The Pullman Porters: From Service to Civil Rights and a variety of other exhibits.  From trains to the automobile, cruise down memory lane with extraordinary views and stories of 100+ pristine collector vehicles spanning 110+ years at The Automobile Gallery. You’ll find a car for every memory, whether it be romance in a 1957 Ford Thunderbird or going from 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds in the 2020 Ford GT.  End the day with a stroll or tram ride through Heritage Hill, a 56-acre living history state park, beautifully nestled on the banks of the Fox River with 26 historic buildings encapsulating northeastern Wisconsin’s history from the 1600s to the early 1900s.

Day 3: Brillion and Appleton Wisconsin

This morning, head to Brillion to visit the highly interactive AriensCo Museum, which tells the story of the country’s journey from horse-and-plow to horsepower. Unique galleries transport you to an 1890s factory, 1930s farm, and groovy 1960s backyard. Step inside Wisconsin’s largest snow globe for a unique photo opportunity. Arrive in Appleton for a laid-back cruise on the Fox River, with a light narration focusing on history, the environment, area geology, beautiful scenery, and lovely riverfront homes. Located in the historic Sawyer home, a beautiful English Tudor Revival residence, the Oshkosh Public Museum is home to the Apostles Clock. Over 100 years old, the eight-foot-tall clock continues to toll out each hour with a brilliant display of lights, music, and master clockworks.

Day 4: Attractions in Green Lake, Greenbush, Manitowoc, and Sheboygan, WI

Start in Green Lake and enjoy a leisurely entertaining and informative cruise on the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin. The Wade House in Greenbush showcases the horse-powered world before planes, automobiles, and railroads. Explore the golden era of the carriage through our stagecoach hotel and Wisconsin’s largest collection of carriages and wagons. Your group will enjoy a self-guided tour Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center in Manitowoc to view the expansive exhibit space and a trip to a local dairy farm. During your time at the center, your group will gain a deeper understanding of Wisconsin agriculture, food processing, and sustainable farming. The final stop of the day is the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, a unique museum promoting the understating and appreciation of the work of self-taught and contemporary artists. You won’t want to miss checking out the restrooms!

Day 5: Last Things to Do in Sheboygan and Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Before leaving Sheboygan, you’ll want to stop at the new Art Preserve, the world’s first museum to focus entirely on work from art environments. See bone towers built in a kitchen, concrete sculptures constructed in a yard on the shore of Lake Michigan, and elaborate fiber hangings woven in a New York City loft. These works exemplify the wide-ranging and complex artist-built environments contained at the Art Preserve.  Before departing Wisconsin, get some fresh air and take a stroll or tram through the Milwaukee County Zoo. Take in the Sea Lion Show, experience a 4D Gorilla Trek through the forests of Rwanda, or have an up-close encounter with a variety of furry, feathered, and finned animals. Lead photo: USS Cobia at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, Manitowoc.

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Wendy Dobrzynski