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A road trip through the Badger State takes visitors on a journey of varied experiences. Tourism is the third largest industry in Wisconsin, and every effort has been made to accommodate visitors of every taste and style.
The rugged outdoors beckons to those who crave the space and solitude that Mother Nature provides; cities such as Milwaukee and Oshkosh are hotbeds of arts and culture, with art galleries and museums to interest patrons of all types, and Wisconsin is very much alive with the spa society, so you can partake of massage, sauna, and mineral water treatments that restore both body and soul. Wisconsin is also known as the Dairy State, and is famous the world over for cheeses of all flavors.
Milwaukee serves as the starting point for this road trip, and it’s not a question of finding things to do while you’re here, but one of trying to decide how to fit them all in! In addition to an array of art galleries and museums, along with an virtually limitless array of shopping opportunities, one can start by taking the “Beer Tour;” the Lakefront, Sprecher, Pabst and Miller Breweries offer tours of their facilities that show how their famous products are created and distributed. Since Milwaukee sits on the shores of Lake Michigan, there are plenty of chances to go boating, or sit by the water with a picnic lunch. For the baseball fan, the best time to visit is when the Brewers are playing at Miller Park. There’s nothing like live baseball.
Heading north on the US-45, drive for 20 miles until you come to the US-41-N, which you’ll take for just under 60 miles into the city of Oshkosh. Like Milwaukee, you’ll find an incredibly variety of things to do. Some of the points of interest include the Air Adventure Museum, which presents exhibits that tell the tale of aviation’s varied history. There’s the Grand Opera House, a restored theater from Victorian days which is available for tours of its pristine facilities, as well as the Military Veterans Museum, which in addition to showcasing memorabilia and artifacts from our nation’s military history, also provides a first-class reference library and gift shop. The annual Oshkosh Airshow draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from all around the country, to thrill at the skillful displays of piloting, and to get up close to some of the finest aircraft in the world.
Leaving Oshkosh by way of the northbound US-41, travel 12 miles to the eastbound WI-125 and take it three more miles to the city of Appleton. Appleton’s a pleasant stop-off point, with a downtown district guaranteed to keep you entertained. There are more than 50 different shops on the main avenue, half a dozen art galleries, and nearly 50 restaurants that feature every type of cuisine. If you can’t find it in downtown Appleton, it probably doesn’t exist.
Continuing north on the US-41, a little more than twenty miles later you’ll come to the off-ramp for the US-41-BR-N, which you’ll take the remaining 4 miles into the city of Green Bay. This, as footballs fans know, is the home of the Green Bay Packers. Plan your trip for when the Packers are in town and catch a game at Lambeau Field. The rest of the year, you can enjoy any of the water-based activities such as boating and fishing at Green Bay, and Packer County has plenty of land that’s excellent for skiing and snowmobiling in the winter.
Heading south on the I-43 for a little less than 40 miles gets you to Manitowoc, which is a paradise for the lover of the outdoors. There’s no shortage of opportunities to charter a boat for a cruise or fishing trip over Lake Michigan, and the city itself offers more than 500 acres of parkland for hiking, biking, or just chilling out, and there are four different golf courses for you to work on that handicap. There’s also ample opportunity to pull over and park along the shores of Lake Michigan and take in a sunset over the water before heading back to Milwaukee, which lies a little more than 70 miles down the southbound I-43.
Of course, somewhere along the way you stopped at one of the dairy farms and sampled some of that delicious Wisconsin cheese, right?