You’ve made the decision to hit the open road and visit one (or all) of our dozen unique destinations. So what are you going to do once you get there? Here are three local highlights to help you plan your trip.
1. EAA AirVenture/EAA AirVenture Museum. What do Harrison Ford, World War II bombers and the Concorde supersonic jet have in common? They all have been part of EAA Airventure, a weeklong aviation celebration at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. Half a million visitors from more than 60 countries attend the annual event, and 10,000 aircraft – from homebuilt planes to ultralights – fly into Oshkosh during the expo. During the rest of the year, visit the EAA AirVenture Museum, which boasts an expansive collection, including 250 historic airplanes and an interactive gallery for children (and the young at heart). 3000 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh; www.airventure.org; www.airventuremuseum.org; (920) 426-4800 (AirVenture), (920) 426-4818 (museum)
2. Paine Art Center and Gardens. In the 1920s, Oshkosh lumber baron Nathan Paine and his wife, Jessie Kimberly Paine, wanted to build a Tudor-style mansion and country estate that would show off top-notch architecture, art, furnishings and natural beauty – all open to the public. The Paines’ dream has since become a reality, as the art center and surrounding gardens – opened in 1948 – give visitors an opportunity to observe fine art and natural beauty on the 3-acre site. The Paine also offers educational programs on art, architecture and nature. 1410 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh; www.thepaine.org; (920) 235-6903
3. Oshkosh Public Museum. The second-oldest public museum in Wisconsin, the Oshkosh Public Museum holds more than 47,000 historic photographs and 75,000 historical objects. Visitors can learn about the days of the Paine Lumber Company and see a scale model of the World’s Largest Lumber Company. One of the museum’s most popular attractions is the Apostles Clock, an eight-foot tall timepiece built in 1895. When the clock strikes the hour, the apostles pass before Christ and bow their heads while the clock plays a hymn. 1331 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, WI; www.oshkoshmuseum.org; (920) 236-5799
Easy and affordable overnight packages
If you’re thinking of going on a spring getaway, take advantage of the overnight packages being offered throughout Wisconsin. Packages help you save money and make travel planning easy. And if you’re not much for planning ahead, overnight packages are perfect for last-minute trips.
These Wisconsin destinations are offering special overnight packages right now:
Don’t wait to take a spring getaway—book your trip today!
Three huge Wisconsin lakes offer unsurpassed sailing this spring
The Badger State isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of sailing. However, Wisconsin boasts three of the Midwest’s top sailing opportunities. If you’re looking for a place to put your sailboat in the water this spring, don’t miss these three lakes.
One Humongous Lake
Lake Winnebago is Wisconsin’s largest inland lake. From the numerous boat launches in Oshkosh, located midway between the north and south ends of the lake, sailors can access 138,000 acres of open water. It’s a world-class freshwater sailing destination that offers consistent winds and endless acres to explore.
At 7,700 acres, Onalaska gives sailing enthusiasts ample room to maneuver. Sail around islands, along wetlands and through wide expanses of open water. Surrounded by bluffs, the scenery is spectacular. And, on a windy day, don’t be surprised if you see bald eagles sailing above you.
The Longest Lake
At the northern end of the Wisconsin Great River Road, the 28-mile-long Lake Pepin is a favorite with boaters from Wisconsin and Minnesota. This wide pool on the Mississippi River allows sailboats to tack their way north and south through the heavily forested valley beneath the gaze of high bluffs.
Bright, blue, beautiful spring days mean great bicycling in Wisconsin
Looking for a way to wake up after a long winter? Hop on your bicycle and see the landscape as it transforms from drab and grey to dazzling and green. From the bicycle saddle, you can enjoy the sight of wildflowers, the sound of geese, the smell of the warming earth and the feel of the warm spring air against your face.
Wisconsin is arguably the best bicycling state in the Midwest. The biggest decision bicyclists have to make is where to start their two-wheeled explorations. Here are three bicycling adventures you should consider this spring.
The roads west of Middleton are a road cyclist’s playground. Some of the Midwest’s finest country roads crisscross western Dane County, and Middleton is the perfect place to access this bicycling bounty. To reach the country roads from Middleton’s award-winning community trail system, simply head out of town along Pheasant Branch Road, Airport Road and the paved trail that runs along Highway 12.
What can you expect on these quiet country roads? Unsurpassed Dairy State scenery. Small farms dot the rolling landscape. You’ll see cows grazing in meadows, farmers tilling fields and waterfowl feeding in wetlands. It’s hard to pick a route because nearly every road offers scenic delights. Bring along a map and keep a sense of adventure and you’ll be entranced by the hills, valleys, woods and fields.
101 Miles of State Biking Trails
Located on both the La Crosse River State Trail and the Great River State Trail, the friendly community of Onalaska is the perfect place for a spring bicycling adventure. The 21.5-mile La Crosse River State Trail and the 24-mile Great River State Trail are part of a 101-mile stretch of interconnected state trails running from Trempealeau to Reedsburg.
The La Crosse River State Trail follows alongside the La Crosse River, giving riders magnificent views of the waterway. The Great River State Trail follows the mighty Mississippi River, and bikers will see flocks of migrating waterfowl and songbirds that travel along the Mississippi River Flyway. There’s no better place to witness the vibrancy of spring firsthand.
Stevens Point is home to one of Wisconsin’s best bicycling opportunities—the 30.5-mile Green Circle Trail. The trail begins at the Schmeeckle Reserve, a 280-acre nature preserve on the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point campus. From there, the Green Circle Trail winds its way through Stevens Point, at times following the course of the Wisconsin and Plover rivers. If you’re looking for spring scenery, this trail fits the bill.
The main loop of the Green Circle Trail is made up of 12 connecting trail segments. Several sections, such as the University Trail, take bicyclists through pristine natural areas. Other sections, such the Riverfront Trail, which runs between the Wisconsin River and downtown Stevens Point, take you through lively neighborhoods. It’s an enticing variety that will leave you wanting to take another 30.5-mile lap.