Part of our Summer Bucket List series, we’re sharing where to go and what to see in every part of the Badger State.
Many people associate northeastern Wisconsin with the fall. Between the football and the foliage, there’s no question that’s a fantastic season to visit, but the other three aren’t bad either. In fact, there are many places to go and things to do that are better in the summer.
From Lake Michigan’s beaches to the Northwoods’ trails, you’ll find so many hidden gems worthy of a spot on your bucket list in Northeastern Wisconsin.
Whether you live in the area or are visiting from downstate, here are a few ‘can’t miss’ attractions!
Tour Northern Waters Distillery
Location: 8136 US Hwy 51 S., Minocqua
Hours: Tours offered at 4 p.m Friday, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday
Minocqua is known for its gorgeous scenery and great resorts, but Northern Waters Distillery is a must-see for all cocktail lovers. A free drink comes with every 45-minute tour, which highlights the process of distilling spirits and showcases the company’s operations. Black Lab Berry Whiskey, Northwoods Gin, and Cinnamon Maple Moonshine are a few of the fun spirits you can sample during your visit.
Take a Scenic Boat Tour of Door County
Location: Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours, 9448 Spruce St., Fish Creek
Hours: Daily, May through October, first cruise leaves at 11 a.m.
Price: $27 to $42 for adults and seniors, $5 for children
Visiting Door County is probably already on your Northeastern Wisconsin bucket list, if you haven’t been there already. Take your visit to the next level by exploring Door County by boat. Fish Creek Scenic Boat Tours offers four tours every day throughout the summer, in addition to a variety of special cruises. Each tour narrates the area’s rich history and takes you to the West Islands, Peninsula Park Caves, Millionaire’s Row, and the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse. For truly spectacular views of Door County by water, book a Sunset Live Music Cruise.
Dine at Maiden Lake Supper Club
Location: 15649 Maiden Lake Rd., Mountain
Hours: Open Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Price: $16 and up
Supper clubs are a Midwestern staple, but they’re especially popular in Wisconsin, where you’ll find more than 250 across the state. The atmosphere, location, and continuous accolades make Maiden Lake Supper Club a must-visit. Located on the shores of Maiden Lake in Chequamegon National Forest, Maiden Lake Supper Club has a patio for drinks, a welcoming bar, and an action-packed dining room. If you don’t opt for the Friday Fish Fry, try the famous gorgonzola tenderloin!
Visit Lambeau Field
Location: 1265 Lombardi Avenue, Green Bay
Hours: Tours on home game weekends during the regular NFL season, Hall of Fame open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Price: $10 and up
Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers, qualifies as a mecca for the NFL, its fans, and history buffs. The Super Bowl Trophy is named after famed Green Bay Coach, Vince Lombardi, after all. All year long, Lambeau offers multiple types of stadium tours. You can also visit the Packers Hall of Fame to learn more about the history of the Green Bay Packers. They even let Bears and Vikings fans in!
Attend a Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl Pow Wow
Location: 603 Peace Pipe Row, Lac du Flambeau
Hours: Most Tuesdays in June, July, and August
Price: $5 to $10
Wisconsin is home to 11 federally-recognized Native American tribes. It’s not often that non-Natives get the chance to interact with them on their sacred land. Fortunately, the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa welcomes outsiders to their pow-wow celebrations. You can visit the reservation anytime to try your luck at the Lake of the Torches Casino or learn about Ojibwe history at The George W. Brown, Jr. Ojibwe Museum & Cultural Center. However, attending a pow-wow at Waaswaaganing Indian Bowl is a one-of-a-kind experience. The ceremony begins with a flag-raising before the dancing begins. Spectators are invited to join in the final dance, but don’t worry–you don’t have to.
Explore Wisconsin’s Shipwreck Coast
Location: Lake Michigan from Two Rivers to Port Washington
Hours: Vary, based on activity
Price: $100 and up per person for diver fees with a charter operation, $8 to $15 admission to Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc
Odds are, you’ve been to Lake Michigan, but head to Wisconsin’s Shipwreck Coast to immerse yourself in the state’s maritime history. In 2021, the NOAA designated 962 square miles of Lake Michigan’s western shore as a National Marine Sanctuary. The area is home to 36 shipwrecks. So, when you visit the beach, you can dive or snorkel to observe the wrecks. You might even find a new one! Researchers estimate there are around another 60 shipwrecks waiting to be discovered. Feeling a little less adventurous? Check out Manitowoc’s Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
Tour the EAA Aviation Museum
Location: 3000 Poberezny Rd., Oshkosh
Hours: Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: EAA members and kids 5 and under are FREE, $12 for kids ages 6 through 18, $13 for seniors age 62 and up, $15 for adults 19 and up
If you didn’t grow up in the area, you might not know that Northeastern Wisconsin has one of the coolest aviation museums in the country. The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) Aviation Museum is home to several amazing exhibits that showcase aviation’s past and future. During your visit, you’ll see more than 200 historic airplanes and other fascinating exhibits. The museum also hosts several internationally-recognized events throughout the year, including the world’s largest aviation celebration, EAA AirVenture, which draws more than 600,000 people.
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