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